Corkhaven

Corkhaven doesn't exist. It's not on any map and is impossible to find. A prison created by mystery captors, only one person living there is aware of the conspiracy behind the town, knowing that there must be more to life than staying imprisoned in a ghost town. And so they try to escape the gate.

for the more than this competition

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1. Welcome to Corkhaven

A big black iron gate, always shut, connected to a rust red brick wall concealing away a cluster of concrete buildings swarmed with the echoes of the ghosted villagers, zombie like in behaviour – no sense of purpose or direction; as long as there is food and shelter, it doesn't seem to matter that they are prisoners, although they have long forgotten. The rack and ruin of the old church that sits surrounded by vandalised gravestones, danced on by their captors. The unheard cries of the future generations to be born into the factory driven town that is non-existent on any map, the inhabitants trapped for so long that the need and want to escape lies abandoned along with the memory of what the town once was and what it was built for. Kept like pigs in a pen with every drop of humanity being drained away day by day until all working days are done and all that’s left is ash. This is Corkhaven.

 

I don't know where I am. Or what I am. I have been given a name, an age and a job by the Captors but that is not who I am. If I ever forget my status or have a glimpse of memory of who I once was, another tally mark appears on my body and at the end of the month they count the tally marks and punish me accordingly. It's the same with everyone here in Corkhaven. It makes me wonder who I was before along with the knowledge that I definitely was someone before...well before this. But if I try to remember, that tally mark appears on my skin like a permanent scar, a searing pain that affects my whole body. I'm running out of space for tally marks on my body, I have so many, but I never forget the number. 6798. 6799. 6800. And counting. Because I can't stop remembering now that I know. It's hard to forget something when you know you have to forget it. For example, if I tell you now to close your eyes and for ten seconds, whatever you do, don't think about Apples. Don't think about how they are red and juicy and crisp and delicious. Don't think about the perfect bite shape. You have ten seconds. Go.
Whether or not you took the time or are still reading this, no matter how hard you try not to think about apples, you are thinking about apples or you have thought at least twice about an apple in the last ten seconds. That's what it's like trying not to remember that I don't belong and that something is wrong. Because it's so clear to me but no one else can see it. And once I run out of room for tally marks, I don't know what's going to happen. Is there a certain amount of times I can get tallied before they realise I'm never going to forget and just decide to kill me? 6923. They are appearing more rapidly now. Every five minutes on a cycle. That is the amount of time it takes me to remember. If I forget for even a second, I start to remember that I have forgotten and I'm fighting to forget, begging myself to forget. But I can't... and I've caused so much pain to others trying to find out it they remember like me. And then a tally mark appears on them and they panic and flee. The first time it happened was with my older brother Kyle. Or at least that's who the Captors have told me is my brother. When I remember flashbacks of the past, he isn't in them. I was eating breakfast with him one day when my mouth blurted out words I wish I could take back.

“Haven’t you ever felt like there has to be more? Like there’s more out there somewhere, just beyond your grasp, if you could only get to it?"

He looked at me quizzically, as if for a second, a distant memory hidden at the back of his mind had come to light. Then his first tally mark appeared. A look of panic spread across his face before it went blank again and he seemed to forget what he'd remembered or why he had remembered it. Some men came to take him away later that day. They told me he was being transferred to the factory house but my look of disbelief was clearly a shock to them. They took him away none the less and I haven't seen him since. That was eight years ago. I can't even remember what he looks like and I'm not going to try. What's the point? These tally marks are like a shock collar around my neck, each day getting tighter and tighter until I'm choking and can barely breathe. I don't care if it kills me, I'm going to find away to remove it.

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