“No” wasn’t good enough. “No” was taboo. “No” was defiance in every aspect of Miller’s life. She didn’t say “No”. She couldn’t say “No”.
They wouldn’t stand for it.
Miller, back then, looked them in their faces and saw something more than simple disappointment. She saw anger. She saw resolve. But most of all, she saw fear. It had made her clench her fists, set her jaw and narrow her eyes. She had never seen them this way before, but she knew what their faces said and she knew what their mouths would say. SO before their tongues could move, Miller struck them.
“I don’t want that life, I’ve had enough,” she said, her voice firm and unwavering, “You’ve kept me here a long, long while. I don’t like it. I’m tired of it. I want out.”
She watched as their faces grew darker and darker, like the smoke from the angry fires burning inside them were were smouldering their countenances. A calm storm raged in the silence that ensued. The Elder hadn’t understood her – she didn’t understand Miller’s mother-tongue – but she looked at the faces around her, and looked at Miller with same silent rage. Miller didn’t look away. She didn’t look down. She looked at that wave of rage, glared out at it, before the doom would come crashing down on her.
“You will do as you’re told,” said Devil’s Advocate, his eyes bulging out of his lined face.
“Not if it’s you who’s telling me,” Miller retorted.
Devil’s Advocate smirked at her, the anger in his smirk causing Miller to inwardly shudder. She didn’t let it show.
“You are a child, Aria,” Devil’s Advocate rasped at her, “You think you’ve risen above that, but you haven’t. You know nothing. Obey, and be spared your ignorance.”
“Ignorance is to stay,” Miller replied, “If I stay, I will become like you. All of you. Ignorant and afraid of all the wonders in the world.”
“There is no wonder in the world. There is no world aside from what is here.”
“All I see here is a prison!”
“Freedom with destroy you, Aria.”
Miller looked at the ground, gritted her teeth and said, “As if I wasn’t already destroyed by you.”
The Gorgon stepped forward. Miller would not meet her eye, it was filled with too much hatred it made the Gorgon hideous to behold.
“If I were you, I’d count my blessings. Destruction out there is far worse than anything that happened to you here,” the Gorgon remarked.
“Yes, because that’s a logical way to live,” Miller spat back at her, “I will accept destruction from no-one and nothing! I will not stay here!”
The Gorgon laughed, breath like smoke stroking Miller’s face, “And who are you to pause doom?”
“I would rather die in a gutter out there, than be bound to you for another moment,” Miller sneered, “There is no progress I can make here. I will die young, forever invisible to the world.”
“The world does not care for you!”
“Well, neither do you.”
The Devil’s Advocate moved the Gorgon out of the way and told her to stay back, that her comments were not welcome.
“I won’t become like her,” Miller swore, “I won’t become an insect to stand in that bastard’s shadow. I am a person. The world will accept that, in time. None of you will, not for as long as you live,” she stepped away from them and towards the open door. The door where her freedom lay, “I became a slave in your midst, and told myself it was alright. That it was expected, normal of me – while the devils in my home treated me in malicious and disgusting ways, without fear of consequence. I tire of this. I am not a slave to you. I am not a slave to anyone.”
The Devil’s Advocate lashed out at her, hitting her into a wall and grabbing her arm, “You will do as you’re told. You will obey,” he dragged her into a closet and threw her in. Miller fell onto the floor, only to scramble up and pound on the door that slammed into place too fast. She hit the door and screamed her rebuke until her knuckles became bruised and her voice began to tear into moans and cries. She hit her head against the door, unrelenting – telling herself she would not be contained, that she would be free and that she would have her way.