The Rhyme of the Crows

~~"One for sorrow,
two for mirth,
three for funeral,
four for birth,
five for silver,
six for gold,
and seven for a secret never to be told."~~
Then the screams started.

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6. Chapter 6

 A man in armor stood in front of me. He held a taser. I looked around. I was in a cell. A cell? Yes, a prison cell. There was a line of bars in front, which was behind the man, but also on every side of it. A cage made out of bars? Yes. There was another cage on every side of me, so four more in total in the gigantic room. I looked at the man as I stripped of the ropes and cloths that had held me. 

 I stood up, and he pointed the taser at me. I said, "Where am I?" 

 He lowered the taser for a moment, then raised it again. "You're in the City of Confinement and Custody. Please sit down, or I'll taser you." I glared at him, then sat down on the concrete floor. 

 A cackle came from behind me. I turned my head to see a girl hanging from the ceiling of her cell. She was hanging by strips of cloth, like a trapeze artist. She had very faded electric blue hair, which I'd never seen on a person before. She laughed again and said, "Oh, the darling cluelessness. She hasn't gotten the treatment yet, has she? Oh, this is gonna be fun!" She had a high pitched giggle, so I turned away, back to the armored man.

 "Why am I here? Where is here? What's happening to me?" I said. The girl giggled from behind me again. 

 The man said, "Girl, you're here because you got a seven on the test. You qualified for the City of Confinement and Custody. You will have to take on the pain of all the cities."

 "The pain of all the cities? What does that mean? What? Why? Why am I here?" I screeched.

 The girl behind me giggled again. The man looked at her and said, "Quinn, shut up." The girl, now named Quinn, stuck her tongue out at the guard. "Stardust, you saw seven crows, which meant that your mind can't be controlled, so we control you with the pain of all the cities. We take certain fears that hinder the people from the people of each city and force them upon you to control you. You're like Quinn back there; she already went through a few sessions of treatment, and she had seven crows too. We're going to take you to your first session in a few hours. Feel free to stay here, well you don't have a choice." He chuckled, then walked out of the door and slammed it shut.

 As he closed the door, two guards came past the same door, dragging a body between them. I rushed over and grabbed the bars on the right side of my cage. They put the body inside the right side cage, then locked the door behind it. I looked at the body, and noticed that it looked like a boy. He had faded silvery purple hair, and though he wasn't moving, he was breathing.

 Quinn laughed from behind me, so I turned around to face her. She said, "Ooooh, darling Joey got a really bad treatment today! He went down too far, darling Joey did!" 

 I questioned, "So what happens in the treatments, Quinn?" 

 Quinn grabbed the sides of her cloth trapeze ropes, did an air backflip, her leg caught on the rope, and she flipped, dropping to the ground. She tumbled over and sprung up, grabbing the bars. "Darling Stardust, you don't even know, darling Stardust! They're worse than you would ever imagine. That's why they call me insane!" She giggled, then once she composed herself she continued, "I used to be sane, but those treatments made me go over my limit! Darling Joey's not over there yet, but he's getting there. Look! He's waking up!" 

 Joey was starting to stir. "Joey! Darling Joey! We have a new friend! She hasn't been treated yet! Joey!" she said. Joey opened his eyes and sat up, holding his head. 

 He closed his eyes again and mumbled something to himself, then said, "Quinn, would you just shut up for one minute, please?"

 Quinn giggled and swung back up to her trapeze hanging position. "Oh darling Joey," Quinn rambled, "you are just too polite, dearie, I must cherish this side of you while it lasts, oh darling Joey, because I know it's going to change!" She giggled again, flipping upside down on her hangings. "You're going to just as sane as me one day, you'll see that soon, darling Joey!"

 Joey winced, then grumbled, "Can't wait Quinn."

 Quinn giggled again, flipping around on her trapeze hangings. "Oh darling Joey, you didn't say hello to our new friend, how rude of you! You should be ashamed of yourself, you're normally so polite, darling Joey!"

 He opened his eyes again, and they were a shocking silver color. He looked her over, as if judging her worth by his first sight of her. "So," he wheezed, "they brought a new victim here, haven't they. Quinn, have you been tormenting this poor girl already, or have you left one of them alone finally?"

 Quinn pouted as she wrapped her legs around the hangings, hanging upside down. "How dare you, darling Joey! How dare you imagine I would think such things or say such words as if to insult our new friend! I've only said the kindest of words, right Stardust?" Quinn's bright smile was overwhelming, and her eyes shone like sun reflecting off the water-just a little too bright.

 I looked back and forth between the two inmates I've encountered. "Y-yeah," I stammered, "Quinn's been really nice so far."

 Quinn had a look of superiority as she hung from the rope. "Ha," she said. "Ha ha ha! Darling Joey, I knew I was right! I'm even nicer than you!" She giggled and flew to the top of her ropes.

 Joey rolled his eyes and mumbled something under his breath. There was a crazed look in his eyes that could only be described as temporary madness. He looked at me, the madness gone. "Your name is Stardust, yes?" I nodded and looked back at him. "I'm Joey, but I think you've gathered that, right?" I nodded again. "And you haven't been tested on?" I nodded for a third time. "Please, Stardust, cherish these moments before you end up like her, let alone me."

 I looked up to Quinn, whose arms were wrapped in the ropes. She flipped around and giggled, then tumbled in the air. She caught her knees on the rope and landed upside down. She looked at me and laughed. "Oh darling Stardust! Don't listen to him! Darling Joey says to love the moments of sanity, darling Stardust, but you should really love the moments of insanity. The time you should be scared of, darling Stardust, is the time when they can't get any use out of you anymore, that's the time you really should be scared of, darling Stardust!"

 Joey mumbled something else under his breath, the madness in his eyes returning. I looked back to Quinn, who was still turning on the ropes. I don't want to go crazy here! I haven't even gone through this 'treatment' yet! I sat down in the middle of my cage, put my hands over my ears, and screamed.

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