Katie is 18 years old and hails from the planet Earth, where she spends much of her time writing and daydreaming of things yet to be written. She aspires to someday act professionally in movies and theatre. She is trying to balance college, work, and writing in her daily schedule and enjoys taking breaks that include chocolate chip cookies and Star Trek.
My eyes penetrate through the lace curtains that imprison me in this confinement of a life. It is not the strength of the window drapes that hold me captive, but the cutting fear that I will be found out and punished accordingly. Even more frightening would be to discover that out there is as callous and heartless as he tells me.
A dewy mist reminds me that spring is here in all of its cricket-laden glory, though I’ll never get close enough to touch it for myself. The mist tiptoes through windows that weren’t shut as tightly as the Master had supposed and spreads its eager presence through the mansion that chafes at my wrists every day. The very house has handcuffed me. This wet air is the only thing I can have of outside, but it only reminds me of what I cannot have.
Unwillingly, I pull my eyes away from outside and stare in building fury at inside. Every day my dissatisfaction grows, a monster of envy and want.
Footsteps are coming. Whoever belongs to the footsteps is closing in on the door, and whoever it is will receive my wrath unleashed before they even cross the floor.
The door creaks uncertainly on its hinges before, with an encouraging push, it swings away to reveal the Maid.
She smiles robustly and holds out the silver tray she carries, laden so heavily with danishes and raspberry crèmes I am afraid it will pull her over to the floor. I bit back my anger. She is not responsible.
She greets me enthusiastically in her broken English, scattered so heavily with words where she substituted her native German, I can barely understand it.
My expression betrays my indifference, and I turn away before she can think I am being rude. I feel the German presence, though I cannot see it. Her footsteps flop out of the room and away in a rhythmic patter.
Then I feel breath on my neck.
My mouth opens and I jump to face whoever is there. The Master stands over me.
“Alice,” he clicks with his tongue, pity ribboning his tone, but I see nothing more than conceit and malice in his eyes. “You are sad, I see. What is it that you want, that I have not given you?”
His condescension embitters me. I set my lips together and push past him, controlling my growing anger. Why does he even come here? Why does he speak to me?
“Alice,” he tries again, tucking a laugh behind his words. “Don’t be afraid of me.” The words are ridiculous. He knows I am afraid. He is not even pretending to care about me anymore. His visits are only to satisfy his desire for control.
I spin to face him and cry exasperatedly, but no noise comes out. I mouth the hateful words I wish to speak, but the Master pays no attention.
He chuckles evilly, and sweeps my existence off his mind with a flick of his fingers. I want to destroy him.
“You’ll never amount to anything, Alice,” he says. “You do realize that- don’t you?”
The click of the lock behind him resounds in my mind.
I want to scream, to tell him he’s wrong, but I can’t. Not just because I’m beginning to believe him. I am mute.