In one way, my life ended just after my twelfth birthday. I walking along the street. I don't know where I was going. Then a big black car appeared from nowhere and screeched to a halt in front of me. The door opened and the next thing I was inside. The people who took me drugged me, beat me, abused me and took everything I was away from me, even my name. At least they thought they had. I don't know why I managed to hold on to my name, even when they were doing so many terrible things to me, to wipe everything from my mind. I'm glad I did because I held on to a lot of things with it.
What happened to me was terrible, but it happens more often than you thing. 800,000 people are snatched, kidnapped, tricked or coerced into slavery every year. Some of them escape but most don't. They live lives of misery right under the noses of people going on with their lives, too blind to see. Maybe they don't want to see. Even when slaves escape they sometimes aren't treated very well. People don't seem to care that the things we're made to do are against our will, that there's nothing we can do about it. The see someone who's been soiled. The things we did disgust them and so do we. I had a lot of problems with that when Social Services tried to take Ben away from us because of it.
My life started again when I first saw River. River is my boyfriend. He's the most wonderful person in world. He saved me. He worked in the place they put me when I came out of the hospital. I was in hospital because the people who took me tried to kill me for falling in love with another slave. His name was David and I loved him very much. Not like I love River, though. Have I mentioned he's the most wonderful person in the world?
He's so patient with me. I'm not the easiest person to live with. I get scared of things, lots of things. People more than anything. People took me. People hurt me. People tried to take away everything I have. People turned their backs on me. Even after I free people have treated me badly. Even River sometimes. He can't help it, though. I've heard him say he'd need the patience of a saint to cope with me. I don't know what it means but it makes me sad. I know he doesn't mean to, but he doesn't understand. There's a part of me that's still in slavery and always will be.
Ariel understands, at least some of it. Better than almost anyone else ever has. Almost anyone. Asher did, but then, he'd been a slave too and he knew what it does to your head, heart and soul. he taught me not to be so afraid all the time. I'm so sad I had to leave him behind. But I didn't leave Ariel behind. Ariel's my best friend. River doesn't like him. He thinks Ariel is childish and makes me childish too when we're together. I suppose he's right. Sometimes we need to be loud and silly and even selfish. We're two whores whose bodies managed to escape. I say bodies because part of us, locked away in our minds, will always be whores.
We don't mind, though, especially Ariel. He's outrageous, an evil little witch who is the most frustrating but kindest person I've ever known. I love him with some of my heart. I can't love him with all of my heart because most of it belongs to River.
Gosh, I said I wasn't going to tell my story and here I am spilling it all out. That's not all of, though, not by a long shot. I haven't told you about Faith, who tried to kill me three times. I haven't told you about Sam and, most importantly, I haven't told you about Asher. You really need to know about Asher and everything he did for me. He's the only person, other than David and River, I've given myself to, body and soul.
Most people think I don't exist other than a character in the wonderful stories my good friend Nephylim writes. Maybe that's true but it sure feels to me that I have a life beyond that. I tell Nephy my stories and she writes them down. She's the only one who hears my voice but I'm pretty sure I exist somewhere. I feel real sometimes, like when I talk to you, through Nephy, like this. Let me tell you a secret. I think Nephy's in love with me. I love her too but the only person I'm in love with is River, and I think Ariel is second on the list.
I should get to the point. Nephy's written my stories for me, wonderfully well if I may say so. So far, she's sharing two books with you, although there's lots more. She hasn't told you about Cam yet, or Kitten. Boy was Kitten a handful. He was a slave too. His master sent him away after a terrible car accident and because of him I - Oops. I almost told you too much. Nephy won't be happy if I give too much away. You'll get to read for yourself when Books III and IV are published. I have lots of adventures in them. River says I attract trouble. Maybe he's right. Ariel says I just attract people who are in trouble because they know I'll help them and take care of them. I think he's righter. That's not a word is it. Ah well, never mind, Nephy isn't going to get to edit this so I can say what I like.
Back to the point. Nephy and my friend Red Haircrow, without whom my stories wouldn't have been told like this, are releasing a Special Edition of Books I and II. In many ways they were the hardest to write because I was still very much a slave then. Only in my own head, but a slave nonetheless. It wasn't until Asher-- No, I won't talk about Asher here. You have to read it.
Nephy's written a special new story for the book. It's about my first Christmas and how confused I was by it. My favourite part was the snow.
Another thing I'm really excited about in the Special Edition is that the wonderful paintings and sketches my friend Maria did are going to be in there. There are some by Nephy too, but Maria's are the best. I'm can't wait to see them in the book. Nephy and Red haven't let me see it yet. I only have one day to wait. The Special Edition is being released tomorrow. I don't think I'll sleep tonight.
The book is only going to be available for one month so you should get it soon. I know you will. You seem nice, not the kind of person to be scared of at all. If you're reading this you must be one of Nephy's friends. She has so many. So...go buy my book. I'm laughing now, because I'm so cheeky. Nephy will kill me!
Happy Christmas in July
Oh...I forgot. Nephy will let you know tomorrow where you can get the book from. If you go to the facebook or twitter party you might get to win one. I'm going to be at the party so you'll be able to ask me stuff if you want to.