Behind the Smile: Chapter Thirteen - Cage

Separated and trapped. Both Beth and Alice are like a pair of birds trapped in a cage.
Chapter 13: Cage

There's a car waiting for Beth outside. Felix was talking to them happily as his hand was busy counting some thick cash.

Beth turned and explained everything hastily to Alice. Alice was shocked after she learned the truth. In fact, she was bewildered. Plus there was too much to handle because she learned about whom Alec and Beth are going to be sold. It's too much to take for one person. It's too complicated to digest early in the morning and she's not an early riser. It's simply too much to handle.

She started to get teary. Seeing this, Beth quickly touched her cheeks and kissed her forehead.

"Goodbye Alice. Please take care of yourself. E... Eat." Beth paused for a moment. She inhaled deeply and tried to make her voice normal.

"Eat well Alice. I love you and I'm going to miss you."

They hugged each other fiercely knowing that they would not see each other again after this. Perhaps forever...


"Wait," Felix said as he pulled Beth from the car's seat.

Beth stared sharply at him. Without saying anything, Felix just grabbed her necklace roughly. The clasp broke free.

She stared at her necklace that was right now at Felix's hand. She hurled towards Felix but the people who should bring her to that somewhere seized her.

"You sure are stupid, isn't it Beth? This hideous necklace has a tracker inside it. I installed it to prevent both of you from running away," Felix cackled.

Beth stared at him stupidly. So, that is one of the reason why they always get caught when they tried to run away. She wobbled. She felt hopeless. Her necklace being used as a device and Alec is not here to help her. Her mother's necklace. Alec. Both of them are not with her. She lost all the hope.

Without any energy left to fight, she allowed herself to be pushed inside the car. There's no hope for her anymore. None. She threw one last look at Alice who stood watching them from a distance. Her expression was unreadable.


Alice's lips trembled. She watched the car drove away and without wasting any time, she started to run. She needed to get away from Felix. Fast. There's nothing that could hold her anymore. She clenched her teeth. Beth's gone. There's no one there for her anymore.

She remembered how she and Beth used to be together. There were always the two of them who tried to face the punishment that Felix randomly gave, when he's drunk. Always the two of them. Now, she's alone. How can she face everything alone??

She ran towards the forest. She kept walking, afraid that Felix might catch her. She did not know for how long she was in the forest. The next thing she knew that it's already dark. She found a shelter and hugged her knees tightly. She prayed that Beth is going to be safe and whole.

Alice stared at the sky. The stars shine so bright. Can I be like that? A star that won't fade no matter how frequent the days and nights changed and switched. How beautiful... how hard to reach it. She sneered. Probably not. She did not have that purity of life anymore. She doubted that she could come out alive.

Suddenly, she saw a shooting star. Out of reflex, she prayed that she can get out alive and Beth's going to be alright. This was a miracle for her to see it. All this while, she just heard from Beth. In the middle of wishing, she stopped herself. She scoffed. It's not like wishing at one stupid shooting star going to make any difference. Right now she needs to escape. Anywhere as long as nobody is able to catch her. She needs to move fast or else...

Just as her prediction came true, a hand grabbed her. She screamed. After that, she passed out.

The next thing she knew, she was in her room and was tied on a chair. Her head felt painful. In front of her, there was a basin full of water on the table. Oh, she was being splashed by the water by someone just to wake her up.

"What is happening?" She asked groggily.

The answer that she got was a hard slap across her right cheek.

She quickly tried to wriggle but her hand was tied tightly using some thick ropes. She could not escape. She was trapped.

She was being slapped across her left cheek. She flinched painfully. She still could feel the hard rock of the man's palm.

"Idiot bitch. I supposed to know this shit was going to happen," muttered the man with a gruff voice. It's Felix's voice. Alice's eyes widen in realization.

She quickly looked at him. It's really him.

The wave of fear suddenly got to her. She started to tremble because she did not know what Felix was going to do with her.

Felix grabbed Alice's hair roughly.

"This is what you get after you messed up with Felix, bitch," he said menacingly as he pushed Alice's head into the basin full of water.

Alice tried to struggle but before she could do anything and before she could take a deep breath, her face was in the water.

Felix pulled her head from the basin. She spluttered and gasped for air. She coughed the water out from her mouth. Felix pushed her head into the water again and again. He waited long enough so that Alice almost drowned and only then he lifted Alice's head on and on.

Releasing her from the chair, he pushed her roughly on the floor. Alice was drenched with water and she was unable to move her body. She was so exhausted.

"Don't you dare to run away again or I am going to kill you," Felix added before he banged the door. Alice was locked.


Beth was bewildered. She was brought to a weird place. From the window of the car, she could see beautiful women were courted by some man.

Some of the women even stood alone while blowing the pipes.

The place was full of color and it looked lively during the night. The night was illuminated by the light from lanterns. The car came to a full stop. There were hands that grabbed her roughly as if afraid that she was going to run away.

They brought her through the back door. She went to a tunnel where at the end of it, there was a magnificent door. The door was made of oak. She did not have the time to look at her surrounding because the door was opened by one of the assistants and without a word they went inside.

In the room, it was far more beautiful than the door. It was decorated with the look of old, dark and gloomy place. Haunted yet beautiful. Vintage.

There was an old grandfather's clock. Beth didn't know why that clock gave her some creeps. As if the ticking sound was for her. As if it was counting her time but for what? She did not want to know. Her mind returned to the present.

There were an old man and the most beautiful woman, Beth ever saw. The woman was wearing a provocative robe and her hairdo was as complicated as it was, braided into tiny pieces and was pieced together and created a beautiful yet complicated hairstyle. She was blowing smoking pipe and was sitting on the sofa with an alluring pose.

The old man turned towards Beth. He was an old man in his sixties. He cupped her face and studied her feature. Beth's body was tensed.

"Beautiful... What do you think Sapphire?" He turned, raised his eyebrow at the beautiful woman.

The woman slowly got up from the sofa and glided gracefully towards them.

She stared at Beth from head to toe.

"Yeah, she's okay but I think you should not put her into work yet, James. She still is a scary cat and people will not find it interesting," she commented.

The old man frowned at her comment.

"I paid a lot for this girl Sapphire."

"Yes James. That is why you need to wait. This girl is going to be famous, but let me teach her first how to give pleasure to men."

Hearing this, Beth gasped. She did not know that this going to come. The woman's eyes flicked at her briefly and then continued talking.

"Give her some work to do first, like cleaning this place or managing the account for this place. I think she can do it pretty well. After she knows her way around here only then we make her as one of us."

"Sapphire, did you know what you're doing?"

She stared at James' eyes. "Trust me."
Published: 8/28/2012
Bouquets and Brickbats