I bolt upright on my bed, a wave of nausea inexplicably following. Only after my breathing slows do I realize that I am panting, with a thin layer of sweat coating my forehead. “It was a nightmare,” I tell myself. A fickle figment of my imagination, my subconscious, a vision of which I already can only remember faint traces, incorrigible snippets. Just a dream, albeit an unsettling one with the retreating form of a brawny man. An uncannily alluring whisper _“Welcome home,”_ followed by a short sprinkle of a sweet yet poisonous giggle. But even as the thought flitters into my frenzied mind, I begin to feel the niggling doubt, the itch of paranoia. Of course, now I have to check.
Hesitantly, I lift my feet off the mattress that is obviously not my own, and peel off the layers of duvet that do not belong to me. Of course… I am somewhere else. Having recalled how my attacker had suddenly tackled me from behind and stuffed a napkin slathered in more than enough chloroform into my face, my fingers are shaking slightly as I glance at my surroundings. I had been oh-so-ungraciously kidnapped from the alleyway behind the bar I worked at. Still don’t know why those bastards took me.
But now, all that stares back at me was cold, whitewashed concrete… And nothing else. It was just a plain, empty room, with peeling colorless wallpaper and no windows. The only source of light was the single dim light bulb that hung above the mattress I found myself waking up on, and its ominous flickering isn't helping either. I curse mentally, until my eyes land on a steel door behind me. I stumble over to the door, limbs flailing as I frantically twist the knob. It was locked.
Cursing under my breath, my eyes search frantically for a possible route of escape. I put my hand against the door, trying to pry at the hinges that were traced with a line of rust. If only I could fling this open... Suddenly, the door swings open with an enormous flair and I step back, a swinging kick aimed at the person who was about to come in. A hand catches my ankle as I pull my foot away, yanking the person forwards, but not into the light. I grab their arm and twist it, and a feminine voice lets out a scream of pain. I silently let out a “huh”, half-expecting the person who strode in with such flair to be some masculine male with tattoos and a bald head who could beat me to a pulp in an instant. Not caring nonetheless, I raise my foot above their head. Just when I was about to slam my foot down on their head, the stock-standard man from my dream appears. He glares a warning at me, before smiling with a smug expression at the figure who was now lying on the ground, her face planted into the concrete.
"Jinx, what’re you playin’ at? I told you to tie her up." The tall man asks, a trace of irritation behind his words. Jinx snorts, stands back up, and dusts herself off. Now do I realize what that weird fluffy thing that grazed my foot was - the tuft of white feathers that stuck out from the middle of her headband. She falls to the ground again, dust smeared all over her pearly white oddly fashioned dress, and starts giggling hysterically. She wipes imaginary tears from her eyes, earning an annoyed grunt in response. “Psht, ropes are for _dogs_. I mean, c'mon, what's the worst that could happen? Did you expect her to go all ‘rabid-monkey’ on you when you entered this room? Not like I wouldn’t want to see that.”
"It was a precaution. I’d rather not take risks.” He scoffs and digs around in his pocket. “I ain’t got time for this. Just hold ‘er down and we’ll be done here fast.” The brown-haired man pulls out a revolver from his trench coat, and flashes me a sickening grin. I narrow my eyes at the weapon, as Jinx digs her knee into the small of my back, hands pinning down mine above my head. I grunt quietly as my cheek is flattened against the cold concrete floor. At least it wasn’t as dusty as before due to Jinx’s fit of hysterical laughter earlier. "What in Bilgewater would you want to know?” I gasp, voice straining as Jinx practically pushes my abdomen and all the air inside into the concrete. A bang rings out behind me, and a bullet penetrates the skin on my shoulder. I wince in pain as streams of blood immediately start gushing out of the wound. I grit my teeth, biting onto my tongue harshly.
"Hey Graves, can’t we go and blow stuff up instead?” Jinx calls, as the man grunts in response, the barrel of his gun still aimed at my shoulder, threatening to fire again. “ I don’t think she knows anything we actually need… Fishbones agrees with me!" I half laugh, half choke, as Jinx arches an eyebrow at me. "Oh? How about we have a date with Gangplank as well?” I retaliated. “That’ll be fun, down in the abyss he calls home. We can all have a drink or two, you know-” I suddenly hissed in pain, as another shot is fired into my shoulder. The girl laughs, head thrown back at an inhumane angle. I raise an eyebrow at the two of them as she once again wipes imaginary tears from her eyes. “Ooh, I like this one! But guess what Captain, things here are different from that shipwreck. We don’t like tea parties, we love guns and explosions and chaos!!”
The man, Graves, looks between my mocking glare, his pistol, and finally at the orange-haired psycho keeping me on the ground. "Jinx, meet your new subordinate. Minimum of ten hours of combat training every day. Welcome to The Mafia, Sarah. Or should I say, Miss Fortune." He then leaves the room, leaving one redhead in shock as the other jumps up and down while squealing in delight.
"The Mafia? You're the boss for The Mafia? Why do you want the vault, or me? And what was that remark about Miss Fortune, how _dare_ you mock my-" I call after him, but my sentence was rudely interrupted by the other person in my prison cell. "Uh-uh,” Jinx smirks, stabbing a finger into my chest. “Slaves shouldn’t speak out of turn!” She cackles, while hugging her violin case, which no doubt carried her precious ‘Fishbones’. “Ahh, it’s fun being in charge. Right, Fishbones?” The girl seemed to be talking to her violin case. I stare on with a confused expression, as she plants a fat sloppy kiss on the smooth cover and swings it over her shoulder. “C’mon Fortune!” Jinx calls over her shoulder. “Time to get DIZZY!!!” With that, she waltzes out of the room, leaving the steel door wide open. I blink once, twice. As her ear-piercing braying slowly fades into the distance, I take the chance and bolt straight for the door. The Mafia or not, I’m not planning on staying.
I blindly dash through the door, take a left, and plunge headfirst into the endless maze of hallways and maroon-colored walls. The concrete under my feet turns into carpet, but the walls are still the same sorry state they were inside of my cell. I run around the hallway, dodging past the odd marble pillar erected on the side of the corridor, eyes squinting in the darkness. It was more than dim inside… The lighting was even worse than the dodgy lightbulb in my containment room. Perhaps that was the most brightly-lit place in the entire Mafia base. My thoughts stop abruptly as I crash into what I had thought was a wall, before realizing that it was the back of the same trench coat I had seen just a few minutes ago. Graves slowly pivots around, no sign of emotion on his face, as a tobacco pipe sticks out from between his teeth. He snorts, and without a word, I turn and start walking the way I came from. In the cold silence, he grabs me by the collar and hauls me back to the concrete cell. I don’t resist his rough tug and quick pace, having accepted my fate of imprisonment.
He shoves me inside, and turns to leave. "This is your room. And get rid of that restaurant attire,” Graves snorts, gesturing at my white blouse and black pencil skirt. “You wouldn't want everyone knowin’ your name." He then storms out of the room, slamming the door behind him with a sharp bang. I listen to his heavy footsteps trailing down the hallway, until the room is once again filled with a cold silence. I stumble over to the thin mattress, flopping down on it as a sharp object digs into my chest.
Oh. My name tag.