Jasper woke to the gentle moving of what he thought was the boat, but then he opened his eyes and realized he was upside down. He tried to sit up, but he was slung potato-sack style over someone’s shoulder. He tried to wriggle out of their grasp, but they only hung on tighter. He knew it was futile to try and resist, so even though it infuriated him, even though it scared him that he was being taken somewhere unknown, he stopped, and slowed his breathing, trying to calm down. He needed to save his strength, for whatever was coming. That's one of the things he had learned in school - rest when you can, so that you have energy to fight, even when you least expect it. So Jasper tried to figure out where he was, and where he was being taken, trying to use the street signs and landmarks to spark a memory as to where they were, just like he had learned. But it didn’t work, mainly because he was in a city he had arrived in only this morning. A city none of them had even heard of before this morning.
The journey took only about fifteen minutes, but Jasper still didn’t know what time it was, because he didn’t know how long he had been blacked out, how far they had come from where Joseph and him had stopped.
Joseph. Where was Joseph? There wasn't anyone else traveling with him and the person carrying him, or so he thought. Jasper tried to look around for Joseph, to see if the other boy was in front of him, but to no avail. It was even harder to see in front of his captor than it had to break out of their grasp. But where else would Joseph be?
Jasper was shot down against his captor’s back as they went down what seemed to be a staircase, and it make Jasper’s head spin. He had never liked rollercoasters or anything of the like, and this seemed like one demented ride. The stairs seemed to go on forever, finally stopping abruptly. Jasper couldn’t see anything now, not because he had been knocked out again, but because the room, where ever they were, was pitch dark.
He was thrown down like a sack of potatoes on the ground, and Jasper winced, trying to sit up. His eyes adjusted just in time to see a hulking figure slam a door shut, supposedly the door he had traveled through, and the click of a lock.
“Who are you?” a voice sounded out of the dark. It was clearly a girl’s voice, but it was raspy and dry from disuse. Jasper scrambled to his feet.
“Why should I tell you?” he answered, looking around for the source of the voice. “Come out, let me see you.”
“Are you hear to hurt me?”
“No, no, no,” Jasper reassured her. “I just want to know who I’m talking too.”
The girl walked out from the shadows. She had dark skin, mutilated by bruises, and was tall, and stick-thin. Her eyes were enshrouded in deep shadows, her tattered clothes much too big for her now. But although she had changed, Jasper recognized the girl. “You’re November,” he told the girl. It wasn’t a question, because he knew it was the girl they had been looking for. He had found her, completed the mission on the very first day - but he couldn’t get her to safety.
The girl was obviously startled at the mention of her name. “How do you know who I am?” Her voice had a knife-like edge.
“We were sent to find you, to bring you back-“
“Who’s we?” Her voice was even sharper now, and Jasper scrambled to come up with an answer before her voice actually cut him.
“Our mission, uh, led by Joseph Crowley? Um, who else, oh, Ben! Ben Moreau, he said he knew you-“
“And who are you?” November asked.
“Jasper, Jasper Fulcrum.”
“How is it that you come to rescue me, and you get captured yourself?”
Jasper took a deep breath, trying in vain to calm his racing nerves. "Our mission arrived this morning, and Joseph and I decided to scout this city, as none of us had seen it before." It pained Jasper to remember the ease at which they had set out, the joy of running on top of buildings with one of his best friends. How he wished for that ease now. "We stopped, sat on the edge of a building. Then everything went black, and I woke up slung across someone else's shoulder. I know just as much as you do.”
“But where’s this Joseph?” Jasper paused and looked around.
“He’s - not here?”
“I’ve been the only one here for months. Months." November's voice was growing sharper by the sentence. "I know, because I’ve counted. Every time the sun rises, and every time the sun sets. I came here when it was cold, and now it’s warm.”
“The last date I remember is January 16th.” November took a shaky breath, as if this was a hard memory to recall. “I was on the plane, the only one there. I chose a seat, and closed my eyes - I thought it was only for a second but it must have been longer than that because next thing I know I’m here, in this room. They only feed me once a day. Every week, they take me in there.” She pointed at the door the captor had gone through. “And now, almost six months later, they send - not an Agent team, but a mission? Of kids my own age?” November was standing a few feet in front of Jasper now, mouth in a grim line. “You don’t know what he’s like. You don’t know what he does.”
“The Soul Stealer?” Jasper guessed, and November's dark face blanched in horror.
Her voice softened, as if she didn't want to be overheard. As if she was treading on thin ice. “If that’s his name, it’s very accurate. He sucks the life out of you. I don’t know how I’ve lasted this long.”
“We have people looking for you now, looking for us," Jasper reassured her, thinking of Ashlynn and Phillip and everyone else on the mission, back at the boat, safe and sound. "We won’t be here much longer. They’ll come for us. And we can make you better again.”
“I don’t think they can,” November said, so quietly it was almost a whisper.
“Yes, they will. They will fix you. They will find us.”
“And what if they can’t find you?” Another voice entered the room. Jasper wheeled around to see another figure enter the room. It was dressed in all black, a mask obscuring the top half of its face. Jasper saw November silently retreat back into the shadows. This must be the Soul Stealer. The Soul Stealer smiled, which made it seem even more malevolent. “If they try and find you, they will face the same fate as you, Jasper. And if they try and rescue you, I’m afraid their fate will be much worse.”
It grabbed Jasper’s wrist, its hands clad in thick, black leather gloves, its grip iron-tight. Jasper looked desperately back into the shadows for November, but she was nowhere to be seen. He tried to call out, but his mouth was clamped over with the other hand. Jasper was dragged towards the door, which was opened on the inside by a heavy-set girl, who he suspected had carried him here.
Jasper squinted at the room, which was as bright as the other room was dark. It looked suspiciously like a dentist’s office, except more grimy, fitting the rest of the city, and instead of a leather chair for the patient, was a grey stone slab, straight out of a horror movie. Jasper tried to squirm, but the Soul Stealer didn’t budge. The last thing he remembered was a sharp prick in his neck, his vision growing more blurry by the second, his limbs loosing sensation, as the Soul Stealer and the girl strapped him into the slab. His mind was racing with all of the possibilities of what would come next, nothing settling for certain until complete darkness, complete silence fell upon Jasper, until even his thoughts couldn’t be heard by himself.
Hey, this is just one scene from my novel. I chose this one because I thought it was the best and it was my personal favorite to write. Hope you enjoy!