First chapter of Lies and Legends (which is live CLICK RIGHT HERE TO GET IT!)
I am Liza Randusky.
It is so easy to lose your way when your life is not your own. A sense of who you are can fade when some other force controls you. Whether that be a person, a thing, a past, even an idea—all of it can change the core you… if you let it.
Time is a construct based on the fact that we will eventually die. All of us. No exceptions.
The earth will embrace our bodies and we will not rise again. But since humans have found ways around certain limitations, is time still a factor?
Here in Bodega I was dead. They say for four whole minutes.
But I came back.
And since then I have relived that moment at least one hundred times. Cory has seen to that. A man who espoused kindness to trick me into his lair of madness, he holds me captive body and soul. Time is meaningless when inside this world where Cory Prince has placed me. It could be days or centuries, and I would never know.
It’s only when he gives me a taste of freedom that I realize life has been going on without me.
But this mind trap is reciprocal I am finding. We’re bound together inside of his game, and we share more than I wish. Perhaps more than he’d like as well.
It is far more intimate than carnal knowledge to join thoughts. He knows my deepest fears. And since the bond has been overlong, a thing I’d wager is new to him as well as me, I am also learning the things that terrify Cory.
I study them.
I pocket them for later.
For instance, he doesn’t like people staring at him. He projects the fear onto me, making it as if I, too, am bothered by it, or as if it will scare me. These are slips, cracks in his imaginary existence, and I see him in every single mistake. Even here on my bunk, the fake people of Bodega flowing by are robotic and slightly different from memory.
Cory fails at times to get them right.
That part is the same.
But he’s missed the quiet dignity with which these prisoners faded into their end.
These people dying, they were full of life.
Cory forces me to relive my death but not my rising in the same mechanical way. But I did not die. I must remind myself of that because each time despair takes hold freshly.
Despite waking over and over on Bodega Island, and sometimes other places (often we go to my other memories too, things plucked from my mind like making a musical selection), with all this repetitiveness, I am able to think and think.
That part is actually not so bad.
Contemplation is not my enemy with so much having happened.
No, my own mind will never be my enemy. I won’t let it.
I know exactly whom to hate.
Being able to repeat things does that to a person. It reveals truths that otherwise might be overlooked, and I am to pull at a single thread that begs the question: Who am I?
I am not like Jeremy. Ambitious. And I am not like Tommy. Still believing in the goodwill of mankind.
Neither a zealot who blindly follows the cause, nor a good-natured soul leading by example: and thus, returns us to: Who is Liza Randusky?
It is a desperate plea now, a mantra. So much so that it’s even written on the walls of this imaginary place.
The first time I saw it, I’d figured Cory had placed it there to taunt me.
But the second time I discovered the words chiseled neatly into the walls of Bodega, I touched the rough edges and realized an important thing. That I was the one who’d written it.
With my mind.
And if I can control this, it could lead to other things.
Even so, the question remains. And now I wonder if the doctor had tried to give me a clue. For there is other writing that demands attention. One word in script upon my arm.
Perhaps the doctor wanted it to mean more than a mere joke for Simon.
Even here, in this faux world, my arm glows brightly. It has all this time.
Like a beacon.
Light at the end of a darkly, perpetuating tunnel guiding me toward the answer. My only companion in this dark place is a word that someone placed like a label on my body, like a name.
Had he seen my future? Had he foreseen the two young men I’d come to know? Each affecting me differently, who I’d let lead me along—-because I wasn’t sure who I was before, or what I wanted.
But I am now.
My name is Liza Randusky.
And I want revenge.