"Mommy, why are my eyes different from everyone else's?"
"You're special, sweetie."
"B-But Jeremy from school said that they were weird. He called me a freak."
"He's just jealous because they're so pretty."
"Mhm. And besides, after tomorrow you'll never see him again."
"He and his parents are moving to another state."
Something was shaking me. I opened my eyes and saw that I was sitting in the window seat on the train. Just then, I became aware that the train was moving, and looking out the window confirmed it. It was nighttime, and dark countryside rolled past the train. I then redirected my attention back to the train. I was one of two people left in the lounge car, and the only one sitting. Theo was standing there holding something behind is back, grinning. Had I fallen asleep? I suppose that I must have. But what was with that dream that I had had?
"What time is it?" I asked.
"10:00 PM. We have to be in our rooms by 10:30, and can't leave until 6:00 AM. Most of the people our group have gone to their rooms. Everyone else is in the dining car. However, since you're new, I want to share some information with you.
"I don't know your name. I know who you may possibly be, but I can't tell you that. It's confidential." He was grinning even more now.
"What's the point of telling me that if you can't?"
"Group 8 was supposed to gain seven new members at your train stop. Four of them girls, three of them boys. Out of all of them, you were the only one to show up. Do you know why?"
"I don't either. But on to other things. Each group has something that they wear that is unique to them. Everyone in Group 4 wears collars, and the people in Group 7 wear ties. We wear scarves." Just then, he handed me what was behind his back.
There were two things. One was a simple black scarf, which I immediately put on. The other was a very simple carnival mask; it was black with a silver design on it. "I understand the why you gave me the scarf, but why the mask?" I was perplexed.
"It's a good thing to keep handy, especially for our 'events' with other groups. You might need it, you might not."
"Also, the phone you have is yours to keep. Your phone number is 8915. I've already put my number in your phone. Having phones is another thing that is useful for the 'events.' You should probably get your roommate's number too."
"You'll be sleeping with another girl. Your room is third on the right of the rooming hallway. Have fun!" Theo then ran off to his own room. "By the way," he shouted back, "you have very interesting eyes!"
Once I had successfully found my room (it wasn't that hard), I opened my door to find my roommate sitting on her bed. It was Tarot Card Girl. She had obviously been doing some sort of complex reading, as there were tarot cards all over her bed in some sort of pattern. Her red hair was held up in chopsticks, making her eyeliner look more dangerous than it should. "King of cups," she said, and looked up. "You're my roommate?" I nodded cautiously. "You don't trust me," she said. She was very right. I could feel my dagger in my inside pocket. I'd hide it when she wasn't looking.
The room itself was not very big. Two beds separated by a nightstand were against one wall, trunks at their feet. At the back appeared to be a small bathroom.
"Well," the girl said. "I'm not your enemy. At least, I won't be unless you cross me. My name's Hecate."
"Like the goddess?" I blurted out. How did I know that?
"Yeah..." Hecate looked as baffled as I felt, though I tried heavily not to show that. "What's your name? You know mine. If you want, I can do a reading for you."
"Dolley. And no thank you."
"Like Dolley Madison?" She looked bewildered. Our roles had been reversed.
"Yeah...Do you know anything about her?"
"Not really. I think that she was married to a president during some war. And I think that she had something to do with ice cream."
Ice cream? That was new. Everything else I had known in more detail. The disappointment was apparent on my face, and it was showing.
"Sorry," she said.
"It's okay," I replied. "It's just I've lost my memory, and I think that the name may have something to do with the past."
"Oh. Well, I'll tell you a bit about me then. I'm Wiccan and from Salem, Massachusetts. I'm in this to get the money, as I've been in poverty all my life. Even in Salem, anyone associated with Wicca is considered odd. We get discriminated against. Why are you here?"
"I should have known that." She started for the washroom. "Nice eyes, by the way."
I made sure that she was completely in the washroom before I put my belongings in my trunk. Tarot reading or not, I still distrusted her. Then I climbed into the surprisingly comfortable bed and pretended to sleep. Hecate came back out, put her cards away, and with a sigh, went to bed. I waited for her to fall asleep before I even thought about doing the same.
I wasn't taking any chances.