Yes. I’m posting again. I write everything on my blog myself, except for if it says not. Here we go again! Another story… You won’t read it, but yeah.
I live in a world where there is no in between, no black and white. No grey area. Everyone must master perfection. Or else, be recycled. There are the model citizens, and the unwanted. At the age of thirteen we are tested to see which category we fall into. What happens to the unwanted? No one really knows. They are sent away by the leaders to be recycled. I am frightened. Up until this point everything has always premeditated. They have always known. These are my people. Wait for me, I tell them. Wait for me.
Chapter 1 : Hazard
Wake up! I feel hands on my shoulders. I want desperately to slip back into the folds of sleep. Then some part of me remembers. Association day. Could that already be today? Charlotte pulls back the covers. The air inside the house is freezing. The middle of January. I hate the cold weather. If you dont hurry up, youll be late! Somehow, I feel, unexplainably, numb. All right, all right. Be up in five minutes. I say. You better be. She makes sure Im out of bed, then leaves me to dress and prepare for the day. I wish it wasnt today. A shiver runs up my spine when I think of the D- I brought home two weeks ago. The teaching attendant said that when I took my association test, all of my grades for the past thirteen years would take a great part. As I dress in the expected, hair pinned back with bobby pins, and slip the ruffled floor length dress over my head, I think of Charlottes association, only 2 years earlier. She had been scared, too. Like me.
Rose? I hear from the other room. You havent forgotten about today, have you? My father. He was a tailor, as placed on his 18th passage. No, Dad. I call down the hall. As I open my door, I see him. Suit and tie. He had even straightened his curly hair. This came as a little bit of a surprise, since he had not done that since, well, since before me. You look good. He says, and his eyes widen a little bit. I dont feel that way. I say with a grimace. Ive never worn heels before. He laughs. Youll do great! I know you will. I have to. My mother comes down the now crowded hallway, with my sister. Darling, you look wonderful. She says.
When were in the car, I lean toward Charlotte. What will happen? I say. I hear they draw blood. Im scared. Oh, its nothing to be worried about. She says, with a small bit of annoyance flickering in her eyes, for this is not the first time I have asked. They just call your name, prick your finger, ask you questions, and look at your present state of health. Charlotte looks unconcerned. If you fit the bill, which Im sure you do, they announce you a model citizen. Then they give you new clothes and undergarments, She studies me for a moment, then looks away. and then you leave the stage. She hesitates, and keeps her eyes fixed on the floorboards. I was sworn not to tell of the last part. This appalls me. In that instant, my mind conjures up all of the horrible possibilities, then settles on a disturbingly distinct one.
My mother sighs. So she has been listening to our conversation. Charlotte, Why must you over-complicate things? What could she mean? I was only being truthful
My sister trails off. What does she mean? I say to my sister. She talks quick, and low, so that our mother and father cannot hear. When they take you in the backroom, you read a list of rules, and you must abide by them. They are different for each person, and so are the punishments for breaking them. There are warnings, and other things. You cannot tell anyone what you see. Her words hang in the air. Why, I wonder. Why?
When we get to the Eagle building, I feel the jitters coming back. Apparently so does my mother because she says Dont worry. We can go home soon. A group of other girls my age are close by. Most are talking, laughing. But there are those few that have solemn faces, trembling just the slightest bit. My mother tells me to go to them, and I do. It is when I am there, however, when the noise dies down. We enter the auditorium where the passages and associations are done. As we stand with our group, whispered truths and lies make their way through the crowd. They cut off limbs? One girl asks another. No, but they do implant a microchip. What? That’s crazy. They just prick your finger. How do you know whats in that needle?! They arent allowed to tell us! I heard it from a sympathetic Associator. I hear they take brain samples. All of a sudden, a girl in a cricket green dress next to me starts to cough, and whimpers that she feels nauseated and cannot see clearly; Preassociational illnesses like this are never a good sign. Even though it’s against the rules to do this, I take my jacket from my bag, and wrap it around her. She stops shivering, and bends her knees to crouch in the space that we have. She looks up at me. Thank you. What she says next shocks me. But I probably won’t be around here much longer. Don’t say that! Of course you will. She stands up and hands me my jacket back. She still does not look well. Goodbye, Roslia. She moves away from me. How did she know my name? What was hers? This is just getting weirder by the second, I thought.
Interrupting my thoughts, I see a boy from the opposite side of the auditorium catch my eye. He does not look away. I am struck by his appearance, dark green eyes, short, spiked, black hair. He mouthes a word I can’t understand from this distance; It must be 40 feet across. He must realize that I can’t understand him because he looks down and swears. What is he doing? We arent allowed to talk until after our association. Should I call him out on it? That was normal producure. He looks at me again, and puts a finger to his lips, a motion for me to be quiet.
Up on stage, they start the speech. To this day, our fathers, and forefathers have gone through the processes of passage and association, for a purity of society. It is so important and crucial not to overpopulate, especially with those unfit. We already have limited resources. Our ancestors took so much from this planet… They go through the rest, although my mind is somewhere else. Who was that girl? That boy? How did she know my name? What did he say? A million more thoughts at once run through my head, but they stop when I realize the speech has ended.