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 The Forsaken - A Dystiopian Novel ~ Chapter 1
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:28 am
Posts: 1
Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:02 am

I suck in my breath, willing not to make any noises. Every time the Guards come, I can almost feel the tension sweeping through the Residency as they near. Like how people claim you feel death sweep in your body before you die.

"Good evening, Ma'am" a booming male voice rings through the room. My body tenses.

I shift my shoulders and try to find a comfortable position. It is so common to be down under the floorboards, yet so foreign at the same time.

 I can hardly see, darkness envelopes me and only little slivers of light that seep through the tiny cracks in the floorboard keep it from swallowing me completely. I try to look through the tiny cracks to see what is going on, but only manage to get dirt in my eye.

"Good evening, come in, please." Mother responds calmly. Loud footsteps echo from the Guard's thick boots. I lie my head back down onto the soft pillow Father gave to me and put my hand into the pocket of my Day-clothes. My nerves calm as I feel the cool metal of the pendant brush my fingertips.

I rub the silver pendant between my fingers. Long ago, the pendant was hung on a gold chain and was worn around your neck. Mother called it a necklace. According to her, it has been in our family for generations. It was taken before the fall of the First Society, which must have been hundreds of years ago.

The shape of the silver pendant is unusual to me. Mother calls it a ‘heart’, yet it looks nothing of the sort. A real heart looks nothing like it.

Back before the Fall, the pendant was apparently a shiny gold. Over time, the paint chipped away to reveal a shiny silver and patches of rust and dirt formed.

Mother passed it down to me when I turned 12 years old. She told me it will protect me from all harm. It will keep me safe from the Guards and brings good luck to the owner. Considering it has lasted this long, I believe it. The pendant could have been confiscated when Second Society was built and all old possessions were destroyed to symbolize a new life. It could have been lost, broken beyond repair, or taken by the Guards if they found it. Yet none of the millions of things that could have happened to it so that I wouldn’t have it with me today actually happened. So, I believe every word she said.

I can still remember the exact words Mother said when she gave it to me, “For you, my dearest, Metzli, the moon that brings light to the darkness of night. Something that has lasted so long in a world where people want to banish it. An outlawed pendant for an outlawed girl. Remember to stay strong, Meztli.” She said as she dropped the pendant in my hand. I hated when they called me by my real name, but at that moment, I didn’t care. It didn’t matter what she called me. Her words mattered.

Whenever I feel rugged surface of the pendant I remember her words, stay strong, Meztli. They rejuvenate me and give me the strength I need to keep moving on. They push me to go, to continue on the rocky road we call life.

"We're here for the daily routine. May we go about?" One guard asks. I almost laugh at the guard even asking the question. Everyone knows that guards can do almost whatever they please, including searching a Residency without permission.

The Guard's footsteps follow. I can imagine Mother's, sharp blue eyes and dark black hair smoothed back into a tight bun, staring calm and respectful at the guards. She always seems so put together and calm. I’ve always admired her self-control. For me, even the smallest issue can put me under a lot of stress.

It isn't all my fault it happens. I wasn’t raised like her. I wasn’t able to express my feelings as much and be as social. When she was raised, the Sector provided Emotional Conservation and Response Training, something that I have never experienced.

I run my fingers over the rough wood of the floorboards. I dream of the day I might be able to live in peace, without the fear of my life. I wonder if someday , when I get caught, The Forsaken will provide that for me. I shudder at the thought.

No one really knows what The Forsaken is except for The Order and possibly the Guards. The extent of our knowledge goes to it brings great shame it brings and the loss of everything, even your dignity.

I know I’ll have to face the truth sooner or later, the only reason one goes to The Forsaken is as punishment. Though in the state I have been living all my life, it may serve as a reward. I’ll be free from the prison that I’ve never been able to leave all my life, I’ll get to breath the fresh air, and experience real life., a life outside of our Residency.

The pounding footsteps of the Guards ring in my ears as they get closer and closer to when I’m hiding.. My body tenses and I suck my breath back in, not daring to make even the slightest peep. I hear their footsteps sound right on top of me. All I can think of is the guard finding the crack of the loose plank in the floorboards and opening it up to find me squeezed inside.

What a pleasant surprise for Guards to find they weren’t doing their jobs correctly for a whole 16 years. That they’d let a 16-year-old girl live illegal under the floorboards for her whole life.

Within a few seconds, the Guards had left the Main Room and into the kitchen.

"How are you today, Sir?" I hear Mother trailing behind the Guards.

"I am grateful for the honor of being a trusted guard of this Sector, Ma'am." The guard answers, sounding like he's quoting from a book. He could be reciting protocol from his Occupancy Manual.

"Very well, then, would you like anything to drink?" Mother responds, sounding distant from in the kitchen. Now, I feel detached from the world, like I’m not there and I’m just listening to a recording.

"Ma'am, I am not to take anything from the people."

"I see," She answers, sounding disappointed from his rejection.

The guard continues the daily evaluation; I notice he must be high on the ranks. He doesn't ask any questions, continues his rounds in the correct order: Main Room, Kitchen, Bathroom, Left Bedroom, Right Bedroom, and then leaves to examine the other Residency's on our lane. The guard just leaves, doesn't spare time to chat and doesn't hint on the successfulness of the examination as many guards do.

I may not be an official citizen of this Sector, but I still memorized all the Administration and Residency Documents, or the ARD’s.

It seems like forever before the Guards makes his designated rounds around our street. I can't come out until he is out of view so he won't catch any glimpses of me through the gigantic windows set in all the Residency's, even if the curtains are closed.

            He might not recognize that I don’t belong, but he’d know that I wasn’t at The Academy for schooling and he would report me. Which would for obvious reasons, not go very well.

After what seems like an infinity of waiting shoved beneath the floorboards in the dark, I hear my mother executing the combinations of knocks telling me I can come out

I push up on the loose floorboard. Bright light seeps between the cracks, searing  my eyes. I pull myself up from the hole and wait for my eyes to adjust. I am greeted by the welcoming Residency I lived all my life. The Residency's aren't what many would like to call 'warm' and 'cozy'. With sleek white walls, dark wooden floors, and limited furniture, 'warm' and 'cozy' are not descriptions of Residency's. But none the less, they do contain an emotional value. Residency's are like an old  friend, you can come up with bad and good memories, but you wouldn’t give it up for anything.

As soon as I place the floorboard back where it belongs, the front door slides open and Symphonia steps in. Her usually pure white Day-clothes are covered in a dark mud.

“What happened to you?” I ask, eyeing her dirty clothes.

“I went to nature for Recreational Hours. Brysen and I  planted flowers by the Atrix.” She says brushing off some patches of dirt with one hand and holding a few textbooks in the other.

“Brysen?” I ask, I have never heard Symphonia talk about him before.

“A new friend, he is really nice. Anyway, enough about me,” She trails off, like she’d thinking of something.

"I brought you something." She sings, snapping back into reality. Her brilliant blue eyes shine. She motions to the textbooks.

Symphonia often brings me home various textbooks for me to study. I always love learning something new. I can’t do to the Academy to learn, so Symphonia's textbooks are the closest thing to an education I'll get.

“My goodness, Symphonia!” Mother appears behind me in light blue Day-Clothes. “Get upstairs and change into new Day-clothes.”

“Yes, Mother.” Symphonia says. On her way over to the stairs, she hands me the textbooks. I flip open the first book on the top and read a quick paragraph.

 

In 2462, World War X, also known as 'The Impoverished War', demolished most of civilization and societies. After continuous oppression and poverty, the lower classes from around the world fought against the high classes and the government…

 

 

 

"Nightly meal and Father should arrive soon." Mother interrupts my reading. As if on cue, Father walks through the door.

"Hello, ladies." He chirps. Mother lets out a slight smile, but she seem a bit tense.

"Just on time, come into the kitchen for dinner. It will be here any moment." Mother tells, swiftly moving into the kitchen where the little chute would hold the trays of food.

Father walks over to me and gives me a hug. “Who might this be?” He asks, still holding me tight in his hug. He still can’t tell me and Symphonia apart, but wouldn’t expect him to, we are mirror images of each other.

“Mezzy,” I answer, a little choked by his strength.

___________________________________________________

 

            At dinner, everyone sits in silence. I can’t help but notice the nervous tension that Mother emits. Something must be wrong.

            “What’s wrong?” Symphonia asks before I can.

            “Uh,” She pauses, thinking intently on how to answer. “Work.”  By the way she taps her fingers on the table, I can tell she’s lying. What could she possibly be trying to hide?        

            “Really?” Symphonia questions, catching on to her lie.

            “Really,” Mother replies simply, looking up at Symphonia. She’s trying to convince her everything is alright, which usually means everything's not alright.

I know she won’t break quite yet, but she’ll have to tell us one way or another. One thing I’ve learned is that the truth always gets out, whether you want it to or not.

            “How about you, how was your day, Symphonia?” Mother asks, trying to avert the attention to Symphonia, an obvious maneuver, but an effective one.

            “Great!” Symphonia declared, eating some more food before she elaborates. “I went to plant flowers during Recreational Hours with Brysen, a guy I met yesterday. He is friends with Pierre.”

            Pierre, where have I heard that name before?

            “Oh, he must be nice, Pierre is a good boy!” Mother confides, trying to find common ground with Symphonia.

            “Yes, he is. Also, I have some big news!” She pauses to incite as much curiosity as possible.

            “Well, go on.” Father tells, impatient.

            “I’m going to have my Pre-OAT.” She looks around the table to see our surprised and happy faces. Father and Mother have a mixture of pleasure and surprise.

            I have to look down so Symphonia doesn’t see my disappointed face. The Pre-OAT’s, Pre-Occupation Assignment Test, is preparation for when Occupations are assigned at 18.

It may seem like a great thing now, but it is us one inch closer to entering The Forsaken. It pains me to see Symphonia so happy about this. She will never actually receive her Occupation. We’ll be long gone in The Forsaken by then.

It is not only that Symphonia is happy about an assignment quiz in which she’ll never know what she is assigned, but jealousy. I feel it crawling up my chest and into my limbs. I’ll never be able to experience her joy and happiness. I’ll never get to be a part of the Sector.

She got the doubt of the bet. She beat me to a good life by 4 min. All it took was 4 min. for me to be relinquished of my rights as a citizen.

I try to push down the jealousy and focus on how I should be at least slightly happy for Symphonia, but I can’t. The jealousy bubble back up and fills every inch of my body. Instead, I look down and push the food around on my plate, hoping no one will notice me.




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