If you’ve picked up this story, don’t bother reading it. Just put it down and go about your day, reading books, or playing games. Go and do something while you still can, when someone won’t control you and watch you do it.
The worn down clock in the middle of the town struck 4 as the small girl walked down the middle of the deserted road. Above her, the air wore a blanket of black fog and she wrapped her ragged coat around her legs as the breeze whipped her tiny figure. She recited the alphabet as she walked around streets toward her apartment, careful not to stand on the glass and rubbish that painted the streets.
“Lucy?” Her mother called to her.
“Yes, Mum?” She said.
“How was school?” She replied as she ran out to meet her.
In response, Lucy told her mother about her day at school.
Rats, Flea’s and other six-legged insects made themselves at home along with Lucy and her mother in their small apartment. Its ceilings were stripped of paint and the ugly khaki wallpaper was peeling. The only room that Lucy could feel comfortable in was the cupboard with the light on doing her homework, but every now and then she felt as if the walls were getting smaller and smaller, trapping her inside with nowhere else to go.
“It isn’t easy, but it will have to do for the time being Luc, just till everything’s okay again and it fits the pair of us nicely, it is more than most have.” Lucy’s mother always said.
Lucy crept down the dimly lit hallway and sat in her mother’s room and switched the light on. A rat scuttered away as she propped herself up against the wall, with her knees up against her chest and began to read. After a few hours of reading, Lucy heard faint sounds of steps coming down the hallway and the voices of men. She immediately switched the light off and made herself hidden in the cupboard so she couldn’t be seen through the crack in the door. Voices and steps came closer and closer and she held her breath. She stayed as still as a statue until they walked out of the apartment. Lucy walked out of the cupboard and heard beeping. She realized she had been watched from the moment she switched the light on. She checked her watch, it had been 4 hours and her mother should have been home. The men…They must have looked for her to take her away too. Lucy’s knees gave way to the floor and she sunk into a pool of misery.
Lucy had hidden in their apartment for days on end without going to school. Her mother hadn’t come home, and she didn’t know how to survive without her- it was like learning to breathe without air. There was still hope that she would come home and her arms would bring her to a tight embrace and give her the hug she gave Lucy every night but every day that hope faded away and she hoped her mother wouldn’t be at the camps.
You might be confused, so let me explain. Last year in May 2099 the Government said the population was too large so they said there was only one option. The camps were for the ‘less fortunate” and the others were ‘educated and gifted well enough to stay, ‘Nihil nisi optimum’ – Nothing but the best’ The government said. So that is why Lucy and her mother stayed in the half-hearted city hoping each and every day something better would happen and the city would become alive again like it did 5 years ago.
(To be continued)