By Reetika Rana
A blinding white light was shined in my face and the sound of distressed screaming was heard in the distance. I’ve avoided this moment my entire life. The messed-up government puts a tracking device in everyone’s neck when they’re born for some reason. I was somehow able to avoid it for thirteen years.
I screamed loudly, seeing a bloody chunk of skin fall to the floor. Something cold was shoved into my neck. I hissed at the feeling of what could only be them stitching my neck back up. Eventually the pain stopped, and the only sound was a ticking clock like a ticking time bomb. I was harshly thrown into a chair but refused to whimper.
“You thought you could get away from us, didn’t you?” His voice was grave, gnarly, and full of anger. I didn’t respond, my eyes stayed fixated on the wall. It was a harsh yellow, meant to make the experience even more painful. The heavy, angry panting of the guard’s dog didn’t help. I felt the rough surface of my neck, knowing it would quickly scar. The only thing everyone shared was the scars on their neck.
I let out a heavy breath, slowly turning to him. “No.” I said, making sure my tone was unreadable, but my angry eyes gave me away. He smirked, gripping my shoulders tightly, and I flinched. “You’re a smart kid. Normally we let everyone go after the procedure, but you are something we can’t dismiss. You avoided this fate for thirteen years, so you must have told someone your method. We’re keeping you here for testing. You ‘ll be given enough food and water to keep you alive. No less, and certainly no more.”
My mouth tasted bitter and it went dry. I had to stay here for god knows how long. In this flurry of anger and confusion, I made the mistake of trying to run. I tried to crawl through the guards legs but they caught me. The man snickered, but seemed annoyed that I wasn’t squirming against the guards’ grip like he had expected.. “Smart, but still naive” He took my chin in his hands and pushed ne backwards, causing me to fall into the security guards’ cruel grip.. He found this amusing and started cackling. His laugh made my blood boil, but I tried to remain indifferent.
Most people would say I’m too young to have to go through this, as I officially became a teenager yesterday. I, however, disagree. These dictator-like ways are cruel to all living things, however old they are. Having the right to freedom freedom and privacy should be a basic human right, but that’s not the case in our society. We’re all puppets at the hands of the government. Hollow, worn out shells of what used to be people. None of us are the same after the procedure, that’s why it’s done at a young age. Even babies will be affected, for the scar will always remain, a grim reminder of the reality of this world. The bullet that reduces them down to nothing.
I bet the custom would be for me to have some tragic backstory, a perfect setup for a courageous hero, but that’s not me. I grew up living in a nice home, where I was loved by my two older sisters and parents. I had three close friends, and that was more than enough. The only downfall to the otherwise perfect childhood I could have had was the constant, restless fear of the procedure. Looking back, I’m glad I had my thirteen birthdays with the people who I love and who love me back. All of these memories just mix into a melancholic cocktail, rendering me speechless with sorrow as I realize I’ll never experience them the same way again. I’m forced to leave what felt like heaven for this merciless hell.
They dragged me away from the room and threw me into a dusty jail cell. It’s walls were a cold gray, and no source of light could be found. The corners of the wall had mold growing on them, and spiderwebs were coating most of the area. If given the option, most people would have begged for mercy rather than have to stand the murky and sickly aura the cell emanated. The cell horribly small, giving even the most unwavering people a deep claustrophobia. It could only fit a small bed fastened to the wall, it’s mattress stained and it’s metal frame rusted, and a toilet and sink. The only way to know what was happening outside was through hearing. Upon even further inspection, I could be noticed that the door was made out of iron, it’s surface turned unbearably freezing to the touch by winter’s grip. It was set on a slider, the only way to open it being through a lock with intricate coding on the outside.
I woke up to the door opening and a servant girl came in, setting a tray down with a small portion of food and water. I sat up and studied her. She wore a spotless maid outfit, had black hair pulled into a tight bun, and she had the scar on her neck, but that was to be expected. She waited until after I finished my meal of what looked like expired clumped oats, with it was a small cup of water that left an iron aftertaste in my mouth. After I was done she picked up the tray and walked out, leaving me alone in my inescapable prison. Had there been windows, the experience might have been close to bearable, but there was only darkness accompanying the racing thoughts going through my mind. I started to wonder who else was in this prison. adults? Other teenagers? Could they be so cruel as to incarcerate children? I doubt they would have babies here, but then again, I wouldn’t put it past them. Did any of the other cells have windows? I leaned against the cold wall, taking a shaky breath. I might just go insane.
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