The noise started off as distant. They were screaming, crying and there were sounds of firearms going off. It quickly grew louder as I realized the screams weren’t a part of my dream, but happening as I was asleep. I get up on my knees, instinctively start to crawl away from the noise, hoping to stay hidden. Just as I thought, I might get away without causing an attraction, a grenade explodes ten feet away from me. I throw myself away from it covering my head. Dirt flies everywhere covering my body, along with the rest of the kids who are startled awake. As soon as the explosions clears, I get up and start running. Many of the kids who were further off in the distance have a head start escaping from the forming massacre.
I see a four year old little boy, dirty with tattered clothes, stream of tears falling down his face. He was crying over a young girl who laid in a pool of her own blood. I felt a strand of guilt for the child who might be dead before today is over. But I force my feelings out of the way and continue to run. In this miserable world pity will only get you killed. Less kids running around for survival means that the few of us that can survive might have that chance. I have lived fourteen years like this and I am not going to die for a child who has nothing to offer me. Nor am I going to get killed or tortured for involving myself in something I had nothing to do with. With this type of government, it doesn’t surprise me anymore. All they want is power, their blind greed gets in the way of showing them they have all the power in the world.
This world wasn’t always hell, but overpopulation has sadly made it this way. When there were no longer enough resources for us to have. Wars broke out, countries fell apart. Many people died due to famine and sickness. As soon as the government fell apart, a new one rose in hopes of putting things back into “order”.
But not back to normal. There were governments that looked after countries and they reported back to headquarters. The main headquarters is the most powerful one that ruled like a kingdom. They controlled everything making everything a pure dictatorship. One of their first few laws was; those who were not able to pay for their life once a month did not deserve to live. Many people were killed, many chose their own life over their loved ones. Thoses who could pay for their own life would receive food and supplies to their house once a week. Work all day to pay back the debt of resources, they have received from the government in the form of that life payment, and to gain a little money on the side for anything that they would need.
That was the only way, my parents were able to keep me. They saved up everything, sometimes even starving to be able to hide me. Gaining permission to have a child involved paying in advance for the medical treatments. Something’s my parents couldn’t afford. My father kept me a secret from the government since he couldn’t afford my life payment. My mother died giving birth to me, I was weak and nearly died a few days afterwards. But my father was able to keep me alive, saying I was the only thing that kept him from going insane.
He taught me all that I knew, knowing that I was an illegal child. He knew that I would never be accepted in society. He taught me how to hunt, and trained me every day in case they would ever find out about my existence. Around my eighth birthday, the order guards knocked on our door. Claiming for his life payment, my father had to spend it helping me recover after I fell into the a frozen river a week before. I had barely recovered, but as soon as I heard my father being thrown to the ground ,I followed the escape route my father had taught me to take a hundred times before. My father always told me I was a strong child, he believed I had a chance of surviving without him, so he gladly laid down his life to protect mine.
I push myself to run past those kids, running straight into an abandoned playground. One of the trees had high branches and leaves that made great cover. I scramble up the tree, hoping I wouldn’t get caught. Resting on one of the tree branches I listen to the distant sounds of people’s desperate screams for mercy. Looking up past the trees, three blocks down you can enter a forest. It was filled with wild animals and other unknown things. People who go in don’t always come out, unless they have that knowledge that can keep them alive. My father was able to teach me a little, so I am one of those few that can go in and out of there without any fatal injuries.
I heard the soft footsteps of someone running towards this playground. I see a little girl, maybe at the age of 17. She was carrying something wrapped in a blanket. She wore a tattered and worn out dress, she was covered in dirt and her shoes were worn out completely. Stopping in the center of the playground looking for a place to hide, she had dried tear stains on her face as she ran to a bush and threw herself in. Order guards were soon at the scene. I froze where I was, afraid that one movement or breath would give my location away.
She steps out of the bushes, her face was completely calm with no traces of ever being there. She walks back out to the middle of the playground. Standing taller, she never looked back or even gave a sign that she would change directions. There was fear in her eyes, but also anger that filled her every movement. For such a young girl she had a way of standing that made me respect and admire her, as if she has seen the worst parts of hell and survived.
“There she is!” one of the order guards yells. They made a full circle to surround her.
“Careful she might have another trick up her sleeves”, another one yells.
“I am done with tricks, you want to kill me” she says raising her arms slowly showing she was unarmed. Her surrender left them speechless, nervous they turn their guns on her. “I suggest you do it now, you may not get another chance” she tells them firmly.
“She is the last one of her family, let’s just get this over with”, another one tells the other. They raise up their guns ready to fire.
“This is finally over” one said with relief.
“Rot. In. Hell!” she grins at them as if with her death she was still beating them at their game.
Bullets flew and her body collapsed. One of the order guards grabs her body and threw it over his shoulder as they left. The area was once again quiet as if what I saw was only a hallucination. I hug the tree branch leaning on it for support. I have not eaten something decent in two days and all this running around was taking away any energy I had left. But the day was bright going out now would mean certain death. I would have to sleep until sunset. All the shadow made a perfect cover for when you’re trying to run and hide. Plus it was the only bit of sunlight I got to feel for today.
I had a bit of food that I took from someone’s house the other night. Munching on some dry crackers, I slowly drifted off to sleep. I don’t dream much and I am a light sleeper, just incase someone was around I would be able run.
But this dream had a little girl crying. It was Destiny. I was holding the child in my arms, she had hurt her knee and I had to carry her to an abandon building to take care of her damaged leg. She was trying not to cry out in pain knowing that the order guards would be on our tails if she let out a sound. She wrapped her arms around my neck letting out small whimpers into my shirt. Placing her down she fell asleep completely exhausted. She didn’t break anything just bruised it, which was good. It meant we didn’t have to go into the forest for cover. When she woke up she had gotten up ignoring the pain in her leg and started walking around. For a six year old girl she was really tough. “Destiny, go hide in the trees I am going to go get us something to eat” I told her. Her hand grabs onto my shirt afraid that I was going to leave and maybe die out there. She let go of me her green hazel eyes already full of concern as she backed away. she then fell into a hole. I ran after her trying to make sure that I wasn’t to deep.
I could still see her with the sunlight but her leg was in a worse condition now. I tried climbing down to get her but there was a clear wall the wouldn’t let me. I began to pound on it trying to find a weak spot hoping I could break it. She tried to climb up and hit her head knocking herself out. I began to scream her name pounding on the wall to wake her up. To stop the pool of blood that was slowly forming around her head. I heard her scream, looking up confused to identify the scream. She was standing in front of me with a dagger in her hand. she looks scared and stood still staring back at me. Then she smiled and a bullet flew through the front of her chest making her collapse backwards. I turn back to see who had shot her but found myself on the floor, a pain like nothing I have ever felt before was stabbing my side. I have been stab and was losing breath and blood. Still trying to look for the shooter only to find her yet again holding a gun looking down at it. She started crying.
I hated this, she had to stop crying. Maybe if I made her a bed and fed her something she would stop. But when I heard it again, it wasn’t her cry exactly. It sounded like her, but it was much younger. I force my eyes to open waking up. The sun was on the last ray of light setting out. I hated dreaming like that . Then there was that cry again. It was real. Looking around the source of the cries I saw the bush that she fell behind. The thing she had in her arms wrap in a blanket. It was a child.
I climbed down the tree making sure no one saw me, pulling out a knife I made way towards the child. Rather kill it myself then to have the order guards abuse it for fun. Ready to end it’s life I grab the child. Startled She began to cry moving her hands tugging at the rope around her arms and legs. Her green hazel eyes stare into mine, wondering if I was going to kill her. In the ropes she had tied a letter.
Was this what she was hiding, giving up her own life to save hers? I put my knife back into my pocket. She had stop crying and only gave out a whimper. Untying the ropes I shoved the letter in my pockets.
She was around three years old, and wraps her arms around my neck already so confident that I was no longer a threat. The sun was gone and I needed to go into the trees of the forest before it became really dangerous. She didn’t make any noise as I ran with her in my arms. Almost as if knowing that any noise she made would give us away. The forest had a fence filled with barb wire. I could easily go under but with her it would make things more difficult. I covered her body with my arms trying to protect her from as much of it as I can.
She had a few scrapes but otherwise unharmed. I heard footsteps and retreated behind a tree. She kept tugging at my hair and shirt but only so that I would hold her. Turns out someone was getting closer to us. But they didn’t see us, getting safely into the trees would be impossible. Looks like we would have to settle inside here now. She was asleep in my arms and my weak body gave me no choice but to fall back asleep.