As we sat together in a freezing huddle, death nearing, we wondered if it would be better than continuing with our meaningless lives.
“Be quiet!” I yelled, as the youngest, Mikey, pounded his toy BICYCLE on the wall of the garden apartment signed to a false identity.
Mikey proceeded to pound louder and louder until the noise was too much of a risk to our safety.
“ Give it to me!” Owen, our friend and SUPERIOR, INTERJECTED as he proceeded to snatch the bicycle out of the five year olds hand.
Kass knew what was next, a NONSTOP lecture from Owen about how at an earlier time kids were loved and welcomed, but now, in 2050, they are reason enough to kill.
“ You two need to understand that these days we are the illegals in this world. We cannot be seen or heard by the elders or else we will be eliminated.”
We were used to this DISCOURSE by now. Owen was abandoned at 7 and has taken in many children who are close to elimination because their parents broke the law. Mikey and I are no different. Our parents, who we have learned to hate, doomed us to death before we were even born.
The medicine in the world has gotten so advanced that people are nearly invincible as long as they take their daily injections and ANTIBIOTICS. Shots can keep one person living, without MALADY, for an infinite amount of time. As illegals, we have to be weary of the authorities, who are out for us because any child born is considered MALICIOUS to the population.
“Tomorrow we will get on the underground again and make our way out of the Bronx and hopefully to Queens where a safehouse will be provided for us.” Owen exclaimed.
After that, the children went back to their silent ways in order to protect themselves. I proceeded to do the daily chores and take care of our little EXTROVERT, Mikey, who needs constant attention.
“Knock, knock, knock!” We suddenly heard rapping at the door and instantly Owen stuffed us into a crawl space we have for emergencies, following close behind.
While I COMFORTED Mikey, Owen tried to keep us calm.
“Stay quiet and don’t move a muscle.” Owen warned us.
We knew that those few knocks could mean the death of our family.
As our breath was running out, we realized that our apartment was not a safe haven anymore.
We continued to be quiet, and sat in CAPTIVITY, as the authorities tore our apartment apart. They were searching for the illegals they set out to find all those years ago. My heart was pounding because of the terrible things that could happen if we were caught. I caught glances with Owen and I could see the horror expressed in his eyes. Our makeshift family is IMPORTANT; it’s the only thing we illegals have left. If we lost our group we would be split up, and most likely killed.
Somewhere deep down I knew Owen would never be a COWARD. He would keep us safe, just like the first time he rescued me. At this point however, I had no idea how. Just then Mikey started to stir.
“Shhh,” Owen whispered. “Any noise could give them motivation for HOMICIDE.”
Mikey, however, being five, wasn’t too keen on following directions and didn’t CONCEDE to our pleads. The noise was gradually getting louder and the authorities were starting to take notice. They stopped searching abruptly, listening for signs of human life within the apartment. Thankfully, Mikey calmed down and what followed was five minutes of silence that felt like a lifetime. All we did was take long, slow, silent breaths, waiting for our capture and demise.
After awhile of tension, our intruders gave up, slamming the door behind themselves.
“Owen, is it safe to go out?” I wondered aloud.
“Not yet this might be a trap. We need to hide a few more minutes just to be sure.” Owen replied hesitantly.
When Owen felt the coast was finally clear, he coaxed us out of the crawl space in REMISS to what used to be our apartment. The table and chairs were destroyed, splinters tossed all over the room. Clothes, food, books, and everything else littered the carpet.
“ Owen why are my trains broken?” Mikey questioned.
On their way through, the BELLIGERENT authorities broke every toy train Mikey owned.
“Don’t worry bud, we’ll get you new trains as soon as possible.” Owen replied AUTOMATICALLY, sorrow in his voice.
We both knew trains were the least of our worries at the moment. We needed to find a new house, because ours was compromised. We needed to find food for dinner and breakfast, and on top of that, there was no way to ensure our family’s survival.
“I’ll check the damage in the bedrooms and bathroom,” Owen said.
“Okay, be careful,” I exclaimed.
He then PROCEEDED to the back of the house. The last thing we needed was Owen to get hurt. He supports this family, and has been my closest friend since he CAPTURED me all those years ago.
“Bathrooms clear!” Owen shouted back.
A piercing scream ran throuought the house.
“Run Kass, Run!”
As the room went dark, all I heard was the MONOTONOUS sound of a dark, scruffy voice telling us not to resist the cold, metal handcuffs.
“Stay calm!” Owen shouted.
The only sound I managed to get out was a faint grunt, which I imagined was enough to convince him I was still alive. The next sensation I felt was my feet TRANSFERRING down the stairs of our apartment, and out the door onto the frozen ground. Then I realized what had happened; the authorities had left one man behind when they raided the house, setting a trap which Owen had fallen right into. I couldn’t believe the despicable men had done this. At that moment I realized the true danger of the situation. I had no idea where the mystery man was dragging us, or even if my fellow Hideaways were near me anymore.
“Owen, Mikey, are you there?” DEPENDING on an answer to return.
Promptly, Mikey replied with a sharp, piercing scream only a four year old could produce.
“Kass where am I?” Mikey asked.
“I’m here with you!” I heard Owen shout, giving me EVIDENCE that he was safe.
“Don’t worry!”I shouted back, even though I had no idea if I would see them when we got to where we were being taken.
“Shut. Up.” The enormous man screamed, dismissing our conversation right at its inception.
In my head I tried to hatch a plot to escape with my family.
“If I could only see.” I thought.
I had to get the rough, burlap sack off of my head if I had the chance of RETURNING home. Then it came to me, the pocket knife I kept SUSPENDED in my belt loop, even though Owen always told me not to carry weapons. I always knew it would come in handy one of these days, and kept it only to protect myself in case of emergencies. I knew what I would do. On the count of three I would ask the man to tie my shoe. Then, because I had the smallest tear in my bag to see through, whip out the knife, and take on the man myself.
“One, two, three.” I counted in my head.
And that’s when, almost TELEPATHICALLY, Owen jumped at the man who shouted and started to fight back. PROVIDING me the time to VIVACIOUSLY cut the rope around my hands, and take the burlap bag off little Mikey’s head, who looked terrified. I continued to toss the knife to Owen who stabbed the man until he was too badly injured to keep fighting.
As we ran, embracing our good fortune and freedom from the man’s tight grasp, our IMPENDING task would meerily be survival and escape from the pursuing authorities.
A crackling campfire welcomed us as we sat down for real food for the first time in a week.
3 days earlier:
We ran for miles, me with Mikey on my back, and Owen who’s only focus was finding food and water. Owen and I both knew it wouldn’t be long until the authorities would be back on our trail, and we only hoped our luck wouldn’t run out when they did.
As we walked, Owen suddenly pointed to a LOCATION in the distance; a small forest tucked between the new apartments being built for the town. On the opposite side was a river DEVASTATED by the revolution. It was most likely the only one of its kind for miles around, so Owen automatically stopped to INVESTIGATE it.
“ A forest, I haven’t seen one of these in years,” Owen exclaimed.
Mikey proceeded to pounce off my back to pursue whatever adventure he could before the next long walk. I let him go without DISPUTE, after all, he was only five. At one time children were allowed to play freely among the animals, trees, and nature, but now the laughter that once was, is gone. Children are almost as scarce as the birds. They are seen as a threat to the OVERPOPULATED community that never ages, and if found, are either put to work as slaves, or exterminated. I never wanted Mikey to experience this. I wanted him to grow up educated, full of imagination, free to PONDER and think, everything the Capitol is against. They say it “ spoils the homogeneous population the world has tried so hard to create.”
“Let’s go, let’s go!” Mikey shouted.
“ Be there in a second!” I hollered back.
“Owen,” I asked seriously, “why are we here, and tell me the truth.”
“Hush up!” Owen hissed back at me. “ The illegals encrypted radio station alerted me to a camp of illegals just like us, who live somewhere near these woods.” “Now I don’t know if the site has been compromised by the Authorities yet, but just in case, I wanted to check it out.”
I didn’t QUESTION him. He had led us bravely our whole lives. He was our PATRIARCH of sorts, and I wasn’t about to lose faith in him now.
As we headed into the thick forest, I immediately heard voices up ahead. I braced myself for the worst, clenching Mikey’s arm close to me, preparing to fight back if we were SUBJECT to an attack. I only hoped that the authorities hadn’t beaten us there.
“Welcome.” A voice as loud as a MEGAPHONE called out from he distance.
“ You are safe here Owen, Mikey ,and Kass.” It said.
Even though I had no idea who this person was, my fear melted away when we saw a MAGNIFICENT chicken roasting on a fire before us.
“Sit down and join us.” A friendly looking man and woman no older than 20 exclaimed. “We are your allies.”
We did as they said, digging into a warm meal, and enjoying what little safety we could until our visit would have to end.
“ Hello guests. Have a seat, REVITALIZE, and take as much food as you can.” The unknown man said.
“What are we doing here; who are you?” I asked frantically.
I knew the illegals radio had called in the location of the camp, but nothing was reliable these days. The Capitol is aware of everything we do and when they eventually caught on, I didn’t want to be there. After all, we had just had a brush with death and capture and that was enough to for me.
“ No need to worry Kass I’ve-” The girl tried to say.
“How do you know my name!? How do you RECOGNIZE me? Are you working for the Capitol? Are you here to exterminate us?” I shouted.
“Kass calm down!” Owen snapped “I know you just want safety for the family, but everything is fine. These people are good, they can be trusted. They have even offered to get us to the Cheif.”
“The Cheif!” I exclaimed.
The Chief was an illegal himself at only 27, but was one of the oldest living in the rebellion and could provide safety to any illegal. The Cheif had an ALTURIST personality and had given refugee to hundreds of his kind at one point or another. He was the head of the rebellion army, a person that most illegals only dreamed of seeing.
“Yes Kass this is what I’ve been trying to get out if you hadn’t interrupted.” The still unidentified woman said.
“ I am Ana and this is Chris, my friend and fellow warrior in the rebellion army. The Chief personally sent us here because he heard of your situation. We want you to join the cause and fight with us. We are waging a battle in the next few weeks and need as many strong-willed people as we can muster up.”
“See Kass, we are in good hands. They are providing a safe place for Mikey to stay when the battle starts, and are offering us weaponry, training, and food for the rest of our days if we join them.”
“We have to do this!” I replied.
A safe place for our family, shelter, food, and a chance to DECIMATE the government who had fought so hard to destroy us. This was the best situation an illegal could ask for.
“When do we leave?” I inquired.
I couldn’t bare the thought of putting Mikey through one more night of walking through dangerous streets.
“We will stay here tonight and get our energy up. Then, tomorrow we will start our journey to the rebellion's headquarters about 30 miles away. For now, however, we will eat, sleep, and celebrate our AMIABLE new recruits.” Chris said looking at Owen and I.
I went sleep that night out in the cold, yet as I looked at the CONSTELLATIONS, I never felt more secure.
“Khhhh….Khhhh….” The radio wailed.
It was only one in the morning, so I got up as not to wake the others, still foggy headed. Without warning a voice RESONATED from the speaker waking the rest up.
“Khhhh….Illegals, this is the Capitol, we have locked onto your INCOGNITO signal. Surrender or be executed! Khhhhh” The radio turned into static.
Ana proceeded to smash the radio into a billion bits on the forest ground.
“We have to go! Now!” She screamed.
We proceeded to pack our SURPLUS of belongings for the journey to a VIABLE future.