The storm had ripped through the city. It left feet of water. Everyone who was on the lower levels of the shelter had been washed out. From my window I could get my raft into the water with ease.
“I think this would be the best time to grab what we can and go to a different shelter?”
“I don’t know Red. That seems to be risky. It took us a long time to find this one.”
He was right. After they had kicked all the undesirables out of the major cities the rest of us used the buildings outside the cities as refuge. We had found a tall building about 30 miles outside of what used to be Minneapolis. You now had to have a chip to get into the cities that were walled off. You could sometimes get chips that were dangerous knock offs. If they were too poorly made they could explode in your arm going through the sensor. This was part of the reason we hadn’t scraped up the money to buy one. We just stayed on the outskirts trying to survive.
Tomorrow is my 18th birthday. I finally get to see exactly what my soul mate is supposed to say to me the first time we meet. When I head down to the center for my tattoo I might faint. This determines so much of my life.
By the time I got to the center the line was so long. There were at least 50 girls in front of me. This was going to be torture. To my left there was the line for the boys. I wonder if any of them are my soul mate.
FINALLY!!! I am two people away from the window. The woman behind the window looked like she had so many other things she could be doing than assigning tattoo pods to 18 year olds. Three pods open up and one of the girls come out crying.
I hope mine isn’t something stupid or too ambiguous. As I walked to my pod I began to panic inside.
It was supposed to be one of the happiest days of her life. She had her hair and makeup done. Her dress had turned out beautifully. As she stood outside the doors of the church waiting for the cue the flash of light was bright and the boom that came after was incredibly loud.
That was two months ago. Since then so much had changed. Katy had been moved to colony #435 on continent #7. They had made several colonies all over the world to put humans into. Continent #7 was formerly Europe. Colony #435 was around the border of France and Italy. She missed her family fiercely. It had been at least 4 weeks since she had seen any of them.
It took a few weeks for them to round-up and sort people how they wanted. Women and men were separated. The young and the old were separated. Children were taken to their own colonies. They sent some of the older women to the colonies to be with the children.
Katy’s colony was filled with women that looked to be between 15 and 30. They were all races, religions, and backgrounds.
She sat in the dark next to the crib. It had been at least two or three weeks since she had slept more than 2 hours at a time.
The baby had finally gone to sleep but she was scared to move. If she was too loud she could wake the baby. Why had she thought this was a good idea?
As she sat there her limbs grew heavy and her breathing slowed. It was peaceful sitting in the dark listening to the sound of the baby.
It was easy to get on the plane. In the four hours it took to fly here gave me more than enough time to talk myself out of seeing anyone. 15 years had gone by since I was last home. I left when I was 17 and never looked back.
Leaving at such a young age was difficult. While going to school I was able to live on campus and had shit job after shit job for years. Once I finally graduated I was able to find a great job in my field. My parents never supported what I wanted to do. My childhood was rough so it made it easy to walk away. My four older siblings had left as soon as they turned 18. They hardly ever returned to visit. We wrote letters back and forth. My two oldest brothers joined the army, so they were all over the world. My younger brother got a scholarship and ended up in New York. My sister left and went to Hollywood in hopes of being famous. However, she waits tables to make ends meet while she works the worst acting jobs.
So here I was on the eve of my 30th birthday back in town to see my family. I can’t believe I let them talk me into this.
As I reach the front door of the home I grew up in my heart starts to race. It looks the same. The lights are all on and I can see people moving about. Do I knock? Its been so long……
As soon as I am face to face with the door it swings open and there it Ben my oldest brother.
The store was damp smelling. Shelves lined the walls stuffed full of books. The top of the shelves were piled with various weird objects. When he got to the back of the store he saw a flash. The sword stood out because it was bright and polished. Unlike anything else in the store. How odd to have something so beautiful in a dark and cluttered store. The shopkeeper came out of the back by the time I had spotted the sword. He was old and hunched over. He walked with a limp and moved at a snail’s pace.
“How much for the sword?”
“For a sword?”
“It’s a special sword.”
“A special sword……..hmmmm”
It almost glowed. The hilt had something on it but he didn’t want to get too close to it. He had an uneasy feeling all of a sudden. It felt like he was being watched.
Not only was the water cold but it was dark. She couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of her. But she was going to go and talk to her mother. With her tank she could make it down to the city at the bottom of the lake and still have air left to come back.
The last time she saw her mother she had planned to ask the hard questions however once she was there they all slipped away. She was transported back to her childhood. Playing in the sun and warm grass. Her mother had changed so much. She wasn’t as beautiful anymore. You could see an image of what she used to be just beyond her dark eyes and wrinkled skin. So much had changed. Her brothers and father were captured in the war. They were still in the same camp in North America.