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sci-fi rules
March 21st, 2011, 10:26 PM
Chapter One
Henry, three years old arrived and one twenty one Monday morning. Started screaming in the exercise yard on Friday. Nurses came and took him away. At 4 o clock that afternoon while in the testing room for the vitamin injections I saw that he was given a strange blue injection. Haven’t seen him since.
Unlike most days, the atmosphere was miserable but not my mood. Most of the Nurses seemed down, like they always do when it rains. That didn’t bother me though, I was too caught up with excitement at the thought of it being my sixteenth birthday, the biggest day of my whole life. After finishing breakfast I headed down to the kitchens to do my chores it was a Wednesday so I was on cleaning duty. Most of the time I hate doing chores; it is just something that everyone has to do-without fail. It helps build up character and makes you an even better Special. I’d do anything to become a better Special, impressing the Doctors gave you a good record and meant that you could go far in your life. I don’t mind cleaning duty it is not that hard it is just boring and seems endless. I spend my time daydreaming about when I can help save the lives of Ordinaries. Sometimes the day dreaming can get me into all sorts of trouble though.
One time, when I was about eight-years old, I started to dream while running. It was evening exercise and we were supposed to be doing laps of the field. It was stupid of me, as running keeps you fit and healthy and improves your chances of being helpful once you turn sixteen. It was the fourth lap, I was ever so hungry and I couldn’t concentrate on what I was doing. It tripped over my own foot; I wasn’t looking at where I was going. A sharp pain spread across my cheek and blood poured onto my hand. Everyone stopped running and just stared at me. I froze just lying on the floor not able to move. For some reason my face got hot and turned red a weird sensation came over me that I hadn’t felt before. At that time I wished there could have been a hole in the earth which would have swallowed me up whole. But there wasn’t. After about 30 seconds of lying there on the floor Nurse Teal came over and yanked me up by my ear and marched me over to Doctor Andrew’s office.
It came as a surprise then when Nurse Teal came to collect me from the kitchen that morning. I knew something different would happen, I had known girls that went away when they turned sixteen .At first I didn’t know what to expect but my queries soon stopped when I was left outside the head doctor’s door. I had only ever seen Doctor Blackman a few times in my life. From what I could remember she was not a lady of charm and grace. Like most Doctors she wore a long white gown with a blue collar and sleeves. The uniform helped distinguish nurses from doctors and staff from specials. Our plain grey overalls made us stand out and if anyone ever went outside into the world, they could be easily recognised and respected by Ordinaries. The wait was agonising yet I didn’t complain, I was far too excited and I didn’t want to ruin my chances by moaning. Then the door opened signally that I was to enter her office.
Unlike most rooms in the institute Doctor Blackman’s room was a bright white. Diagrams of the human body and various systems hung on the walls. The carpet felt soft and fluffy under my bare feet, for once I felt conscious about . They had always been dirty and seldom dry it was just something I got used to after a while. Yet here in the clean, neat office I felt like they were unwanted and out of place. This being the case I went on tiptoes to reduce the risk of staining the floor.
In the centre of the room a large portrait hung of Doctor Blackmans father the genius who discovered that some people were special and who set up the institute 20 years previous in 2015. His story was familiar to every Special and as common as a nursery rhyme. Throughout the world he was well respected and admired not only by his peers but also by the general public. Doctor Blackman senior had a great reputation and was a natural leader. Over the years he developed a strong group of supporters who sponsored his amazing scientific discoveries. In 2012 he found the gene inside many people, known now as Specials, called the Miracle gene. The Miracle gene has a certain coding which means that the person who it belongings to is able to help fight of disease such as swine flu, cancer and malaria. Therefore it is a great honour to be a Special case. However he didn’t survive long enough and in 2017 his oldest daughter took over. The portrait filled nearly the whole wall. There was something quite scary about the way his eyes where painted. It felt like they were watching your every move making sure that you were making no mistakes. I quickly turned away from the picture and focused on the Doctor Blackman sitting here in the room with me. Her face looked tried and worn out, I guessed she had been working hard recently and maybe had a few late nights. When I had last seen her a few years ago in a Special gathering, after someone had smashed a window with a fork, her face was full of youth and hope. Now her features sagged and there were numerous lines on her forehead. The doctor almost didn’t notice me as I stood there for what felt like hours waiting for a signal to show she would speak to me. Eventually without lifting her head from her paper work and gestured in the direction of the seat in front of her desk. As I edged over towards it I noticed several papers lain across her table, one of them had my name written on. I realised how selfish this was and quickly put my head down and perched on the edge of the chair. Taking her glasses off Doctor Blackman raised her head and clasped her hands. She sat in that position, perfectly still. Our gazes locked together for a few minutes.
Finally, she spoke. Her voice was soft but there was a certain harsh tone to it that made me feel uncomfortable.
“Rebecca Hill,you have been here for a long time now’ Doctor Blackman said, ’Long enough to grow up and realise the opportunities of being a ‘Special Case’.” I nodded in agreement; sixteen was the brilliant time when I could achieve so much more here in the institute. I’d spent my whole life waiting for this conversation when they would finally tell me I was useful to help save people’s lives.
“I expect you already know what this will mean.”
Could I detect some resistance in her voice? Didn’t she know how glad I was at this point. I knew exactly what being sixteen meant. I was no longer a child I could help they could do more useful tests on me. They would discover the cure for some of the most fatal diseases in the world, thanks to me and me alone. One day I might even be able to go out into the world and save people directly. Wouldn’t that be great?
“Are you even listening to me” Doctor Blackman’s tone was now so clipped that it jolted me.
“Yes mam” The last thing I wanted was for them to change their mind.
“Yes well, as I was saying you have two options. First we can send you away.” That was a definite no. I would rather be an ‘Ordinary’ than be sent away. Nobody ever returned once they were sent away, and I did not want to find out why.
”Or’ Doctor Blackman continued’ you can stay here and we can monitor your progress and help develop further the ‘Cure’. Which would you prefer?”
Without even thinking about that answer I replied;
” Stay here”. A smile crept across Doctor Blackman’s face. It was the first time I’d seen her ever show any emotion other than the usual angry towards my stupidity. I must have shown my surprise as immediately she changed to her usual stern expression.
“Well that is good to hear, collect you belongings and be back here in two minutes sharp.”
“Yes mam.”
My heart was thumping so loudly against my chest it’s a wonder she didn’t complain about the noise. My feet danced as I skipped into my dorm. I looked around I was half going to miss waking up in the early hours of the morning and seeing the girls I grew to knew lying less than a metre beside me. Oh well, I thought, hopefully I would be seeing them in a few years’ time, unless they didn’t choose to stay. But that was hardly likely, was it? They had nowhere else to go. This was their home. I should have known better than to get too attached to them. My friends never lasted long, I am and was always suspicious of their motives.
Children arrive at any time, day or night. Very few have been here as long as me, some children leave shortly after they arrive. This was often when the doctors took tests and discovered that they weren’t special so didn’t deserve to be in the institute. They just disappeared and no one ever saw or heard of them again. I just presumed that they just went into the dreaded system. For this reason I have never seen any point in making friends, I learnt to be self-sufficient. I can see which kids to avoid and know which ones weren’t special. They spend all day crying and moaning, whining for their parents, begging to go back. They are so stupid; I think when I hear a girl crying in a toilet cubicle or a boy screaming in the canteen. They don’t understand that they are unwanted and the institute was better than whatever it was they wanted to go back to.
After a while I began to see a pattern in the way these children were. I was a fast learning, a good skill to have. By the age of three I had learnt to read and write complex words and do simple addition and subtraction. Shortly after reading a book on how to improve self-discipline, I started to record information about these children while weren’t special. Every day after evening meal I would rush back to the dorm and write some more information that I had acquired that day, before leaving to attend evening exercises. The secret book soon became full of information about lots of different children. I was so interested in writing and finding out about people. It was an important part of my day which made my life liveable through hard times. Writing simple information about the children like how old they were when they arrived and when they arrived felt like an important discovery to me. However these rebel emotions and dreams were short live as I realised it was unimportant. Nobody cared what I discovered and wrote about the same way nobody cared about how I felt when I tripped and cut her cheek or how Theo punched me after she called him ‘an ordinary’. For a time I gave up on my secret. It was too dangerous to hide the information and I was sure if it was found I would be punished if not sent away. However these feelings didn’t last long as very soon I got lonely and needed to have a source of comfort which I found in the book.
Now I stared at the rows of neatly made beds. I was going to miss this place, I thought. It was my home.
“Hurry up!” I suddenly remembered that I was supposed to be gathering my belongings and not day dreaming about insignificant things. I didn’t have many belonging to collect. Strictly speaking Special’s weren’t allowed personal belongings as that created the selfish quality in a person, which could make you turn evil and eventually Ordinary. Apart from my book all I had to get was a battered pair of night clothes and a toothbrush. By even having the book I knew I was breaking the rules but leaving it here was dangerous as I couldn’t watch it. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what might happen if one of the girls found it. Friends they might almost be, but all Specials were given extra privileges if they reported a person breaking the rules. Yet if I took with me and they did a search they would certainly find it and I would be in deep trouble. The door swung open and Nurse Teal walked in. Too late I didn’t have time to hide the book, it would be too suspicious, I would just have to risk it. Stuffing it into my night clothes I turned around. Nurse Teal was just there behind me so I was slightly startled. Had she seen the book? My heart pounded. Her eyebrows bent downwards turning into a scowl. Oh, I thought she did see me. But as soon as this thought came to my mind she had turned away and started marching to the door. When I didn’t follow she turned around.
“Do get a move on. Getting you over to the other block isn’t my only task today.”
Springing back to life I bowed my head ashamed, and followed her through the doorway taking one last look at the room I’d called home for the past thirteen years since I left the nursery. The room wasn’t anything grand or particularly brilliant; it just held a lot of memories. Looking at the different beds images of a seven year old girl throwing up on the floor popped into my head. Erasing the painful memories I closed the door and began to walk down the corridor.
*************************************************
The door slammed behind me but I didn’t even hear it. The idea of moving to a better place had filled my head for years. Yet now in a few mere seconds my hopes had been shattered. I was expecting at any moment Nurse Teal to come back in apologising to me for making a mistake. But she didn’t. Surely I couldn’t be in this room. All my life I’d obeyed the rules and followed orders so that one day I could move here and have a great life, helping the poor ordinaries and saving the world. This is how the great Specials were treated. It was just evil to build my hopes up all that time and then dump me in this revolting cell like room. If the squeak of mice running on the floor didn’t make your skin crawl the mould and damp in the corner of the room would.


Please tell me what you thought of it as I have only just started it and would really appreciate it.:cheese:

Olly Buckle
March 21st, 2011, 11:02 PM
An unpleasant coming of age it seems. Nice and clean generally, right at the beginning,

arrived and one twenty oneI think you meant at rather than and.

Reading through I noticed you had a list punctuated by 'and' instead of commas, can't find it now.

Things like "This being the case I stood on tiptoe". "So I stood on tiptoe" would do, in fact often more is less, or less is more if you like, and you are talking about some one deliberately kept ignorant, so their language would be simple. These are the sort of things I find in editing, reading aloud is another good trick to show them up, do you say it naturally?

Have you read "Cloud Atlas" ? It is basically a series of tied short stories, awakening of a servitor is a theme that runs through them and it is well done.

sci-fi rules
March 23rd, 2011, 09:31 AM
Hi thanks for the great tip. Reading it through I can totally understand what you mean. I haven't read cloud atlas but it sounds interesting so I will plan to.Thanks