View Full Version : The Children of Paradise

April 13th, 2014, 08:10 PM
The Children of Paradise

(I consider this a YA story because there is no bad language and it resembles 1984. I feel like it is a good story and would like feedback.)


"Where's Molly?"

Molly was clinging to the sink as the water continued to pour. She put on her jumpsuit. Quickly drying her hands and face, she took a quick glance at her reflection in the mirrors. Nineteen year old Molly stared back at her; her hair was short, straight, and black and her skin extremely pale. Her insides were turning. She wasn't a public figure-head, just a spokesperson for everything she'd learn to hate.

"Molly," She heard from somewhere subliminally. It shook her up. The migraines had started again, causing her to faint with vertigo. "She's always so unprepared." It usually went this way, just before a public presentation, waves of anxiety made everything sharp and jagged.


“Molly…” she whispered through the glass window from her confinement. “Don't let them tell you what you are.” Molly watched as her mother sat down on the padded floor staring off into the white walls. Her mother stared up into her young daughter's eyes if she might never see them again, and then she looked to the floor.

Molly's mom folded her arms to her chest and sobbed. Looking in through those glass windows, Molly wondered if this was what it meant to feel cared for. Nothing was how it was meant to be. The nurse guided eight year old Molly away to The Control Room.

Her chubby fingers reached up and swatted a mosquito. The instructor lifted his book up with one hand and chiding her, attempted to begin her daily lesson. “Sit still Molly.” The tiles stretched out before them in spiraling hallways to nowhere. It was 9 pm and Molly should have been in bed. Molly loved to stare at the lights, she felt like they carried some secret. When she stared at the light, she had visions.

Molly’s father had flown away on a plane one day, he was recruited for the wars. Her mother was kept locked inside the treatment center; and when a normal child would be socializing and having fun, this was her family. Her mother could not care for her. Molly grew up inside this institution because she had nowhere else to go. She was cared by the people inside. The people there, who understood that she was too little to understand her place in the world.

New Age:

Molly hid herself from the eyes following her everywhere. It had been years since Molly had left The Treatment Center. She had forgotten her memories. She buried her face in a book, and for a moment she was lost to another place. She was there, in a massive city filled with spiraling kaleidoscopic towers, colorful architecture…nothing bland…nothing boring. She could hear the voice speaking to her from somewhere deep within, and soon enough her migraines took over.

For nearly 200 years had the memory of a once-powerful city remained solely in our minds, while its broken walls, ruined towers, and highways lay buried deep within its filth.

I lived in The City of Steel, far from the ancient buildings now crumbling to dust. There was no crime and no poverty. It was protected and had enough imported goods for us to live comfortably. Although it was considered one of our country's best cities, The City of Steel did not come with a happy story. This city was once the capital of the world empire before chemical warfare destroyed even false peace.

Diseases wiped out thousands of lives. No matter how terrible it was, our country could not do anything to stop it. It spread and could have threatened other cities as well if it had not finally been gotten under control. People discovered the source of the virus. Days went by and nothing could be done about it, other than to not drink the water. Day by day the death toll climbed the charts. The virus was unstoppable and nothing could be done to cure it.

It was fatal to all. Finally, after days of silence and emptiness, our country got the germs under control. When this City was finally repopulated, it was renamed The City of Peace.
Despite that it was over-polluted, it thrived. Despite its mechanical fumes and hazardous chemical waste reservoirs, it was the most free of corruption and a safe place to live.

Only the very wealthy lived there, in an almost surreal city, where the decapitated remains of our machines performed their daily tasks, machines we’d created for only us.
We were asked to participate, cooperate, doing only what was necessary to survive. The City of Peace could be compared to an elephant graveyard with bones made of steel, and from the stench of toxic gas could one smell its rotting corpses.

There was a time once when we had more opportunities to change the world we lived in. Then, before the beast had taken over our land and put us to work for it, had we not surrendered our hopes as we had yet trembled before its all seeing. There was once a time of peace, of disobedience, of freedom. And if you think about it, it is truly beautiful compared to the quietude of blind obedience. They were individuals with choices. They could make up their own minds, and they didn't have to slave away just to live. They didn't live for this beast that still inhabits The Quiet City today. But that was a time when things were still good.

There is yet to be a standing history of cities long ago. Here, the words that have survived all wars in all but their meager and fragmentary form will be analyzed and reorganized. These were our secrets. Secrets, mingled with accumulated myths and legends of the coming beast. They are the conspiracies.

Only now through electronic records can we decipher all that once had been of the great world's City. In these remnants of our ancestry, contain all that can be derived from references in the Order and the compilations of classical myths on human acts of justice. There's nothing left of our future, only the past remains in a form we are forced to dissect.

As we march on towards full oblivion, centuries of human progress are being fed in through our machines…only with these bitter recollections that we gather, through our willpower and constant speculations, do we have the chance to ever unveil the real truth. As we collect and piece together bits of information, we are drawing ever closer to the ultimate truth about Project 0blivion.

Will it ever be passed under the scrutiny of our future scholars? This is something that we all have hoped for. History still remains the same. And only through this compiling, can a world blinded by our own human folly change. We learn to recognize patterns that influence this new world we live in now.

There were intervals of silence that our cultural influence seemed to perpetuate. Our City was hot with anger and protestors lined the streets with signs screaming for answers. And although their voices were not strong enough to shake the walls of their falling foundations, they were loud enough to be heard across the world.

What justifies another person's rights over our own? There was a bombardment of hearts that screamed: “They're our hostile Enemies! They need to be punished, and WE need to be safe.” As propaganda traveled far and wide through vast cities of the coast, reaching intersecting streets of the rich and spreading across the world, more and more questions exploded.

People wanted to know, and it could not be kept a secret for much longer. A sudden surge of rebellion threatened our leaders’ agendas. All eyes were upon them now. The people became our leader's criminals. Somehow, the questions diminished like fading reflections, and eventually all surrendered silently.

Silence is all that we seem to remember now.

When the intelligence of the attacks was put forth, who was concerned in it? Who had our interests in mind? It seemed our leader had had dreams of re-establishing democracy. Yet Democracy had failed.
Now all our secret information would be gathered through trade. We collected memory sticks from friends with common interests through the underground network. Not all remained silent. A new underground order was in place. It was a group of people just like you and I, who would not be kept quiet and so together, formed a massive world-resistance, and called it the League of Dreams.

My name is Molly; I once worked for the people who sought to destroy every dream ever created. Yet, my mission as a historian had not always been to erase the truth. I was once a part of a system that was specifically brought about to educate the people about their past. Things have changed since then.

The Airport, Tuesday September 12

Molly walked into the airport and headed directly to the changing room. A large policewoman checked her pockets. Then she removed her jacket. The woman checked the pockets of the jacket, and then commanded her to move along.

Molly always hated the changing rooms. Everyone did. This was the only way that they could be sure no intruders or terrorists, or black market traders could come aboard the plane. The plane took off as Molly looked down at the palm trees, streets, and city lights through the small window. The sandy shore disappeared.

“Goodbye…” She whispered to the city as it gradually faded from sight.


The Great World Order had come, but by then the people welcomed it. After the United States had lost its power, nothing but chaos had ensued for so long that people wanted to believe in order again. We had thirteen years of nothing but war and anarchy across the globe. Rebels led the takeover of lands across Earth. People were used for them as merely soldiers or tools. War and conquest had become such a routine of life.

It was a game of who would wipe out whom first, and who would pay humanity’s price. Only those with enough control and power could ever ask those questions. It was our best choice when The Great World Order presented itself. Yet it was never a revolution. Everyone believed it would set them free and we were ready for peace. So we made the biggest or pettiest sacrifices to achieve it. We voted for it and ignored our fears of propaganda. The majority of populations across the world wanted World Order and peace.

And then it was as if we had forgotten, as if we had carried on without the slightest notion of our history. Only this time, it had no sectional representation, and there were no Nations. It had become everything the people hated, loathed, and wanted to destroy. It was all that we ever knew as kids.
Every person over eighteen had a say and to vote on issues on the world’s issues. People had no opportunity, busy as we were, to realize that this was still completely wrong.

It worked like this, the socialists were ruled by the capitalists, and the capitalists were ruled by the Architects, the designers. The designers organized everything, every fundamental way we lived our lives from day-to-day. The designers had the most power on earth. In publications by the designers whose identities remain highly secret, they’ve said only that God was their divine motivator, their inspiration, and the source of the new foundation of progress. God is so much more than that.

I believe now that God, if he is the true master Architect, is not the original God of our lost world. They were not motivated by an all loving God, a divine source in the stars. I never believed God was a dictator, and that’s partly because of where I’m from…where I’ve been outside cast off from all the respectable people. God isn’t a dream or a hope for mankind. God is not the puppet-master, and we are not his strings.

The forces that have engineered our dreams and fueled our electric life for ages cannot be undone. And so the designers hide behind the shadows, the elites, the corporate leaders who claim that our new order is now the highest peak of civilization. No longer must we have to struggle to survive, the path has been laid out before us, brick by brick. It is the path of the future.

In the Technocracy of The Foundation, we have martyred, murdered, and fed ourselves to our machines. These machines have carried out tasks no mortal could or would want to. They crippled lost nations, defeated empires, and brought peace to the world. Men toil behind the machinery, no longer casualties, but accessories. The scientists who create our machines lead our industries. Our industries lead our world.

Our Foundation is just industry. What purpose is it? Those who did not serve God’s Foundation will never know such a purpose. The rest of us are worthless.

The industrial revolution had begun as a revolution of progress, but in 2001 the Industrial age was turned counter-clockwise. It was an industrial dream turned nightmare, turned against simple folk. Machines began to dictate everything, how we ordered food and not only what we learned but how we learned. Everything went digital, everything communicated instantly over channels. Pretty soon, all channels were moderated by The New Foundation.

The master architects designed a beautiful and imperishable paradise. They created virtual lesson plans for schools so that children could learn without teachers. Any child could play along, and any who refused to advance was disciplined and stabilized so that he or she would know how much they were valued. We became passive slaves, drugging ourselves into child-like complacency, to dance on the edge of defeat.

As each opportunity had slipped away, we learned to sacrifice our consciences for a sociopath's economy. As every minute escaped, a greedy mouth swallowed another placebo. The world had lost all love and meaning. And so we prostrated ourselves to billboards and worshiped technological madness. That was how we traded our souls for an empire of greed. That is how we made a prison for paradise.

My name is Sarah. I was born on the outskirts of modern society to the city of Meridia. Meridia was built upon the ruins of the United World Empire. Meridia was a station that evolved during WWIII, when people began to hate the idea of a one world government. Meridia is a sea city, because there is no land on Meridia.

It was a safe zone for weapons and technology that were manufactured solely for war, no matter who bought them.

These sprawling metal-scapes later made up our new system of life post World War Three. It became a place for those who opted to live in solitary, to wait out the re-habitation of the Foundation. These people were the ones who had secretly feared The Foundation, and therefore wanted to stay as far from its influence as possible.

Shifting platforms that used water and steam could move us from place to place across the vast city on the water. Life in Meridia was sometimes isolating, but it was nothing compared to life on the territory of the Foundation. For many years, Meridia was the only place where people like us were left alone. My mother taught me many things about life after the war. She spoke of the radical government that was formed when the United World Empire fell. When the Foundation finally came to power, the lone government gave way to a simple court of dissenters of influence.

These were people who had had authority in the United World Empire before it fell and after it too. They knew more about governments than the New Foundation’s bag of muck and scum. They were now revolutionaries. The classes sometime called them terrorists. But they stood their ground, and did not provoke others to hate them. They had money, and power, and influence in their small city. Mother emulated our government. It was the last and only government left outside the Foundation’s iron fist.

In this unwanted realm of constant flooding and ghetto technology, we were at home. Yet, there was always something innately calling to us. We were discards and anti-establishment rebels by nature—it was in our nature to crave revolution. It was also in our nature to crave freedom.

I remember how I would sit in my bedroom and stare out into the rolling waves. I felt a sort of dependency there. Perhaps it was even more-so a longing caused by ebb and flow of the tides. Every so often when I traveled, I could feel a secret rage rise within me. I had a good family: my sister Molly, my brother Bobby, and Mother who loved and took care of us.

Of course, Father had left for war long after I was born. This was more normal for most families; even the higher class couldn’t escape the drafting imposed by the Foundation.

The story I am about to tell you is one of searching for meaning in the past and the future of our world.. This is the story of how I came to find out what my freedom really means to me. It is a story that only outcasts and dreamers and revolutionaries will ever understand.

It begins on a beautiful summer day in our house on Meridia. My mother, Jane, had made supper for us children. We were just getting ready to sit down to eat when suddenly Molly pointed toward the window. She pointed a small finger to where the water pull was.

“The water is bubbling!” Molly said then asked innocently, “Why is it doing that, Momma?”

Before our mother could answer, we saw a dark metal machine rise up out of the small gap in the platform. There was printing on the machine that read: LEADERS OF THE PEOPLE’s FOUNDATION

Through the machine’s window we saw men in dark suits with flashing armbands and helmets.

“Oh no,” Mother said, “What are they doing here?”

I remember these unfamiliar men as they piled out and barged onto the platform toward the house. They smashed through the glass door and threw stuff on the floor. Then they handcuffed Bobby like a criminal. Then turned to our mother and started interrogating her about a card that was to be pledged to, the growing economy, and about her failure to participate in the war effort. They looked at her as though she were crazy, that she had no right to have children. They threatened to take us all if she would not comply…then…

I remember there was this cry, and suddenly it was all chaos around me. My sister was screaming as cups were being shattered across the floor. I couldn’t see anyone anymore. The room was consumed in gas. I remember a sudden black fog before I passed out. My brother was gone when I regained consciousness. Molly was in a heap beside broken glass, and Mother was outside staring at the pool of water where the machine had disappeared.

They took my brother away from me. I knew we would never see him again because we had failed to participate in the war. I knew that the war was all the mattered. It was oil, oil and more oil to fuel the highways for the rich consumers. I knew that even though I’d never seen one; that the giant spider machines and planes also were part of the scheme.

I saw it all in my head. Spiders, planes, big oil monsters gobbling up the ocean. In nightmares I saw my brother, Bobby. He was standing in the wreckage of someplace in the ruins of a tall tower. White crosses and rubble marked the graves of all that remained of the people there. He would sit in one of these giant machines, and he would watch another free society go up in flames. Flames for dollars: burning dollars and burning bodies.

But, the economy was growing. It was growing so fast that people had to race to keep up with the progress. Then there was a new set of laws established. These laws were a tactic meant to inspire pride.

The Foundation had created a new constitution. Mother told me that it was an echo of the constitution of the United World Empire. Yet the Foundation was a constitution built on consumerism and hypocrisy. It meant nothing was guaranteed and all were forced to cooperate.

Mother began to re-tell the story of how the U.W.E. had lost power. It was when the Foundation was still small. Secretly, The Foundation was devising a plan to divide the world into sizable chunks for them to swallow later on. It would be a blow to freedom, toward dissent, and a step in the direction of their plans for an Empire. People would lose. Machines would rule their cities. No one saw it coming.

First biological warfare swept the continents. No one knew the source, but suspected it was caused by the U.W.E. and the U.W.E. could do nothing to stop it.

In sections across the globe, no one would go unscathed; all would turn and beg for their Foundation. Instead of the wonders people had hoped for, instead of an apocalypse, instead of a revolution, a mass epidemic swept the world and massacred the resisters. Darwin stepped over their corpses as the wealthy consumers soon grew into corporate dictators. Then came the Anarchy, and finally…hopes for a better world.

It was in the after-math of all these wars that plans of order came to the forefront. Still, The Foundation’s new laws weren’t there to protect the people; they were to enslave them to royalty. They caused the division, and now they forced us to buy our unity back.

The Foundation killed anyone who spoke up to defend a simple principle: freedom from control, from being told what to do and how to do it. They killed the ones who spoke for our freedom to live on each of our own terms.

If the way was to freedom and prosperity, how then could we explain why people were being forced to die to uphold this principle? If the way was new hope and cities of paradise, then why were only the rich allowed the golden highways to reach them? In a few years, sadness and darkness would be cast over the new millennium dream.

It was a terrible human flaw, passivity, a weakness that was food for the giants. Dogma would set everything right, because happiness was somewhere far ahead…far ahead…in a time and place beyond all this fighting. As if anyone would win the war on our fears, on our terror; how could we eliminate the enemies in our pursuit of happiness?

“The only price for bliss is happiness and the only price for happiness is perfection,” said the late Jeremy House, before leaking a document that had cost him his life.

Yes, that was how war and peace became a consumer’s product just like dreams, art, technology, and power. I could go on for decades about how we became so corrupt, but I must continue my story.

It was nearly four years after my brother was kidnapped from Meridia, when my mother told us we needed to escape. The kidnappers were coming to “save us” and we needed to flee as far as we could in hopes of getting away from what everyone seemed to want: a perfect life.

All the roads that made up the highways were “upper class travel.” They were expensive and meant only for the wealthy. The wealthy were made up of oil tycoons, factory owners, royalty, the entire military, and of course our political oppressors. The rest of us, well…some were still legal and could participate in some of society. Though, they could not travel on their own because they did not have proper pass codes and were confined, ridiculed, and treated like scum.

Even worse, if you were not legal and therefore could not get a job like them, you were not allowed anywhere in society because you were an outlaw. This is how their new system worked. You were not wanted in the system if you could not enforce it, and if you could not enforce it you were an outcast. Basically, “do what you want but don’t come to us for any help.” Of course, outcasts didn’t want to be citizens because outcasts were not like the ones who cared only for themselves and their prosperity.

That’s why my mother joined the place called Meridia. Outcasts had joined together and formed a free society away from The Foundations. Instead of green paper, we traded for other things. The world I would see was not at all like my homeland. I had never seen a car before.

We chose to run away. My mother was unable to bear us leaving. Just after we had packed our bags, food, and map, she gave us a hug that she promised would last forever. Then she ran to her bedroom and locked herself in. We could hear the crying wails that came from the window. She was never very good at goodbyes.

Chapter Two

Running Away

It was so dark when we walked along the trail through the woods that night. We were afraid of being caught in the daylight. The air was chill, but our fear and constant moving blocked the cold and muffled our tears. We had to keep on moving further and further away from mother.

There was always a hope that “the ocean” was still striving within us while the beat of our hearts pounded with the beat of the ocean. It went Crash, crash, crunch, crunch, thump, and thump. We were carried like baby crabs out into the threatening sea.

We would have had more time to prepare if we had known sooner. But, news reached slowly to Meridia. How could these horrible men be coming again? They knew. This time they were in search of not just little boys, but young girls to fight their wars.

"Men and women are once again equal in the eyes of the military.”

This was the big headline all over the news. It had been a law for years that because it was only a woman who could have children, women had to take up their responsibilities and leave the worker life to take care of children.

After the boys were well taught, these “young adults” would be sent off to work and the mothers would spend the rest of their lives finding a suitable home for their children.

The wife would then take care of the kids and so on. The problem was that most men in those days were finding it too inconvenient to marry; and since fewer women were having children, fewer soldiers were out on the battlefields protecting profit and defending the future. That was when a genius thought up a solution to all their problems.

“It is brilliance, pure brilliance, if I do say so myself!” said Senator J. Jay Broke, “Now, I’m going to give you all a great Bible Lesson, though some of you have heard it many times before. In the beginning, God created two separate bodies to live together in the goodness of Eden. They were called Adam and Eve and they lived in a perfect world.

And, it was through the great fruit of knowledge that we learned to think for ourselves. Some have said that God told us not to eat the fruit as a test. It was a test of human strength! The strength to know the importance of the self outweighs sacrifice of the self for something false. The fruit was our creation, and the fruit was our initiation.

Remember that all our greatest wars were fought because we knew that our right to freedom outweighed everything else. We knew that if we could win against Satan, as we all know it is the enemy of progress, that we would get our peaceful home back. Well, my friends, where does all my talk fit in? Well, today marks our first step towards our New Foundation’s goal of equal opportunity.

It has been a very long time that men have forgotten to share the fruit of our knowledge with the female kind. We declare that from this day onward, all women will have all the rights of men! Every single law shall be amended for girls and boys. No longer will a man be forced to leave his wife for battle or leave his children forever. Together we will march, side by side, men and women; our sons and daughters will be armed with love. Women will join in our great victory. When the evil has died, our bonds will not be broken. United we are one. We are one! Now I invite our sisters to taste of the fruit and rejoice in salvation.”

Chapter Three
* For most of the night we were guided by the moon and stars, but when the moon went down we were forced to stop and sleep awhile. We woke up early and got out two pieces of crusty bread each. The hard bread was meant to last.

We both took small bites, and then off we went. There was no sun yet. The coolness was comforting and we didn’t cry the night before, but somehow waking up like that left us feeling so empty, lost, and gone. We were like abandoned sea shells. Where was that creature inside of us? Had it been swept off in the storm?

We were so afraid that we started running again. We ran a mile, then walked three, and then finally made it to the beginning of the highway. They could not find us here. You had to be crazy traveling without a license, but where else would we go? We wanted to make it out as far as we could from where they would find us.

The Wasteland was the place to go. By now they had torn down most of the forest. Soldiers destroyed the whole land and in vain search finding nothing, they had left it to the remains of the outcasts and rebels.

That was where we were going: To the last free settlement. There, we would be safe. Or at least we hoped. Back then we didn’t know all of this, of course. We had a map and the words, flee or die, still fresh in our minds.

“How much further do we have to go to get to the nearest gas station?” Molly asked.

“We have seven miles to go.”

There were many more gas station cities then. Molly, being my younger sister, had never heard of such a thing. She was afraid, but determined to survive.

“When are we going to ever see mommy again?” Molly had asked between sobs.

“Soon,” I would say, “As soon as we can get out of this place.”

I knew inside, and she knew deep down, that there was barely a chance of ever seeing her again. No one caught us from the time we left till we made it to the gas station.

The trucks were lined up and men were unpacking. Molly and I were to try and get into one going south. But Molly insisted on going to the bathroom. I admit, my bladder was about to burst. Molly did well going in and out without being noticed, but my features were easily caught and a man behind the counter took me back for questioning.

This is it, I thought, there is no way I can make it out of this one. I told him I was lost. “Why, a girl so young away from home?”

“Who is your mother so I can report you?”

“No. No, I don’t have a mother,” I lied.

He said he would let me go, for a price.

“Work for me for a few days, and I’ll forget this ever happened…” Then he smiled a big yellow smile.

I had to go along and I felt sick. I secretly hoped Molly would wait for me. But every time I kept trying to go out he wouldn’t let me leave. I had to work if I was to escape ever. Because if I didn’t, he would make one call and they would send me, mom, and the whole of Meridia to prison. I became a slave to him. I had to work all day and half a night. No one else had to work as much as I did, for I had “special privileges.”

I would cry at first, every night, thinking of my sister, Molly. She was my sister. She was the only person I had left. She was my family. She was gone.

I was scared and alone. I spent my days toiling away like some slave girl. I mixed and poured chemicals and substances into the water. I began operating their new highly technological machines. In this daily routine I supplied my lonely days with smells from the sea substituting the smell of chemicals, gasoline, and smoke.

When I stocked the shelves, I secretly held the seashore freshener close to my nose. It smelled artificial and made me nauseous, but I craved the smell so much. When the boss was out, I would pull out the air freshener from under the cash register and silently daydream of the sea.

I had gotten so used to the patterns of work and the shifts, but most of all I think the fumes really got to my head. I began to forget nearly everything about my home and my past life. Time simply slipped away. I just knew that I really like that smell. I longed for it and craved it.

Then one day I woke up and the smell was gone. I searched in vain for anything recognizable. I had lost my sense of taste and smell! My mind felt empty all the sudden. I had to get out. The fear of losing my senses had woke me up. I hadn’t known how long I had been there but I knew I had to get out.

I walked out the door of my bedroom, out of the office, and stood for awhile in the middle of lot 58 until I finally remembered. Inside the doors, all my answers were inside those truck doors. I was about to try to find out how to get in when a car full of teenagers spotted me. They told me to get in the car. I figured that maybe I should, if only to find Molly. So I climbed into the back seat. I was cramped with two young women and in the front were two young men. The women were much older than I was and kept asking me questions.

“Who are you,” they asked and then, “Where did you come from?”

I didn’t remember. They were a little unsure about my honesty. At first they didn’t trust me and thought I was odd. But, when the guy in the front asked me how long I had been at that place and I said, "As long as yesterday and tomorrow and forever," they realized that I had been a prisoner. So they gave me some magical candy.

“It’s good for you,” they said.

I got really happy and soon we were laughing and talking together. We were all high, I guess. I fell asleep for a good while and when we stopped again I was awake and feeling nauseous again. I was truly better, they told me, and sure enough I could remember everything.

“It’s the laughter,” they said. “It’s really good for the soul.”

I had never heard of a soul before. Mother never told me of a soul.

"What is a soul?" I asked.

"Oh. Well… it is your will, your freedom, your…you. It's the reason you're here. Nothing can stop you because of it.” The driver, Hal, said this with such uncanny certainty.

“You mean like the ocean?” I asked him.

“The ocean, well, kind of like the ocean…I guess.” Hal got quiet then and I didn’t feel like asking any more questions.

I had had enough of the candy after that, and when I had a drink of that special water, my sister was all that came into the forefront. "Where is my sister? Does my sister also have a soul? Maybe she escaped. Could she have been caught? Where is my sister?"

After awhile, I got up my courage to ask if they could help me find her. “Please. Will you help me find her?” They agreed. It took some arguing. Yet, finally they agreed that we would have to find my little sister.

“She could be anywhere, though, and the chances of finding her are slim,” said the other man, Tim.

We spent two weeks looking for her, but by Monday our spirits were getting soar. If only I hadn’t been captured, I thought. The one thing that did make us stop was when we reached an unexpected checking area and this is what I remember hearing Oh, no. Do you see that ahead? Crap! We’re in this together alright! Do you think we’ll be able to make it through there? I don’t know. Just be still….

They said that all of their cards were counterfeits and that they had mapped their route perfectly. Well, up until looking for Molly, they had been certain there was no new tracking booth along here. We slowly approached the end.

“You have to get out, Sarah!”

They said to run or the men would catch me. I didn’t know where to go, and I knew the officers wouldn’t let me escape. They approached on either side of the doors. Hal locked the doors to delay the officers.

"Get out!" He yelled. I finally figured out what he meant.

He meant to climb out through the window. The window was small, but I was able to fit right through. I slid out then with just enough time to sneak away and I ran and ran in the opposite direction.

I was running as far as I could get from the hundreds of booths, booths with men, men who would find me. They were men without souls but who were armed with guns. They were men who were officers, yet just who were they protecting?

Toll booths had to be more efficient so they decided to make hundreds upon thousands of toll booth rows. In the rows upon rows, people would stare blankly ahead, waiting for hours at times. When would it be their turn? That’s all they ever worried about or cared about anymore.

But so many chemicals and so many entertaining delusions were made to keep them happy. It was the way the system worked. They all chose, of course, to buy these tools that created their personalized bliss. There were no warnings. There were no dangers. There were no labels. It was simply how you did things. I didn’t understand any of it. How did no one see me? I caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a conscious man in the window, yet his eyes were so fixed. His stare was so focused on nothing but a point on the horizon. He didn’t look up when I screamed into the car.

So I kept running until I realized there was nowhere left to run to. The traffic and the noise sent me spinning in circles, and the flashing lights made me nauseous. I could go to the right and follow the line all the way to the end, but would this line ever end? I could follow the left, and I knew less about where that would lead other than darkness and possibly more guards.

Chapter Four


Where was the end? I kept turning around in circles. Cars were on every side of me soon. Car horns poured into my ears. “Get out of the way! Get out of the Way! Get out of the Way! Get out of the WAY!” Everyone was suddenly screaming at me, but no one moved anything but their mouths. Their eyes were still focused on that one point.

I got sick and sweat rolled down my face. The fear had sent me falling to the ground as the world collapsed beneath me in a big jolt. For a while I was laying there without sound or light, in between the lines. It felt like it was over, but by some strange coincidence or awesome luck I was picked up by Anna the “outlaw”.

Anna was helping children just like me. She’d rescue them and hide them in her authorized emergency vehicle which was able to go anywhere. Anna, who had once been a doctor’s assistant, saw me. She had jumped out and quickly grabbed me. She took me in and put me in the ambulance so fast that not even the guards saw her from that distance. Then she drove me in right through the checkpoint.

I was laid on a bench in the back, and when I regained consciousness I saw more benches filled up with people. I found myself with other children. Some of the children looked sick and some looked sad. Was I being rescued again? Soon, many of the children introduced themselves and told their stories of how they got there.

My story, I found out, was different than many other stories. Most of the children had been abandoned; some had never seen their parents and some had escaped the most hostile conditions. It made me feel different and a little guilty. How could I possibly ask about my sister? The question was like a hole eating away at my insides. Deep down, it was sucking my life away. Too much fear, too much sickness. It had made me feel desperate and cold. I just couldn’t feel like I used to...not for anyone. I was alone, still alive... but always so alone.

“Where are we going?” I asked.

“Where we can be free, of course.” Was Anna’s reply. “A long time ago doctors were free to roam the highways in search to save the sick and dying. All you had to do was press a red button, the ER button, and we would be able to find you anywhere.

That was when ambulances had all the same rights as the police did. “Save and protect.” That was our motto. Half the roads were blocked off for safety travel. Signals connected to our vehicles, would trace us through the shortcuts to every emergency imaginable. We would come to you…I felt proud of my work.

And really, it was the only way we could have done it. If we didn’t have those roads available, we couldn’t reach anyone in time through the traffic.

Sadly there isn’t even a point for the safety roads for us anymore. All the doctors have been called to aid the soldiers in our wars. People are sick everywhere, but there’s no one left to help them. That’s why we are fleeing to the wasteland.”

“Don’t you have to stay here and help all those people you were talking about?”

“Even if we tried, there is no chance,” she replied. “The roads have been blocked off from us since we were called away years ago. Let’s just hope our New Foundation can help itself.”

The words shot like bullets to my chest. New Foundation? W hat kind of a foundation was this? If nothing else, I knew we had to find my sister in The Wasteland. I was going to The Wasteland to find my sister at last. If this was the only place left we could go, then no matter what we were going to find her; if my sister knew it too, she would be trying just as hard as me to get there, to find me…as least I hoped.

How I would find her…now that was a question…“How big is The Wasteland, anyways?” I asked. Anna didn’t reply and so I figured she didn’t know.

The thought of finding my sister brought new hope and life back into me. I was feeling less nauseous. I was lucky. My brother was not so lucky. Maybe I’d find him someday too.

I had been thinking about my brother a lot. What were the chances of meeting him in The Wasteland? Were there any? He was taken to war, not the end of all wars, not for a free settlement but a war that stomped out freedom. I knew it. He could be dead by now. But the thought almost ripped out my insides. I had to be calm and be happy to be stay alive now. I had to blend and I had to pretend. When you lose hope, you lose all chance of survival; hope is what keeps you alive and keeps you struggling to do what is right. As long as I knew I had a chance, I could keep myself alive.

The world would never have my confession. I was fleeing, escaping with souls who also would never give up. But unlike the others, I knew someone who was waiting for me on the other-side. Unlike the others, I still had a family, didn’t I? Even if I couldn’t find them, they would remain a part of me until the end.

No matter where they were, I wanted them and needed them. I had to hold them and to love them and protect them. I knew they all loved me back. Family, friends, home: a lullaby in a storm, a kiss goodnight, but not a wave goodbye.

For what seemed like an eternity, we traveled. We had to hide the ambulance when we stopped. We were following the current of desperation. We were not always feeling hopeless, and we talked and joked every once in awhile.

I met this boy, and we would talk about everything. Our hopes and fears. He would say the nicest reassuring things to me. I would be sad and he’d make me feel better. When we would have to stop for supplies, he would always hold my hand because I used to be so afraid of getting caught.

His hands were so warm. It felt like I was being pulled into rays of sunlight when I was next to him. He never left my side. We both knew how much we loved each other, but we never said it. Maybe it was because we were surrounded by people, or maybe it was one of those things that went without saying. The end of the world couldn’t tear us apart, but sadly enough, it had to.

We had reached a resting area where we had found a safe place to park. Anna told us that at last we were allowed to run. So we ran around these long deserted fields, feeling so much liveliness and happiness. It had been three months since I had been outside. The air seemed clear and perfect. This was a small taste of paradise!

Chapter Five


We ran in our bare feet as far as we could go. Anna never called us back, so we kept going. The ocean was becoming faintly alive in me. We kept running. It was as if God had decided to greet us and I think God also was hoping we’d find what we did. At first I thought it was the ocean. I was so excited.
“It’s The Sea! It’s the sea!” I cried out. As we came to the bank we cried out for joy while Jess, who was the boy I loved, picked me up and swung me around in his arms.

“This isn’t a sea!” Someone exclaimed, “It's a river!”

“It’s whatever we want it to be,” said Jess, “Listen up my fellow Americans and welcome to your new world order. It’s a paradise; really, it’s the best thing you could ever dream of. Look at the future!” Jess exclaimed before he gestured for all the lost children to look down. We bent down and in the moonlight we saw only ourselves looking back from the lake.

“Anyone who dares break the illusion will be forced to soak!” Then he grabbed me. Before I knew it I was being drenched underneath the water with Jess. When I stood up in the water, Jess looked at me. I felt his hand brushing my hair from my face, then his soft lips against my cheek. Slowly he reached behind my head and pulled me into him, kissing me gently. When we stopped, they were all looking at us.

“I guess that’s it. The leader broke the rules," Jess said then chuckled. Pretty soon they all had jumped in and started swimming, embracing freedom. "Welcome to the Revolution."

We swam until we all had to come in before we would get sick. Everything was fine, we thought, until we reached the ambulance. Inside, someone was crying. We found Laura and she’d hurt her leg really badly. She was so quiet abo8ut it, and no one had seen her in the dark. Laura had passed out from the sight of the blood.

It was Anna who was crying because she had sold all her leftover supplies to get food for everyone. Laura’s knee was bleeding really badly. Everyone was scared and didn’t know what to do. Were we going to have to go back to try and get some bandages?

Some of the boys took off their shirts and the girls brought their blankets in. We poured water on it and held it with the shirts and blankets. It seemed like we had helped. It was all we had. Anna said we would need more.

The thing that scared me most was her unconsciousness. She just lay there as if she were dead. We had been so happy and careless that we hadn’t expected anything this bad. Where was God now? Surely he hadn’t planned this; had he? We decided to go back and try to get supplies. It was all we could do. We couldn’t let her get infected. Laura woke up within the hour and was screaming in pain.

When we had reached the place she was silent. It was so dark outside and the sight of the place sent me shaking. This time I knew I was ready to throw up. Jess tried to comfort me, but I could see the fear in his eyes.

Anna looked back at us then and said, “Remember. No matter what happens we will always be together. You are my family, after-all, and nothing will tear us apart in truth.” She got out and ran to the gas station while Laura was lying half unconscious and really pale. I wondered why it was taking so long.

Someone said, “They are probably questioning her about needing bandages at so late at night and why she wasn’t at home with her children.”

“They could be arresting her,” another kid said. “Maybe they know she escaped the war.”

Nobody spoke after that. Even after it was said, the words echoed in the engine. Finally, the silence broke but not by Anna.

“Please get out of the ambulance! All passengers are under arrest for trespassing and violation of safety codes. Get out now and no one will get hurt!”

No one moved a muscle. We were all so scared. What now? We can’t die, I thought. I ran up and opened the doors. One girl cried out, “NO! SARAH!” Suddenly, streams of men came charging in with electric clubs. The men were screaming, “QUIET! NO ONE WILL GET HURT. COOPERATE OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES.”

They cuffed my friends’ hands and pulled them away from each other. They were told not to speak and were threatened with weapons. I spun and dodged and kicked and no one cuffed me. “JESS!” I screamed. “I’m sorry Jess! I’m so sorry. I didn’t want anyone to get hurt!”

I couldn’t say goodbye to Jess but I saw a longing in his eyes. A tear rolled down his cheek. Then I was caught off guard as a tall man lumbered towards me.

I couldn’t think of anything else to do, so I kicked the man right where it hurts most. Then I ran. I was running with the beat of the ocean crashing behind me.

The cars were zipping by as the men chased me. They could never catch me. I had life inside of me. I had visions of sunlight and wet sand, not dark streets and flashing lights. Not of screaming headlights and honking horns and angry voices yelling into your ears. Not machines, sending fear to the very insides of you. Beware of us! We are mad! That was their language. That was the language of the new foundation.

I was crazy with fear. I knew I couldn’t possibly outrun those men. I kept looking forward but all I could see was the highway, the endless road to oblivion. I ran faster. Maybe, just maybe, someone could help me. Who could? I mean, how could they?

Then a car came up to the side of the road and a man yelled out the window to “Get in!” I hurried up, and the men were so close behind me. I was fast enough to make it right as the stranger was forced to slam the door of a big cargo truck before he swerved to the right.

All the police cars were gathering around on us. We sped forward zooming as fast as we could, stalked by our predators like fresh meat. “Who are you? Little Girl?” He asked me. The police could keep pace it would be impossible for them to reach us in the moving traffic.”I’m Sarah,” I said. “I have to get to The Wasteland.”

Chapter Six

The Wasteland

“The Wasteland…” He asked, “Why would you want to go there?” I felt like I had so much to explain with so little time. “Because that’s where everyone is!” I yelled as we quickly swerved to the left and again to the right. We sped up fast and looked like all was clear, then the man slammed on his breaks. All the lanes were filled with police vehicles.

We looked up to realize the police cars had surrounded us and the men were getting out. I climbed on the back of the truck through the window and yelled in fear. I felt a jerk when suddenly everything was moving again. The police force had gotten back into their cars…but why? It took me a minute before I realized the truth. They were going to crush me.

I held on tight in the cargo area as the driver sped up again. There were only a few lanes that citizens were still using. When the driver, who I didn’t know, swerved too fast, I practically flew in the air and landed on top of another car.

The guy in the truck yelled to me. “What the heck are you doing?” I couldn’t listen this time though. It was the best for all of us. The traffic jammed again and I leaped onto another worker truck as it honked so loudly I closed my eyes.

The traffic would start again and all I knew was I had to jump. With the slight movement I braced myself; the angry driver sped in all directions trying to get me away. I stood level and then I leaped as hard as I could to the destination. I was flying, and then I was landing. I landed on the back of black truck this time. Then it sped up so fast that there was no possible way for me to jump off. It went like this a good long time until the traffic stopped and the man yelled out. “Do you want me to help you?”

I yelled that I was trying to get to The Wasteland. He told me to stay low and he would take me there. Finally he got out and helped me into a hiding place in the back of the truck.

The large sun was beautiful. Suddenly it took away my fear and feeling of danger. I had lived. I felt free again and momentary peace. I traveled with this man who called himself Leonard for so long. Maybe I thought I could trust him but when I got to The Wasteland I felt betrayed.

Sure enough, there had been a big sign.


There they stood. These were the people I wanted to get away from. I wanted to cry. There were guards and police waiting outside a large fence. Then doors closing were behind us as we drove along an ugly winding road.

“Welcome to the Wasteland,” my captor said as he smiled.

We were greeted by men in green uniforms, and taken in through a large door that opened and shut like a knife on the ground. I looked around at the hundreds of children in white uniforms. Some looked happy and were playing reality games with goggles and play weapons. Some were talking and eating out of packets. Then, I saw this “FUN” section where kids looked like they were being tortured. A kid was hanging by his feet with a mask over his head; another girl was sleeping in a plastic bubble surrounded by fire. It looked scary.

“What do we have here? Hmm. She looks bright enough. What is the trouble with her?”

“She tried to run away, numerous times, and I can’t watch her anymore. She also…” He whispered into the old guy’s ear and I thought he said something about mother. I screamed and then suddenly someone put something on my eyes, everything was funny and peaceful.

I woke up and I couldn’t see. They blinded me. I screamed and screamed until finally I heard a voice booming from somewhere, wall perhaps? “You are not blind, child, you are free and happy. Now come with me to a beautiful world…” The voice began lulling me into a dream, and a virtual world. There was nothing but blinding white lights covering the walls and the floor and the ceiling and every time I blinked out of the dream, I felt pain. I only felt pain.

Chapter Seven

The Prisoners

“We can see everything about you,” a voice said from the walls. “We can see all your memories, and we can make you live them as if they were your own. We can take you on a journey that will never ever end. You can live forever, or you will think you can when you join us. No, we’re not all trapped like you are. But you are a failure. You are garbage. You are lucky to be given such paradise in America’s New Foundation. You get happiness and paradise. It’s all you ever dreamed of and more. Don’t be mad, get glad! Don’t be sad, be happy!”

The booming voice came from everywhere and it wouldn’t go away. I wanted it to stop but I was afraid to show them that I was resisting. I sat there and never moved. The lights bore into me. I don’t know how long I was in there. It felt like a whole lifetime. I saw things, beautiful things and terrible things but none of them were real. I remember that beautiful final moment. It was the end. The program shut itself off. I was in blackness. I was told to stand up and walk forward.

“Touch me.” The wall said. “I was afraid, but I touched the wall and it opened to reveal a series of buttons and a window where I could see the people who were watching me. They didn’t look surprised, they didn’t look upset or anything…but they looked right at me or through me, I wasn’t sure. I only saw my own tears reflecting from their eyes.

The program was over so they stuck me in a metal room with four others. The others said they pretended they were blind. We quickly set to work on our escape plan. No matter how hard we deliberated, we couldn’t think of a way out.

“Are you sure about that? This one still has light in her eyes.”

“This one was dead a long time ago.” I wanted to scream. Then the guards shrugged and with mocking laughter untied our hands. We were led into some sort of metal cage. Once the wall we’d been pushed through started closing my heart was pounding. We figured no one could hear us now so we began to whisper what we thought we should do. The two boys thought we were done for. The other girl and I figured they were planning on drowning us.

It was pretty easy to tell this was true by the fact that there was water dripping from the walls and the giant pipe behind and in front of us. It was horrible because we realized that there was no way for us to escape. The pipeline in front of us, that we were sure led to the dirty river they were talking about, was barred over. The other pipe, we guessed, was where the water would pour out from. It was also barred off.

There was only one solution. One boy was very skinny and looked like he could fit, with some work, through bars in the exit pipe. We decided to try to fit him through. He didn’t want to go in of course and thought it was a bad idea, but it was the only way.

We thought that if somehow he could get to the other side, he might be able to open up the bars so we could escape. It was so dark that it was too hard to tell where anything was. The plan was so foolish at the time, but our insane desperation was what was driving us. It took a lot of twisting and turning and help before he got out.

He searched forever but could not find anything that would somehow assist in our escape.

“I’m going down,” he said.

He slid down the pipe, but all of the sudden we heard this big thump.

He yelled that the opening was sealed up and he was stuck inside. We screamed and yelled to him. Suddenly the pipe behind us began to stir. With a huge gush water blasted out it went straight through the cage into the sealed pipe where we knew our friend would drown.

“No!” I screamed.

I was not about to lose another friend. It seemed that every friend I ever made I was forced to lose. I just couldn’t. I began shaking the cage. I kept shaking it and shaking it. Screaming and crying all at once. My friend was going to die! We were going to die! It was all over. We all grabbed on to the top of the cage and helped each other’s feet up so that we were the highest possible.

The water filled up to the very top of the cage where we were, but then it stopped. The cage bars lifted and the water rushed us into the pipe. We fell down a long dark tunnel and eventually flew out into a giant river where we were rushed by a heavy current downstream. Water was pulling me under and pushing forward at an intense speed.

I was worried for my life just as much as I was worried about my new friends’ lives. The thought of once again losing my only companions was also just too much to bear. Bits of debris flowed everywhere. The river was disgustingly orange in color.

My arm got slashed by a sharp object, and then I was caught by something triangular in shape. It was a large pointy piece of rusted metal that was sunken underground. I had rushed right into it. As the river rushed me forward, I tried to get a hold of it, but it was too slippery. I fell directly on to the top point of the triangle and could feel it pierce into my stomach.

Chapter Eight

A Paradise

It was a terrible pain. As blood poured out, all I could think of was the horrible pain. Finally, I managed enough strength to pull myself off of the edge and hold myself in front of the object so I couldn’t be rushed away. I waited there, for what seemed like hours. I was waiting for the end.

My friends were already dead by now unless they had found some way to safety, and even if they had they would never find a way to me so in a sense they were dead no matter what.

All my hope seemed to be carried like the blood from my cut, by the current: far away. My tears began to pour out. Pitiful horrible sobs began to break free from my troubled mind. Thoughts of nothing but despair and sadness filled me. Dark shadows clouded my mind. I could almost feel the empty roads, the dirty streets, and the mindless people. I could almost sense the dying lives of all who rebelled. So many people tried to stop it. I felt the pain as the last light in me flickered out.

The rebel me vanished into a wild dream where I was walking for miles on a long desolate plain. People cried out to me in all directions. They were hungry people. They were starving people. People who were alone just like me.

Finally I came to a giant cliff. I began to climb it. With each step regaining more of myself. I began to feel lighter too. The air began to smell cleaner. As I turned to the sky I noticed it had no longer looked black, but grey and as I kept climbing it eventually turned to a clear crisp blue.

I was almost to the top. I focused so much on the cliff that when I finally got up to the top I was taken aghast by what I saw. There was a valley of beautiful flowers and green grass. There were great big trees with fruit I’d never seen. Everything beautiful that had ever been on earth was there. Feeling true happiness overflow, I smiled. It was a something that I had done so long ago.

But this was only the beginning. There, sitting in a patch of daisies, was my sister Molly. I tried to call to her but she didn’t seem to hear me. Finally she did hear me, and turned around. She was smiling and waving. I began walking towards her. But then, just as soon as I got to the valley all the beauty began to disappear.

I cried out to her and she cried out to me but it was no use. We both watched each other silently as she faded into nothing. The sky grew dark again and the horrible wasteland returned. I was so confused and full of disbelief. I wondered if I was really dead or in some sort of dream I could not wake up from.

Was I doomed to wait on this mountain for eternity? I decided I should try to climb down, but there was nothing down there. On every side of me was black dark space and I was left there alone and trapped. I lay down and dreamed again. I dreamed of how things could have been if none of this had ever happened.

I tried to understand. When I opened my eyes and saw that I was still on the cliff I felt true despair for the first time in my life. Then I jumped off into the space even despite my fear. It was emptiness and darkness.

I knew I would remain floating the dark space forever. But then I began to hear words. They were mocking words of others who could see me. They told me it was my stupidity that brought me to that place: it was my foolishness and failure to cooperate. I told them I wasn’t theirs to control. I told them that the war was over. Then I screamed, “I am your waste land!”

Red light filled the darkness, then colors. I felt myself regaining consciousness as faith and hope returned once more. The voices turned into nothingness. Finally…but then suddenly, everything was pain again. Pain! The program hadn’t ended. “No no!” I moaned…I woke up and saw people looking down from over me. Then I looked down and saw blood all over my stomach. At my side stood my friends and at my right stood my sister, Molly.


She looked so little with her hair slightly tangled and her face so childish, unlike mine. She didn’t speak to me. Her face turned slightly red.

Chapter Nine


“Oh, Sarah, why did you leave me!?”

Her face looked as though it had been holding back tears.

“I didn’t leave you. I was trapped.”

She just stared. “It’s too late, Sarah.” Then another girl put a hand on her shoulder. “I’m sorry, Sarah, you must still be in shock. I’m sorry to upset you.”

They took me to a place hidden by giant boulders; there they helped to bandage my wound.

“I waited for you for so long. I waited until it became dark. I thought you would come back,” Molly told me this as if she had wanted to say it for so long…but I felt like she didn’t want to, “I started crying and was confused. I decided my last hope was to get into the right truck, but I wasn’t sure which one. I finally saw the name that you had mentioned and tried to get in but this cruel man caught me.

He took me to The Wasteland. They tried to control me, to drown out my thoughts with rules and games. But something happened, and they let me go…I found these people here. They told me you would be coming here. They knew you were special, but not me. Not me. No, I was let go. You, you were able to survive!”

“I’m glad you’re all alive,” I said but I was shaking.

“Of course I’m alive. Don’t you understand that, Sarah?”

“I do, but…”

“But we have to keep being hopeful.”

Despite Molly’s face she seemed different. Eventually I believe she did understand.

“We were looking for you here before,” I said. “My friends were helping me find you.”

“And you saw the river?” Molly asked.

“Yeah but everyone told me it was a different place altogether.”

“So you gave up…”

“I didn’t give up, maybe you did.”

“No!” Molly screamed. “I never gave up on you, that’s what you’d want me to think isn’t it. You're a traitor!”

I didn’t know what to say. I found it; I knew it in my heart. This was the waste land. That huge building with fences and police men and children who never grew up, and they had fooled us all. They….they had won.

I looked down to see the shadow of a boy carrying canned food. I was so amazed at how these people were surviving, living, and eating under the watchful eye of the rest…and no one bothered them. There were people from every part of the world there.

The villagers were very friendly, it seemed. Later I couldn’t shake the thoughts of my dream away. Why did that dream seem so real, and this place so horrible and fake? These were the people in my dream in so many ways. I said a prayer…quietly to myself for the first time.

Chapter Ten

The Foundation Falls

I realized that I didn’t need to wander anymore. I was safe. I didn’t need to be afraid as I sat there with Molly and watched the great building that towered over, light up like some brilliant star lost in outer space. I watched the sun set over The Wasteland. I closed my eyes at last.

The Foundation crumbled at last, and I remember everything with bright clarity. I remember my mother’s pain as we hurried off in search of our destination. I remember my home on the ocean and my brother before he was taken. We were never meant to be soldiers or to fight a war like this. We were never meant to submit to those blinding lights, or to swim in that horrid river of waste.

Most of the villagers are gone, now. They went on their ways to new places and new adventures. Molly is gone; she went back to the Treatment Center after all of us were relocated to new places, new lives by God or some force unknown to us.

Where am I now? In some ways, I guess I’m still somewhere in all of those places. Really, I don’t know where I am. I wouldn’t want to think that I’m in another one of those imaginary dream lands…of course I can’t see any way out this time…there are no walls when I blink, no light and no darkness. Yet I climb on, and as I climb I tell my story to this empty space, to the galaxy that somehow must know my words in their language.

Am I awake or dreaming, alive or dead? Where is my destination? It’s because I chose to see the world for what it really is and was, that I move on through this space. It is because I took on the world, that I have seen it to its core. It’s because I am free that I am in control.

I chose to survive so that someday someone out there might see what I now see and know what I know now. If you only would look down for just a second and feel the earth moving beneath you.

Then, maybe you would finally realize that we’re all pieces of a bigger picture. Heed this warning and free yourself of the grand delusion; don’t lose your integrity. Don’t become a prisoner of paradise.

[Now is your choice, Molly]

The screen turned black. There was a door in the wall that opened, and she was face to face with God.

Dave Newton
May 10th, 2014, 12:20 AM
Since nobody has given you any critique yet I feel it is right you should get one. To be honest I did not read the whole thing. Normally when I start to read a short story it has to grip me immediately otherwise I don't go on. Firstly, I don't know what a jumpsuit is, unless it's something you put on before tossing yourself out of a plane, but this is not the case. Molly seems to be in an institution, of which kind is not immediately given away, which is fine. Furthermore, and more importantly, halfway through the story the reader finds out the narrator is a sibling of Molly (change of POV) but at the beginning we get this:

Molly watched as her mother sat down...(would the sibling/narrator say this?)

and then subsequently:

I had a good family: my sister Molly, my brother Bobby, and Mother who loved and took care of us.

You have changed the narrator. This is confusing for the reader and the main reason I didn't finish it.

Moreover, The characterization should be stronger, perhaps more description of the mother and Molly. Just some brushstrokes of how they feel and look but nothing too heavy to start. Let the reader fill in the blanks. I think if you get the "Point of View" narration sorted out and characterization you may have something. :)