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Marked

by PeijiRestoration


“LF” read the tattoo on Molly’s left wrist. She had suspected for years that she’d be marked “LF”, so when the day finally came, she wasn’t surprised in the slightest. While nobody really wanted that marking, some, like Molly, just accepted it and moved on. But what Molly couldn’t accept was the marking on her right wrist, “WF”. Work Forbidden. She couldn’t stand the fact that she, of all people, was deemed unfit for work. Typically, the people that get “WF” are those who physically and mentally cannot perform any form of work, which was extremely rare.There was always some job available. If you were just physically challenged, you would have the mark “PWF”, meaning “Physical Work Forbidden”. Or if you could only do physical work, you’d have “PWD”, “Physical Work Destined”. Yet Molly simply had “WF”. This would be no issue at all if she had been deemed “LP” or “LD”, but no. She was “LF”. Love Forbidden. So what could she do with her life? If she wasn’t allowed to work, or get married and raise a family, what could she do? Nothing but waste away, she thought.

She knew Jenna wouldn’t end up like her. Perfect Miss Jenna was on her way to becoming a wife and mother. Of course she nailed the love exam, and left with resounding “LD”, Love Destined. Obviously someone like her wouldn’t settle for “LP”, Love Permitted. No, she made sure all the judges adored her, and immediately planned out her life for her. She would be marrying the rich Dr. Rhodes, and producing three kids as soon as possible, as per the usual policy. This planning made it unnecessary for her to even take the work exam, but she still made sure she had a “WP”, Work Permitted, even though she’d never use it.

But, at least Molly knew she wasn’t the one worst off. Poor Scarlet had been marked “LF” within five minutes of the love exam after one the judges received word from an anonymous source that she had, as they called it, “homosexual tendencies” which obviously meant she didn’t fit their ideal of marriage and reproduction. Luckily though, she aced her work exam, so she at least had something to do. That is, if she wasn’t sent off. Her only hope was to be spectacular at her job, so she would be irreplaceable. Then again, the report the judges received was from her high school years, and it was only light flirting, so she wouldn’t be sent away, right? She could escape that, right? 

Most people wouldn’t worry about this, but it was the only thing Molly could do. People would be telling her to forget it, and move on with her life, but what life did she have to move on with? What could she do? Just sit and worry? No, she knew there had to be something else. She could volunteer, she thought. But then again, people were only allowed to volunteer for the government, so wouldn’t she just be helping the people that ruined her life? And would they even allow her to? She was “WF” after all. So she had to do something else. But then again, she didn’t have the money to really do anything except buy food and pay rent, since the compensation she received was so miniscule. So, she decided, she would just try to live day by day. That is, if she wasn’t taken. Would she be? They wouldn’t mark her “WF” without good reason, right? It made sense that she was “LF”, but “WF”? That was inexplicable. Unless of course, there was something wrong with her, and she didn’t realize it. In that case, maybe they would come for her after all. What would happen to her if they did? This thought was cut off by a sharp knock on the door, but she knew that her question was about to be answered.


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237 Reviews


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Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:25 am
Radrook wrote a review...



Thanks for sharing this sci fi story about a society that is regimented and exceedingly in control of citizen life. Such circumstances are inherently dramatic because they create the conflict between freedom of human choice vs what a government demands. It inevitably stirs up feelings of discontent in those who feel that they are somehow being short-changed.

This is the focus of the story. Molly feels abused by the system. She also feels that the system’s criteria is unjust via favoritism as her reference to Jenna reveals. I like the way that the story leaves the reader wondering what happens next. That is one sign of a good writer who realizes the importance of arousing curiosity in the reader so they he can’t resist going for the next chapter. I also like the abbreviation system used to classify the citizens and how you very skillfully work in into the narrative.

Suggestion:

As a reader I wanted to know some details concerning the tests or exams given to classify the citizens. Describing these test criteria would greatly enhance the story’s believability. You see, when we as writers propose that a government is following a policy that is detrimental to a segment of the population, the reader automatically begins to evaluate the feasibility of carrying out such a political policy without provoking a mass opposition from citizens who will be affected.

So when we explain the tests, we are actually providing the reader with a reason why the system took hold and wasn’t shot down immediately by those who would feel threatened. If the tests are described as being flagrantly unjust, then explaining how such a system was established despite staunch opposition will need to be explained,. Or perhaps explain why such an unjust system did not arouse opposition.






Thanks! I'll definitely try and add in more details about the system if I write a follow-up!



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Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:56 am
LadyOkra says...



It seems my comment got submitted twice. Sorry for the inconvenience! :)






No problem! :)



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Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:56 am
LadyOkra wrote a review...



I really liked it!

The setting is really good. There's a good balance between things that are explained and those that are left unexplained. Some sentences here are and there could be reconstructed to add a little more effect. For example:

"There was always some job for someone" could be rewritten as: "There's always a job for everyone" or "Everyone has some job that they can do!"

Good job. Keep writing!






Thank you!



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Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:51 pm
Lake wrote a review...



Wow! I love this, I hope this becomes a novel because it's so amazing. I love ow you will explain what the markings mean. But I think maybe you should fix the one paragraph. Maybe make it into more paragraphs when you enter a new subject. Anyway, I love how you explain how this girl got her markings as well. But maybe you should explain who this girl is, instead of making us guess she's a girl, and maybe introduce the audience to her, so we understand her concern with her markings? Otherwise, good job!:)






Thank you!



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Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:23 pm
HollyM64 wrote a review...



For a short, this really isn't half bad! And that's as someone who doesn't really read dystopian or political. The structure could have been a little better, but the idea is interesting and the execution was pretty good. It would be pretty cool if you wrote a follow-up, but the ending fits really well without one. Overall, this is a pretty good short :)






Thanks!




Half the work that is done in this world is to make things appear what they are not.
— Elias Root Beadle