There aren’t that many female heroes out there and I know it sounds crazy to a society run by men. All of those women, who try to rise above them, usually end up dead and are shown to us as a warning. Girls are just puppets. Not one of us will ever be more.
Life in Fortwood is silent. I heard it used to be full of noise and excitement. When I try to get more information about the old Fortwood, I always seem to lose my source. People disappear around here all the time and it isn’t a big deal. One death means one less.
I fixed my hair really nice today. We’re supposed to be meeting the president today. I highly doubt that it would really be him. He doesn’t really reveal himself to our land. He has a whole world to run, why should he care about a little town in Fortwood? Still the same I do my hair. If it were up to me, I would wear my school uniform or my Fortwood uniform. I would go butt naked or wear pajamas, because they are the only other clothes not issued by the government.
There is something fishy about how things are run here. We are all locked in with an invisible gate that kills anyone who touches it. We are forced to wear uniforms and eat certain types of food that have names only the government knows of and there is always a guard watching your every move. Not only that, but Fortwood is silent except for the train. There is no sound at all. There is defiantly something wrong here.
I rub my birthmark and I feel a little better. My family all has the same mark. When I acknowledge the fact that I have it I fell like everything is going to be alright. My mom died when I was only seven. She was trying to find me in a crowd of at least a thousand or more people, all from our town. I wandered off trying to see…Well I actually don’t remember what I was looking for, probably something that made noise. All I remember seeing was my mom being beaten to death by two guards. I never heard her cries and no one seemed to notice or even care.
I was left to take care of my sister who was only three at the time. My father disappeared when I was Jessa’s age. From then on, I knew there had to be a change, but I didn’t know what to do. All I could do was think, and not say a word. Someone is always watching you.
I grabbed my stylus and put it behind my ear. I fixed Jessa’s hair pin and walked out the door. We walked to school in silence, that’s until Darren came along.
“Hey Bratty! What’s up!?” Darren called and put his arm around me.
“How many times do I have to tell you her name’s Brittany not Bratty!” Jessa yelled to Darren.
“Oh shut it you little squirt,” Darren called back to Jessa who was on the other side of me.
After that we walked in silence. Not even the whistle of the wind was audible. Darren held my hand but I pulled away. There was no reason for it. I am not allowed to touch another man. I was married. Yeah, married at age sixteen to a guy that hates my guts. That’s arranged marriage for you! The government picks and you’re together for life. No ifs, ands, or buts unless you want to die, then go ahead, complain away.
Many times I wanted to complain. I wanted to go against these people and their cruel ways but if I did, I leave Jessa alone and unprotected. Sure she would have Darren, but he has his own issues, a poor family, a sick mother, ten siblings, and twins on the way. That’s one good thing about my “husband,” we will never have kids together. I don’t think I would want to have kids, not if they have to grow up in this society.
We make it to school and I say goodbye to my sister and Darren. I take my seat in class. Dominick, my spouse, is ten seats away from my and is staring me down. I just look forward and listen to Mrs. French.
“Now, I know you are all excited for today’s visitor!”
No one says a word or shows one bit of enthusiasm. It’s all a ploy.
“But first we do have a lesson in history, now, if you would turn on your tables and scroll down to pariff twenty.”
I was told once that pariffs used to be called pages and that there was this thing called paper and a process called printing where they would place words on the paper and create an item called a book. Mrs. French also told us that books were outlawed in 3899 BN. (BN stands for Before New. They used to call it 3899 AC, After Christ, but that name is never to be spoken of and it hasn’t been for 200 years after they changed the name. Yes, we are in the year 200 AN.)