Scarlet is a girl growing up in a time when women are property. When her lifetime friend, Kizzy, is killed, she decides she has to do something about it.


1. Kizzy


                Kizzy turned her head slightly upward to lock eyes with me, as we scrubbed the marble floors on our hands and knees. There were twenty other girls like us along the main room, scrubbing the dirty floors covered in dirt, blood, wine, and an assortment of other stains we didn’t want to know. We all looked the same: tight, long dresses, white aprons, and smudged faces aligned with bruises.  It was a sad state for girls in the kingdom. When their sons were raised to twelve by their mothers, they are taken away and return at age 18 to bring their mothers pain.  To scrub floors, wash dishes, and other tasks I dare not speak of.


                Cyril walked through the somewhat clean floors, tracking mud on our hard work. It made me hate his shiny boots and high attire. He turned back to me and Kizzy, pouting slightly and looking on us with pity. Walking to Kizzy, he kneeled down, which was something he rarely did.


                “Pardon me, mistress,” Cyril said, yet Kizzy ignored him and continued to scrub the floors. She paused only t kiss his boot as a plea for mercy to not me kicked. “I didn’t mean to disrupt your work.” Cyril persisted on, making Kizzy to sigh and force a smile.


                “It is no bother my lord,” Kizzy whispered, looking at her dirty hands. “It is an honor for you to pass.” I hated that phrase, yet unless you wished to be brutally punished, your remembered your training and said so. Newborn girls were taken from their mothers and raised by men and women sworn in by the High Counsel to do their duty. There, girls were taught what to say, how to work, and how to stay alive.


                “It is my pleasure,” Cyril said, lifting Kizzy’s chin so that his brown eyes could meet her brilliant green. I clenched my teeth, putting my anger into the sponge so that I could accomplish cleaning the floor. An idea popped into my head.


                “I’m sorry sir,” I said quickly, yet falsely, apologized as I spilled the bucket onto Cyril’s boots. “I’m so clumsy.” Cyril paid no mind, placing one foot on Kizzy’s leg, so that she used her apron to dry one and then the other. It seemed my plan did not work.


                “Indeed you are,” Cyril said bluntly, glancing at me with disgust. Yet, his glance soon turned into a stare, and it grew rather awkward. “You are also the most beautiful creature I have ever seen.” He turned away from Kizzy and walked to my side, pulling me to my feet. He stared into my blue eyes, then admired my waist and long curling red hair, making me spin as if he wanted me to put on a show. This certainly got the other girl in the room to stop what they were doing to look at Cyril with hatred. Quickly, he pulled me close and wrapped his arm around my waist.


                “Get your hands off her,” Kizzy yelled, standing,  making the other girls gasp. It was forbidden for her to do such. Cyril pushed me onto the floor harshly, so that I landed into a puddle of muddy water. He walked forward to Kizzy who stood strong.


                “You shall regret doing that,” he whispered in Kizzy’s ear, then turned to the other girls in the room. “It seems we have another monster for the Choice! Congratulations to Kizzy!” He laughed slightly, taking the revolver that sat at his waist out of the pocket and placing it to Kizzy’s head. “Walk forward,” Cyril commanded, and Kizzy did so, keeping a straight face the entire time. “We shall meet again, Scarlet.”   I stood forward, opening my mouth to scream, yet another girl stood, covering my mouth with her hands.


                Later that night, I couldn’t sleep as the gun shot seven bullets so that they echoed into the night, as they always did. Instead, I cried until dawn broke, hating myself for being so foolish… for not yelling at Cyril the first time. 

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