Trapped

I love The Hunger Games, and books set in the future, so I decided to try something out in that sort of area.

It's about a girl (called Kate), who has lived all her life inside one building. Years ago, an unknown disease spread throughout Britain, and so hundreds of survivors have been hiding in 'Safe Colonies'. This is the story of a girl desperate for freedom.

Sorry if it's terrible-it's my first movella!

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10. The Remembrance Ball

Rule 9: Everyone must attend the Annual Remembrance Ball, held to commermorate those who died from the Disease.

"Tell the truth, boy!"

I flinched from the snarling voice, even though it wasn't directed at me. Alec, however, just stared the warden in the eyes defiantly. "I am," he said. The second warden, face full of rage, took two long strides towards Alec, brought a hand up and slapped him in the face. Hard. I gasped before I could stop myself. The wardens and Alec looked around the room, surprised. Please don't look in the cupboard, please, I thought desperately. One of the guards frowned and started to search the room, muttering about being watched.

"Hiding an accomplice, are we?" The other guard taunted Alec, a cruel smile sliding onto his ugly, beaten face. Alec just glared, his cheek smarting. Then he looked over to the cupboard and saw my eye peeking through the keyhole. His blue eyes widened in shock, then realisation. But the warden was getting closer; I could now distinctly see his ugly squashed nose and the lumpy scar that ran across his cheek. His hand reached for the door knob, and I shoved my fist in my mouth to stifle the scream rising up my throat-

"Wait!" The hand paused, inches from the handle. The warden turned to look at Alec suspiciously, but he walked a couple of steps away from the cupboard. I breathed a sigh of relief.

"Is there something you'd like to tell us?" he growled. Alec gave one last, anxious glance in my direction, then turned to the warden, arms crossed defensively.

"I'll tell you the truth, but not here. And on one condition."

"In case you haven't noticed, we make the rules round here, not you," the warden replied sarcastically. Alec ignored him and ploughed on, "I want to go to the Remembrance Ball."

"And why on earth would we let you go?" the other warden laughed. But I was listening closely. This wasn't just some stupid condition, it was a message for me - I was sure of it.

"My dad used to take me every year. But then he died..." Alec trailed off in a sad voice that I'm not sure was entirely fake. I watched the wardens carefully for their reaction. To my surprise, the warden with the beaten face looked sympathetic.

"I 'spose it couldn't hurt.." he muttered. The other warden looked skeptical, but after a long moment agreed.

Alec stared meaningfully at the cupboard. "Good. 8pm tonight, the Remembrance Ball." I nodded, then blushed. Obviously Alec couldn't see me.  The wardens gave him puzzled, but thankfully not suspicious looks, then forced him roughly out the door.

When I was sure they had left, I opened the door and straightened up. I brushed a spider off my shoulder, then strode out purposefully. I had a ball to go to.

                                                                              ***

I stood alone in the corner of the Hall. The Remembrance Ball had just begun, yet already it was packed with smiling people, chatting excitedly in the large, brightly lit Hall. I was standing on the raised seating at the edge of the Hall; from here I had a clear view of everyone milling around on the dance floor in the middle, talking and laughing as though this was the most fun event in the world. Which for them, it was. I pulled nervously at my hair -forced into a high bun, courtesy of mother- as I watched the citizens of the SaBu sipping drinks and dancing along to the live orchestra. Everyone was dressed up: women were in beautiful, flowing dresses; men wore sharp cut suits. Unfortunately, everyone included me. I looked down at my floor-length green dress that had been my mother's. It was plain and simple (and a little frayed), but mum said it looked better on me than it had ever looked on her. Apparently it complimented my black hair. Every year Max and I had been coaxed into wearing our smartest outfits just for this Ball. However, this year my mother had gone one step further -she had put make-up on me. I protested to no avail, but mum expertly applied lipstick, eyeliner and mascara whilst I fidgeted, squirmed and moaned. When she finished, I could hardly recognise myself in our cracked mirror.

"Alright, love?" A gruff voice jolted me back into the Hall. It belonged to one of our neighbours, Bert I think his name was, who now eyed me concernedly.

"Yeah, I'm just waiting for...someone," I replied vaguely. Bert shrugged and walked off. Just as Bert left, I caught a glimpse of Alec being shoved through a side door by two wardens dressed in black. I sidled slowly towards them, waiting to make my move.

"Do you think we could get a drink?" the woman warden was saying to her partner. They both glanced at Alec, who was now sitting in a chair, trying to look innocent.

"Well he can't exactly run away...not with wardens at every door." They discussed quietly for a few minutes, then with one last warning look at Alec, they headed off for the drinks table. Without hesitating, I slid into the seat beside Alec.

"Hey," I smiled. He jumped and then automatically smiled back, his eyes crinkling at the corners.

"You got my message then?"

"It was kinda hard to miss," I swung my feet beneath my chair, suddenly feeling selfconscious in my dress. Alec looked at me properly then, and did a double-take. He blinked, then said casually, "Nice dress."

I blushed, my heart racing. "It was my mum's." I grimaced. He started to say something back, but I interrupted, remembering just how many questions I had. I guess Alecs' compliment had distracted me.

"Why did you get put in the detention room? Do they know what our room's for? How did you even get caught?" The questions tumbled out my mouth without permission.

"Woah one at a time!" Alec laughed. I just looked at him expectantly. He sighed; ran a hand through his hair. "Two days ago I went to the office-just to check up on everything you know? Then out of nowhere, these two thugs appeared and ranted on about being out after curfew. One of them asked what I was doing and I wouldn't tell them, so they decided I needed a bit of discipline. Somehow they found out about the office but don't worry, I sorted it out." Alec smiled, but it didn't hide the tiredness in his eyes.

I looked down at my hands, relieved that the true purpose of the office hadn't been discovered. Yet, how long was he going to be in there for? I glanced at Alec, who answered my unasked question.

"They can't keep me in the detention room for long. I'll be out by Saturday." He smiled reassuringly, then frowned. "But Kate, I need to ask you a favour,"

I nodded, thinking that three days wasn't too bad. Then I realised what he was about to ask me. "You want me to check the signal everyday, don't you?" I said increduously. Alec nodded apologetically. "But-but- you can't expect-I don't know what to do!" I stuttered. I could not believe what he was asking.

"Please Kate," he whispered, looking my right in the eyes. "I wouldn't ask, but it's our only way out of here," Alec pleaded. I clenched my teeth, wanting to say no, but with those eyes gazing at me...

I grudgingly agreed. No sooner had I done so, the wardens appeared less than 20 metres away. Alec swore. Suddenly, he grabbed my hands and pulled me closer.

"You know what to do, yeah? You've seen me do it so many times," he said quickly, eyes hard with intent. I nodded, slightly startled, and he relaxed. "Thank you so much...Be careful, Kate." A lock of hair fell into his eyes, but he didn't move to brush it away.

"And you," I whispered. Our faces were inches apart, our noses almost touching. Alec raised a hand to cup my cheek, and my breath caught in my throat.

Then abruptly, he left, and all I could do was watch as the wardens shoved him roughly out the door. I didn't even blink as Alec disappeared into the night.

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