A girl reminisces on her last night in the Hive...

An entry for the John Green competition


1. Verge

“That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt”

That’s what old Na used to say. She wasn’t a pessimist far from it, but she was a dreamer and her dreams were a thing to be said aloud.

I remember warm summer evenings out on the Verge, Na in her special chair telling stories to all us children. How I long for the blissful ignorance of childhood now, now when I am most alone and without hope. I miss her Na, I miss them all.

The Verge is a thing of the past too. They’re pushing us forever further in. The only true, fresh, real air anyone gets now is when they stand on their thin balconies, unable to move and run and be free and yet they are more liberated than they ever can be on the indoor greens.

I can feel pain gnawing at me now, tearing at my insides. It’s demanding to be felt, but I can’t let it. No, I won’t let it.

According to the Overs, a freeze will be upon us soon. According to them, they’re doing us a favour by keeping us indoors, giving us Vitamin D through pills, not sunshine.

I believe them, about the freeze. They wouldn’t tell a lie that could be so easily revealed as an untruth. No, I believe them about that alright. It’s the ‘doing us a favour’ part that I know can’t be true. Surely dying of the cold or of hunger or of fear is better than dying of boredom or Vitamin D deficiency or execution for rebellion.

Poor Na.

Only fifty thousand now, they say. Fifty thousand. Before we know it, everything’ll go pfffft and we’ll all be gone. Don’t they see it’s them doing this to us, it’s them killing us all of?

People are supposed to run in the grass, on dead leaves in the autumn, on the crisp snow of winter, not the metal floor of the Hive. I want to be OUTSIDE and I know I can be. Others have done it and so will I. It’s all arranged. I met with halfway men, we had whispered conversations in dark corners and it’s all  sorted.

By sunset tomorrow I will be a free women. Free as the birds in the trees.

Free as the souls in hell.

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