The Ultimate Talent Show

Set 300 years in the future, planet Earth is wrecked. With basic supplies long gone, things are getting desperate. The human race is taking drastic measures to preserve the once-powerful species. But when scientists create an emergency escape shuttle, things take a turn for the worse- if that's possible...


5. Sarah

The next few days were completely manic. After the interview, the specialist team behind the rocket launch disappeared, unable to  be contacted or found. People became almost crazy trying to find out how the could leave this sorry excuse for a planet. I was in the midst of it all. Living in London meant I saw all the action unfolding around me, especially at the Houses of Parliament. It was clear that the government knew more than they were letting on, and this angered the people even more. Riots spread across the country, gunfire, arson and vandalism attacks everywhere. You could barely leave the house without seeing 'We deserve to know' scrawled onto some wall, bus stop or building. Masked rioters took to the streets every nights, burning down the houses of innocent people. The prime minister had to retreat to a secret underground bunker to prevent being killed by the public. 

Deaths shot up on the news everyday, numbers rising with the anger. Reports of riot police killed, or hospitalised with bullet wounds and severe burns. The police didn't have adequate funding from the government, which lead to insufficient equipment- the same went for all the emergency services. 


The rage quieted down after a few weeks. As if a reward for this, a little more information leaked out onto the news. 

"The inevitable has happened. Essential sources have been used up, and the polluted remains of Earth have become uncontrollable. Your government has decided to relocate the population to a nearby planet. However, only those able to prove their worth will be able to lead this new life. Henceforth, this contest for the new Istart shall be known 'The Ultimate Talent Show'."

My mind reeled with this new concept. Prove our worth? How? What did that mean? The name sparked up many questions too; did I even have a talent? It had been called the 'ultimate' talent show. The end? But the end of what? There was only so much time I had on my hands to think about this, as was reminded to me by Mum. 

"George!" She yelled hoarsely up the stairs. "George! Can you come here?" With a sigh, I trudged down the stairs, each one creaking under my weight.

"I'm going to pick up the food supplies. Can you mind Sarah for a bit?" The bags under her eyes were nothing new to me- I knew  she was often up until the early hours of the morning caring for Sarah. 

"Sure, sure." I hesitated. "Can you-afford the food?" I may only have been a child in her eyes, but I knew money was tight. 

"Barely. But that's not the problem..." She glanced over at the closed living room door. We both understood. Mum shut the door behind her as she left for the food distributors. Dreading what I would see the other side of the door, I grudgingly opened it. 

She was as white as a sheet, with her dark, bruised eyelids shut in what seemed like a peaceful sleep. From experience, I knew it was anything but. A shiver ran down my spine, as I realised the breeze came from the window that had been smashed. Again. Shivering, I pulled the jumper round my shoulders tighter. I could barely imagine what Sarah felt like, lying on a cracked leather sofa under a greying, worn blanket. Pulling up a tottering chair next to her bedside, I twisted her hair round my finger.

After just a few minutes, a slight moan escaped her lips. I picked up her hand in my own, tubing it soothingly. Again she moaned, and turned over slightly. 

"It's ok, Sarah. It's ok." In a couple of seconds, she would be awake and disorientated. I prepared for what was about to happen. 

"No. No!" She cried out, eyes still firmly shut. Knowing I was incapable of doing anything, I sat there clasping her brittle hand. Suddenly, her eyes shot open. She sat up, beads of sweat running down her face. 

"It's all right, Sarah. I'm here. It's ok." I stroked her head, calming her down. The deep blue eyes of hers stared in fear at me. Slowly she relaxed in my arms. "That's it. Just lie back. Have some water." I reached for the glass on the table. It was a dark, murky brown colour, but it was better than nothing, which was the alternative. Pressing it against her lips, Sarah took a few sips. "Close your eyes. It's ok. Your big brother will look after you." My fingers ran through her long blond hair. Reluctantly, she shut her eyes again. It was a matter of seconds before she was asleep again. "It's ok." I whispered. I hated lying to her.

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