L.O.G.I.C.

Reality is perfect.

The Citadel is the ideal world. With the five values being soul way of life, supplied to the people through compulsory vaccination and then the ultimate procedure, society runs smoothly and efficiently. The government claim it is the way forward and in this perfect, logical society everyone agrees. That's only logical. On the eve of her sixteenth bithday, Avilon awaits the ultimate procedure, but she's different and she knows it. Soon she discovers why she is set apart from others and what she alone must do to overcome this sinister world.
/for the hidden power competition :) any constructive criticism is welcome please!/

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“Avilon!”

“Avilon come here now!”

Familiar voices bounce into my ears, but I hardly hear them. He didn’t make it. I made it through and left him there.

Coward!

But I didn’t know he couldn’t come through. If I’d known I would have …

“Avilon!” Suddenly I break out of my guilt laced thoughts as footsteps pound rhythmically on the hall floor. They advance on my closed bedroom door.

Jumping up, I see that I must have come careering through the mirror in my wardrobe and the glass splinters now litter the floor. Without a second thought, I slam the door, concealing the broken mirror, and throw a blanket over the largest shards.

The footsteps have almost arrived.

I beat them to my door, opening it a crack and slipping agilely through before they can catch a glimpse of what lies inside. Two very different expressions stare at me. My father observes me with a mixture of suspicion and relief, his eyes narrowed in a slightly accusative manner. However, my mother’s face is brimming with only whole-hearted concern.

“Where have you been?” the logical questions instantly tumble from my mother’s mouth – instinct taking control. She demands, “How did the mirror break?”

 What? How could she know about the mirror in my bedroom?

 Then I recall how I broke the hall mirror only minutes ago. I’m getting destructive tendencies.

For moments all plausible excuses scatter in my head and I grope desperately for something to say.

“I tripped into it mother,” I say confidently as I can, but internally I groan at the improbability of my reason. Who trips into a mirror? I must, I guess, as my mother’s face softens. I’m supposed to be candid. However, from the abrupt upwards tilt of my father’s chin, I know my tale is a struggle to trust.

My mother reaches out to take my hands while asking, “did you hurt yoursel… Oh my goodness!” She gasps dramatically. I wrench my hands fiercely from her grip, because her touch seems to ignite a ruthless burning sensation on my hands. Shocked, I examine my hands to see that large, scarlet gashes cross my knuckles. When did those appear?

“Come, we need to treat those,” my father speaks for the first time and his voice is cool and steady. He catches my elbow in a firm grip and begins marching me towards the kitchen – analytical questions are being fired at me the whole time.

When we pass it, I steel a glimpse of the mirror in the hall. There’s nothing but a gaping, empty frame, the glass having already been cleared – hazards removed. No secret door or portal has been uncovered, only an extremely solid looking wall. Maybe this is all a fanciful dream. Or have I woken up yet?

We enter the kitchen and I am escorted firmly to the table, where a medical box is then placed. On opening it, my parents instantly discuss the appropriate method of treating my petty wounds. They approach it like they would with a problem of any magnitude: logically, seriously, intelligently, calmly and as a team. Two heads are better than one. Especially two perfected heads.

*****

Later that night, when the light snoring of my slumbering family can be heard through the thin walls that separate our rooms, I slip back into my day clothing. As I do this, I recall how the green eyed boy did not wear the obligatory overalls distributed to ever member of the Citadel. The public are given this unpretentious attire to signify equality and practicality. However, there is some separation of classes, as the colour of your overalls varies depending on your rank in society. My overalls are navy blue due to the respectable position of my parents. This division of the community, the government claim, is not harsh or put in place to shame people; its purpose is to encourage people to achieve and advance towards the top of society. Everyone has to wear them, exception of the highest government officials.

So how could the boy not wear them? Was he a government official? I somehow doubt that.

Noticing this causes me to think deeper. I forcefully push aside the thoughts of guilt that threaten to overwhelm me and attempt to think logically for once in my life. The green eyed boy had lacked that articulate, staid and straightforward manner that all other boys his age I had ever met possessed. Strangely, he had been irritatingly witty, enigmatic and insufferably arrogant; all traits that are eradicated by L.O.G.I.C. unless they are needed for practical use.  

The more I consider the faults of what I experienced (not even starting on the fact that I travelled through a mirror!), the more incontrovertible it becomes that the boy may have been telling the truth. There may be a habitable world outside the Citadel.

Now zipping up my overalls, I quietly pad across to the door of my box room on careful feet. Cautiously I push it open and peer out. Once satisfied that my parent’s door is firmly closed, I remove my worn, but steadfast, boots for beneath my bed and hastily begin to pull them on. I don’t usually rush, but tonight I’m desperate for some fresh air. Some space to think.

As I open the small window of my bedroom, the cool night air slips in and I savour it. All temperatures in the Citadel are artificial; we live in a man-made world and it’s the only world we’ve ever known. But, they say that decades ago – when people lived in the real world – the air moved of its own accord and water fell from the sky. What I would do to see such phenomena’s!

Maybe I can – after what I’ve seen today.

“Hmff,” I release a deep breath. The idea is practically mind blowing. I desperately need to clear my head.

With the window open, I grab the ledge, which is about eye height, and hoist myself up. Then, I slither through the narrow frame and land delicately on the flat roof outside. We live in on the fourth floor of our housing block, so I’m extremely grateful the adjoining block only has three floors. Once steadily on my feet, I skirt around the edge of the roof, conscious that the centre makes more noise.

It’s suitably dark outside, but the faux moon and stars provide some light. I suppose, we could have light all the time, however those who created the Citadel in the first place must have liked the cycle of night and day, as they included it in this world. I’m glad they did.

On reaching the edge of the roof, I scan the street below. Not a single soul moves throughout the pristine blocks of housing. I look across the gap between the block I stand on and the opposite block. It’s no more than 10 metres across. Both of their roofs are level and connected by one of the many metal pipes that form a network between buildings, distributing water or electricity. However, that is not all they are good for.

Stealing my nerve, I place my left foot steadfastly on the cold metal of the pipe and slowly begin to shift my weight. I’ve done this countless times before, but it never fails to spring my heart into and uneasy rhythm. I would most probably die if I fell. As my second foot leaves the safety of the building, I bend my knees and bounce slightly - testing the surface. Satisfied, I fix my gaze on the destination. Then I run. I don’t look down or hesitate, trusting years of practise and strength; I leap out along the pipe. Little sound erupts from my light footfalls. With arms pumping like pistons and feet bounding towards safety, my heart flutters in my chest. Suddenly, my feet connect with the destination and nimbly hop in elation. Now standing on the opposite roof, I look back at the narrow pipe and smile triumphantly. I don’t want to boast, but I bet no one else does that every night.

After navigating my way down to ground level (using several other pipes and a few window ledges), I push my strained legs into a brisk run. My feet pound a steady tempo on the manufactured ground and soon the sound of my laboured breathing joins the beat. Air moves in and out of my hungry lungs and I feel a significant weight lift from my shoulders. Swiftly, I pass buildings and streets, all alike in their simple, repetitive layout. Casting my gaze over the tedious roof tops, I realise that no sentimental attachment kindles inside me at the sight. I detect only the longing for something more – change?

*****

When I arrive home, I enter my fourth floor family housing and peel off my overalls that are now damp with perspiration. Sweat still moistens my brow as I slump down onto my bed, felling grimy but far too tired to shower.

 I look at my clock just in time to see tomorrow become today. The day I was born sixteen years ago – also the day of my final procedure. I should be plagued by nerves, but sleep soon smothers me like a thick blanket.

Before slipping away, I think:

Happy birthday Avilon

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