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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Morning arrives with brutal swiftness. The events of yesterday pulse all too brightly in my mind.

 I travelled through a mirror! Not once, but twice! And I left him behind…

Guilt floods me again, harsh and unforgiving, paralyzing me with the abysmal memory of my self-centred actions. I deserted him.

I left him to die!

There, I have admitted it: the possibility that he is most probably dead. I moan and curl into a ball beneath the blankets, hands clutching my messy hair, hoping to protect myself from the constant onslaught of remorse. Things like that don’t happen in the Citadel.

Then, another weighty memory returns to me and a single word screams inside my aching head: Termination. My parent’s covert conversation of yesterday evening revolved around that one meaningful word. I begin to tremble, though it’s not cold, and the guilt is swallowed up by a yawning, empty abyss. Realisation hits me like an infinitely tall, solid wall, stopping my mind from thinking anything other than: My life could end today.

Self-centred again, Avilon – honestly?

My mother only cried – shed a few useless tears before accepting my fate. Will she speak to me normally this morning and send me off to the bus with a smile on her perfect face? Will my father pat my head as usual before departing for work? Will they miss me if I do not return?

Sadly, I realise, that they will not – not in the long term.

Enough of the self-pity already. Think of how this will relieve them.

If they wish me luck I will surely laugh.

Slithering from beneath the blanket I wonder why I even feel the need to move. I am just moving closer to possible death. Maybe it’s inevitable – like destiny – I feel compelled to advance, or maybe I ‘m just out of ideas.

Robotically I leave the room and enter the small bathroom across the hall. Artificial, yellow light washes over the white tiled walls and reflects off the pristine self-cleaning surfaces. Everything is so bright and spotless, but this only causes the space to appear even more mundane.

I watch my slender-fingered hands fiddle tirelessly with the lock, seeming to act separately from my mind, before the metal door is secured. Then I pull my night clothing from my lanky frame and turn on the shower with a few taps on the consol screen.

An obnoxiously loud beep sounds from the consol informing me that I should enter the shower. After obediently doing so, another beep notifies me that the translucent shower screen is now closing. As I mutely watch it slide smoothly across, devouring the exit with ease, I wait for the usual overpowering feelings of dread and imprisonment to crowd my system. But I feel nothing at all.

Is this what giving up is like? Weird – I’m empty, void of all emotion. That’s not even remotely as good great as its sounds. Almost as though I’m already dead.

God…I really need to get a grip! I can do something – I must do something. I will not give up.

A final monotonous beep alerts me that the water will shortly begin to cascade down over my head and, as promised, I soon feel the scolding heat of the fat droplets that pummel the crown of my head. In an instant I’m soaked. Water races in rivers down my brown skin, making it look shiny and supple instead of dull. I don’t usually bother myself about such frivolous things, but sometimes I permit myself to dream of life as a different person: a prettier face; a curvier form; a smarter mind; a stronger voice. Doing that now I can’t help but wonder who I’d be with any one of those major improvements. Would I have friends or multiple achievements? Would I still die today?

I’m not sure.

After washing my tangled hair and wrestling a brush through it, I step back into my room and don a fresh set of overalls. The clock reads 7.30, prompting me to march swiftly down the corridor towards the kitchen. I stride in with a self-righteous manner, and observe my families’ reaction closely. However they do not appear to be effected by my arrival. Robin is practically inhaling his morning meal, as usual, but I assume he knows nothing of my fate anyways, so I move on.

I scrutinise my parents as they move efficiently around the room, cleaning and preparing. They don’t seem devastated or heartbroken… they’re not even tense. I thought one of the values was to be candid, or is something in their perfected brains telling them it’s better if I don’t know? A fleeting, but sweet, smile passes between them as they work, causing a lump to grow in my throat. Well, my emotions have returned. 

With a questioning glance from my mother, I abruptly realise that I must have been standing frozen in the doorway for quite some time. Talk about illogical.

Quickly, but smoothly, I cross the space to the square table and slide into a cold, unforgiving chair. Still keeping my appraising gaze on my parents, I begin to eat my food. Honestly, I surprised at myself, with all this lying, eavesdropping, spying, sneaking around. I’m getting good. Too good.

Ultimately, there are no tearful good byes or meaningful speeches as my brother and I leave the house. My parents smile pleasantly and I find myself loathing every inch of them. How can they be so contained and unfeeling? Don’t they love me?

My mother wishes my luck and I attempt a laugh (as promised), but all I can muster is a harsh, rueful cackle, which gains a pained look from both parents and a crooked smile from Robin. He had his ultimate procedure only two years ago and there fore assures me it’s nothing to worry about. But I think I may stand to correct him on that one.

*****

We exit through the front and only door – not the window as I prefer – and opt for the stairs rather than the elevator. It’s been malfunctioning for quite some time, so the possibility of getting stuck between floors in an awkwardly small box with semi-familiar people, is scarily high. The government haven’t managed to remodel everything yet, giving higher ranked living areas priority, therefore some things are not finished.

Robin strides down the stairs ahead of me, absolutely oblivious to our parents’ devastating betrayal. I can’t seem to push them from my mind. My feet feel so heavy and the stairs appear to tip before my very eyes.

If they don’t care then I should leave – run for my life. That’s sounds extremely attractive in my head, but when it comes down to it, there is nowhere to go. I’d be found and, having broke every single value, terminated without question.  I’m stuck on a one-way track.

The stairs are almost as bad as the elevator; in such a state of disrepair that they crumble beneath my shoes, making the journey down them interesting to say the least. Robin navigates them with ease, walking in the controlled uniform manner of all those over sixteen. I remember when he used to bound precariously down them as a child, me following on shorter, less daring legs, and anyone we passed would glare at us disapprovingly or until we slowed to a walk.

Desperate for some of that childish freedom from my brother I skip ahead, hoping to provoke a reaction as I take the stairs three at a time. However, when I glance back, I see to my utter disappointment that a frown sculpts his handsome face. My heart sinks even deeper. I’m as alone as ever.

And the step is not where it’s supposed to be.

Terribly misjudging my footing, I miss the crumbling surface and momentum sends me hurtling forward, head over heals. The stairs blur and air rushes past my ears. I’m going to hit the ground. Hard. But just as the floor nears, some strange instinct kicks in, and I hit the stairs rolling to soften the impact. Then after rolling once I spring, snapping my muscles into action and soaring through the air, clearing at least six or seven steps.  Bending my knees, I land easily and gracefully on my feet at the bottom of the steps.

Was that even possible?

I had no idea I was capable of such stunts…scratch that, I had no idea anyone was capable of that.

I actually travelled several metres in the air. I just did it – didn’t even think.

Slowly I turn to face Robin. He stands where I last saw him, poised mid walk, staring incredulously at me. His mouth is open slightly. I hold my breath.  Nothing logical rationalises what just happened. I open my mouth to explain, lie or give excuses, but Robin simply shakes himself and continues walking.  Calmly he passes me with neither a comment nor a glance.

I stand paralysed. The event still spins in my mind and bile threatens to rise in my throat. My vision blurs. I need air. Frantically I let go of the breath I forgot I was holding and suck in another.

This is no time for a panic attack.

Robin’s echoing footsteps recede as he leaves me behind. Left alone with my troubles I press my lips together and begin to follow.

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