The Hunger Names

The future of Earth is long since here and nothing's really changed. People are poor and people are rich though not in the sense they are today. Today we are rich with money. In the future, money isn't so important any more. Nope. To be rich now, your name has to be good.
You see, everyone's name has to be different and people want the nice, pretty ones, Rosalyn or Eve.
And when you're stuck with KyraStar1 or alicegal02 , you're going to do anything to get yourself a great name.
Even if that means kill...

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5. KyraStar1

I go to meet Jetblack221 outside, after I grow tired of the fighting, grow tired of the whimpering opponents I'm given, or the names I want but end up declining. There's a girl with him today, and this surprises me because I've never really seen him talk to anyone else other than myself.

Sure, he'll be polite, maybe hold open a door, say thank you if someone does the same for him. But not really talk, not like his does with me with over the top hand gestures and his face never settling with staying put in one expression. I don't want to believe it, but I think I feel something close to jealousy twinge near my heart.

"Hey!" I call over, my voice loud, brusque. He turns, and waves delightedly. "KyraStar1! Just the person I wanted to see! Meet alicegal02." He shoves his new friend forwards who grins sort of sheepishly at me. The jealousy lessens a little. She seems nice, if a bit shy and I have a feeling that I'm going to like her.

Jetblack221 always waits for me after I fight. Sometimes he takes part too - he's good, better than me - but hardly ever. He's a decent person, and he's happy enough with who he is, and the world's current naming situation.

But I'm not.

"You've always been alicegal02 then?" I ask the girl, my voice a little gruff and a lot wary.

"All my life. But..." she tails off, so I gesture at her to continue. "But I don't want it to always be like this. I want to live with wealth, to be envied. I want..."

She shuts up then, clamps her mouth firmly shut. She's said too much, and she knows she has. I'm curious though, and I can't help but ask. "You want what?"

She shakes her head, biting her lip. Jetblack221 intervenes now, putting a reassuring hand on alicegal02's shoulder. "She doesn't have to say anything if she doesn't want to." Smiling, he starts to walk away, back to our street and I follow. So does alicegal02, who seems a little scared of me now, keeping her distance by walking on the other side of Jetblack221.

And then she stops suddenly, takes a deep breath, and talks. "My sister's called Ruby."

I double take, and I know Jetblack221 is feeling the exact same way. "What the heck?"

alicegal02 noticeably steels herself, and nods. "Yeah. Ruby. She won it a while back. She's younger than me."

"And... wait, you're fine with that?" Jetblack221 says incredulously. "Your sister gets everything you've always wanted and you're... okay?"

She smiles slightly, one corner of her mouth lifting up. "Not exactly..."

And then she delivers the bombshell.

"On Monday at five... I'm going to kill her."

 

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