Stone City: Book One: Celia Winters

Celia lives in the secluded Stone City with weird rules Celia doesn't quite understand. Until she breaks one she didn't even know existed, and another. About ten laws broken, Celia is on the run. For nothing. Can she figure out why they're chasing her, before it's too late?


4. Chapter Four

     I am finally home after what seems like hours but is only thirty minutes. I go straight to my bedroom and plop down on my bed. I stick my face in the pillow and see how long I can go breathing with my face smushed into the black pillow case. Homework sucks. I’ll just skip it for tonight. It’s alright, it’s not going anywhere. But my grade is… I sigh angrily and open my backpack. The history book peeks out from behind my math book the whole time I am doing my homework. Eventually I toss my math over and open my history textbook. The page is marked even though our teacher told us “People will be using these for years to come, so please do not damage them.” But the book had graffiti on basically every page and each one was covering up a couple words. It was difficult to read, but I did it.



Jobs and Responsibilities


            AT THE AGE of 18, every person in Stone City is required to acquire an occupation. They are limited to three months after their 18th birthday to get a job. If you do not get a job, you will be sent to ---------------- and------- for three hours.


            The page is has so much Sharpie scribbles; I can’t read part of it. There goes the possibility of answers. Bored, I read on.



            Another thing to think about at age 18 is the Magic Test. If you do not know, there are witches and wizards living among us. In order to figure out, we put you in a room and make you do magic. You get stuck in there three hours with no toilet. You only eat crackers.



            Stupid boys and their ambition to doodle in textbooks that are surprisingly interesting! I read the next paragraph that doesn’t have marker all over it.



            At age sixteen there are some things to worry about as well. The Essays are a test taken on your sixteenth birthday. The Essays include two pieces of paper, a pencil, and a prompt. The prompt is supposed to dig in to your personality and tell the Leaders who you are. You have exactly 75 minutes to complete your Essay, and we will know if you lie, no matter what. The first recorded prompt was a test to see if the Essays would be any good, thought up by Mr. Stone himself. The test subject had to write an Essay on his deepest secrets. Most prompts are like that, but some could be deeper.



            “What!?” A shriek is held hostage in my throat. It is trying to get out but I knock it unconscious and stomp downstairs. Mom is sitting by the fireplace reading something. I hate to interrupt her peace, but this is important.

“Hey, honey, what is it? Need help?” she asks kindly.

“Yes, actually,” I say. “I need the answer to this question: what in the heck are The Essays? Why haven’t you told me about them? I’m apparently going to be taking it in a year and a half and this is the first time I’ve ever heard of them. Care to explain?”

“Oh, honey, your book is outdated,” she says calmly. “The Essays haven’t been in the test curriculum since 3157, when Stone stopped it. He said it wasn’t any use.”

“Oh… then I guess I need a new book,” I say. “Sorry about that.”

“That’s okay, sweetie.”

            When I get to my bedroom, I check the publishing date on the textbook. The current year is 3243. The publishing date on the book is 3190. My mother the lie detector had lied to me: big time.

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