The light hits my eyelids, bright and warm rolling across my face. I yawn and slowly open my eyes. The clock on my bedside table tells me its 8:15 am. It's been a week since the last collection day, which means it's today. I carefully make my bed and take a quick shower. The water is warm so Father isn't up yet. He sleeps longer hours these days, I rarely see him until lunch time at least. It's like all of the hope is slowly being dragged out of him, but what is he hoping for? Something to change, for it to be safe to leave the house again? Would he even want to, I've lived my life inside the house but him, he's told me once before that it wasn't always like this. He used to have freedom. Few know what really happened out there and I know my Father's one of them. But he doesn't talk to me about it. He doesn't talk to me about anything. I worry, I worry about him, but there's nothing I can do. I'm helpless.
The grandfather clock ticks on the wall in front of me. My mind wanders as I wait for a single movement..... Nothing. Time freezes as I stand, I walk towards my fathers room and lightly knock on the door. Not a sound. I creek the door open slowly and find my Father lying in his bed. 'Father?' I ask, nervously waiting for a response
'Ira.' He replies. His voice slow and weak. I rush to his side as he continues. 'It's starting already.' He coughs, his voice breaking with every movement.
'Shhh' I say, worried at his state of illness. 'You're ill, you need to rest.'
'No, you don't understand, it's the curse!' He insists. 'You're the chosen one! Destined to lead the world into freedom! There is a book in the bottom draw in my office at the back.'
'Listen, Ira, you don't have much time. The book will tell you everything you need to know. I've prepared for this day ever since your mother left.'
'Mother died. You told me she died!'
'It was for your own good. You'll understand one-day..... I'm sorry...... I love you...' His last breath carries on, a whisper until there's just silence.
'Father! NO! no no! Don't leave me! But I know he's gone. Tears build up in my eyes and my lip quivers. I sink to the floor and cry until I have no more tears left.