The City

Set in the future, in a country called Norski, it faces threats from other countries. The Lords train up all of its people in to soldiers. If you do not qualify then you get sent to the city. No one wants to get sent to the city. Will Rose Fray be able to make it out before the final people get sent to the city or will she fail with the rest?

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1. The Early Morning Skies

The wind whipped around my head as the sun rose in the sky. The sky was a peachy colour signifying it was only four in the morning. This was my favourite time in the morning, when I couldn’t sleep. The whole world was silent in their beds; the only sound was the birds clacking in the early morning breeze. I gripped the railings and sunk in to the cold plastic chair, resting my head on the splintered banister. I closed one eye and flicked the other one up to the sky tracing shapes with my fingers against the salmon coloured sky.

“Rose” my little sisters sleepy voice drifted through the front door. I turned my body round holding out my hand. Amber took my hand and I scrunched her nighty in my fingers lifting her on to my knee. “What are you doing up?” Amber whispered as she scrunched up her face trying to repress a yawn. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes and nuzzled her warm cheek in to crook of my neck. “I couldn’t sleep.” I whispered gently in to her ear “but more importantly, why are you up?” She lifted her head off my shoulder and looked in to my eyes with her pale blue ones. They were almost turquoise, my favourite colour. I always was silently jealous of her eyes, the way they stood out against her pale complexion and soft blonde hair. My eyes where a hazel nut brown and blended in to my hair that looked like dark chocolate thickly coated it. “I’m afraid” She whispered as her eyes welled up with water. I put my index finger under her eyes and wiped away the tear droplets gathering in her bags of darkness looking like pale bruises. I gently put my hand behind her hair, tangling my fingers in her bed head. I pressed my hand down and pulled her in to me embracing her. Ambers chin dug in to my shoulders as she wrapped her arms around me. “And what would that be? That you’re afraid of?” I whispered in to her hair. She was silent for a moment before answering “Today. I don’t want to be picked. I don’t want to go there. It’s scary, they can’t make me” her words all gathered together as she let out a sob. “You’re too young” I sighed “You’re only eight, you have to be ten to be picked” as I rubbed her back trying to console her.

Amber let out a sigh of relief before replying. “Then I don’t want you to be picked!” she moaned while my nightie dampened with her tears. “You already know I’ve been picked” I sighed “I-I didn’t too well in the tests to exclude me from The Picking. I tried my hardest.” Amber let out another sob as she burrowed deeper in to my shoulder. I gently took hold of her chin and lifted her face, looking her directly in the eye, cupping both her cheeks. “You know there is still a chance I can get out of it, you know there is. Do not give up hope. Yet again however do not raise your hopes too high or you may be disappointed. I do not know who I’m up against; they may do better than me.” She gulped and nodded “tell me again how you might get out of it.” She stared in to my eyes intently as her tears began to fade.

“Very well” I smiled as Amber copied my smiled, only hers was wider, and nuzzled down in to my chest “a number of people, between the ages of 10-18 get picked depending how well they do on the tests” I sighed, breathing some air back in to my lungs. “What do you do on the test” Amber interrupted, shuffling herself on my knee. “I was getting to that” I said irritably “as you know our country, Norski, is always under threat from other countries like Narhasko and Belgmann so they train us up like soldiers until we are ten and that is when we undergo the tests to see how well we have understood the training. In the tests, they test us on many things. Our mental capacity, how well we are on remembering important information, how to handle weapons, how well we are able to react, many, many things. If we do not reach what the Lords think is a reasonable score than we are picked in The Picking. The Picking is supposed to be shameful so everyone knows who is failing their country. I did so well on all the years, always having a score that gets me halfway on the ranks but my seventh year of it, I seemed to have slipped” I sighed. I rested my head on Ambers as I looked up to the sky as it was now a pale shade of blue.  “Rose why your seventh year?” Amber inquired, breathing heavily and playing with my tangled hair as it fell around her as strands were falling out of my bun. “Because I am seventeen Amber” I said exasperated. “Any way it is time we both go back to bed and try and get the little amount of hours of sleep we can before we have to awake.”

Amber hopped off my knee and pulled a sad face and widened her eyes “but I want to know more, I want to know how you may be able to come home” she whispered in a sad voice. I pushed myself off the plastic chair now warm from two bodies sitting on it, and began pushing her inside with me “and I will tell you later, over breakfast but for now If you do not get your sleep you will not be well enough for the rest of today.” I whispered trying to not wake father as I shut the front door and tiptoed up the stairs towards my welcoming bed.

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