The Dictator

Rules:
1) The Dictator is the sole leader of Arbitrol. Any who tries to overthrow The Dictator will be immediately sentenced to death.

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Ash comes bounding through the door with his yo-yo in hand. He takes it everywhere, seeing as it is the single toy that he has. He runs towards me and is laughing, telling me about all of the fun things that they did at his friend's house after school. His large smile turns to a frown when I tell him that he has to go study until it's time to eat.

He whines to me, "Why do I have to study? I think the rules here are stupid."

I look around quickly, and hurriedly put my hand over his mouth. "Ash, you cannot say things like that."

He raises his voice slightly, "And why not? Why do I have to study? I don't want to get into a good school. I don't care about any of this."

I narrow my eyes. And lower my voice, so that none of the other apartments can hear us, "Ash, I don't like the rules around here, either. But you cannot act out. When you're my age, you'll understand why it is important for you to have a good job. Do you understand me?"

He nods his head, and peels my hand off of his mouth. With a loud huff, he runs to his small bedroom. I sigh as I pull the lasagna out of the oven, and set it on the stove-top. I wish that Ash would be able to be as self-sufficient as I learned to be. I won't be here forever. What is he going to do when I'm off at work, as a lawyer or doctor or whatever it is that I decide to become? I won't be here to tell him to study every night. I won't be here to make him believe that he can do this. I sigh. He turns twelve this week.

 

After we eat dinner, we make our way to the center of the town. We are not yet sufficient enough to buy a car. The students don't get paid enough to be able to purchase such things. The Dictator speaks at nine, and if we are a second late, the police officers will punish us severely. Luckily, however, we finished eating with enough time to be there a few minutes early. Ash runs off towards one of his friends, taking his yo-yo with him, of course.

The Dictator's face appears on the large screen promptly at nine o'clock. He gives us his annual speech. Literally, it is the same thing every night. He starts off with the rules of Arbitrol, and then tells us the lists for all of the twelve year olds from that day. In exactly 4 days, I will be hearing Ash's results. I've put years of studying into him, and have no doubt that he can make it. He just doesn't seem to want to- at all.

The face disappears after we pledge our allegiance "rightfully" to The Dictator. I rush Ash home as quickly as I can so that he can study before going to bed, and still be able to get up for school in the morning. As soon as I have him in his room- content with a snack and drink- I lock his door and quietly sneak out the back door. Time for the meeting.

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