The doorbell’s toll reverberated throughout the whole house.
Jesse was jolted from his daydream, waking Nina from hers in the process.
“What’s that?” she asked, shivering despite it not being cold.
“Somebody,” he replied with a hint of fear in his voice. He got up. “I need you to retrieve my gun and have yours ready.”
Nina nodded and went to retrieve the guns. She gave one to Jesse, the cold metal felt heavy.
It rang again with increasing impatience.
Jesse tucked the gun into his trousers.
“Call the rebels and keep them on hold, if I don’t come back in five minutes you’ll order a rescue for you and Meera.”
“Yes, both of you or I’ll give you to the Community myself!”
Jesse rushed down those steps feeling flustered. He stopped, donning a smile as his hand struggled to unlock the door.
“Hello Jesse, owner of house 31 on 7th street,” a Community officer said, dressed in the blue uniform. He had sharp cheekbones, his skin flat like moulded plastic and his brown eyes appeared yellow and watery. “That information is correct?”
The officer tapped his wrist twice and a white van pulled up. Another officer came out with Meera in toll.
“Meera!” Jesse cried, and moved towards her.
The officer put a hand out to stop him. She was brought closer and shoved forward. He caught her.
“She is socially inadequate for the Main Community, she is to be transferred to the Experimental Community, have her ready in eight minutes.”
Meera was sobbing into his chest and her cheek was changing to a purple colour.
“Go inside, upstairs,” Jesse whispered in her ear. She resisted but he kissed her softly on her lips to reassure her. She disappeared inside.
“No you are not taking her away,” he said, watching both officers’ faces twist into snarls.
“Are you defying the Community?” the officer spat at him, reaching for the baton. The other officer was mimicking the action.
Jesse felt for the gun.
“Yes I am,” he said, taking out the gun in one smooth motion like he had practiced. He fired two shots at each officer in the chest, one of them managing to crash into him, blood frothing at his mouth. Jesse pushed him away and shouted. “This is my act of defiance!”