Detergent

In sixteen year old Beadtris Dryer's world, society is divided into five fashions, each dedicated to a particular virtue, in an attempt to form a perfect society after a terrible fashion show. (Divergent parody)

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3. THREE

 

I wake up in the testing room and Tailori is there, looking at something on the computer screen. I wait for her to say something, to tell me my results, but she doesn’t.

“That was interesting,” She finally says, breaking the silence, and then walks out of the room. I realise that I have failed. I have failed a test that I haven’t prepared for and I am going to be Fashionless and live a life with no purpose.

Tailori comes back into the room. “Your results were inconclusive,” she says, “Each stage of the test is supposed to eliminate a fashion but you only eliminated two out of four.”

She stops to look at my confused face and then continues, “You didn’t choose the pile of clothes or tell the girl that her butt looked big so you ruled out Armanity and Candior.” She takes a deep breath. “Then, you saved the little washing machine making you Abnegucci, and not running away was Dauntlouis and you applied the knowledge of a dog which is Erodarte.”

“So what the hell am I?” I ask, frustrated.

Tailori says the next thing quietly as if it’s a secret to be shared only between us. “The test didn’t work on you. You don’t fit into a category. They call it Detergent. It means you deter from the norms of society. Don’t tell anyone. Detergence is extremely dangerous and can get you killed.”  I don’t understand what she is saying but I nod anyway. “Go home and think about it. Tell your parents you got sick.”

“What am I supposed to choose at the Clothing Ceremony tomorrow? The test was supposed to tell me what to choose?” I yell at her because I thought I could trust the test.

“As far as everyone else is concerned, your result was Abnegucci. That’s what I entered into the system.”

On the way home, I can’t bear to think about what I will choose at the Clothing Ceremony tomorrow. Abnegucci? Dauntlouis? Erodarte? I’m… Detergent.  Instead, I think about Abnegucci, and how as an outsider, it is such a beautiful fashion. I fall in love with it when I see everyone work in harmony at our family parties but when I try to live it myself, it doesn’t feel genuine. Choosing a different fashion will mean leaving my family for good, but staying in Abnegucci will mean living a life I cannot relate to.

There are places in the city that smell terribly of poop and when you smell it, it’s not the public toilets. It is where the Fashionless live because they failed the initiation stage of the fashion they chose. They do the work no one else wants to do and it is only Abnegucci who notice them. I see a Fashionless man as I walk past that area and we engage in eye contact.

“Do you have any clothing to spare, my dear?” I give the man some spare clothes that I always keep in my rucksack because my father tells me too. This is so selfless of me. He takes the clothes and then tugs on my shirt, grabbing a fistful. “Do you have anymore? I’m sure you could take some of yours off.” As I stare at him, I realise that he is very ugly. No wonder he doesn’t have a fashion.  I pull until he releases my shirt.

As I walk away, he tells me, “Choose wisely little girl.”

I am not a little girl. I am sixteen years of age and tomorrow I will make the biggest decision of my life. Seriously, people underestimate me too much.

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