Exile

This is my novel

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1. o n e

The remains of the ancient towers were scattered across the barren ground of the Wasteland. The tall skyscrapers of the Union could be spotted in the distance. A dry desert stretched on for miles in all directions. In the middle of it all was a small village, the only sign of life left other than the Union.



 

                               


 

The usual clatter of the house was absent today. Everybody was sleeping in. But this is weird. Really weird. No one slept in on Wednesdays because Wednesdays was when Mama made pancakes. The line for pancakes starts early at around seven in the morning.

 

I quickly climbed out of bed and headed towards the section where Mama slept. Our house was too small for everybody to have their own rooms so Mama and Papa hung up large pieces of cloth to makes “rooms.” I got one all to myself because I was the only girl.

 

I went into Mama’s section and shook her awake. She rolled over and mumbled “They are coming.” That got to me. I shook her again and gently asked her “Mama, wake up. Who are coming?” She gasped and woke up with a start. She was scaring me now.

 

“Mama! Are you ok? You just said ‘They are coming.’ What does that mean? Tell me.”

 

She took hold of my arm and steadied herself as she got up. She looked at me and sighed. “Nothing, child.”

 

But something was wrong, and she knew it.

 

I busied myself with the task of waking up my brothers. The whole morning I was thinking about what Mama said.

 

When breakfast was done we started our work. Mama sent me to Mr. Lawson with all the dirty clothes. He did the laundry for the whole village. The outside air was arid and scorching as I walked down the street to Mr. Lawson’s tiny hut.

 

I was about to knock on his door when I heard a faint whirring noise. I squinted up at the sky and saw three faint dots, moving towards the ground near our village. People were streaming out of their houses to see what all the commotion was about. Mama came out and kept the boys behind her. Papa was coming from work to see if we were all okay.

 

Everyone gathered in front of the village and stood tense. As they came closer to the ground, I realized they were helicopters. They landed and the whirring diminished. The side of the helicopters revealed the seal of the Union. The doors slammed open and two men came out of each helicopter.

 

They stood in front of us and gave us fake smiles.

 

“Hello! We are officers from the Union and we would like to interview you for an article for the newspaper. I am sure everyone in the government would love to know what your life is like out here in the Wasteland.”

 

He was teasing us by making us feel like weaklings. Telling us that only the strong could live in the Union.

 

Everyone stayed silent.

 

He continued, “Okay, so you can do all the work you usually do and we will just be silently observing and maybe asking a few occasional questions.

 

They weren’t here for the questions, they were here for something else.

 

No one moved.

 

The officers were losing their patience. “I highly suggest you cooperate with us.” His jaw was clenched as he showed a forced grin.

 

Suddenly I felt Mama’s hand on my shoulder. She carefully pushed me away from the group and dragged me towards the house. I opened my mouth to speak but she covered it with her hand.

 

“Shhh!”

 

She opened the door and pushed me into her section of the house. Gripping my shoulders tightly she said “Haven, listen to me. These people are not here for interviewing people. They are here for something else.”

 

“ I know, Mama. I figured the same, but what are they here for. What do they want from us.”

 

She hesitated before saying, “I- I don’t know, exactly, but I might have an idea. Now, you have to listen to me very carefully. They will try to shove their way into our houses and they will claim they are just observing. Pay no attention to them and do not answer their questions.”

 

I was scared.

 

“Mama, what is happening. Why are they here.”

 

“Haven, I will explain everything tonight. Meet me in your section after dinner.”

 

And she left.

 

I stood there stunned. Mama didn’t explain things very well. I tried to get busy with my chores. I went to the kitchen and picked up the large water bucket. All the water in there was used for the cooking during the whole week.

 

I carried the bucket to water pump next to our house. As the water started filling the canister I felt a small tap on my shoulder. Standing tense I ignored it. Again, I felt another tap and a voice.

 

“Miss, I would like to ask you some questions about your life.” I neglected him as I turned off the water and picked up the heavy bucket. I started for the door to our house when I felt another tap on my shoulder.

 

This time I turned around and stared into the man’s eyes. He gave me a quick smile before taking out a notepad. I swiveled around again and walked to the door, opened it, and slammed it in his face to show that I wasn’t interested in answering his stupid questions.

 

My hands shook with fear as I put the bucket in its place.

 

That’s when I heard a loud knock at the front door.

 

I made my way through the kitchen and paused at the door.

 

Should I open it. What will happen if I don’t. Will I be in danger?

 

Thoughts spun around in my head as I tried to decide what to do. Another knock rang loud and clear. I put my hand on the door knob and waited. I started turning the knob before I thought of something. I quickly ran back to the kitchen to get a knife. I found one and slipped it in my shoes.

 

I ran back to the door, put on my best smile, and opened it.  

 

The man behind the door gave me a small grin before trying to come in the door. I stopped him before he could enter the house.

 

“No, you cannot come into the house. You have to stay out here. What do you want?”

 

“I just wanted to ask some questions.”

 

“No, I do not want to answer your questions. Now, please leave me alone!”

 

He gave me an amused grin. Probably thinking that I am just a little girl trying to act tough and fierce.

 

Well, I was much more than that.

 

“Please, leave my house and do not disturb me again.”

 

I tried to close the door but he put his foot to block it.

 

“Please, miss, we just want to ask questions.”

 

“I said leave!” My rage took over as I slammed the door into his foot. He howled in pain and stood clutching it to his chest. That gave me enough time to close the door and lock it. I closed the curtains on all the windows, went to my section, and hid underneath the quilt.

 

My breath game out in shaky gasps. My arms and legs were shaking. That was truly the most scared I have been in my life. Nothing interesting happened in the Wasteland so I was not used to this.

 

I stayed under the scratchy quilt until Mama came in the house. She was putting the dishes down on the counter when I peeked out from behind the cloth that separated me and the kitchen. I pulled the covers off and walked in the kitchen. When Mama saw my face. She knew something was wrong. She ran to my side and picked up my hands.

 

They were as cold as ice.

 

“Haven, tell me what happened. Did one of the men disturb you.”

 

When I nodded she prompted me to tell the story.

 

“I was just refilling the water bucket when this man came and wanted to ask questions. At first I just ignored him but he kept tapping my shoulder. I tried to stare him down but when that didn’t work I just tried to go back into the house to continue my chores. That’s when he wouldn’t leave me alone and he wouldn’t let me close the door. I freaked out so I slammed the door into his shoe.”

 

Mama just stared at me.

 

“Ma-ma,” my voice cracked, “what is going on. I am scared. Tell me!”

 

“Oh, darling. I will try to explain everything. Remember I said I will talk to you tonight after dinner. The boys will be sleeping so it is the perfect time for me and you to chat.”

 

I calmed down a little and the afternoon passed with a breeze. I tried to forget the problem but it was still nagging me in the back of my mind.

 

As evening fell over the village, the men from the Union called everyone at the front of the village.

 

The man at the front, who seemed to be the leader, said, “Thank you for letting us in your village. We have made many interesting observations and mostly everyone cooperated well.” He looked straight at me when he said it.

 

“It is time for us to go now. Unfortunately we will have to take one person with us.”

 

Whispers erupted in the crowd.

 

“Settle down. Settle down. We have to take someone for testing. We know it is. The person coming with us to the Union is Haven Ryne.

 

A gasp came from my mother. I was too shocked to do anything. One of the men came and started dragging me to the helicopter. I struggled with him but his iron grip stayed at my arm.

Mama shoved people to get to the front and tried to run towards me. The remaining men blocked her and kept her at bay.

 

The man who held my arm led me into the helicopter and made me sit.

 

The rest of the men went into their helicopters and started the engine.

 

As the helicopter started hovering above the ground I saw my mom grow tinyier. We kept floating up until  the village was just a tiny speck the massive Wasteland.

 

I was supposed to talk to Mama tonight. She was supposed to tell me what is happening.

 

Now I have no way of knowing what in the world is going on.















 

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