I stare at the mark on the inter side of my wrist. It's an arrow with a line across the middle. A simple yet, powerful symbol. It separates me from strangers. It separates me from my childhood friends, the rest of society, and even, my parents. It's the mark of a true Sagittarius. This tattoo came upon me at the age of 10.
Where I live, we are all separated into sectors. If you think about it as a large pie cut into 12 even slices, thats where I am. The 9th piece. Each slice represents a zodiac sector of our society. Each area is separated by a large wall. We aren't allowed past the walls without given permission. My parents live in the 5th sector, Leo.
A tear streams down my face. I try not to think about my parents much. It's been 17 years since last I saw them. I hear someone stomp up to my dorm. "Get out here Elizabeth we don't have all day!" Instructor Dalton yelled while banging on my door. I sighed. I put on my brown boots and slipped out the door.
As I'm walking down the hall, I notice it's more busy than usual. I make my way down to the courtyard, which is also the center of activities. I find Instructor Dalton and tap his shoulder. "Hey, what's with all the people at the gathering block today?" I ask.
"It's Marking Day Lizzy." He says, as if I'm new to the town.
It's marking day already? I think to myself. "Oh yeah! Marking Day that's right!" I hope not to sound too obvious that I was clueless to this important occasion.
"Just get to the arena" he stammers. I head on off. It can't be Marking Day. Not yet! Ugh how could I forget? I grab my bow and arrow and walk to my station. It's required every one of us takes archery when we hit age 15. I pull back my bow and release it, letting my arrow fly free. It crashes into the ring next to the bullseye. I load in the next one. This time, it's closer to the center. After 2 more hours of what the instructors call the "load, pull and release" process, I rush back to my dorm and change into an outfit for the Marking Ceremony.
After much trial and error, I decided on a simple black dress with black heels. I do my hair until every ginger strand has a perfect curl. I take a city bus to the Gathering Block. Young children ranging in ages from 10-11 line the stage. Some are in tears, others in total relaxation. Our sector leaders walks on stage. "Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming here tonight, the last day of the Sagittarius birth for the year! We also welcome many fine young boys and girls to officially become find their place in this society!" He pauses for the large wave of applause. "And now, we welcome Daniel Allman to be the first one to be marked!" Another wave of clapping occurs. A young boy with blond hair steps forward. He puts his arm on a small table. It's strapped down with Velcro. The tattoo artist carefully draws the symbol of our people on the inside of his wrist, identical to mine. It's the same one everyone in my sector receives on December 21, when they are 10 years old.
One by one, each child is marked. An hour and a half later, I slowly make my way to the door. I got back to my dorm room at about 9:00. I change and go into my bed. All I can think about is the look on Danny's face when his arm was strapped down. He was in tears, constantly sniffling. He was being torn apart inside, I could see it. This was the day many young kids get a life of their own. Shoved into a dorm with complete strangers, never being able to see their family again. I shut my eyes, hoping to get some rest.