Charlotte Jones is stuck in a world where love is looked at as a disease. She is caught talking about becoming a Shadow with her friends Talia and Madi. Shadows believe in love, which most think is bad. The three friends must now escape without getting caught. If they are caught, they'll be given a choice. A world without love or death?


4. The Shades

After a few more agonizing minutes of talking about the Evaluations, I want to make myself a quick bowl of cereal. As I walked into the kitchen, I noticed there was a small fissure in the wall by the napkin holder. I was about to tell my grandma, but I don't know why, instead, I decided to grab the roll of paper towels and place it in front of the small crack of gleaming light.

By that time, I decided to just grab a breakfast bar really quick and go meet up with Talia.

Talia. A name of meaning. Not placid like the rest. Many frown upon Talia’s parents for naming her a name of love. You are supposed to name your child an option the Governs give you. Your child’s name isn't supposed to be a name thought of by both parents because that requires communication, which is believed, in the Scriptz, to turn to love. Her parent’s options were Lilly, Joan, or Dani. Simple boring names.

Like her, my name was one that considered love. My parent’s options were Jannet, Carly, or Mary. My parents hated all of those. They liked Charlotte, so that was my name.

Talia is definitely a first pick. I know she will be. We will probably be in the same group actually, because our last names are close alphabetically. Mine is Jones and hers is Jennings. Plain names. Last names we do not choose.

Talia has brown hair that goes down to her waist. She has emerald green eyes that shimmer. Even though she isn't a glossy, blue eyed blonde, she will still be a first choice. I know it. She is gorgeous. She has freckles that look stunning on her complexion.

Talia isn't cocky whatsoever. She doesn't “flaunt” anything. She is humble and pure. She always tells me I'm pretty and that I should be more confident. I usually just change the conversation.


I meet up with Talia at Lake Luv, which had its name changed to Lake Lu because Luv is too close to love. Talia and I still secretly call it Lake Luv.

We meet up there almost every morning around 10:45. We sit behind the rock barrier which forms out a little hiding spot that pretty much blocks off any sound from the brainwashed zombies and from us.

Talia and I usually talk about boys we think are cute. We usually wait to talk about that until Madi comes though.

Madi is'nt exactly in the same name boat as Talia and I. Madi’s full name is Madison, which is placid, but she was only named Madison because her dad refused to pick a “non-option name” like Talia and I. Her mom didn't want to choose an option they were given, but Madi’s dad doesn't believe in communication. Secretly, her mom calls her Madi because it's slightly less boring than Madison.

Madi, Talia and I are pretty much inseparable. We like to discuss becoming Shadows together.

Shadows are the people who aren't brain dead. Shadows go and live in the Shades. I've never been in the Shades, not even been within 100 yards of it. It's blocked off and guarded. Policers all around its boarder.

At Teachings they told us that the Shades were dark and gloomy. People ate each other out of starvation. They all had rotted brains, and they would be diseased with love.

Talia, Madi, and I didn't believe a single word of it. We used to make plans and maps of how we would escape to the Shades.

One time, we were walking about 150 yards away from the Shades and we saw a part where there were no Policers. The only Policer even near the area was about 25 yards away. That would give us enough time to mount the border quickly. It's not that tall, only slightly taller than me and I'm pretty short. About 5ft 3. Talia is slightly shorter at about 5ft 1. Madi however is taller at about 5ft 5.

Madi and I are pretty fast, we could easily do a jump and run. Talia, isn't as fast. She had two foot surgeries last year. She was born with an extra bone in each foot. The doctors said it was because her great grandparents were diseased with love, so this was a curse.

Bull shit.

We still sometimes plan things together like that. How we’ll become Shadows together. Some day. Somehow. But not now.

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