SPLITS

""Thats her!" Someone shouts and suddenly Im on the run."

In a world where the colour of your hair determines your social role and personality, having more than one colour is dangerous.

The colour bandits, the Splits, all have powers associated with their hair colours, and more often than not, bad attitudes.

Kat is a rare Pink Orange split- will she ever find another?

Honour has no place in survival.

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1. There Are Many Games We Play In Life

"Thats her!" Someone shouts and suddenly Im on the run.

My feet hit the ground at a scattered and panicked speed as I try and run in zig zags through the streets. I can hear them running after me, getting closer, meaning Im doing a bad job at escaping. Im just... Not in the mood for a chase.

"Jake, jump!" As soon as I hear that my feet trip up and a body hits my back.

We slap the grounds and skid, using my body as the surf board. I can feel my cheek bones grate against the pavement and I think of how much damage there will be. The body pins me to the ground and I slowly struggle out from underneath him. But by the time Im out from under him, someone has grabbed my arms in a bunch behind my back. Thats when they start winding the tape.

"We will take her to the truck and then off to the institute. What do you say?"

"I say shes a fine one. In todays day and age you dont find a catch as fine as this."

They tape up my feet and someone throws me over their shoulder. I cant struggle or someone may see and we will all be arrested... Its not like I have much of an option, as soon as I hit the back of their truck, theyre busy taping my mouth up.

"We are gonna get some real money for this one." I catch a glint of blue hair.

Fucking blue haired monkeys...

"We dont get Splits like her these days." The guy taps the back of the truck.

Then theres the screech of the tires and my back collides with the metal and the wind blows my hair, my precious hair, far out of my face.

I thought Id get away with not wearing a hat at night, I really thought I would. But here I am, worse case scenario. Its always the blue haired bastards that are the cheap criminals.

/////

Everything is so white when I wake up. I cant believe I was so casual about being caught and sold. I was kind of expecting it, being a Split and all, but I really could have avoided it...

"Hey, Im Kevin, and this is your rehabilitation and testing centre!" Kevin is way too gregarious for my liking.

I stare up at him and wait for him to finish his intro. He must have been waiting for me to come around...

"So today we are going to test to see if this is all real," he ruffles my hair, "and if there are any abnormalities we can... Suppress." He laughs, I dont.

The chair Im strapped to move forward towards a machine. Ill pass fine and then try to escape. Its probably not hard to escape anyway.

"So, we have a few tests first, Ill put you straight in there..."

My chair moves into a machine that is white, just like Kevins hair. I can hear it click into place and I wait obediently for it to give me the all clear. I had this test when I got caught a couple of years ago. I got the all clear and then broke through the window and ran for it. I wasnt abnormal, according to the old technology, but its been updated now and I know this hair isnt fake.

Just as I start to think about which window to break through an alarm sounds. Thats not good. That means-

"The chair shall deactivate and you must follow me now." Kevins voice becomes stern and I roll my eyes.

The cuffs around my arms click off and slide away. I watch them retreat before standing up and ducking out the machine. I give Kevin a pointed look, but he is putting on gloves. He grabs my wrist with a gloved hand and drags me out into the hall. He has lost the disgusting grin he supported earlier and seems more robotic. In one way Im happy that he stopped being so annoying, in another I dont really care for whats going on.

He pulls me into a room at the end of the corridor and sits me down in another chair. The cuffs slide out the arms and I make sure my wrists and comfortably placed in them. I bring my legs up onto the chair and cross them so I sit comfortably.

I look at Kevin expectantly and he stares at me like Im an exotic animal. I assume I am, so many people fake it I cant tell whos real anymore. I bet Kevin has come across so many fakes...

A bald man steps through the door behind me and circles around my chair.

"You assure me she is a real Split?" The man says to Kevin. His voice is stern and authoritative.

"Yes sir." Kevins sudden regimental attitude surprises me. I always measured Kevin up as a blonde weenie.

"Then we must contain her in the institute. Pass me the scissors."

Some scissors are passed over my head, suddenly making me slightly more nervous.

"So shes more containable." The bald man states, lifting up a chunk of my hair.

This is where I start to panic. Containable? What do they mean? Why are they touching my hair? They cant touch my hair.

"Stop!" My mouth forms the words but somebody by the door speaks it.

A gun shot sounds and a body drops behind me. The bald man pulls out a gun himself but the guy behind me shoots his leg first, making him collapse to the ground in pain. He falls whilst still gripping my hair, practically ripping a bunch out my skull.

"Just get her out the chair and lets go!" The gun guy yells.

Someone skids in front of me and starts to program the chair in a panic. Another guy picks me straight up, not giving me a chance to stand. In moments, as baldy struggles to pick up his gun, Im carried hastily out the door.

"Do I look injured?" I ask the guy carrying me, but he shushes me not even hearing what I said.

He then looks fondly down at me as he kicks his way through another door and I try to look slightly more helpless- just so he has a job. What surprises me is he shares a hair colour with me, well, kind of. His hair is red and orange, split like mine, down the centre. I havent seen another split in ages.

"100 more feet boys and we have reached the city boundary!"

Wait, city boundary? Theres a boundary? But even more so- theres something beyond the boundary?

"Unlock the van Frank GODDAMMIT before I unlock you."

Suddenly, for possibly the second time today, I am bundled in the back of a van.

Once we start moving I try and stand up but the person holding me keeps a grip on me. Its like I could just jump out a non existent window and run. He places me in the back of the van, separated from the middle by a cage door.

"Who are you guys? Even more so- what do you want with me?" I look up a blonde and white haired guy sitting opposite me.

Maybe if I act helpless I can find an opportunity to run free. Nobody replies so I pinch my leg until tears fill my eyes, then I let it soak across my cheeks.

"I just- just- want to go home."

"Shes crying..." The blonde and white haired on leans over to the red and orange one awkwardly, tapping his shoulder. "What do we do?"

"Leave her." He says after a moments thought.

"What the fuck man?" The blue and black haired guy says.

Blue and black opens my cage door and closes it behind him. Locking himself inside with the bear. I could just... Take him down... But I wouldnt be able to escape... The cage is locked.

"Hey?" I look up at him further through my arms.

"Frank. Frank!" Red Orange yells at Blue Black  as he shuffles towards me.

"I dont like seeing girls cry, it dont matter whether theyre splits or not! We are splits too..." He passes his hand through his hair.

I have a thirst to hunt, a tension in my chest to be active in... Something. Frank turns back to me and crouches down by me and looks me in the eyes. I try and portray the sorrow I held earlier.

"We are all splits here. Its okay... Youre a real split, right?"

I nod my head.

"I trust you-"

"We would overpower her anyway, split or not." Red orange scoffs.

"Gerard shut the fuck up." Frank turns around and stands facing red orange.

Soon after he sits down in front of me, crossing his legs.

"What was I saying... Oh yes... So we are taking you to join us and a few other splits in the suburbs- away from the city."

"Why away from the city?"

"The bald guy was going to suck your powers dry for himself..."

Powers? What powers?

"Your power, yknow?"

I obviously must have held a blank expression as realisation crosses his face.

"Oh shit."

"She dont know her powers G." Frank turns away from me again.

"You dont need to use your slang Frank, she seems like one of the fairly educated ones."

I look over at Gerard, fairly educated?

"She can find out her power in freedom then."

"Come on G! When was the last time you helped someone find their pow- oh shit sorry... Uh Ill do it with Ray..."

Blonde white makes an offended sound.

"Dont bitch at me Mikey, youre always fucking busy!"

Then the van stops and I slide into the back of Franks legs. He turns and leans down.

"G likes the honours of carrying the new split in like he saved them... I know, dick right? So could you humour him for a moment?"

Im weak. Im in need. I suppress powerful feelings. I nod like a 5 year old.

He steps out and Gerard enters, scooping me up without a word. He plods out the van and I fake-swoon. We are met by a decent applause but I try not to look up, keeping my head on Gerards chest.

We enter a small building with a receptionist and he carries me straight past her, whilst Mikey greets her and the others nod. We take a lift up to the third floor, which seems to be a hospital. As soon as we step out the lift he drops me on the floor, walking ahead of me towards one of the nurses. I push myself onto my feet skittishly and watch as he points back at me, his hips swaying slightly.

A nurse gently leads me to a bed where she does some tests. I assume this chic isnt going to cut my hair at any point, I suppose this is because Frank said she wouldnt... Shes a split anyway so why does it matter- orange and white.

"I havent seen a pink in a few years." She mentions softly after a long time filled with silence.

I smile and look into my lap.

"Let alone a pink and orange. I dont think Ive ever met a pink and orange, I feel rather honoured really."

"Really?"

"Everyones colours are so close together, I suppose Im almost an exception to that too. But its rare for colours so clashing and bright as that to be seen naturally. Im surprised you havent landed here earlier."

"There are loads of people here then?"

"No... Well... Almost 100..." She pricks my finger and takes some blood from me.

"Thats a few, huh..."

"Well, we are spread out, this building being the hub, so it feels kinda empty sometimes."

Frank wonders up behind the girl and ruffles her hair. "Hayley! Hows it been going? I see youre talking to the newbie here? Shes sweet isnt she?

"Frank! Come sit with us."

"Nah, Im here to take pinkie here away from you."

"Good thing shes just about done then." Hayley grins.

Frank helps me off the table and we walk to the lift together.

"Talking of, what is your name?" He presses a button and the doors close.

"Katherine- but I like Kat better."

"I prefer Pinkie, not going to lie."

"You asked my real name!" I lift my hands to defend myself as we stop on the bottom floor.

"Whatever lets go." Frank walks faster, forcing me to practically jog to catch up.

 

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