Rylie Sterling lives in a world divided by letters. A's are the highest and the Z's are the lowest. Rylie has been a lowly Z all her life until an incident leads her to believe that she was wrongly placed. Her life leads into mishap but all she wants is a normal life again. Can she live peacefully and also keep her family from harm or will she have to lose all that she has ever known?


3. TWO

“Rylie!” I whipped around to see my mom waving me down from the other end of the alley. I ran up to her and she excitedly showed me what she was holding in her hand. It was a book. My face lit up as I grabbed the book from her hands and flipped through its yellowed pages.

“I found it in of the garbage cans of Sector H,” she said.

“Mom! How did you get in there?” Everybody was strictly forbidden to enter another sector. It was punishable by death.

“I snuck in when one of them was entering. They were too busy in their own life to notice me,” she said as she laughed. As much as I was mad at her for risking her life I was glad that she got this book. It was an old copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I clutched the book to my chest before running of to my hideout.

Smoke was billowing out of the trash near my hideout and I coughed and wheezed, trying to get the putrid air out of my lungs. My hideout was a small hole near the edge of Sector Z, where I went whenever I wanted to be alone. I crawled into the hole and opened up my book. The words were slightly faded but readable. I curled my legs against my chest and started to read.


I heard Mom’s calls for dinner as soon as I turned the last page of the book. I slammed the book shut after I was done, feeling content. I had absorbed the words in as a sponge absorbs water.

Dinner was a few pieces of bread from trashcans, a moldy slice of pizza, and for dessert we had the luxury of eating an almost clean slice of a cake. It was one of the best meals I had in a long time.


The Doctor’s Office

Location: Sector C

The doctor clutched the piece of paper tightly with her hands. She still couldn’t understand how Rylie had gotten these results. It just wasn’t possible. Nobody in recorded history had ever gotten results like these. It was impossible for a human to have these results.

It only meant one thing. She wasn’t human. 

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