My brain is currently giving birth to a fantasy / sci-fi novel. Here’s a tiny glimpse of it, enjoy!
I was very surprised they hadn’t noticed that I was in the basement as well. I didn’t deliberately stay quiet or forced my muscles into a standstill when they ran through the fake-wood door. Lying down behind the sofa might makes you think that I was hiding but in fact that’s the only place where I can connect to the wireless charging unit. My phone ran out of battery three hours ago and I had to find a place to upload my daily activity report. I couldn’t risk missing the deadline, again. I already have two warnings and trust me, I have no plans bagging the third one. It was 19:48 when I heard Lorna telling off Brian as she slummed down on the leather sofa that my friends call so-vintage. Exactly three minutes earlier I pressed ‘Submit’ for my upload and I let out a sigh, feeling quite pleased that I had 15 minutes to spare before I would receive my confirmation back.
So there they were, not even half a meter away from me – how can they not notice me? Well, I didn’t exactly throw them a ‘Welcome to the basement’ cheer when they rushed in. But still… they were so ignorant sometimes. Especially Brian. The amount of fights I had with him as a child! He’s not the typical older brother who would look out for his little sister. From time to time I got so angry at him, I was wishing they would send him away. He came close to it on 3 occasions. But as soon as he opens his mouth and gives his ‘Final Speech’ the jury would change his mind and let him stay. I never understood how it was possible. Once, maybe. But 3 times?! I used to wonder if it had something to do with his looks. So many girls were after him when he was in his twenties, even my friend Jessie fell desperately for him. She would not shut up about how Brian’s greyish blue eyes made her hypnotised. How his deep brown hair looked so neat yet sensual when he slicked it back. Or how she would gladly die if his bizarrely thick lips could seal hers. Ew. I pulled a disgusted face every time she described his facial features in this manner. You don’t want to hear these things about your brother.
Then one day I realised it wasn’t his looks. When the ‘No gender no physical attributes’ law came into effect I was sure his lucky days were over. The law stated that anyone being prosecuted needs to remain anonymous and presented behind a sound altering wall in front of the jury. This way no one would know if the accused is male or female or what they looked like. As Brian stood behind this wall on his third occasion, I was positive this would be the last time I see him. And yet, he managed to convince the judges that his good, compassionate personality only took a little tumble and he was ready for his big good deed. They let him stay, again. That was the last time he was giving his Final Speech.
“See little sis? This is how you deliver the perfect FP. It’s not like you would really need to know, you never get into any trouble. You must be so bored every single day.” The arrogance of his voice was increasing my blood pressure at a dangerous speed. It hit me there and then: it was his way of manipulating people with his words and nothing to do with his looks. This was about 1 year ago just when he was turning 30 becoming High Risk. And based on what I’m hearing from behind the sofa, I think I need to get prepared for his 4th time. But what the hell did he do dragging Lorna into his mess?
“It’s not about fear Brian, why don’t you get it? We need to have some structure. We can’t just live how we used to. You need to finally accept the fact that things have changed.” Lorna’s cheeks were shining with redness as she placed her shaking hand on Brian’s shoulder.
“I can’t accept it, I won’t. Don’t you see? They are forcing us to do things we don’t want to do.” The words echoed with an arrogant undertone.
“What? You don’t want to help people? You don’t want to do a good deed every day? They are not asking us to lie, to rob or kill. If you feel that this one rule is so terrible then maybe you should be sent away” her voice trembled as she got to the end of her sentence. Brian shrugged his shoulder so forcefully that Lorna’s hand fell off of it slamming down onto the leather sofa. The redness in her cheeks became brighter and her chocolate brown eyes instantly got filled with tears. I thought this might be a good time to show my presence, as strangely I felt a little sorry for my brother. Not for Lorna for some reason.
“I don’t mean to interrupt but…” I said quietly and peeled myself off the floor slowly remaining in a sitting position.
“What the hell Lia?”
“I had to find a charging unit to upload my report. I’m guessing you haven’t done yours?” I asked. Actually it sounded more like a statement than a question and I couldn’t help raising my eyebrows. They were still sitting down twisting their backs around to see me on the floor. Lorna propped her arm on the top bit of the sofa and rested her head down on them letting out an exhausted sigh. Her hazel skin gave a magical contrast to the saffron coloured furniture. I always wished I could somehow swap my pale skin with hers. And her hair. Her curvy, dark caramel locks with my not-quite-brown-not-quite-blond straight mess. I was a little envious of her looks but then so was every female who saw her. There was something about Lorna that made you feel intimidated until she started talking to you. So humble, so cheerful and always ready to help someone.
“Not only he didn’t submit his report but told the jury that mine was a fake and it was him who did the good deed not me.” She said so calmly that really confused me. If he did that to me I would want to punch his model perfect face.
“What?! How could you do this to her Brian? And why?”
“Chill out sis, it’s what Lorna wanted.”
“No, I did not want this. I told you to do this my way, not your stubborn, manipulative way.” Now her voice sounded a tiny bit angry at least.
Brian jumped to his feet and took a dramatic deep breath as if he was about to go under water for a while.
“Manipulative? It’s justice, not manipulation. I have to prove them that I’m right. That WE are right.” The way his words came out of his mouth reminded me of his last Final Speech.
“Explain to me what’s going on?” I asked and swallowed back the fear that was stuck in my throat.
“Listen Lia” He looked at me with such brotherly love that I’ve never seen in his eyes before.
“Do you remember my last Final Speech? The part I was talking about you?”
“What?” No, no, no….don’t let this one be true. He’s a manipulative liar. He will say anything to turn the situation in his favour.
“Do you remember?”