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The New and Old Alike

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Dust grew over every surface and the wind began to howl to itself over and over again. The insects lived no more on the barren land which once had an abundance of food and water. The trees all lay mutilated on the ragged roads. Oxygen was sucked out of the atmosphere just as a vacuum would suck up dust. Empty cans of dry cat food rolled across the ground and the sun completely dried up all that was left of life. Peace between this old land and the new one could not be reached. It was decided to move out and start over again.

Meanwhile up thirty thousand kilometers at the center of the universe, a small group of kids were gathered in the dump yards. Living in gate Q of Block A. These gates were distributed by wealth. Gate A would be for the wealthier people and the further the Gate the more it would be for the lower working class.

This was the system that what was left of the United States of America had decided to use to distribute between the wealthy and the poor. Supposedly hard decisions for a broken world.
The Dump yards of Block A were known to have many old shoes lying around. Many of the wealthier people tended to throw away a pair that could have been used another two years. A young boy named Ramón was tying his shoes together as he realized that he needed to buy a new pair. The shoes that he was wearing were addidas and he’s had them on for about four years. His toes were sticking out at the edge of the rubbery crease. He decided to toss them away as he made the pile of trash higher as he dug inside looking for a new pair hoping that maybe someone from Gate A threw away.

“What kinds are you looking for? Asked Timothy who was Ramón’s best friend. He lived three houses down from Ramon and his family always came over for dinner.

“I think a pair of dark green running shoes would be nice. Ramon replied.

Timothy gave Ramon a stern look as if trying to tell him to just pick what was there.

“Alright! I’ll take whatever you can find.” yelled Ramon.

The group consisted of four young boys the age of 10. There was Ramon, Timothy, and the two twins Gregory and Paulie. They all were living in Block D, but Gregory and Paulie's family were trying to upgrade and get a new condo up in Block C. They wanted their kids to be safer and get more of an education. The news leak about the shortage of oxygen around the lower gates in Block A caused a wide panic.

“Hey Ramon I found something! It’s a pair of old running shoes.” yelled Paulie.

“What color are they?” asked Ramon.

Paulie looked at the soles of the shoes carefully and looked up in confusion.

“I don’t know. I think they may have been blue or black before they were thrown away.
The shoes were addidas, but they were old. The rubber grip was already faded and the once new shoes were now helpless and tattered.

As Ramon took the shoes they felt a cold rush go through their bodies. Fear immediately came over them as they all began to sprint back home. It seems as if a new story would soon be on the news. Ramon was almost home when he heard the sirens at a distance fly closer and closer to the dump yard.

As Ramon got home he slammed the door shut. He ran straight to his mom and she embraced him like she’s never embraced him before.

“Ramon, Where were you? I was so worried?”

“Sorry mom, I was at the dump yards and that’s when we felt it. Did something happen? Asked Ramon in a panic.

“Yes someone was killed around the dump yards. Ramon I don’t want you going out around there anymore. It’s getting too dangerous.” Replied Ramon’s mom.

The small T.V was lying on top of the counter and Ramon couldn’t resist.

“On!” Ramon yelled as the T.V instantly turned on.

The sound of the news reporter was monotone as his face showed no expression. Ramon could even see the wrinkles on his dry skin and whenever his mouth opened to speak, the creases on his forehead moved like a constant pulsing wave. The voice was faint to Ramon’s ears because he was a personal witness to the violence that was going on in the ghettos.

“Just in, there was a mass killing around the dump yards at Block A and the bodies were thrown into the local river. The contamination of the river is still questionable, yet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is doing everything in their power to keep the river functional again. The murderer is still on the loose so I advise everyone who lives around Gate Q in Block A to remain at home until this problem is solved.

The tense moment passed and Ramon began wondering why he was worrying about nothing.

“At least you’re home now.” Stated Ramon’s mom as she went back into the kitchen. Ramon’s home looked a lot like his old one. The only difference was that the walls were made out of glass and there was no sunlight that shined through them. The inside consisted of an old carpet, which smelled of dried up fish, and the sofa’s cushion was all ragged and torn. The once shiny green was now a dark murky brown.

Ramon had to climb over his younger brothers mattress to get to his bed, which was lying on next to his on the living room floor. He shared a room with his brother and his mother slept in the closet sized room across from where he was standing. There was trash piled up everywhere and Ramon felt at home because he felt as if he was living in the dump yards. This was what the new ghettos were like.

A few weeks later Ramon heard a yell from the window. It sounded a lot like Paulie. He sprang up and sprinted to the window and in the process woke my younger brother Sam up.

Sam began to cry as he had a huge welt on under his right eye. That was where Ramon supposedly stepped on in order to reach the window. Paulie lived four windows down from where Ramon lived and it seems as if Timothy woke up through all the commotion. He was already at his window and looking as groggy as ever.

“What’s wrong?” asked Ramon.

“They found the killer, so we can go out again!”

Timothy’s half closed eyes went from groggy to fully awake when he heard that they could go outside again.

Lets all go back to the dump yards! He said surprising all of them.

The dump yard was no different from when they were there in the past. The same tires were stacked where they should have been and the piles of trash never grew short.

The boys began to play catch with whatever they could find around their feet. Gregory was cradling a big piece of foam, which came from an old box containing a satellite T.V.

As the boys continued to dig through the trash, a small Bentley flew by and trash was dumped everywhere.

An old banana peel slapped Timothy’s face as the trash bags were being tossed over the sides of the car.

Laughter could be heard inside the car as the kids inside were watching a television show.

“Man why do they get a car from the Government and we don’t. This is stupid, ever since our parents left earth they always tell us how they we have to work hard, but look at how much harder we have to work to get food than those kids!” Spit was flying everywhere, as Timothy’s voice grew louder and louder.

“Dude, calm down. It’s fine we just have to work harder that’s all.” Replied Ramon.

“Exactly, a little harder. You know what, I’m going to go.” Timothy stated with his back to us as he grew smaller and smaller.

The boys continued to go to the dump yards everyday of the week, but Timothy was the only one who decided to stop coming at times.

“Yo, Tim what’s going on? Why won’t you hang out with us anymore?” Ramon asked.

“Well, I’ve been busy with things.” He replied.

“What things?” Paulie asked in confusion.

“It’s nothing. Forget it. Hey who wants to play pirate?”

At the mention of Pirate everyone but Ramon went into a crazy frenzy of shooting imaginary ships and pretending to be the Captain on board.

Ramon gazed at Timothy and saw that his facial features were growing far to fast for a ten year old. He was growing a small goatee, which sprouted out like gophers ready to show whenever they felt like it. He had dark shadows under his eyes, which meant that he wasn’t getting enough sleep. What worried Ramon was that Timothy never slept over anymore and this was something that he always did.

After the day ended Paulie and Gregory went home, and Ramon and Timothy stayed back.

“Hey Tim, Do you want to sleep over tonight. We can watch T.V all night.”

“Sorry man, but I can’t. I’m too busy tonight.”

At that point, Ramon was going to argue, but he decided against it because he chose to see where Ramon went every night and he wanted to see for himself why he was so busy.

“Alright, then I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Okay, see you later.” Timothy responded.

Ramon first walked home to get Tim to think that he was gone. But Ramon only turned the corner of the dump yards, and then he sprinted straight back. Tim was still standing there, but he was holding something shiny in his hand. It was a cell phone, but what shocked Ramon was that cell phones were really hard to get now. Ever since the people abandoned earth all technology had to be upgraded to perfection and Ramon was looking at a cell phone, which was in Gate Q!

Ramon crawled close up behind a dumpster to hear what was going on.

“Yeah, I’m all set. I’ll meet you at the spot soon. Are you sure this is going to work though… Alright I’ll be right there.”

Timothy began to move before Ramon could adjust to the situation, and before he knew it Tim was gone. He went through the back alley and disappeared. The back alleys were a place that every parent wouldn’t want their children to go to. They always warned kids of the dangers that were there.

Ramon dropping his head in defeat turned back to go home. When Ramon got home he saw that his mom left on the T.V. She was sleeping and his little brother was passed out as well. He began screaming out random shows hoping they would be on, but the only response he got from his T.V set was “Sorry this show isn’t currently airing.”

All that Ramon was able to get was the news. He was about to turn it off, but a picture on the T.V screen stopped him from turning it off.

On the screen there was a picture of a kid who had a small goatee, and dark shadows under his eyes. Ramon didn’t want to believe everything, but how can the news lie.

“This just in, a young boy who currently is living in Gate Q of Block A has been seen snooping around Gates B of Block A. His name is Timothy Matthias and he is ten years old. He was caught and confronted by two older men, but he’s killed them both and he’s currently on the run. If anyone knows his whereabouts please call this number now.”

At that point Ramon shut off the T.V. He looked out his window to see the flashing of lights all around Timothy’s house and he knew that Timothy was soon to be caught. The police were looking for his friend, the friend that he knew for all his life. He remembered his parents telling him about how life in the New World would be a lot better and that they would be happier.

Ramon gazed out into space and saw a far distant planet, which looked brown. His mother came up behind him and began to rub his shoulders in comfort.

“Was that planet earth?” Ramon asked.

“Yeah, it was.” His mother replied.

Ramon’s mother looked in wonder at all the police cars and flashing lights as she began to walk back into her room.

“I guess nothing does change,” she stated as her door closed.





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