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Pre-Caution

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If you were to look at society as an outsider, what would you see? Underneath your increasingly materialistic world, there is truth. You couldn?t see it, because you can?t even recognize the fake, plastic smiles of the lying world you live in. It?s okay, I can?t see them either. We?ll just go on living. Us, and the rest of the oblivious population.

Those who know the world under the layers of thick, sickening sugar are the members of an unnamed universal organization. They are the individuals who run the entire world with the systematic stability of a machine. This organization has no empathy, because they are like robots bound in human flesh. Management and progression of humanity are its only concerns.

The organization had never had an enemy they weren?t able to choke out with one precise movement. For the most part, national governments solved their own problems. The occurrences where the organization tampered were very few. However, when animal-borne illness rates increased, the organization pursued them over-confidently. The threats of an epidemic were overlooked, until they couldn?t be stopped.

...

The large, oaken door stands dusty and aged in the back of the room. Untouched for five months, the door acted as a barrier that created a haven. A girl, short for nine years, stands on the musty carpet in the front of the door .She turns, pulls back the bindings on the windows. Sunlight reflects off of the dust floating in the room. The room was old, and contained few items that were actually used. A wooden table, covered in long green cloth, held a vase of peacock feathers next to a hand-carved bed from a time before even her parents were born. The windows were blocked with barricades of personal mementos. Because of the objects, the place had the feel of an abandoned attic.

The girl took a small, brass key out of the pocket of her nightgown. It was clean, no tarnish despite the age or use. She fitted the key into the lock on the door. This moment had been carefully practiced. Even the breaths were counted with precision. She had nothing else to do anyway, for the past two years, but make sure this day would be carried out perfectly. There was no one to talk to, and no one to listen. The girl didn?t notice when the key hit the metal and caught within the lock. She imagined the sound of the long-awaited tumblers, and the slow click of the opening door. She pictured the rest of the world as she had seen it last. All she got was a key that fought to keep the door shut. With a hand leaning into the dull, splintery wood, she pushed with all that her starved strength would allow. She was overpowered, and collapsed. The small child stood at the door with a long, blank stare and an unfeeling, robotic, sliver of a smile. She let go of her posture and fell on her back laughing.

?The key. They left me the wrong key.? She thought these grim thoughts but couldn?t help her fits of giggles. Being alone had left her mind stir crazy and demented.
Her haven had become her prison. If she couldn?t get out, everything was in vain, the (likely last) efforts of her parents.

?My parents?? She remembered her parents. But when she recalled images, she couldn?t? see their faces. Had she forgotten? There was a good chance. She remembered very little from her months of total isolation.

It had been for her survival to stay in the locked room. It never concerned her before, because she knew that when the food ran out, she would use the key to leave. The rations were almost gone, and now she knew the key was not going to work. She shuffled through the deteriorating cardboard boxes, looking for a misplaced key. Her shaking hands lifted a bent, sepia photograph of a nightgown-clad young woman holding a baby tightly. The caption was titled ?Avery and Lynn Saita, Crowne Beach?. The girl immediately recognized the names, and identified Avery as her mother and Lynn as herself. Lynn, the girl, had lost contact with her mother five months ago. Her mother was somewhere outside, with everyone else. It was only rational to think that she was likely to be dead. Ironically, Avery had been paranoid about this sort of thing happening, and she was trapped outside of the shelter she had created. Avery was only able to save her daughter. And now, Lynn was alone and afraid for the first time. The electric lights were dimming and inconsistently flashing off and there wasn?t anyone to comfort her. Her food would last only a few more weeks before she starved.



Lynn Saita outlived the majority of the human race, due to the careful planning and consideration of her mother. If the organization had been more careful in this way, the epidemic would have been destroyed before millions of casualties in an apocalyptic state.



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