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Dark auburn curls bounce as she teeters across the thin oak bridge. She peers through squinted sapphire eyes at the flooding skies as they unleash droplets of rain, and she pulls the dark violet hood over her ivory colored skin. Her bare feet land on slippery pavement as she hops over a puddle and onto the abandoned street, as she approaches the decrepit apartment.
She swings the flimsy door open and continues to walk through the darkened hallway with her hooded head down. She slows her walk and traces the tears of the clawed wall as she walks toward the dim doorframe. She bites her full bottom lip wearily. Once the somber piano keys fill her ears, she pushes the heavy door open to reveal a window lit room. Ever so slowly, she closes the door as if she believes he isn’t aware of her presence, even though she feels his gaze upon her. But she is not quiet enough when the unmistakable click of the door sounds through the sad music filled room. The keys stop with a clash, and pale blue eyes look at her through black bangs.
“Evie?” a raspy male voice questions her dark shadow. Her gaze lowers as she replies with breathy words,
“I’m here Drake.” She walks toward the slumped boy sitting on the sleek piano bench and slides next to him in the open space. She studies his pale blue eyes and quickly looks over his tired body. Drake is eighteen, two years elder than Evie and almost like a brother to her. She smoothes out a clump of black rumpled hair and tilts his chin down to her face. She again bites her lower lip to hold back the onslaught of tears as she examines the new bloodied cuts across his tanned face. Bruises cover his muscles arms, and crimson and dirt cover his mutilated clothing. His fingers shake as she places his large hands in her lap and sheds one transparent tear.
“You have to try to do what they say,” Evie whispers. “If you obey them, they won’t hurt you, and they’ll give you what you need.” Flashbacks run through her mind as she remembers the day she witnessed it, the day she saw them use brute force to hurt Drake.
It happened maybe three years ago. The government had been overthrown by the people in an attempt to reduce the population. Greed had taken over the minds of the society, and the people extinguished every law and created a new law, the one and only law, that stated: “Every household may only have two members, one male and one female. If the members are under the age of twenty, they will be called “Expendable” and every “Expendable” must submit to the authority of every person older than said member. If an Expendable does not submit to authority, they will be punished accordingly.”
It was every man for himself. Brothers killed brothers, and fathers killed their children and wives, all to be able to keep their homes and lively hood. Evie’s family was killed. She didn’t know how, but she did know that she now had a house, which she lived in with Drake, whose family had been burned to death in a house fire. They were both Expendables and were to report to authority when they were in need of food, clothing, toiletries, or anything else. To pay for these things, the male expendable would have to perform a task. If he could not do what he was told, he would be beaten to whatever degree the authority thought fit.
Three years ago Drake had become ill. His once sapphire eyes turned to a pale blue and his hands would tense and begin to go numb. The numbness would spread from his hands to his arms, then down his stomach until his body was completely numb and unmovable. Evie was deeply concerned and came across a book that described what Drake had as “Debilitation”. He was in desperate need of medication, so he came forth to the authority and pleaded for it. The task Drake was forced to do was too demanding for his body, and he failed; which resulted in his beatings.
Evie placed Drake’s icy fingers back on the piano keys and beckoned him to fill the room with the gloomy music again. The piano playing pumped the stilled blood within Drake’s fingers, and circulated the blood which would help the numbing. The piano became their porcelain savior.
As Drake’s finger glided in swift movement, Evie looked over him once more. A light smile played across her lips as she noticed his upturned nose that was similar to hers. She also noticed how he had fullness to his lips, and he too had sapphire eyes. Drake wasn’t too terribly taller than her, for she stood at five eleven, and he only conquered her by an inch. She closed her eyes and stretched as she thought that they could easily appear siblings. “Siblings,” she thought. She puffed a burst of air through her nose, “We could be twins.” Her tear teased eyes flew open, and her palms slammed against the hard surface of the piano. Drake jumped and with wide eyes, looked at her accusingly.
“I could be you.” She whispered. Drake’s understanding expression came across his face as she slid off the bench and began to run toward the dresser next to the dreary window. Her shaky hands ripped the drawer out from the paint cracked dresser and splayed all of its contents onto the floor. Her strong fingers coiled around the prized pair of scissors and she looked into Drake’s knowing eyes. Piece after piece, hair fell from her face, and she formed it into a short cut, almost identical to Drakes. She smeared black shoe polish throughout her hair, turning her auburn to black. Then she rapped bandages around her chest, making her appear as a boy, and with that, her task was done.
She knelled before Drake with an accomplished look on her face and sneered, “We are no longer Expendables, Drake. They can’t hurt you anymore. They can’t use brute force against me. I have my mind Drake, and that’s all I’ll need.” And with that she left, out into the pouring rain, to prove she has defeated authorities’ force with the mind of a conqueror and girl whose intelligence, resourcefulness, and integrity triumphs over her opponents’ brute force and number.