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Rise in the Morning
“I’m thirsty, get me some water!”
“No, do my algebra homework!”
A slight girl bounded across the room following orders. Her strong legs moved quickly and gracefully across the smooth wooden floor while two plump teenagers in wheelchairs told her what to do.
After she fed them, bathed them, and did their homework, she started to leave, but paused for a moment in the doorway.
“I have to go now, see you in an hour!” she said with clearly faux enthusiasm. She had said those words over and over ever since she was three and had been taken away from her parents. Ever since then, she had been called Messenger instead of Melissa.
But it wasn’t that she minded the work. Quite the contrary, she loved the way it felt to move her legs and the satisfaction that she got when she had pleased someone. But she never bonded with anyone, it was as if she was supposed to be an emotionless robot who didn’t even know why she obeyed.
The road was empty since no citizens of the state of Deverda (Duh-vair-duh) (population 523) went outside and at this time of day, the government officials would be inside preparing deliveries for Melissa to deliver the next day.
There were other neighboring states. Some were similar to eachother and some were different. The world had reorganized after a small meteor crashed to Earth and killed about ? of the population almost 200 years ago.
Melissa pushed a dark brown curl out of her bright blue eyes as she jogged with her head low and exited the dwelling. A shadow passed over her and then a collision jolted her out of her reverie.
“Watch where you are going! I’m in a hurry, I can’t keep anyone waiting!” she complained. The boy who had bumped into her was tall. He looked to be about two years older than her. He had strong arms and shaggy brown hair. But he was ugly, like Melissa. He lacked about a hundred pounds and his legs were long and toned instead of short and pudgy. She decided that he must be a government apprentice.
“I apologize. Are you Messenger?” he asked.
Melissa gave him another look up and down. All the government officials knew who she was. He would have to be a member of the rebellious group called The Jay Birds. They always dressed in blue and had dirty faces. They refused to be waited upon.
She strongly disliked him. Hate was a very strong word. Too powerful to be used, but a Messenger, especially, was not supposed to hate. Messengers had to love everyone thoroughly and equally.
“Er, yes, but I, uh, can’t talk to you. Um, bye!” Melissa said. He did not understand her. He could never be civilized or educated.
And then she was gone as fast as her speedy legs could carry her to start the bedtime rounds (tucking everyone into bed and such) and then, finally, to curl up in her own bed and fall asleep.
Melissa opened her eyes. She looked around at the paintings that her mother had painted, before her parents had...well Melissa didn’t quite know what had happened to them, but now the dwelling was very empty.
It was the second time that night that she had been awoken from her sleep. The first time it had been because of a thunder storm, but now, someone was insistently knocking on her door. She groggily sat up and stumbled towards the door. The doorknob was icy but Melissa turned it just the same. A tall thin government official was standing in the doorway.
“Melissa, come quickly, I have things to show you,” He said. Only government officials knew Melissa’s real name. “Go get your wrap, we will take a little journey in the rain tonight.”
Melissa grabbed her hydrothermal rain poncho and let the man lead her through the darkness. The ground was slippery from the rain, but the man was brisk and stable. On their way, they passed all 100 of the one floor shacks which were inhabited by the populous, the government facility, and the two small hospitals; all which Melissa could faintly make out in the darkness. Their destination was a small black one roomed building on the edge of the state. Melissa had never been to this place. She had always been instructed to never go past the hospitals and she had obeyed. But now she was curious.
The man opened the door. It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the light, but then Melissa saw the babies. Hundreds of them maybe even thousands all crammed into the little one-roomed building.
“What does the government possibly do with all of these babies?” Melissa inquired.
“Nothing yet, but once we have the right amount, they will be our slaves,” the man replied.
“Where do they come from?”
“One in every four babies that is born gets stolen from its mother at birth and placed here.”
“How long has this been happening?”
“For three years. After we found you, we tried to find more children with similar genetic traits–speed, strength, obedience—but none were quite so perfect. Eventually we gave up on genetic testing and decided that if there were some duds in the mix, the colossal number would make up for that few.”
Melissa stopped for a minute. She had never questioned why she was a messenger, she just did her work. But she enjoyed it. But maybe if she was lazy or weak, the constant jogging around might be laborious. Her mind, which was normally lucid, was in a frazzle. Melissa loved working. Maybe she would be discontent with sitting in a chair all day while another waited on her. But growing slaves who may not even be qualified for physical work seemed unethical.
“I’m sorry, but I need to leave,” Melissa whispered.
Read Part 2!