Population | Teen Ink


April 12, 2018
By LizzyLarson BRONZE, Osage, Iowa
LizzyLarson BRONZE, Osage, Iowa
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

     It's the year 2334, for years the world has been changing, and currently, too many people are around. In smaller towns, food and clothes have been going scarce. Many new rules have taken place, but the one that is mainly followed is the rule of Population.

     The town of Harston is among one of the small towns, and everyone there is very well knitted together. Every family has one child, or two if they're lucky, but no one ever leaves home. Home is where it's safe, isn't it? Because if you don't leave home, then you'll have a better chance of not being put into other towns drawing rounds for Population.

     Harvey Jones is among the teenagers that wish their lives were different. Harvey has always been a curious kid, and he's never gone farther than the schoolyard, which is his house. Most parents in Harston have homeschooling license because the school systems nowadays suck. Despite never being in school he still had a friend, she is three years younger than Harvey, and goes by the name Gina.

     Gina was into things regular twelve years olds liked, but she was also more frightened than other girls her age were. Her parents raised her to never step one foot out of line because she could ruin it all.

     Gina sat on her porch playing with her porcelain doll, they had been one of the main things that everyone had decided to keep with them in the future. Out of the corner of her eye, the small girl saw Harvey staring at an old tree with a lonely rope and tire hanging from it. Ah, sweet memories. How everyone missed the freedom to be a kid. It was almost as if as soon as you were born your parents shoved a briefcase into your hand and forced you to be independent.

     "Hey, Harvey!" Gina smiled and waved as the dusty-haired boy looked over at her and gave a small smile.

     "Hey, shortcake." Gina began giggling and crawled under the steel and glass fence.

     "Did you hear that there's going to be more drawings soon?" Harvey's body shuddered as he was reminded, just the day before the police unit had knocked on his door and claimed his mother go with them to the small Medical Center, as well as many other women in the area.

     Harvey had sure been noticing it, but his mother was rapidly gaining weight. A nightly conversation was Harvey asking if she was pregnant, and her, of course, denying it. He had every reason to believe his mother, why wouldn't he believe her?

     "Of course I have. It just makes me procrastinate my will to live more. I mean we could be picked any moment, haven't you noticed that the picks keep getting younger?" Harvey said plain as day. He wasn't the happiest camper about the law.

     Later on that evening, at the Mayor's house, Carmen Stevey was nervously fiddling with her bracelet under the table. Her boss, the mayor, always made her want to fiddle with her bracelet. It was a nervous habit of hers; if she felt something was about to go wrong you could hear her bracelet charms smacking together as she fiddled with the piece of metal.

     Currently, the Congress of Harston was choosing the name of the next innocent soul that would be taken away. Her heart started beating fast as the holographic computer started spinning around them with hundreds of faces and names popping up every second.

     The town rarely ever had people nominated to leave, but if they had been nominated for, well let's face it, murder, they would be told when and by who they were nominated. A face of a pubescent teenager popped up. His eyes were a mix of purple and blue, must've had poor eyesight as a younger child.

     "Sir, we can't kill him!" Carmen blurted out as she jumped up from her seat as all of her thoughts came rushing to her head.

     "What are you talking about, Stevey?" The mayor looked over at her with a face of repulsive anger.

     "He's a teenager, and he," she looked at the name of the boy, Harvey Jones, and then at the name of who he was nominated by, "Why did Beatrice Jones nominate him? What is their relationship?" She asked frantically as the young man running the computer pulled up the file of Beatrice.

     Her medical files came up.

Beatrice Jones:

Family: Neal Jones, Harvey Jones, daughter on the way

Medical Visits: Pregnant

Recent Nominations and Reasons:

Harvey Jones: My son isn't happy in this world, and I need a place for his soon to be little sister. I beg of you to let me know when he is chosen. I'll tell him he's going on a trip! Tell him Disneyland is being rebuilt! Oh, how he loved that place when he was younger.

     On a Tuesday afternoon, a knock came on the small plastic house of the Jones household. Harvey got up to answer it and his face dropped.

     "Is Mrs.Jones here? We have news on who has been picked last night." Harvey felt his heart drop as he stared at the short red haired lady who was fiddling with a silver bracelet.

     "My mother was picked?" His voice quivered while he was speaking.

     "No! Heavens no dear, we, I mean, I, just need to speak to her."

     Harvey felt a presence behind him and turned around to the terrified face of his mother.

     "Please, please, come in!" she looked at Harvey as they walked into the den. "Honey, why don't you stay with us? It's better for this nice lady to tell you what's happening."

     The three of them walked inside and sat in the chairs surrounding the classic wooden coffee table.

     "Mrs. and Mr. Jones, Harvey, well there's no easy way to say this...." Carmen trailed off as she dreaded telling this family, but couldn't help but glare at Beatrice as she kept looking at her son in a shameful trance.

     "Can you just tell us your name first?" Harvey complained getting impatient.

     "Oh, oh yes. I apologize for being rude," She stuck out a hand. "I'm Carmen Stevey." Harvey took her hand as so did his mother. The tension in the room wouldn't even be able to be cut through without a steak knife at this point.

     "Is this umm, about, what I think it's about?" The voice of Beatrice was small, yet overpowering with fear.

     "Yes. Your son Harvey, his name was chosen last night and seeing as he has been nominated by... um... someone in this family, we will have him be taken soon seeing as you do next week." If possible Carmen saw the face of Harvey and his mother drop even more upon hearing the news.

     "Wait, who nominated me?" the voice of the purple-eyed boy quivered and broke.

     "Your mother." Carmen gave a glare that would instantly turn anyone to ice.

     "So you're pregnant, you nominated me to make room for that damn mistake, and now I'm going to die?" His heart was beating out of his chest as a single bead of sweat danced down his forehead. "Screw you." He got up in a hurry and left the house.

     Harvey had knocked on Gina's door almost an hour ago, and now they were filled with the running sound in the busy town square trying to find any way to not be noticed. Of course, there was an occasional voice declaring that Harvey is turned in.

     "Harvey, what's happening?" her pigtails bounced as they ran and hid in a corner of a cool yellow brick building.

     "My mom nominated me..." Their eyes met and Gina gasped quietly.

     "Stop joking with me." her soft soprano voice met him and tickled his ears.

     Harvey just sighed and he continued walking down the cabbage smelling alleyway. Gina had been feeling like something was crawling up her leg the whole time they had been walking and continued to nervously shake her leg every couple of steps.

     Carmen sat in her car. She had been driving for a while when she saw the familiar dusty hair of Harvey.

     "Hey, I'm going to get you out of here." She whispered almost as if it had hurt her to start breaking the rules of her power in Congress.

     "Why should he trust you?" Carmen looked to Harvey's left and saw a barely five-foot girl looking at her angrily, she seemed a little like the green character called Plankton from her favorite children's show.

     "Because, sweetheart, I'm going to be keeping you both safe at my house." She sighed as she unlocked the car. "You're both wanted back in the poverty circle."

     Harvey shakily reached a hand to the back seat hovering car door and got in.

     "I'm confused as to why you're helping me when you were the bearer of bad news," Harvey said as Gina climbed in after him and the automatic seatbelts seem to lock them in, there was no turning back now.

     "Your mother is in labor right now. I told her husband how they were the scum of the earth if they thought it appropriate to nominate their own son." Harvey sighed as he looked out the window, he felt as he was in prison.

     They took turns and twists in the hovering car as a song filled with ignorant boops and bops filled their deadly silence. Soon the car stopped at a house.

     "Now entering, Stevey Residence." A robotic voice informed them as the car came to a stop and started descending down into the second garage of her house.

     Before getting out of the car Carmen sighed. She was now entering a life of a fugitive.

The author's comments:

I began writing this story for my English class. I hope you enjoy this piece. :)

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