The Final Trial of Emma Lee
Author's note: This was inspired like most of my writing is inspired: me, being bored and just thinking about "What would happen if..."
Chapter 1The clock moved slowly. Excrutiatingly slowly. It's hands taunted her, inching past the numbers. The longer she watched it, the slower it went, but every day, without fail, Emma watched the clock. She silently willed the minute hand to move faster, hoping that one day, it would.
Tick, tock, tick tock.
She felt her mind slipping away, as it usually did, but like usual, she called it back to the present. The recent daydreams she had been having were more like daymares.
"What's happening? Why is this happening?"
"It was you! You sabotaged us!" Blurry faces haunted her dreams, some with soft, angry features, some with strangely red faces, and one that frightened her above all others. The man with no nose, and his other features contorted as she could feel herself being lifted up, up up-
She suddenly felt a sharp poke in her back. Emma jumped, and saw the teacher staring at her.
"Emma! She asked you a question!" whispered her friend Celene from behind her.
The teacher still stared at her expectantly. Emma looked away. "I... wasn't paying attention. I don't know what the question is..."
The teacher sighed, and swore in Swedish. "Do you know how important it is to learn the history of the world?" she said, and turned around to write on the scuffed blackboard.
"Yes Mrs. Blankkvic," chimed in the class, minus Emma and Celene.
Without turning around, Mrs. Blankkvic asked another question. "Celene! Why is it important?"
Celene rolled her eyes, but stood up to the side of her chipped desk. "So history will not repeat itself, Mrs. Blankkvic."
The teacher turned around, and displayed to the class what she had been writing on the board. "After the epidemic of the Cold Fire, every living human on the earth gathered in London," said Mrs. Blankkvic, "We settled in the Tower of London, and built up our defenses against the virus." Her eyes flashed, and against her will, Emma flinched.
"All of you are very lucky to be alive."
Emma sighed, and looked around the room. Almost every of the fifteen students looked different, and each was from a different corner of the earth. Celene was from what used to be Egypt, there were three students from Africa, one from Canada, and a few from Asia and South America. A good portion of the kids in the compound were British, because of the quarantines that had been set up in that country. The living humans believed everyone in Australia died.
And Emma? Emma was the last person alive that lived in the United States.
Emma jumped out of her daydream as Mrs. Blankkvic asked another question in her Swedish accent. English was the official language of the Compound. "Can Nica tell me what happened to every living person?"
Nica, the Camerooneain, stood up. "The governments tried to clean up the bodies, but the virus got out of control too fast. London was the only city that was evacuated, and that is why we can live here without seeing bodies on the streets."
The teacher nodded, and pointed to the board. "And that is why each and every one of you shall serve a purpose in the compound: to help the human race survive. You are all almost fifteen, and when you reach that age you will be expected to do your duty, and be matched up with your ideal partner to let the human race grow again."
Emma made a face, but all the other girls nodded. After the epidemic of the Cold Fire, the government implemented a law so that the human race would not die out: that every girl had to have children. She wasn't very keen on it, though. From all the romance novels she had read, girls were supposed to fall in love before they had kids. And there was something called "marriage" that usually came first, she recalled.
Emma thought she was the only one to notice that the world was slipping back into the primitive ages. Tucking her brown ringlets behind her ear, she picked up her cracked pen and began filling in answers to the worksheet that was sitting in front of her.
What was the year America wrote their Constitution?
1787, thought Emma, and she scribbled it down. As she made a loop for the eight, her pen sputtered and died. Squiggling frantically on the top of her page, she tried to get the stubborn ink to flow again. But the pen wouldn't yield, and Emma was left with a half done assignment and an entirely empty writing utensil.
She slowly made her way up toward the teacher, dreading the confrontation she was about to face. Each detail in the floor brought her closer and closer to possible detention. The plastic, run-down desks passed by too quickly for her liking, and her tennis shoes wouldn't stop moving.
She finally reached the teacher's desk, an old looking thing with a pull-out counter top. Emma cleared her throat, and Mrs. Blankkvic looked up, annoyed.
Emma took a deep breath. "My... my pen ran out of ink, ma'am."
Mrs. Blankkvic made a face, and pulled out the drawer in her desk, rummaging around. Her stubby hands fished through a colorful brochure, a red binder, and layers upon layers of sticky notes with dates written on them. Her hand felt for the cool tip or plastic edge of a pen. A few seconds later, she came out triumphant. "That's the last pen I have, don't waste it!" A death glare was the only thing Emma had to remember as she made her way back to her desk with her new pen.
Celene tapped her on the shoulder again. "You could've just asked me if you could borrow one, I get plenty off of Mr. Cameron when he isn't looking."
Emma smiled a bit, and waved her friend away. With supplies running so short, it wasn't a surprise that her friend was hoarding the thing she used the most: drawing supplies.
While rushing to finish her worksheet in time, the bell suddenly rang, and the girls filed silently out of the classroom. Emma slipped back into the stupor that was the Compound, picked up her paper, stuck her pen in her pocket, and headed out the stone archway to her next class.