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White Ribbon

Chapters:   « Previous 1 2

Blood Red

I felt lucky that I didn’t see any bodies in the Screen room. The couch were I had sat with Ori was overturned. The screens were smashed and bloody handprints covered the walls, but no one was dead in this room. I almost wanted to kiss the ground.

I was moving less cautiously now, fearing the sight of the dead more than the wrath of the living. I slowly opened my mother’s bedroom door. Her medical wires and tubes were all removed, ripped from her body, a white corpse under bloodstained sheets. I hoped that they shot her first, before they removed her wires, but I remembered her coughing and yelling, and I closed her door, never stepping inside.

My dad had been in the kitchen, and I’d seen blood on the kitchen window. I went there next, carrying some unacknowledged but certainly present thread of hope that he was wearing a bulletproof vest and that he was still alive. He knew he was in danger. I knew he would be wearing his vest!

I flew to the kitchen past the wreckage of the house, grateful that I didn’t see Gia’s body on the way.

But he was very dead. They shot him four times, once in the head. A bulletproof vest would have made little difference. I dared to approach him. I checked for a pulse on his bloody neck, but it was no use. My shoes slipped on the sticky blood. My quivering fingers unbuttoned part of his shirt and suddenly I hated him. He hadn’t even been wearing it. He wasn’t even wearing his bulletproof vest.

Now all that was left was Gia. I was amazed at my coldness. Since descending the tree fort, I had been calculating and observant, remarkably distant. In fact, I saw the bodies of my mom and dad but I had only wanted to cry about the vest. Now I knew I had to find Gia, and I was not crying. I was composed.

As I walked again through the Screen room my shoes left bloody prints on the floor. If someone was waiting for me in the house this would lead him right to me, but at that point I didn’t care. I was barely thinking.

I went to my room first. Everything had been turned over. Clearly they’d been looking for me and my brother. I saw our escape packs lined up there on the floor. I wanted to spit on them. They’d done nobody any good.

Gia’s room was in the same condition as mine, completely destroyed. I was glad I did not see her corpse, but it occurred to me that nothing would stop these monsters from kidnapping Gia, and horrible images of what they might do to a fifteen-year-old girl whirred through my mind. I couldn’t decide if I would rather she were dead.

The intruders had wrecked the entire house. There were bullet holes in every cushion and wall, but I saw none of Gia’s blood. I checked her room again and slid my fingers across the necklace she’d proudly shown to Dad just hours before.

A shot blasted through the room. I screamed. I backed up to the wall. I knew a gun had fired in this room.

“Arcana?” a little voice whispered from under the overturned mattress.

My breath stopped. Now I began to cry, afraid to cry, afraid to hope. “Gia? Is that you?”

Gia slowly crawled out from under the mattress, carrying an ancient revolver in her hand. Her eye sockets looked almost purple. She dragged out her legs to reveal that one had been shot in the calf.

I didn’t wait any longer. She dropped the gun and I ran to her. I hugged her to my chest and kissed her head and face. We didn’t even speak. We just sat and cried.

Gia looked up intently after just a moment. “Arcana, we have to get out of here. They were looking for us: me, you, and Ori. I stayed hidden, and they didn’t know they shot me through the mattress, but I saw them. At first I assumed they were Suprema, like Dad’s been telling us, but they were wearing National uniforms. They were wearing the Seal, Arcana! They came to kill Dad!”

“I know, Gia,” I said.

“But they’re determined to get us! We have to escape and not talk to anyone. They need the whole family dead so it’ll look like Suprema. We need to get out!”

I took a sheet and hastily wrapped Gia’s leg. I helped her hobble to our packs, which she saw with surprise, then admiration, and finally disappointment, realizing Dad had not trusted her with preparing their escape. We began to leave but I decided at the last moment to check my parents’ room for Dad’s packs. They would probably be helpful. I shielded my eyes from my mother’s bed and stuffed the contents of Dad’s bag into mine. Mom’s bag was just a wad of medical wires, so we left it behind.

“Ori!” I whispered loudly below the tree fort. I waited a moment. “Ori!”

I climbed up. He wasn’t there.

It occurred to me suddenly that when he heard the shot he must have gone to the Mayerson’s. I told this to Gia.

“If they communicate to the Police…” Gia began in a panic.

“We’ll just get him quickly,” I said, but before we could move at all the sirens blared. The National Autos would soon arrive.

Gia could only hobble, really, because her leg was injured, but she picked up a stick to help her walk. There was a small patch of woods behind our house but beyond that were more developments. I hadn’t considered how many streets we’d have to pass in order to get Outside, how many people might report us. It might take a month just to escape the City boundaries. In my mind I had a vague idea of following Dad’s plan, but I knew even then that it was a stupid idea. Even then I knew that all of Dad’s plans had relied on his survival.

But I couldn’t think of that now. It was the only plan I had to go by, and now we needed Ori, and he was trapped next door.

“Gia,” I said quickly, “give me the gun. You can’t run with that leg so I’ll get Ori. You go through the woods as fast as you can and then pass as many streets and houses as you can. We’ll meet you, Gia.”

Gia hesitated, but the sirens made her decision. She handed me the revolver and I sprinted to the neighbor’s house. The Autos were approaching rapidly. Why did they come now for Ori, and not to investigate the gunshots at home? I swallowed, painfully hating the betrayal of the state. The Autos parked in front of the house.

I didn’t wait for the Mayersons to open their back door. I barged right in and saw Ori and Mr. and Mrs. Mayerson standing desperately around a Communicator.

“Arcana!” Ori shouted, running to me with open arms.

The Police knocked on the front door. I grabbed Ori’s wrist and we bolted out the back.

“Wait! Stop!” Mr. Mayerson’s voice quickly caught my ear.

I heard their front door open and Mrs. Mayerson wailed, “They’re running out the back!”

The Police started after us.
Chapters:   « Previous 1 2

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This book has 87 comments. Post your own now!

jbaker0184 said...
Mar. 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm
Very Interesting story Emily.  I realy liked where you went with it.  My name is Jake and I want you to stay in touch with me.  I may need help with my novel.
EmilyGram replied...
Mar. 30, 2011 at 3:04 pm
Hi Jake!  I would love to help you out with your novel!  That's what this site is for :)  Any specific feedback you can give me about White Ribbon so far would be greatly appreciated as well!
BrielleM-JustAnotherOwl- said...
Mar. 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm
Hehe. Now I'm just pathetically waiting until new chapters are up...
EmilyGram replied...
Mar. 30, 2011 at 3:02 pm
I'm so glad!  I will be posting chapters 13-16 very soon! :)  Thanks for all your votes and support!
Medina D. said...
Mar. 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm

oh, and i forgot to say i love how almost all the chapters are named after colors. i got caught in the story, i felt like i knew all the characters right away. And it was cool how instead of starting the story with a huge introduction, you just started the scene.

Ok, NOW I'm officially done with my feedback :)

i'll be sure to buy this book in barnes and noble!! ;)

EmilyGram replied...
Mar. 21, 2011 at 9:52 pm
Thank you thank you thank you thank you.  This comment really made my day.  Thank you!
Medina D. replied...
Mar. 22, 2011 at 11:44 am
your welcome :D
Medina D. said...
Mar. 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Hi Emily. Thanks so much for asking me to read your story!! i enjoyed reading every chapter. You have excellent writing skills, i tell you. Of all the nice novels i imagine on the shelves of bookstores, this one would fit right in. The words weave together so beautifully. You say so much in so little words. The story.........how it was written........when i read the summary i knew it was going to be a good story. This is authentic sci fi right here. I'm enchanted, impressed. WOW *rubs eyes in... (more »)

mummers4 said...
Mar. 20, 2011 at 6:29 am


Yesterday, I reread the first 8 chapters of your story and then read your latest chapters.  Your latest chapters are as outstanding as the first 8.  Your characters have life and involve the reader with their problems and feelings. I can't wait to read more. This book should certainly be published!

EmilyGram replied...
Mar. 21, 2011 at 9:52 pm
Thank you, mummers4, for all your feedback and support!
lotrisamazing said...
Mar. 19, 2011 at 7:01 pm
This is so good! I am not very far but I want to keep reading because I need to know what happens! It is very well written, not choppy, not overdone, and I like the perspective and setting!
EmilyGram replied...
Mar. 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm
Thank you!  I'm glad you like it!
PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm
i'm very impresed with this story  i read the whole thing in one sitting, and couldnt get enough of it,  i love the way the characters are written, and the story flows marvelously  i'm not much of a sci fye fan, but i greatly enjoyed this story  keep it up!
EmilyGram replied...
Mar. 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm
Thank you so much.  You commented on all of my TeenInk writings and I'm so grateful for that!  Your feedback is so encouraging, and I can't thank you enough.
koolwords said...
Mar. 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm

well, this is one of those "oh my goodness" stories. It's really well thought out, and the more I read the more I like.


I think the romantic part is really nice, and the almost kind of secrecy behind everything is cool too.


I haven't finished yet (becuase of that evil thing called school) but I can't wait to read more.

EmilyGram replied...
Mar. 21, 2011 at 9:50 pm
Thank you.  I really appreciate your comment, and if you do get a chance to finish it, please let me know what you think of the rest! :)
koolwords replied...
Mar. 22, 2011 at 6:43 am

Hey I finished it and it was really good.

I liked how there was this kind of twist were you aren't sure who's the bad guy. Then the whole thing about the society's laws about no outsiders. It's just cool.


Keep writing because I'm sure we're all waiting for the end and we all would rather have it sooner then later.


Rock on!

star3x8 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 16, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Wow! This is really good! You got my attention from the very beginning, when you explained that Ori has a "sense", for a lack of better word. And then you have a scene where both parents die. You have a great start- and I just finished chapter 1.

Great job! I'll definitely continue reading.

EmilyGram replied...
Mar. 16, 2011 at 9:15 pm
Thank you!  Please let me know what you think of the rest!  I look forward to your comments!
BrielleM said...
Mar. 14, 2011 at 7:04 pm
This is insanely great! I could definitely see it as a published book. I love the characters. I'm only on the seventh chapter, but I'm already sold on it. (:
BrielleM replied...
Mar. 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm
Alright. Done. Could you please post more? It's so amazing and now I really want to know what will happen! (:

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