Shoes. I hadn’t seen a pair for years, not proper, shop-bought, complete shoes that had a hope of keeping your feet dry.
I remember the patent red pair that Mum had bought me as a little girl. I had loved those shoes, loved how they reminded me of cherries. I could barely remember the taste of any fruit, not any more. Yet still my mouth watered at the thought.
I shielded my eyes from the fierce sun as the shoes danced back and forth, tantalizingly. I bet the wires from which the shoes dangled hadn’t carried messages for a decade.
My feet ached for those shoes. I had made up my mind to retrieve them when a rogue cloud covered the sun. The land around me lost its bleach and I saw that the hillock on the ground was more sinister. It was the remains of a man, long dead, his arm reaching up in a last attempt to gain his prize.
This was a trap. No doubt there were live wires buried in the telegraph pole, ready to pass on their own message to us rebels. We will kill you all.
“You’re full of questions today, aren’t you, poppet?”
“But how am I going to learn about things if I don’t ask questions? That’s what granny tells me.”
“Your granny tells you a lot of things, but it doesn’t mean you have to believe all of them.”
I envy my daughter. I wonder how long it will be before her sense of wonder is replaced with constant mistrust and fear. I sigh.
“OK. The Facility is a prison. It’s where bad people are sent, the ones who don’t respond to Treatment.”
“Like school, but instead of learning things like reading and writing, they learn how to be better behaved.”
“Oh. So the ones who don’t learn their lessons get sent out there?”
An approaching ice-cream van distracts her. Time enough for her to realise that The Facility is merely a staging post. It is full of men and women forced to copulate and produce violent, bloodthirsty children, children who are trained in the art of war.
I am The Facility’s architect, may humanity forgive me. May my daughter forgive me.
Here’s my latest entry intoAlistair’s Sunday Photo Fiction. He supplies us with his own wonderful photos, so deserves our support! I’ve been working on my dystopian novel in progress today, and I just can’t seem to shake the dark mood, as I expect you can tell! Happy Sunday, all….
Do take part if you have time, or just pop over and read the other entries!