Standard

‘1 in every five kids will die on the train’. As I read the blue and black poster across from me I felt a chill run down my spine. Public transportation was never my first option. Not even before the war broke out. But today just happened to be my lucky day. My car broke down on my way to school and the fliers stopped service months ago. Fliers are- or rather were- the only safe way of transportation. I guess you can say that they are the zip cars of the 31st century. They were clean, engery efficient, and fast. The old rusty car trains like the one I was riding in have long since been forgotten. Until the war broke out. I had to have been 14 at the time. I remembered the sky was a thick foggy mush that morning. The streets were damp with rain from the previous night. Everything was quiet. It seemed as if the world was dead… Completely dead… Then I remember the sirens screeching through the corner speakers. Those are all busted now. People tore the metal apart and sold them for scraps. It was the East country against the West country. It started with some stupid political disagreement that ended up taking lives. Or at least that was what my told me. Both my parents were drafted. Living on the East side meant men and women were equal. In all things. Yes, it meant that we had equal pay and medical benefits, but it also meant that we were all expected to protect our lands in a time of war. My dad left first. He didn’t think it would last that long. He died three days after being deployed. The government doesn’t pay military families anything in life insurance. That was a custom that was dropped many generations ago. They pay for the funeral. And they give the first born a scholarship. That’s as far as it went. A week after my dad died, my mom was drafted. I didn’t see her the next morning when I got up. Some people said that they heard the guards come drag her to the camps. I think that she ran away to the hillside. She always spoke about the grassy plains of her youth…
I wasn’t very close to her anyway, so I didn’t mind being on my own. The scholarship allowed me to stay in the city. Soon, I was able to get a job at a relocation facility. Most people fled the broken down metal yards that we used to call our safe haven home. Now, all that’s left are the students, the poor, and the homeless peace holding hippies. The war will be over soon. That’s what the newscasters said. All our videos are in black and white now. We had to go back to the technology of the 80s so that we could pour more money into the military coups… I saw the lights on the trains flicker. I have just a few more stops. I’m 17 now. Every year that I grow my chance of getting mugged on the trains go down. They want people that they can be persuaded to change sides. That’s what the newscasters said. The lights just flickered again… The doors just opened on the other side of the train… Just have a few more stops. A man just got on with me. He keeps muttering the words “one in every five kids”. I have one more stop.

– Writingdilegently

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