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A short story

User Thread
 44yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Praetor is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
A short story
It's nowhere near done, and it needs a title. Anysuggestions would be good, I'm gonne keep posting it on here as i write it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Stupid Echoes, thought Joey. Why does this always happen? And at the worst times. Oh well. Joey put one hand down to prop himself up while he rose to his feet. His shins would be sore for a while after that one. Joey bent over to pick up the small sack he carried with him whenever he went to the park. It was a nice place, where he went to escape the problems of his house. The only problem was, it seemed to be a hotspot for Echoes. No one knew why, heck no one even knows what the Echoes really are. All anybody knows is that hitting one is like running into something physically. Occasionally you got some very violent ones too, like being hit by a hovercar or something.
Joey threw his bag down on the bench and flopped over onto it. Well, he tried anyhow. What it felt like he landed on was someone laying on the bench. Stupid Echoes, every time. The experts say it's getting worse too.

~

30901 was special. She was the first in a new generation. She new enough of the history in school to understand why her people were given numbers, and not names, until they were older. It kept the common folk in line. Not so, in her mind. But apparently 200 generations of tradition hadn't proven that wrong. Oh well, she thought.
She hated working in the factories. But everyone had to do it. Until you earned your name, you were simply a worker. She couldn't wait until she earned her name, she would pick out something pretty. But... she didn't know what the Named considered pretty. She guessed it would change all the time, but you never really knew until you became a Name. Until then she was just 30901.
Everyday she would go to the park to dream of the day she would get her name, she would go after work, on her way home. The park, if you could even call it that, was a barely one acre area of grass with a few benches and the only tree left in her dome. She was told the tree was over a hundred years old. A hundred years! That's almost as long as some of the Named live, she was told. But no one really knew anymore, only the Named knew.
Today was special. Not that she would have known it was special when she rolled out of the thing she had to call a bed this morning, or when she was at work, or even when she was on her way to the park. In fact, she had no idea until she lay down on her favorite bench to rest. She hadn't been there but a moment when she felt it. It was as if a huge weight had been cast upon her, almost like another person trying to jump on her. She knew what it was, everybody knew. She had to find a Named.
She hopped up off the bench and began running toward the Named quarters on the opposite side of the dome. What would they say? she wondered. Would they believe her? Probably not, but it was worth a try, maybe she could finally earn her name. She would pick something pretty.

~

Amras saw it coming. He saw everything. He had to, he was a plainshifter. He bridged the gap between Peace and Chaos. Between Order and Anarchy. Between Hope and Despair. He was one of few, and his job was great. If only the common people knew. Knew everything he saw and heard, everything he was part of, but yet could not participate in.
It was on the Schedule, of course he knew it would happen. The boy would have another annoying day in the park, and the girls life would change forever. That's the way it always worked. She would get her name, he would get annoyed. It wasn't exciting very more. In fact it hadn't been exciting for almost 200 generations now. Yeah, he was old. But he was used to it.
Being an Elder Plainshifter didn't help, it just gave him a larger burden. Luckily he was almost to child bearing age. He would have his child, like all elder Elders, then pass into either Peace or Chaos, depending on how well he had done his job. 2 more generations he thought. Although, nothing really eventful had happened in his past 198 generations. If only what lay ahead had been on the Schedule.

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"What's the point in not conforming, if it changes you?"
 49yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Sorceress is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I love it!It's brilliant. Really original. I can't wait to read more.

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""Each child holds the world in an open hand to mould it into any shape they choose.""
 44yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Praetor is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Joey looked down at his watch. 22:51, only 9 minutes until he had to be home. Oh well, he thought, as he closed the book he had been reading and shoved it into his pack. Might as well head home to see who's fighting now. Probably mother and Jeff again. They were always fighting. Joey hated it, he got out of the house whenever he could. But being back past his curfew would only make it worse.
He walked quickly from the park, not that he had far to go, his house was only 3 blocks away, but better to not be late. He arrived at the front door to find it locked. Not surprising, he had forgotten it was Tuesday, his mother always worked over on Tuesdays and Jeff was probably out with his friends. At least that gave him some more time alone. He walked around to the back of the house, slipping between the barely meter wide area between his house and the next. The spare key was hidden above the back door to his house, but only him and his oldest brother Kyle knew about it. They kept it there for when Jeff and Mother were fighting.
He unlocked the door, and went inside, straight up to his room. He hated being downstairs. He hated being anywhere in the h house besides his room. He hated a lot of things, now that he thought about it. The only things he could really stand were his older brother Kyle... being alone... and that was about it. I guess I still like my dad, he thought, glancing at the picture of him with the rest of his family he kept on the stand by his bed. It was old, taken from when he was only 8, with the five of them out at his grandparents. That was before his grandparents had been killed. Before his mom and brother fought all the time. Before his dad had died. Before he hated the world.

~

30901 ran as fast as she could toward the door of the Named Palace. That was funny, she thought, that they should call it a palace. It was nothing compared to some of the stories she had heard about palaces in far off domes. But compared to the surrounding area, it was huge. She slowed when she reached the foot of the stairs, and began her climb up the flight of short stairs. One of the guards at the top noticed her immediately.
"Can I help you miss?"
"I need to see the Named," she said, out of breath from her run, "I had an Encounter."
"And Encounter you say?" The guard eyed her suspiciously. "How old are you.... 30901" He asked, as a line of text scrolled across the display in front of his eye.
"15" she replied, "Doesn't your little screen tell you that too?" The guard simply grunted at her question.
"You do know they wont believe you. You're far to young to have an Encounter."
"Please, just let me in."
"You know no one can get in without an appointment. Now run along miss." 30901 stormed down the steps in anger. She would have to find another way in.

~

Amras chuckled. All in good time, he thought. That little girl was stubborn, and he knew she'd find a way in. Of course I know, he thought, looking down at the Schedule in his hands. If only the young man knew what was happening. He had always wondered how a Hopeful would respond to the Despair world. He had always wanted to simply tell one the secret, to grant one access to what only the plainshifter's knew. But it was forbidden. It was against the Rules, the plainshifter's unspoken law. He glanced down at the Schedule again, wondering if the boy knew what had happened. He hoped not. He wouldn't want to know either. He wont care anyhow, even when he does find out. It wont matter for long, according the Schedule. A little farther down the list he had noticed the glowing orange letters, "Life Change." That was always interesting.
He flipped the page back to the girl just to see what was going to happen. He glanced down the list. Something caught his eye. That was odd, he thought. It's in the same time spot as the boy's. He flipped the page back, so the glowing orange letters were no longer noticeable, and redirected his attention to the girl.

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"What's the point in not conforming, if it changes you?"
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Cynic-Al is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
It's an interesting concept and I look forward to reading more of it. how about "Duality" for a title?

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"So Schrodinger's Cat is not only neither dead nor alive, but might also be sexually aroused by elbows and peanut butter?"
 44yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Praetor is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Hmm... I dunno if Duality would work, because it tehnically is three dimensions... I'll have to think about it.

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"What's the point in not conforming, if it changes you?"
 44yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Praetor is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Joey wasn't worried. It was already past midnight and no one had come home. He figured his mom was out getting drunk again, and his brother wouldn't come home until he absolutely had to. Kyle was off on a trip for school, so he wouldn't be home until later that week.
He was sitting upstairs in his room when the doorbell rang. Who could that be? Mom and Jeff both had keys, and all the neighbors would be asleep at this hour. He hopped down off his bed and proceeded slowly down the stairs, stopping to glance at the door. He could only make out one figure standing outside, so he went to open the door. The man standing there was wearing a dull green uniform, with a circular logo behind an eagle emblazoned on the left breast. Joey recognized the uniform at once. Something bad must have happened. The police showing up at the door was one thing, but a serviceman? And a high ranking one by the looks of it.
"Joey Kleiner?" the man asked.
Joey raised an eyebrow
"I'll take that as a yes. Mind if I come in?" Joey moved aside and watched as the man proceeded into the house. "Nice place." he stated as he turned to face Joey. The door swung shut as Joey turned to face the uniformed man.
"Can I help you?"
"As a matter of fact, you can young man. Sit down, please." The man lowered himself down onto the couch in the living room. How rude, Joey thought, this man inviting me to sit down in my own house. Joey stood where he was. "Suit yourself. Now, Joey, tell me everything you know about Echoes." What an odd question thought Joey, from such an odd man too.
"I know what everyone does. They get annoying and no one knows why the occur."
"Yes..." The man mumbled. He was jotting on a yellow pad he had produced from his pocket. "When was the last time you encountered one?"
"Well... this afternoon to tell you the truth. Why?" The man sighed and lowered the pad.
"I hate to tell you this Joey..."
Joey already knew what was coming, and interrupted the man. "Car accident I presume, hit an Echo." The man looked at Joey in disbelief.
"Your file says that you're exceptionally smart, but how would you have known?"
"For one," Joey stated, "Why else would you ask how much I know about Echoes when my parents haven't come home yet. And two," he continued, "Why would a serviceman be sent to my house to tell me, instead of a police officer?" The man stood and put the pad into his pocket.
"Well, you have two options young man..."
"Don't call me that. I have a name."
"Ok... Joey, you have two options. You can spend the night here, then we come and get you in the morning. Or you can come with us now." For the first time, Joey noticed the other three men standing outside around the man's hovercar.
"Tomorrow." Joey stated, as he opened the door for the man.
"Very well, we'll return at exactly 0800 hours tomorrow. Be ready to leave for a few days. All you'll need is clothing." The man walked out the door, which Joey slammed behind him. Joey waited until the car had gone, then ran up to his room. He had to leave.

~

30901 knew how she'd get in. Rather, she knew how she wanted to get in. But she knew it wouldn't work. So she had resorted to plan B. She would wait outside to catch one of the Named. They had to come and go at some point. The guard had been watching her suspiciously for over an hour when it came to the end of his shift. The door to the house opened, and 30901 look up the steps, hoping to see the golden tunic of a Named. But all she saw was the Grey tunic of another guard. She let out a sigh as the previous guard proceeded inside. She leaned back on the steps and closed her eyes, hoping one would come along soon. She had lay there for barely a minute before the door opened again. She didn't look up immediately, but jumped to her feet when she heard a voice.
"Rise, my child. Stand and be recognized, 30901." She looked up the steps to see two people standing in the doorway. On the left was the guard whom had just finished his shift, who winked at her when she looked up. The other was donned in the golden robe of a Named. "Come, up the stairs young one. Hurry." 30901 wasted no time in hurrying up the steps to follow the Named into the palace. As she walked past the guard, she could have sworn she heard him whisper, "You're welcome."

~

Amras looked around. There were a few that had noticed, and those who had were sad. Unfortunately, it was against the Rules to interfere. Two more lives departed from Peace. They would find there way to the Beyond, and live with the Spirits until the end of time. Poor kid, he thought. Grandparents, Father, now his mother and brother. All he has left is his oldest brother, who wouldn't know for nearly a week. Amras had arranged so that he wouldn't be informed until he returned from his trip. They weren't technically allowed to do that, but being an Elder has its advantages sometimes. Besides, no one would know. You never looked at someone else's Schedule. It was in the Rules.

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"What's the point in not conforming, if it changes you?"
 44yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Praetor is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Hmm.. I'm thinking "Shifter" as a title. It'll make more sense once I get more into the story

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"What's the point in not conforming, if it changes you?"
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Cynic-Al is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
ah ok, I only suggested duality as you had only mentioned the two dimensions at the time

| Permalink
"So Schrodinger's Cat is not only neither dead nor alive, but might also be sexually aroused by elbows and peanut butter?"
 49yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Sorceress is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I must say I really am enjoying this story, at first I was a little confused when you jumped from the first girl 30901 to the boy Joey but now I can't wait to see what all this talk of echoes is about. Great stuff!

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""Each child holds the world in an open hand to mould it into any shape they choose.""
A short story
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