Massive wheels the size of the earth rolled towards the town, screeching loudly, letting us know it was that time of morning. My parents grabbed my hands, holding them tightly, shaking, but that didn’t surprise me. What surprised me was mine were too.
Everyone in Falcon went into a large circle, wide eyed. Mothers sobbed, holding their teenage daughters tightly in their arms. My parents’ expression was blank. I knew they were scared, but fear seemed to come in bullets, which hit only their quivering muscles, trying to keep tense.“Attention citizens of Falcon.” Said the man holding the horn. The crowd went eerily silent, waiting. Just, waiting. The man who stood before us with a speaker to his lips had a tight frown, curving at the edge of his long beard, and all the color seemingly drained from his ash colored eyes. For a man no older than thirty he had a rough disposition. “I hope you all had a lovely morning.” Even through all of the instant fear he radiated, the man smiled softly, innocently, practically begging for our approval, to tell us he is safe. In that instant, his first impression changed to one of a completely different man. My mind eased, the endless panic finally resting. However, the man’s tactic only worked for some, as a young woman began screaming, “You took my sister! You monsters!” The speaker nodded slowly, comprehending her words to decide his response. “I promise you, there is nothing to worry about, folks.” His chirpy persona continued, contradicting the statement from the rest of his body. The man turned to the rest of us. “This facility is a government approved base, any fear is based on misguided prejudices… Please keep your concerns to yourself during the choosing.”
The man sighed when a baby started to cry in the crowd. Father picked up my sister Hannah and held her tightly, while Mother took my hand. “Jenevieve.” She whispered in my ear. “Do not be scared. God is looking down on our family. He will protect you. I promise.” I nodded, attempting to believe what she spoke of so fondly.
“So,” The man began again. “After great consideration, we have decided that the seventeen year old Katherine Smith is the next of the honored girls to be chosen as a member of our great facility.”
Mother smiled softly. “You see? God will protect us.” I tried to be happy, show gratitude to God’s grace upon me, but nothing in the audience read peace. Screams were coming from the opposite side of our circle as white cloaked men grabbed a short, red headed girl. They ignored her cries and curses and shoved her into the back of the truck, locking her in a metal cage.
I sucked in a breath, seeing blood coming down her face. Had they hurt her that bad already? That thought didn’t go far though because soon enough the truck had taken her away and Katherine was out of sight.
My parents didn’t seem to care. “She’s a lucky one,” Father said. “Taken at seventeen. Only has to survive a couple of years. Some aren’t so lucky.” He looked off into the distance, surely thinking about his sister Anne, who Hannah was named after.
Mother shrugged, clearly annoyed by his rare sentimentality. “Joshua, it was her time to go. The lord wouldn’t have taken her if he didn’t have reason. Come on.” She picked up Hannah and left, leaving us to follow behind her tired footsteps.
After a few minutes of relaxing silence, we walked into our blatantly empty home, with drained yellow painted walls, and a depressing entity which seems to roam freely through every dustbunny which is stored here. In the center of it all stood a rectangular doorway, with a rusty metal handle, turning anyone who touches it’s hand a mint like tint of green. The door opened directly to the kitchen, and then to the office, followed by the stairs. Everything was in its orderly routine, and we participated in it as willing pawns.
I went straight to my room. It was all too much. The fact that every month until I’m nineteen, I’ll be fearing the facility is coming to get me the next time is unbelievable, no matter the choosers calm assurance. I folded my legs on my bed laying on my side and closed my eyes. “It’ll all be okay.” I whispered to myself tiredly, drained by the emotion of a strangers life. “Okay…” And sleep takes over.