The bright noon day sun washes over me and my brothers as we lay together on the grassy hill near our village. normally I would have taken the opportunity to have a catnap but today I wanted to spend every second I could with my brothers.
It's funny how you only realise how much you care about people when you are about to lose them. ten years had gone by so fast. it seemed like only yester day I was running around these fields without a care.
the assigning was tomorrow, after that life would never be the same. this would be the last day I spent on this hill. the last lazy afternoon together. it was hard to imagine life without my brothers. we had always been together even before we were born.
we were a litter of four Bartholomew, Zachary, Landon and me. we lived in a small hut in the east side of slave birthing district eleven with our mother Edwina. our life had been fairly good we always had enough to eat and there were lots of children to play with. the ten years I had spent here were happy ones and ware ever fate would soon land me I will always treasure the memories of this place.
just then Jayson, one of the local boys yells to us that our mom told him to tell us it's time for lunch. Zachary is the first on his feet
"kay" he said. Landon gets to his feet and comes over to help me up. as we were heading back we ran into Jackson or as we like to call him jackass.
"what do you want Jackson?" Bartholomew asked a slight hit of exasperation in his voice.
"just thought I get one last shot at the freak" Jackson sneers. Landon's eyebrows furrowed at the name. I know Jackson means me. I was labelled as a freak by the other boys because I was an albino. whereas my brother's fur was dark brown mine was glossy white. a trait that was praised by my mother and hated by my peers. it was the very thing that had given me the name silver.
"cut the bullshit jackass!" Zachary snapped. "if you really hate silver that much, I got news for you. after tomorrow you'll never have to see him again. so just lay off! we don't need the likes of you screwing up the last day me and my brothers have together!" with that he stormed off.
we followed behind our brother hurriedly but Jackson wouldn't let it go.
"I hope you get a black bracelet freak!" he yelled at our retreating backs. Zachary stopped in his tracks turned around an fixed Jackson with a look so fierce it would have made a tiger flee for its life.
Unfortunately Jackson was not a tiger he was just a very stupid hedgehog who was about to get the shit beaten out of him. "I said I hope the freak gets a black bracelet" Jackson repeated. "why you little..." Zachary growled. before we could stop him Zachary had grabbed a rock and was running at Jackson but I raised my hands and took hold of the rock with my psychokinesis just before Zachary rammed it into his thick skull.
"he's not worth it Zachary. as you said after tomorrow we will never have to see his ugly face again." I remind my brother. Zachary sighed but let go of the rock. it hung there a few seconds before I let it drop. right on Jacksons foot we keep walking ignoring the angry cursing coming from behind us.
lunch was eaten in relative silence. none of us sure what to say. mom has been crying I can see her eyes are puffy and red. I would have thought that as we were her forth litter she would have grown used to seeing her kids get assigned and leave but I guess even experience doesn't dull the pain of losing your kids. I feel a pang of anger toward theAristocracy for their cruel ways. to take a woman's kids away as soon as they reached the age of ten was horrible but it ranked low on the list of the most inhuman things they had done.
the Aristocracy is a group of high class people for who the masses worked. they were the owners we were the slaves. after lunch mother sent us out to play. I wanted to stay and comfort her but mom told me to go out and enjoy my last few hours of childhood. so I went out and did.
there were I few moments in that game of tag that I forgot all about the assigning and was able to enjoy the game but once the moment passed the awful realaty of tomorrow would crash back down on me and my misery and fear would return. when at last our fun had ended we came in for supper and after the meal me and my brothers sat at our window and watched the sunset over the green hills one last time before mom sent us to bed. I couldn't manage to keep my eyes closed but eventually fatigue took over and I fell into a worried sleep.
Mom woke us early the next morning. she gave us each a bath to clean out our fur. mom scrubbed me extra hard making sure to get every last speck of dirt out of my fur. as soon as we were dry mother hurried us off to the town square.
when we arrived every boy and girl of ten years of age was there. the town mayor and other people of importance were on a stage in the middle of the square. the most prominent person on the stage was a immaculately dressed cat known to district eleven as the child harvester. although her actual title was assigner. her job was to read over the file of each young slave and determine which sector each one was best suited for.
then at the annual assigning ceremony give out bracelets that correspond to a sector, then send the new slaves off to their life of work. each color represents a sector. green is for agriculture, blue aquaculture, yellow electricity, purple service sector, etc...
finally at the stroke of noon the ceremony began. we were forced to line up in signal file. A to Z last name then first. so me and my brothers were together. Bartholomew fist Landon next me then Zachary. the assigner stared with the A's first as she made her way down the line.
as my unenviable fate drew closer some of my old fears arise. what if Jackson was right? what if I get a black bracelet? Black was the color for the mining sector. if I was sent there I would spend countless days in cold dark caves working long hours and wasting away in the blackness. the thought made me shutter. I pled with whatever forces that watched over us that I would not be sent to die in a coal mine. my nerves were getting the better of me as the cat drew closer.
finally she was at me and my brothers. Bartholomew was fist he was issued a yellow band. then she move on to Landon who got green. then she was on top of me.
"Hadley, silver?" she asked. I nodded meekly. " hold out your wrist" I did so I closed my eyes the plastic band closed round my wrist. I didn't dare look at it. the cat moved on. my brothers were silent. I began to fear the worst.
"please tell me it's not black" I begged my brothers not daring to look myself.
"it's not black" Bartholomew said.
"then why do you sound so stunned?" I asked
"open your eyes and see for yourself" Zachary snapped. I snuck I peek at my band through my fingers. when I saw the color I let my hand drop from my face. my plastic band was a shining gold not yellow like Bartholomew's but gold. I had no idea what a golden band meant. I looked over to where my mother was watching us I got her eye and pointed to the band.
my mother's hand flew to her mouth in a gasp of surprise but I was too far away to hear it. my brothers gave me looks of concern. they had no idea what it meant ether but judging from our mothers reaction it wasn't a good thing.
After the ceremony my mom brought us home for a talk. we were all asking the same question. "what did the gold band mean?" when we got home my mom sat us at the table and started to explain.
"as you know my dears the Aristocrat's use slaves like us for almost all of their dally work. we serve them, grow their food and even raise their children. well slaves are used for much more than you can even imagine.
you see in the complex culture of the Aristocrats the act of sex is considered dirty and must only happen between Aristocrats when they intend to have a baby. so to satisfy the urges of the upper-class they use slaves.
they keep them as a kind of pet something to show off on your daily walks. only the most attractive slaves are selected to be used for that purpose. mostly they come from the special breeding district but sometimes they're selected from the line-ups.
"let me guess...." Langston starts "the colour for a sex slave is gold" mother nodded sadly. I look at my wrist again the once mysterious band now looks like a shackle condemning me to I life worse than coal mining. my mother sees the tears forming in my eyes and pulled me into a tight hug.
"don't worry my sweet" she coos "there is a bright side"
"what?" I sniff "you will live out the rest of your life surrounded by comfort an luxury. sex slaves are as closest to the upper class as slaves get. you'll never haft to work a day in your life." my mother boasts even the prospect of an easy life dose little to quell my tears.
After I had cried myself out I felt I little better. me and my brothers went to pack our few possessions. after we finished mom took us to the train station. there were colour coated trans set to take us to our sectors. we would all be separated. we had all gotten different colors.
I bid Farwell to my brothers and give my mother one last hug. I have no tears left to cry, so my eyes are dry as I head for a gold train. the door opens as soon as I touch the handle. I've never seen that kind of technology before. so for a moment I'm stunned. I soon realise I look like an idiot, just staring at were the door used to be. I get a hold of myself and walk inside.
the first thing that strikes me is how gold everything is. the roof the seats the doors are all plated in gold is so bright it's almost blinding. after I get over the brilliance of it all a have a good look at my fellow slaves. there all very beautiful. there are cats dogs fox's there is even the odd snake or bird. A blue fox catches my eye. She is sitting by herself. staring longingly out the window. I gather my courage and sit down beside her. she turns her head and smiles shyly at me.
"hi I'm silver" I say by way of introduction.
"hi silver my names sky"
"nice to meet you sky"
"same to you silver"