Marlee - 17 years old
Emily ran ahead of me and Carla quickly followed, they looked back at me with innocent eyes and giggled as they twirled and pranced elegantly around the deserted streets. Their laughing echoed loudly off the walls of the street and reverberated back at them. They smiled back at me again and then turned and started to run quickly towards the town centre. I twirled around quickly in the street and then ran after them.
It was a Sunday afternoon and while everyone was given four hours off, most didn't go outside. Today was different though, we moved towards the centre of the town and people began to appear in the streets. I called back Emily and Carla and we walked hand in hand towards the town centre. Carla dusted off the street grit from her skirt and pushed her shoulders back and bosoms out. I straightened Emily's hair and fussed over her crinkled skirt. She frowned up at me and I left her alone and took their hands again. The tall supporting beam and pole became visible above the heads in the crowd and the rope was loosely tossed over it. Emily giggled and dragged me through the crowd to the front, I tugged Carla behind me. A tall, slender woman stood beside the beam with a white piece of calico covering her face. Two OP's held her in her place with one on either side of her. Emily leaned on the barrier that was holding the crowd back and jumped with excitement. I smiled and pulled Carla closer to me.
The Chief came out of the large blue building across the square
with the axe in one hand. I pulled Emily back slightly and the
crowd began to roar and scream with joy. The OP's holding the
woman to be hung stood her up straight and dragged the lifeless
body towards the centre of the stage and tied the rope around her
neck. I strained my neck in empathy and gripped at my eager
"I decree thee, Mia Finch to death by hanging, on accounts of rebellion, false information, conspiring against mankind and for attempted suicide," the Chief read out a piece of paper he had tucked into his vest. The OP's tightened the noose and the HC cut the cord beside the wooden pillar and Mia's neck ripped with a loud 'chhh' sound and her body hung and swung at an odd angle. Emily whooped with joy and bounced up and down at the sight of the betrayer's body hanging. Carla stood silent and just seemed to stare at the still body swaying slightly from left to right, from left to right, from left to right.
Carla - 15 years old
We walked away from the hanging after Emily had eventually calmed down and Marlee walked us, hand in hand, away from the scene. The bile from the woman's stomach had begun to rise and was clogging at her throat, causing a large ball to form in her neck and a toxic smell to waft around in the air. I kicked a loose stone of gravel on the road and it rolled off into the gutter where it stayed.
Marlee drew us around another corner where a small mob of people stood. My sister pulled us back around the corner and we poked our heads around the corner to see. I immediately saw what my sister had seen. The people standing in the mob were being shoved and pushed against the brick street wall by OP's. The OP's were the city's police and no one really knows what 'OP' stands for. I know that Marlee does but she won't tell me; she knows because our parents told her when she was younger. The OP's raised their black sticks and the people became splattered in a red substance; as if someone had chucked a bucket of red paint on them. The people sunk to their knees and collapsed onto the gravel streets. The OP's slung their sticks over their shoulders and jumped onto the vehicle standing idly by.
I looked away from the scene and saw a woman standing across the
street looking on at the scene as well. A cigarette hung loosely
from her chapped lips and the ashes were slowly falling to the
ground. I walked slowly away from my sisters and stood beside the
"They're killing off the young and the weak," she muttered and pulled the cigarette out of her mouth. "I wouldn't take your sister's home; there are squads like these all over town, all searching out the young ones. If you're fit, they take you away, if you're not . . . well," she nodded at the bundle of painted body's. "Go somewhere that no one can find you. Good luck with that in this city but at least try," she muttered again and chucked the dead cigarette on the ground, crushing it under her skirt with her shoe. I nodded and smiled. She just walked back into the building behind her.
The OP squad drove away and I walked back across the road. Marlee
started to pull Emily further along the road but Emily broke away
and ran quickly towards the painted portrait of the 'weak'. I ran
after her and stood beside her on the road. She had stopped and
just stared at what was in front of her. About twenty girls lay
slaughtered on the gravel road and their rich blood drained into
the concrete gutters that lined the street. Marlee caught up and
stood on the other side of me and just stared.
"They were traitors!" Emily called out violently and kicked the limp girl in front of her. I tightened my jaw and walked away. I heard a smack behind me and Marlee spoke sternly to Emily. I looked back at them standing beside the bodies and the trail of my blood splattered footprints.
Marlee - 17 years old
Carla walked with her arms crossed in front of us and hugged the street walls. I kept Emily at my side and she skipped along happily; so innocent to the slaughter and murder going on around her. Carla turned around another corner and led us down a small alleyway. I followed cautiously and Emily stopped skipping when we were surrounded in the darkness of the alleyway.
Carla turned left into another alleyway and I peered down the alley she had just turned into. Her small body disappeared into a building and the flash of a white skirt was all I saw of her. I walked Emily down the street and saw the small sign above the door. 'Hotel' was scratched into the sign and I took a deep breath in before pushing on the boarded up door.
Carla - 15 years old
I stalked down the hallways of the abandoned hotel and sunk into
the sofas in a lounge room. A large fireplace had been sealed
with bricks at the side of the room and most of the furniture was
covered in sheets. Their footsteps creaked as they walked down
the hallway but I just stared at the fireplace. There was the
sound of running and Emily flashed past the door and ran down the
corridor giggling. I heard Marlee sigh and then she walked into
the lounge room and sat down beside me. She placed her hand
softly on my knee.
"It wasn't your fault they came, they were going to come eventually, our parents knew that, it was their choice and not your fault," she comforted. I looked away. "Why here Carla? Why are we here?" she continued. I stared absently at the flowered carpet.
"They are targeting groups of young girls and the weak. You are weak, Emily's young and I have to take care of you both," I explained and looked up at Marlee's calm face. "I can't let them take you; you two are all I have," she nodded and wrapped her arms around me and we leant back into the sofa.
"How did you know about this place?" Marlee asked.
"I didn't, I just saw the hotel sign and walked in," she nodded at my response and we sat in the dusty lounge room, looking at the remnants of someone's past.
Marlee - 17 years old
Emily's heavy footsteps came bounding down the hallway and she
burst into the lounge room with a thick smile on her petite face.
I frowned at the square object in her hand.
"Look what I found!" she cried and skipped over to us and sat on the other side of me. She placed the object in my lap and I flicked open the top. A colour picture of a small yellow bear standing in a glimpse of a green square with tall green poles was the first thing on the page. I ran my fingers over the page and smiled at the small printed title above the drawing.
"Winnie The Pooh," I said softly and turned the next page. A small boy was drawn and was talking to a small pink animal, a grey and purple thing stood in the background - it had a pink ribbon tied to its tail. Emily sat up enthusiastically and placed her small hand on the page and smiled. Carla leaned into the book as well. I looked at the printed words and sounded them out like my mother had taught me.
"Ch-chap-chapter one. Heere is Ed-warrd Be-ar, co-mi-n dow-n-s-tai-rr-s noo-now," I began to read, Emily and Carla leaned even further in and listened intently. "Bu-m-p, bu-mp, bump, on t-h-ee bak off hii-ss hea-ed, bee-hi-nn-da Cris-to-p-her Rob-in." Emily smiled at the photo and I skipped the other words and turned the page. It was a picture of Winnie The Pooh sitting on a cylinder bench, a fire sat smoking in front of him and he looked up at the sky. I looked at the page full of words and back at the picture. "Winnie The Pooh sat on his seat and stared up at the yellow sky, there was one large fire - like the one in front of him - in the centre of the sky. Winnie The Pooh liked this fire," Emily clapped and Carla smiled at the story. I kept talking and I would flick the pages until I found another picture to read off.
Carla - 15 years old
I woke up lying on Marlee. The night lights streamed randomly
through the boarded up windows and I sat up and looked around.
Emily was gone, and so was the book. I stood and ran out of the
room. There was a giggle and I followed the sound to the open
"Carla! Carla, where is Emily? I swear . . ." Marlee called out and stomped down the hallway behind me. I walked outside into the night and looked up at the steel roof that was put over the city at dusk, the night lights flooded every crevice and every hiding spot in the city, exposing the secrets that people can't keep. There was another giggle and Marlee and I followed the sound onto the alley way. A flash of a white skirt disappeared around the corner and we followed briskly to see Emily sitting cross legged in the middle of the alleyway. I moved towards her and saw her leaning over the Winnie The Pooh book in the distance. I looked back at Marlee and the boots began to sound. She rushed forward towards Emily who had made it all the way to the end of the alleyway. I rushed after her and overtook her weak body quickly. Emily giggled again and I sprinted towards her. The boots became louder and I ran faster towards Emily. She stood suddenly and held the Winnie The Pooh book loosely at her side. The sticks swung into view and the OP's marched up to the alleyway. They stopped short when they saw Emily standing in the middle of the road. I reached her side and pushed her behind me.
"Is that a book?" the soldier asked me. I stared back at his covered face. He pointed at the book in my sister's hand. I said nothing and stood my ground. He raised his stick to my forehead. "Is that a book?" he asked again. I nodded and felt a tear rush down my face. Marlee appeared next to me and wrenched the book out of Emily's tight grasp. Emily began to wail and Marlee shushed her. Emily clasped my hand and I felt my bottom lip begin to tremble with fear. The soldier lifted up my hair with his stick and patted at my skirt. "Maybe there is something we can do with you," he said to me and I tightened my jaw in repulse.
"We found the book in the hotel, after we saw the traitor's bodies on the street. Carla said we had to go there to be safe, I listened to her, her and Marlee said that they needed to go there to be safe," Emily piped up. I stared down at her and she smiled and clenched my hand. "They take care of us, remember?" she said softly.
"You know what they say: Innocence is power," the soldier stated and grabbed Marlee and I by the wrists and led us to the alley wall. The entire squad lined up their sticks and Emily stood next to the soldier smiling and waving. I held Marlee's hand and waited for the bucket of red paint.
Emily - 6 years old
The soldier put his hand on my waist and led me to the nearby
"I just want to take you in here to talk to you, it shouldn't take long," he confirmed. I stepped happily into the van and he followed and locked the van doors behind him.
"What do you want to talk about; I know a Winnie The Pooh story? Hey, what are you doing? Won't I be cold? You're hurting my wrists, hey! Oww, that hurts, why does that hurt? Oww, stop it! Stop it! Oww! Stop! Stop, please, stop,"
**Author's note: This was the first (and hopefully not the last!) story for the competition called Booksie Idol. As it said in the summary, the location was a hotel, the object was a book and the theme was discovery. I hope you all like it and I hope it isn't too dark - Rose Burg xx**