They taught us that once the Old Government surrendered to the Christian armies the new Constitution was signed and the nation of Amoenus was born. The sinful laws of the former nation were burned along with its cities, and new Godly laws were written to take their place. We reverted to more a traditional way of life; men worked, women were submissive to their husbands, and children were seen and not heard. One nation, under God, from now till eternity.
She holds my hand as we walk to school. It’s the first time we’ve been able to do it since we started courting each other. The Enforcers are okay with it, as long as we keep our hearts pure while we’re with each other. Maybe they’ll let us kiss, though it’s very unlikely. We would have to do it in secret, when there were no Enforcers around. But that wouldn’t be right, I couldn’t live with the guilt of sin and neither could Chastity. And besides, God’s always watching. My father jokes that he’s the ultimate Enforcer.
“I like this,” she says shyly, “Us holding hands I mean. I like it.” Chastity has the most radiant smile. That’s why I fell in love with her in the first place. She has the face of an angel, long golden locks of hair, wide blue eyes. Absolutely gorgeous. “Me too,” I say shyly as well, “I’m glad the Enforcers let us hold hands this early.”
“I can’t wait until they let us kiss for the first time,” she says. I want to kiss her, so badly. But I have to set aside these feelings, they’re unhealthy, they’re sinful. We reach the schoolyard and as usual Enforcers are swarming the outside. They’re dressed in their black jackets and dark pants, carefully watching all our activities. One spots us and walks us up to us. “Good morning children,” he says.
“Good morning sir,” we both say. “Is there a problem sir?” I ask.
“Actually there is, but that’s none of your concern,” he says sternly, “Have you seen any unusual activity around here?” We both shake our heads. Suddenly a gun is fired in the background. Chastity and I drop to the ground, covering our heads in fear. Out the corner of my eye I see a young boy about my age running from the school building, holding a gun. He turns around and fires two more shots. “There is he! Get him!” the Enforcer says. Suddenly kids are running in all directions trying to escape the chaos. I grab Chastity’s hand and pull her away to safety. A series of shots of fired, both from the boy and the Enforcers. A final shot is thunders through the air, and all shooting ceases. I peak around the corner of the wall that we were hiding behind. The schoolyard is covered with fresh blood. Bodies of Enforcers lie still on the ground, I count three. Then the Enforcer I was just speaking to is standing over another body, with a satisfied look on his face. He’s standing over the boy’s body.
By now more people have stepped out their houses to view the commotion. “Okay people, there’s nothing here to see,” the Enforcer says, “Everything’s under control, please return to your previous tasks.” Satisfied with his explanation, the once curious people return back inside, and kids return back to their talking. Nobody questions, we’re not supposed to.
Hand in hand Chastity and I walk past the gruesome scene without a sound and then into school. Inside everyone’s talking about the shooting, even though we really shouldn’t be, but they can’t help themselves. “Did you see what happened?” someone says.
“Yeah,” another kid says, “It was awesome!”
“No it wasn’t,” a girl says, “Enforcers died in that firefight.”
“What do you think happened? Who was that boy?” another girl says.
“I saw that boy once, he was in my Bible class,” a kid says next to me, “He was really weird, and he might have been…Faithless.” Silence sweeps the hallway when he says that word, and just in time too, an Enforcer walks over to our group. “Who said it?” he asks. No one dares to answer. “Who said it!” he asks again, this time yelling. The boy who said it meekly steps out. “I…I said it,” he says.
“Come with me young man,” the Enforcer says. The boy follows him into a nearby room, I see him shaking as he passes me. When he’s in the room the Enforcer slams the door shut. A few kids press up against the door and try to hear what’s going on.
“What do you think they’ll do to him?” a girl asks.
“They’ll probably give him the paddle,” I say. And I’m right, not to shortly after I speak we all hear a loud crack, followed by a boy crying out in pain. Enforcers rarely give spankings, that’s usually left up to teachers and parents, but they do have the authority to give one if they wanted to. We’ve all gotten the paddle at least once in our lifetimes. It arguably hurts more than the spankings our parents give us when we misbehave.
A few loud cracks later, the boy walks out rubbing his nicely warmed backside. The Enforcer then walks out, still holding the paddle. “Let this be a warning to all of you children,” he says, “And by the way, that boy that’s out there dead. He was Faithless.” The Enforcer walks away and we return to business as usual. I wave Chastity goodbye as she leaves for her class, and I hurry to my own class.