The Life and Struggle of Scarlet Thorton

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Everyone has a number, we dont know what significance ours has to our lives until after we are gone.

Submitted: April 18, 2010

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Submitted: April 18, 2010

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 The shallow breathing of the ones who have been forgotten, and silence. Ear splitting, brain numbing, soul gripping, silence. But it was peace,  yet peace is such an unfitting word in a place so full of nothing.

 I remember the time I first set eyes on her. Tiny, like a porcelain doll, so fragile that I felt even breathing near her may break her. So I took a step back and let my family crowd around her. All happy and excited at this bundle which was their beautiful little girl, it seemed like I was never as perfect as she was. What they didn’t know was that they brought to the world someone who will later shatter it. No one, on that beautiful happy day even stopped to think about what Scarlet was going to be or do when she was older. No one even considered the possibilities.
 
IT would make more sense, if I sat here looking back on that day, and wishing that someone had dropped her on her pretty little head, to cause some damage. IT would make more sense, but its not what I’m thinking. I am grateful for the life and struggles of Scarlet Thorton.
 
I knew straight away that this girl wasn’t going to be easy. She was going to give everyone of us hell. Her angelic face hid evils that were exposed in an explosion; suddenly, unexpectedly and with a new trigger every time.
 
In our small world, she found no need to fit societal norms. We got treated so much better in our schools then the others did in theirs. She saw the unfairness not as something to be taken sitting down, but as motif for rebellion. A challenge.
 
They spend so long together yet so alone united only by mutual hollowness and suffering. A place where only screams shatter the darkness. Our screams, screams, that you neglect to hear.
 
It got worse in high school no matter how many times we warned her. We reminded her that we did not choose what family we were born into, what race. We were lucky. She didn’t think so. She believed that they also had no choice. How do you explain to someone like her that this was not a fight, that this was life.
 
I read the pages of her diary now, her words rolling right off. Making so much more sense now then it did when I first found it. It used to be the ramblings of a hormonal teenager, now this is a book of wisdom people would kill to get a hold of. The screams, the despair it was not all an illusion, not all in her head. This was real.
 
Here you can find the lost. Here the lost can find each other, here we the lost can find ourselves. There is not much that could be done stop this endless cycle of despair. Yet there are those who yearn to rest, to breathe the air of freedom, and live. Simply live.
 
 
My sister is martyr. Everyone knows of her. Everyone mentions her name with respect, not only within our race, the others do it too. Her name is the whisper between the pages of a history book, her words an echo in the auditorium, her face a forever etched image in the minds of survivors.
 
I am one of few who remember her before her days of glory. I remember her in the days where you could bump into her on a crowded street and not do a double take. I remember her innocent laughter and girlish ways of when she fell in love. What I didn’t know back then, was that everything I said to her, everything I mentioned even if just in passing, meant so much. If I knew this. I would have said so much more.
 
The days she had not lavishly recorded in her dairy but left with just a simple date were the ones I could recite to you from dawn till dusk. One of them, still clear as crystal in my mind, the day she gave her heart to someone else.
 
“Mary,” her voice, barely even a whisper from my door way. This did not require a welcome into the room. She invited herself in, her small feet a scatter on the cold floorboards and then right into my bed.
“Mary, I think “she hesitated, taking a deep breath. She thought I didn’t know. She thought I hadn’t been watching her sneak in every night, the biggest grin spread over her face.
“Mary, help me. I think I just made a mistake,” She whispered wrapping her hands around my middle. I nodded for her to continue.
“There is this guy. I didn’t think it was anything, I didn’t think he thought it was anything. But now” she let out a dramatic sight. And I couldn’t help but grin. She was in love.
“I’m not sure if I love him though. I said I did, but I….” she broke off again, her mind obviously elsewhere. Ho was I supposed to answer? I didn’t know anything about love, well not at the time anyway.
“How does he make you feel?” this seemed like an obvious question, she sat up.
“He makes me feel as if I’m the only person in the world, as if all my insides are flying, as if my heart was about to jump right out of my chest,” she finished with a flourished giggle. I hugged her tight.
“I am so happy for you,” I gushed quietly, a sudden sisterly bond between us that was not usually there.
”Mary, he is an other,” her tone now less girlish and more sombre. That was it. That was one simple fact, which changed my happiness, to despair.
 
The loneliness was now gone, the anguished captured screams inside my head are silenced. He is here. I know he is the one that would change it all. Somehow every time I look at him, I picture the number nineteen. The significance of this number is currently irrelevant but maybe one day it would all make sense.
 
This was what changed her. What changed her flimsy destiny at 16. This one boys’ skin colour. Changed the world.
 
You might feel like all this is incredibly exaggerated but if history serves me correctly, the statement is exceptionally accurate. Scarlet Thorton and Cullen Dalston; two names that seemed almost incomplete if not mentioned together, their stories rolling off the page in one continuos wave. No one cares about their familles, the people they had to leave behind to make of themselves what the spectators saw.
 
He keeps mentioning the number eighteen, it has now set into my mind that it is our number. It is the number of times we have snuck out before we even started dating, it is the number of family members that both of our families currently hold, it is the number of windows on the first building that we plotted against. When I was with him, the number was everywhere, it seemed nothing short of magic.
 
 
Cullen. I have never met a boy, so sure in what he wanted. We only met a couple times but for me that was more then enough to see that he and my sister were destined to be together. They talked with such passion, not something that anyone was used to. I wanted nothing more then for them to be happy, I guess that was too much to ask.
 
I would never say that he was a bad influence or that he was the sole reason why she took life to such extremes. She would have found other ways. He made her happy, that was all that I was concerned about.
 
They formed the first racial rebellion group. The Ravens. At first I felt that it was simply the musings of a couple of sixteen year olds but soon enough the plans became more elaborate and finer details decided. It took them a year. A year of sneaking around, gathering followers, everything they did had to be after dusk, since no one would understand a parliamentarians daughter plotting against her own family.
 
I understood her, it was strange, but I did.
 
It all got difficult when my family found out, like vultures feasting on a freshly dead ox, picking at her flesh, ripping at her hair, gnawing on her bones. She just stood there, head up, shoulders back, eyes focused straight ahead, less and less like a person, more and more like a soldier.
 
18. The amount of steps I took from my front path to the kitchen, the amount of leaves I counted on the front step, the amount of knocks it took on the front door for mum to answer it. Magic. It was also the amount of times dad said disgrace, the amount of times mum sobbed and Mary flipped between the pages of her book. Eighteen minutes is how long it took for the police to get there, Eighteen minutes was the same amount of time it took me to scale out of my window and over my back fence. I wonder if Cullen would still think its magic.
 
 
I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t say anything and I couldn’t help her, or I may be accused with treason. Her decisions effected me as much as they did her, everyone looked at me with suspicion, that really barely bothered me, none the less, it was something I had to get used to. That day when my family discovered my sisters romance and new found occupation, we became a family of three. It was the last day she set foot into our home.
 
From that day onwards I was forced to rely on media representations of what was happening in her life. I collected clippings, recorded news bulletins, I did everything and anything I could possibly do, to still keep an eye on her. There was only so much I could do. I really believed that I would never see her again.
 
Every once in a while I would catch a glimpse of chestnut hair, or a shimmer of blue eyes and think it was her. I would hear the creak of my floorboards and think that she was home, I should offcourse have been prepared that she would come in a time that I least expect her.
 
I didn’t want to go see Mary, I really didn’t but Cullen said that I owed it to her, that because of her silence we are yet to be discovered. I love him, but he makes too much sense. I hadn’t seen my sister in almost nine months, I was getting scared that I wouldn’t recognise her. I was wrong, her face appeared to me across the boulevard and it was like instinct.
“Mary, I am fine. Don’t worry. I will be in contact soon,” I said swiftly stopping by her only for a split second before striding on. I just left her there. We both knew that the conversation might be our last.
 
Scarlet disappeared after that. The next thing I heard of her, was the attack on the parliament building. My husband was home early and he looked at her face which flashed across the television screen then back at me, almost ashamed, almost afraid, maybe not even almost. We didn’t speak about her, I tried to raise the subject once but was greeted with a cold silence. That was our life. We chose to forget she was once someone we loved, we chose to ignore that this war she had started did indeed effect us.
 
The hunt had begun.
 
Everybody, everywhere has begun to hunt for us. Our faces are huge billboards glaring down onto the streets much like big brother, they are flashes between commercials, front pages of news. It was exactly what we had wanted. Now, everybody was looking at us. Now is the time for us to rise, rise and bring about the change that we had been working on, the hunger for our new world grew stronger. The number of followers spiked dramatically, indeed the government had done exactly what we had wanted. Now our people are ready, now we are ready. The only question is, are you?
 
The world had gone insane. My sister was the new wanted fugitive, everybody was looking. Everybody was pretending to look, so many people agreed with her, that she never even seemed like the minority. I look at it now, and I can almost laugh, most were with her.
 
I knew exactly where the last attack was to take place. Her terrorism, was more like counterterrorism. She was terrorising the terrorisers. The urge to wash away the hatred and the oppressor grew fierce within every lower classed man, woman and child. Even my society respected her, it took great skill to hide from the world, yet still make the world watch you. It was indeed her theatre, and we were nothing but puppets.
 
I knew nothing about her now. The world had really lost her in its sights. She was hiding, but no longer running, she was waiting for the fight to come to her, I knew I was going to get caught in the crossfire.
 
I had to warn her. There was a part of me that screamed at all my sense and judgment, that if I was to tell one person, this one person, it would save my guilt and conscience for killing some that were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The world was waiting, they all knew that today was to be the final step to our full uprising, to the gain of our full control. Everybody was waiting.
 
She stood in my kitchen doorway, like nothing had changed. I could have died then and there, since just the sight of her made me want to cry.
“Hey Mary,” she said almost gallantly, that made her seem like she was over for a cup of tea. I nodded.
“I wont stay long,” she said with a girlish smile I knew too well.
“I just wanted to say that, I would like you to stay home today. Maybe take a day off, catch up on some sleep, you are looking a bit pale,” I couldn’t say much I nodded. She shifted her weight, I knew she was uncomfortable. She stepped forward and hugged me, I couldn’t help but wrap my arms around her. We both knew, this was going to be it. This was going to be our last moment. Both of us were hoping it wasn’t, but we were too old for hope, too old for fairytales, where robin hood could really succeed.
As there was possibly no other way for life to be, there was a sound of tyres on the driveway and our moment was gone. She pressed her diary into my hands, with a look in her eye that said it all.
“Goodbye,” I said softly. I look back and wish I had told her how much I loved her. Instead I stood there and let the tears roll down my face
“No, See you soon,” and that was the last I really saw of her.
 
In my dreams I see her happy smiling face, not the photo of her being caught in the cross fire. She had decided that she was going to die free, that she wasn’t going to let the world cage her and use her as an example. She stood on the podium that day, her voice rising up over the commotion.
 
“This is for freedom, for equality, for those that could never rise up. Do not stop now, we have come too far. The oppressors are now watching us. Give them something to look at,” and with that there were fired shots. She was ready for it head up, shoulders back, eyes open. No longer a person, no longer a soldier, more and more like a saint. That was it. That was the end of Scarlets battle.
 
I didn’t see much of Cullen after her funeral, which was attended by most of the town and watched by the entire world. The Ravens, took power of parliament house not long after, the world changed, not turned completely, but changed for the better.
 
No one, not I, nor Cullen, nor the rest of the world, will ever forget Scarlet Thorton.
 
 
I thought that this was just a stepping stone. That my life was to have a long and winding path, to old age, with children, weddings, dinner parties and a flourishing never ending romance. I had all these hopes, all these dreams, all my ambitions. It all seems like a waste now. I cant even picture my life past this point. So I guess here is where I say farewell. Thankyou Mary, but this will be the end. No more stepping stones, this is it. 18.


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