Story of Allen

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young boy in a underground dystopia is pulled from is normal life of chld labor and learns the truth about the surfice. Was actually a class assignment a year ago that turned out well.

Submitted: November 15, 2010

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Submitted: November 15, 2010

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“Number 25536M, get back in line!” Shouted the large bulky overseer, “Do you want to be thrown outside?” He spat out the last word to frighted those around me. “Sir, number 25423F had collapsed from the heat, I stepped out of line to help her up, Sir” I looked up at the overseer, number 6453M, although he was much larger than me, I was not frightened. Number 25423F was shaking and had soot all over her face. The overseer took a wooden stick and raised it to strike. “Get back in line!” he shouted as he dealt the blow to my shoulder. In this new world when you are born you have no name, instead a number and your gender letter. You are raised by your mothers than taken away when you’ve reached your tenth birthday. The population of the world had increased so badly that there was extreme famine and epidemics that spread world wide. Thieves and muggers stormed the streets, corruption ruled, no one obeyed laws. Advanced civilization fell and now the only thing left for us are these boiler rooms that supply heat to our underground city. None of us know why were here, just that we can’t leave. The food comes from strange plants that grow from the tops of caves and water from deep wells. The only beings that still lie on the surface are disobedient worker children, and criminals. The entire system of our city is running on child labor, we work in the boiler rooms, using steam and coal to power our city, or in the food processing plant, collecting food and drilling wells. I took the blow and tried not to scream out. I stepped back into line without looking at the overseer. The entire line of children was silent, no one made a sound as we continued to walk to the work stations. Wile everyone else was thinking about work and what they would accomplish, I was thinking about the suffice. I had read about it in my father’s old books, how before the world become overcrowded, the surface was a paradise. My father taught me how to read when I was very young and I loved to read all of his books, my favorite book was a book about a hero, who lived selflessly and saved the town. My father always told me I was very intelligent and my ice colored eyes could see through lies. We arrived at the work stations and we washed up in the shower rooms. I put on my brown tattered apron and went back to my spot in line. He divided us up in to groups of three, each group was given a job. I prayed desperately that we wouldn’t get coal dusting, all of us dreaded the job. The overseer but me in a group with number 25423F, and another boy I didn’t know. He was quite thin and had jet black hair and dull brown eyes. The overseer smirked and said towards us, “Well, thats a surprise! Hero boy and his damsel in distress are with that wimp number 33836M. I think I will give you poor examples of children coal dusting.” I knew it, that overseer put the trouble makers in the same group then punished them. We moved to the coal chamber, we put on the protective paper mask and crawled into the cavern. Number 25423F held a lantern and lead our way wile the other boy brought the tool box. I felt the walls as we crawled searching for loose coal that the diggers missed, wile I asked for tools from the boy. Then half way through I couldn’t stand the heat and stopped to catch my breath. Number 25423F asked quietly, “Why don't you switch with number 33836M? You shouldn’t overexert yourself.” I was so out of breath I only nodded, I had forgotten how much work it was and how hot it was. I too over leading and number 25423F took over the tool box. After a few minutes I felt a jerk on my hair, I had tied it up to avoid getting it dirty. I turned around and number 33836M was staring at me and holding on to my hair. He pulled it again but this time a lot harder, “hey! What are you doing?” I yelled as grabbed my hair out of his hand, He snickered and then said, “Nice hair, could you tell me why it is so long? You look like a girl” I glared at him, and number 25423F looked puzzled and stopped crawling. I fixed my hair and said, “Keep checking for coal.” He looked at me displeased and said, “I just wondered why you have long hair.” I ignored him and kept doing my job, he apparently was doing his. later on number 25423F switched with him and I carried the tools. She stumbled once and fell I wasn’t paying attention and fell over her. I looked around and saw we were in a different tunnel. The ground rough and the rocks are sharp, no one has gone trough this tunnel before. “Hey! Where are you going? Were on the wrong path!” I shouted I reached to grab him but he turned and hit me in the face. Number 25423F was still face down in the tunnel and mumbling something. I felt my face were he had hit me and then helped number 25423F up. He looked back at me and said coldly, “I know, be quite. Keep following me.” He took the light and went forward, we had no choice but to fallow. He had the only light and I had no clue where we were. “Tell me where we’re going.” I said after a wile of following him, The tunnel was getting more rough as we continued on it. I had cut my hand several times and decided to rap them in bandages to protect them. I rapped up number 25423F’s hands as well, she had cut her face when she fell the first time and I helped her bandage it up. He turned and then said, “To the surface of course.” I stared at him, he had to be lying there was no way we were going to the surface. In the back of my mind I knew he wasn’t lying, I could tell by the look on his face. Then number 25423F shouted, “No, we can’t go up there, we’ll be killed!” he kept going forward and then smirked, “Who told you that? Have they actually been there before?” She started to say something then fell silent. He took out a piece of paper with some numbers and letters on it. “Lets take a break, I'm tired.” He sat down and got out a piece of food and handed each a piece. I ate slowly and after a wile, number 33836M said, “Do you know why we don’t have name’s only numbers?” I choked on my bite of food and number 2523F pated me on the back. He smirked and said with his mouthful, “We don't have names because we have no freedom, if you have a name you are free from government control.” He stopped and looked at the paper, then said, “This paper can make our numbers into names, for me my number is 33836M, so my name is,” he stopped then looking at us he breathed out his name, “Deven.” Suddenly he seemed different once I knew his name. Then number 25423F said timidly, “Whats my name?” he wrote down her number than wrote down some notes. “Alice, thats a pretty name. Now that I have told you my name and yours you can not tell a soul or you will be executed.” Alice, number 25432F, nodded her head and continued to eat her food. I then asked, “Whats my name?” He took the paper and wrote down my number than scribbled down some notes than said, “Allen, thats your name.” I suddenly felt lighter, I said it to my self a few times, Allen I like that name. A thought came to my mind and I asked Deven, “Why now? Why haven't you told everyone?” He looked at me then said, “I only told you two because each of you has something to gain from going to the surface. Allen, you can find out why we live underground. You don't trust the history books do you?” I thought about it and realized that I didn’t. I asked, “What about Alice?” I stuttered at her name because I was not used to it. He looked over and said, “Alice, you know why we’re here don't you? I can tell, your hair has been in the sunlight.” Alice flinched and then I looked at her hair some of her hair was lighter than her normal brown hair. Deven then said, “You want to see it again don't you, the sunlight.” We continued to crawl through the tunnel and it started to go upwards slightly and it became harder to breathe the higher we went. We left the tool box behind and only took a shovel, our food and the light. We had gone about a kilometer up hill when I inhaled a lot of soot and started coughing violently. Alice and Deven stopped and helped me catch my breath, wile still coughing I tried to ask Deven, “Why is it so hard to breathe here?” I gasped for air when I finished asking and made an effort to breathe easier. Deven thought for a moment then asked Alice, “Are you having any trouble Alice?” She told him no, and then helped me sit up and gave me some water. Deven though for a moment then said, “Maybe its because you were born on the surface, this air around us is very dense with carbon dioxide, Alice and I are used to it. I think she collapsed before, because of her little trip to the surface.” I asked the best I could, “Wasn’t I born down here, in the city?” He said no then with Alice’s help helped me crawl through the tunnel. Soon the tunnel became a lot larger and we were able to stand upright and walk. It was still difficult to breathe, Alice gave me a handkerchief to hold over my mouth and nose to filter some of the soot. I then said through the handkerchief, “Are we close?” Deven didn’t say anything for a wile then said, “We will reach a point were you wont be able to breathe at all, then after that point than there will be a rush of cool air. When you feel the cool air we will be almost there. I wondered if the pain in my chest could get worse, then all of a sudden I couldn't breath. I tried to take a breathe and nothing moved, I felt dizzy and collapsed. When I woke I was sure I was dead, my head ached and my lungs felt like they were going to burst. I opened my eyes and cold burst of wind hit my face, I was moving forward even though my legs weren’t moving. When I became less drowsy, I saw that Deven was carrying me on his back, and alice was holding the flashlight and the shovel. I let out a shout of surprise and Deven almost dropped me. He didn’t put me down till we had stopped going up hill, even then he had to support me wile we walked. The carbon dioxide had taken a lot of my energy and it was a long time before I could walk on my own. The air felt fresh on my face, I felt better the farther we walked and almost no soot was in the cave. I took out my pocket watch and saw we had been walking for almost four hours, we still had a long time before we were supposed to be back at the work stations. Then wile I was putting my watch back, I smelled something. It smelled like something burning, I saw a light in the distance and we ran towards it. I finally could see the surface, why we are underground, and the sunlight Alice wanted to see. We came to the light and we came out of a cave, It was so bright at first I couldn’t see a thing and I had to let my eyes adjust. I looked around and what I saw was nothing like I pictured the surface to be. It was warm, comforting, this must be sunlight I thought. There were a few wood houses and there were plants scattered all over. Alice ran to the large patch of colorful plants and fell into them. Petals flew everywhere, and then near her I saw lots of carved stones in rows. They all had names and dates on them and they all said nice things. One said, ‘To my sister, and best friend’ I waved over Deven to show him. He looked down at it then he began to cry. I asked him why and he said, “These are graves, and this one’s my sisters.” I was ashamed of my self, I looked at all the stones there were too many to count. Then I heard something very loud. It was like a loud popping noise, then Deven grabbed me behind my back and threw us both down saying, “Get down.” The tree branch behind me exploded and there were a lot of sounds, the tree was full of holes. Alice was still in the plants and was holding as still as she could. Deven then whispered to me, “on three, you run to the back of that house, I’ll get Alice.” I nodded, I trusted him enough to know what was happening. Then he counted down to three and I ran as fast as I could to the house. Lots of noise started when we ran, and luckily I made it to the house safely. I looked over and I saw Deven running towards Alice and he picked her up in his arms, then ran back to me. Whatever was attacking us hit Deven in the shoulder, and it began to bleed through his shirt, he kept running till he reached the house. collapsed with Alice still in his arms and then but her down and clutched his shoulder. He took the last bandage and raped his arm with it. Soon the noise stopped and foot steps started coming towards us. I whispered, “What’s going on?” Deven looked over at me then moved slowly to look around the corner to see if anyone was there, there was more noise and he pulled his head back. Deven said very quickly, “Well, I’ll give you the short version. Those people have guns, they’re trying to kill us because were in there territory. A long time ago when the world’s population got too big, a drought hit most of the world. Several cities had built underground chambers to hide wile on the surface there was extreme war and famine. Now they say only criminals live up here but thats not true, people do live here but they are violent towards us. Once I took my sister here, and she decided to live here. Thats what these houses are, I bring people up here that hate underground life. However because we have lived underground for so long, our life spans are quite short, my sister died of old age at 27. If she had stayed underground she would have died at 18, the same age I am now.” More gun shots went off and we ran to the next backdoor. I was amazed, many of my friends when they reached 17 or 18 disappeared and I always thought they went to work somewhere else. Now most of them probably are dead, I though about it some of us where older than that, my mother was. Deven looked so young, he didn’t look like he was 18. I am only 16, and so is Alice. The gunmen came closer and we could hear them talking, the decided to leave and come back later. We stayed hidden till we were sure that they left. The cave was frightening and looked very dark, if we didn’t return they would think that we had gotten lost and not think twice about us. We had to decide what we would do, return to our boiler room work and never speak of this again or stay here and live with gunman hunting us every day. This would not be forgotten nor would things go back to normal. Alice was not number 2523F, I was Allen not number 25536M. Deven then said to us, “Why don’t you join me, we can move some dreamers into a makeshift city and build up a life above ground.” I looked at Alice and we both nodded. After eating some fresh fruit, we made our way down the long tunnel back home.


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