A little word from the author : Hi there ! As usual, english is not my mothertongue so if there's any mistake, tell me ;) Another written expression I had to do in English literature lesson. The aim was to write a dystopia (not a book) for it was the theme we studied. It's the story of a fictional character so if there's any resemblance to the story of someone in reality, it's purely coincidental. It's not great literature, but I hope you'll enjoy it :)

By the way, I don't know if I'll write a rest, but I don't think so...



We could not remember anything. Nobody had the right to do that. It has been like that since the government took office. They gave us a chance to restart from zero when we reached the majority, twenty-one years old, so. This chance was the Cleaning.

The Cleaning was a surgical operation made by the government to erase our memories. Childhood, adolescence, everything of our ancient life : memories of happiness, of pride, funny moments, but also and especially memories of sadness, of shame, teary moments, etc. Absolutely everything was forgotten. It was a new start offered to us, a chance to be someone else. And for this marvelous present, we had to obey the government and do our best to thank them.

Obviously, there were some ungrateful people who were demoted : the Dusts who lived in the Third District. They were the same pariahs as the Reluctant, at the differences that they had been cleaned – so they were failed Phoenix… and they existed. The Reluctant were a legend among so many others, made to scare the children. It was said that they lived outside of the Protective Wall, like savages, because they had refused to be cleaned. Refusing the Cleaning ! It was so unbelievable that I did not trust in their existence for a second.

Every single person normally constituted was impatient to have the Cleaning and becoming a Phoenix, the perfection itself. When you were a Phoenix, you truly and finally existed. Your name written on the Register proved it. But a Phoenix was not born from nothing. It rose from the ashes. This was how the futures Phoenix were called : the Ashes.

I was one of them. It was really difficult to guess it when we saw that my Nanny was on. This little high tech gem implanted under the skin, in the wrist, was essential for a Phoenix. It was a passport for everything : commanding food and drink, paying, phoning, surfing on the Net, etc. Furthermore, even if it was turned off, it was a manner for the government to take better care of us. It was not supposed to be switched on before the Cleaning, but mine did. Why ? Because the life gave me a wonderful present. Further to events that I was unable to remember, I was amnesic. A natural Cleaning, so.

But only the government was perfect. The proof : I had reminiscences. Every night since I had lost my memories, I had dreamed of a mouth with tears. A soft and feminine voice saying to me : "I love you. Remember. They can't take it from us."

"Remember". Only this word made me feel guilty, like a criminal, a traitor to the government.

I had been cleaned, yes, but by the nature. I was still an Ash. Only the government could make of me a Phoenix. Only them could make me perfect, make me exist. And this was my most fervent wish.