"To get up each morning with the resolve to be happy is to set our own conditions to the events of each day. To do this is to condition circumstances instead of being conditioned by them"- Ralph Waldo Emerson
The world people used to live in was green, fresh, and cool. People were living with more than they needed and took their basic needs for granted. There was more than one season, the sun was a beautiful thing, and people lived without really ever having lived. This is a world I have never known. Years before I was born there was a huge financial crisis throughout the world which caused mass hysteria and panic. People began murdering, stealing, and rioting. The financial economy and technology were never able to recover after this initial crisis, and several additional ones following.
People are poor, hopeless, and keep to themselves. Children are taught that other humans are inherently dangerous and people avoid each other most often. There are very few friends amongst people and even less small talk. People live together in small groups of what remains of their family or friends. Some people go off and create their own groups of people based on their current needs or wants. There is no formal school or places of employment, however some people do work and basic community needs are met on a small scale. Its as if the human race has taken a giant step back in time and has not yet been able to get itself back. This is the world I was born into.
My name is Evan. I am probably one of the few people who doesn't go by a nickname or have some modern/hip name most of the kids my age have now. I live with my mother and father in a small community we call Summer. There are 3 major communities and each community has its pros and cons. Fall is known for being a strong community full of hard workers, fighters, and food. This is the current food capital of the world where people travel to from near and far to buy food. Food can also be brought to you via different shipping methods and if your community needs protection than Fall will send people who have been trained for all sorts of different protection needs from home protection to personal protection, to witness protection, to animal protection. Fall is also the drug capital of the world. If you need drugs, you travel to Fall. If you need regular pharmaceuticals, you travel to Fall. In order to keep up with drug supply and demand for protection, Fall has a dark side it needs to fulfill. Every year, the government that Fall has formed, meets together and randomly assigns a ¼ of its population to become the guinea pigs of their drug capital. People receive their notices in the mail at the beginning of the new year and are informed that they will spend one year having drugs forcefully infused into their bodies so they can study the drugs and learn more about them. Not animal testing, human testing. Since humans can verbalize their feelings and thoughts, this was thought to be a more proficient way of doing things. This is the price you pay to live in Fall.
The community of Spring is no different, just different pros and cons. Spring specializes in water, which is always in high demand. They ship it just like Fall does. People will also travel their sometimes if they can. Spring also specializes in shelter. They turn no one down for any reason to live in their community. This means they are the largest community and are always in need of more places to live and more land. To prevent overpopulation, every year the government of Spring, murders a ¼ of its population. Men, women, children. This is also done randomly and you receive a notice just like you do in Fall. If you don't turn yourself in to be killed, you will be hunted down and killed. This is the price you pay to live in Spring.
Summer is known for its health and medical treatment. We travel to you if you need medical care and people can travel to us. Emergency clinics are set up throughout the community and run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Summer is also the sex slave capital of the world. Every year, the Summer government assembles and sends ¼ of its population a notice that they will be sold into the world of underground sex trafficking and, if they don't die, will be released from their debt after 1 year. The same time line applies to Fall if patients survive their forceful infusion of drugs. This is the world I live in and the normalcy of society.
I wake up early like I always do. I don't sleep very much and because of that, I operate perfectly fine on very little sleep. The sun has just started coming up and I sit up quickly on my bed. I listen. The rest of the house is quiet. I assume that mom is out already at work in the community center where she sells her services as a doctor, makes house calls to people, or visits various centers across the community to help people with their various medical needs. My father is probably still sleeping in a drug induced coma that should break by noon time when it will start again and hopefully finish peacefully. I stand up and put on my same dirty jeans from the day before and throw a red hoodie over the white wife beater I had slept in. I quickly slip into my worn out sneakers and run down the stairs. No matter what is going on and no matter how many years its been, I still rush to be with her.
We have been friends since we were 8 and now, nine years later, she has not lost her appeal to me. Jupiter is one of those people. You know the kind right? She makes your soul feel likes its detaching from your body. Its not just how she makes me feel. Its how she makes everyone feel. She is just one of those amazingly spirited and beautiful people. When people are around her they are either lost for words or talk to much in a nervous kind of way because of her energy. They are either panting like dogs or can't breathe when they are in her presence…and she chose me all those years ago to be her best friend. Now of course it wasn't that I wouldn't like to be more, but she had never seemed even remotely romantically interested and I was happy just to be near her so I never let my feelings come to the surface.
I began walking to her house which was just a couple streets down. I could hear the bustle of the community center which was about 5 minutes walk from where I was now. I saw a mother and daughter walking back to their house. They were most likely coming from the community center as the little girls hair had just been freshly done and her clothes were beautiful and brand new. People would be receiving their notices within the week and were getting preparing. Some people hid in their homes like they wouldn't get the notice if they were quiet enough. Others got their children and themselves all trussed up for the occasion, like if they got a notice their 1 year sex trafficking sentence would be easier because they were prettier. Who knows. People had all kinds of rituals and I never really paid it any mind. It was the way my life had always been. I was emotionally strong and didn't let my feelings show often, which I think Jupiter liked about me.
As I rounded the corner, there she was. Jupiter. She was sitting outside on her porch, head down, fiddling with something. She was always finding things from the past that weren't used anymore or couldn't be used anymore and finding a purpose for them. She could find the purpose in anything. Her 2 toned blue hair was astounding and made her look like some kind of magical princess mermaid or something. She was beautiful and there are no other words to describe her features.
She doesn't see me coming yet. She hasn't looked up, but I see her. All of her. I also see something sickening. Someone sickening. My usual feeling of freedom has been replaced by dread and I wonder why I didn't bring my handgun. Jupiter looks up too. She is about to smile until she sees my expression. She glances over her shoulder and sees that someone too, and in an instant, we are a unified force about to face evil.