“Dawn of Rebellion” by Maddie Shavitz

My eyes flashed open my body flooding with sweat. I looked at the clock and it read 3:30am. I felt fear crawl through me, and I took a few deep breaths to calm myself down. Tomorrow was the day—the day I will get chosen. I will find out the job I will have for the rest of my life. I have been dreading this day since I could remember. I look around to see the other kids sound asleep. They are also 15. The age you will learn your fate.

Again I wake up, but this time it’s from the morning bell. My friend Kaia came over to me she said, “Tough night sleep?”
“Yeah,” I replied with a simple nod. We got dressed and headed down to the cafeteria. I ate my food slow, for it’s the last meal I will eat before I stand in front of the decision makers and learn what I will do for the rest of my life.

Together all the 15 year olds walked down to the podium in the center of town square. The podium was used only for the day of the decisions, unless a decision maker died and a new one was elected.

The ceremony began and kids learned who they will see who they will never see again.

“Emma Gust,” the announcer yelled. The sound of my name rippled softer and softer into my ears.

“Farmer,” yelled the announcer. I shut my eyes and a single tear ran down my cheek.

One by one kids got chosen until there were none left.

“Tomorrow, you will be transported to your respected areas. Have all your personals ready by then.”

For the past month all the 15 year olds have stayed in an old college dorm dating back to the 2000’s. Thousands of imbecilities ago, in a simpler time, where people were able to choose their own path. We learned in school of that world, the place we are today was a country called America, the land of the free.

I collected all my things, so did my roommates. Kaia who was my best friend was leaving to cook for the decision makers, the leaders of our land. While Jade my other roommate was a designer. The only person who became a farmer with me was a small girl who slept on the other side of the room. She never talked to me in the entire month we were here. However, I knew her name was Ginger. The boys on the separate floor had been chosen for different types of jobs. My friend Jeff was going to be a teacher in town. I probably would never see him again.

The next day came, and I hugged my friends goodbye as I stepped into the cold white van that is in front of me. The other kids on the bus were not strangers to me. Mia was in my apartment building, but not in my dorm. The boys that are here look unfamiliar to my eye, they must have been shy during communal events.

“Um . . . I’m Jasper,” said one of the boys as we all gathered on the bus. He was a bigger kid, 5’10” at least. He had the body of someone they would want working the fields. The other boy whose name I later found out was Jeremey didn’t say anything.

I turned my head and looked out the window as the town I spent my whole life in vanished before my eyes. Since there were only 5 kids in the van we decided we should get to know each other. “I’m Emma,” I said. “My parents worked in town as tailors. We were a middle class family.”

Then Mia said, “You’re forgetting we spent the last month together in the apartment building, being watched to find out which job would suit us best.”

I wanted to say that I knew I wasn’t meant for this job, that I knew I should have been a soldier. I knew from the beginning of grade school girls never could fight, but my gut was disagreeing with everything. But still, I didn’t speak. That was just my mind making up excuses for why I shouldn’t be a farmer.

“I think we should get some sleep. The ride to the countryside is pretty far and we don’t know what the farm has in store for us,” Jasper said.

We agreed and feel asleep on the bumpy road rocking us to sleep.  Later when we got to the farm a middle aged man in overalls came and greeted us. He said we had until 6:00pm to unpack our stuff and get situated. He showed us the housing. There was one mansion for the adults and one medium sized house for the teenagers. The 16 and 17 year olds helped us with our stuff knowing what we had been through the last few days.

“I’m Gunner,” said one of the teens. “2 years ago I was in your spot. Scared and not knowing what’s ahead. But, the farm’s not that bad. We have the freshest food in all of the country and we have land expanding 1 mile. Tess over here will show the girls to their rooms while I got the boys.”

I looked over to Ginger who was biting her nails violently. Me and Mia talked along the way with Tess. She seemed kind enough. Inside the house there were 2 hallways—1 for the boys and 1 for the girls. They met in the center where there was a bathroom with 5 toilets and a communal shower. Downstairs there was a kitchen along with a living room with a TV. I haven’t seen a TV since a field trip we took to a museum back home. Also there was a hangout area with couches and games.

As soon as we got our stuff unpacked we took a tour of the work fields. You get to choose whether you want to work in the sun picking weeds and harvesting food or with the animals. Either milking cows, collecting chicken eggs, or butchering the meat. I choose to work with the animals because it seemed the least labor intensive. The thought of working here was like a knife was cutting through me.

The next day we start our work, the beating sun coming down on us. As soon as the day finishes all of the teens in our house hang out and watch TV. Ever since being chosen I couldn’t get the thought I didn’t belong out of my head. Therefore, I said, “I have an idea. It’s risky and we may not make it out alive.”

“What,” everyone said with sudden interest.

“We need to rebel,” I continued. “The decision makers shouldn’t decide our fate for us. Long ago when our ancestors lived people chose their job, and I feel we should be able to do that, too!”

After a few more days of working and all of us being miserable word spread of my idea. A man who looked about 30 came up to me. I recognized him from the van he was the driver. He said, “I have heard of your rebellion and I want to take part. My hatred for this job is like a wildfire that can’t be contained. I can transport you to town square, then you can attack the decision makers. Get your crew together because tomorrow we leave at sunrise.”

Ginger, Jasper, Tess, and Gunner decide to come while everyone else worked double to make sure the head farmer didn’t realize we were gone.

The ride was long, the perfect place to come up with battle tactics. We decided the only way to win was to defeat the decision makers in a mind game that we have used for generations to decide important topics. We would challenge them to a game of rock paper scissors. Thousands of years ago the thought of this game being important would be ludicrous, but in our society today it is said that the winner automatically gets the item or idea that was bargained for. Also, you can’t back out of a challenge or you are thought of as defeated for the rest of your life.

After a few hours my old life comes into view. “Emma,” Gunner says, “in order to make sure the decision makers are unaware of us coming we must go slowly and quietly. Their work day ends in 1 hour so we have until then to get past security to the main office.”

“Okay,” I reply waving everyone over to the entrance. “Jasper, create a distraction while we roll past the security and get in the elevator.”

Jasper sprinted in and started yelling that he lost his parents and he needs their help finding them. This gave us the perfect amount of time to make a run for it. Jasper found random adults and told the security thanks for the help because those were his parents. Annoyed, the guard walked back to work while Jasper stayed outside.

Soon after this we walked into the office room while the decision makers are having a meeting. “Why are some puny teens here!” yells the decision maker. “You should be working for another 20 minutes.”

As my heart races faster than a sprinter, I bring up enough courage to say, “We challenge you to the ancient game of rock paper scissors. The winner gets to decide what the new regulation is. And just in case you were wondering, the cameras are rolling and nobody will trust you if you say no and we have evidence.”

“I haven’t heard a threat like this since I was inducted into this job, but I cannot disrespect my people and back out.”

Rock! Paper! Scissors! Shoot! The commands flashed through my mind like a rocket flying to space, and I throw my fist in a rock.

“Oh my! I lost!” yelled the decision maker with rage, holding out a scissor.

Now that I was in charge I demanded to be placed as a soldier. Also, I called everyone to town square to spread the news of freedom in picking what job you want. This is something most people never thought would be true. But now freedom would range over all people, the rein of the decision makers was over. There was a new time for freedom in what we want to do.

 

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