Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Badge of Secrecy

Anya, always the first to wake at sunset, noticed the letter on the floor before she woke up the other girls. The other girls never saw any of the special orders that came, Anya made sure of it. Not that they couldn’t be trusted, there was just a system around here you followed. This wasn’t the first time they had to take down someone infiltrating the camp, it wouldn’t be the last. But this would be the most difficult. Not only for her, but for many girls in the camp. A pang of guilt surfaced for a moment, she almost didn’t want to go through with this. She imagined grabbing the prisoner and fleeing with her. The reality of the situation and where she was took that thought away fast. Turning on the water and soaking the thin sheet that the order was on disintegrated it. She walked back to the bunks to wake the others as Jen awoke rubbing the sleep out of her eyes with a frown. With a pout on her face and almost a tear in her eye, she looked up at Anya “something bad is gonna happen…” The older girl was a bit shocked, but Jen had always been right when saying stuff like this.

As usual, the girls stepped into the shower to get ready for the patrol tonight. Anya really didn’t want to give the orders, but knew she had to. The showers were the safest place to do so since it can be too hard for anyone else listening to hear anything. Leaning her head down to get the shampoo out, Anya sighed and just held her head there from a moment. She hoped the water would wash away the reality of the situation. It had to be done.

Jen let the water hit her face, trying to hide the tears. She wanted to question the orders, to not follow them, but she didn’t dare say it out loud. She was scared, for the first time in a long time she was actually terrified. She couldn’t shake the feeling of her dream, though she couldn’t remember what happened. It was just bad. So, silently, she sniffled as the water tried to take the sadness away.

As Anya gave the orders, Yui couldn’t help the audible gasp that came out. Everyone heard it, but they knew not to say anything. Yui really enjoyed Danni’s company. She’d sometimes sneak into Danni’s tent each night to talk to her about everything. She just couldn’t believe this; she didn’t want to believe it. She’d never been this angry before. She’d never really been angry at anyone, except the doctors. But she understand them, they were just trying to help. Danni? She was trying to destroy everything. She wasn’t sure if the steam was from the hot water or her anger, she wanted to hurt people. She sat there inhaling and exhaling, flaring her nostrils, trying to calm down. Bracing herself with one arm, she turned the water to cold to try and extinguish the anger.

Beth continued washing just thinking about it all, taking it all in. She wasn’t thinking about how this order affected her, that didn’t matter. She was wondering how this order would affect the whole camp. All the other targets they took down had been either boys that snuck into camp or girls that may have had a few other friends. Danni was different, everyone loved her. She knew the other girls wouldn’t speak up with their doubts about tonight, and she knew why. Beth saw that this could make girls start to question their other friendships. This single order could start witch hunts. Making this public could end the whole operation. Turning off the water, she was the first to step out and get ready.

They still had a few hours before their breakfast came. Instead of helping each other get ready, they sat there in silence not knowing what to say. Anya looked in the mirror seeing Jen directly behind her sniffling, facing her own mirror. Someone had to break the ice. She turned and hugged Jen. She didn’t know what else to do. The youngest girl sat there accepting the hug, and then the tears came harder. Yui sat beside Jen. She didn’t want to look, but the sound of the sobbing just made her want to punch the mirror. She’d join in the crying if she didn’t feel so betrayed. She left the bathroom to go mess with her dart gun. Beth also got to her feet and went to the other room. Anya turned Jen around and looked her in the eye “it’ll be okay, you don’t have to do anything.” Jen nodded and wiped her eyes with her sleeve. Anya hugged her again and then went to get her stuff ready as well.

The knock came at the door exactly at 11pm as per the schedule. Anya opened the door to see Danni carrying their meals. She helped set them on the table while the other girls finished washing their hands. Jen saw that Danni remembered her favorite meal tonight. She excused herself to the bathroom before she started crying again. Danni looked to Anya “is she alright? I thought she’d be devouring her food before anyone else could sit down.” Anya nodded her head “she just had a bad dream.”

Jen came back to the table and started to eat, Danni put her hand on her shoulder to make sure she was okay. The anger and pain welled up inside as she shrugged the traitors hand was from her. Before Danni had a chance to say anything, Yui, looking straight ahead, asked “Why?” The anger in those words dripped from her mouth. That simple word made everyone else at the table visibly uncomfortable. The only response she’d give would be “if you had a brother you loved then you’d understand” Before anyone could react, Danni shoved needles in both Jen and Anya at the same time. They collapsed shortly after from the drug. Diving beside Anya, dodging Yui’s dart, the unskilled girl moved better than anyone thought she would. She grabbed the dart gun from Anya’s belt and shot Yui in the leg from under the table. Dropping the gun, she rolled to the other side of where she was seated and grabbed Jen’s gun. She went to aim for Beth’s leg but it wasn’t there. Staring from atop the table, Beth thought about her possibilities. Danni got to her feet holding her arms out wide “You don’t have to do this. Let me shoot you and just walk out. Please!” She started backing towards the door. Leaving her gun hand up, she reached for the door and turned the knob. “Going somewhere, traitor?” The voice made her cringe. She knew she wasn’t going anywhere now. Sarah aimed her stun gun slowly, enjoying this capture. The dart soared past Danni’s ear. She didn’t know what just happened. Was Beth helping her? She turned just in time to see the other dart hit her in the arm. Before she passed out she looked at Beth barely getting the word out “why?”


  1. This might be the best so far! I think it's really impressive how you've brought this story from something sort of campy and funny into this sort of oddly believable world, with the characters in whom I have a strange emotional investment. There are moments when your sentences get a little grammatically messy, but I think that's just what happens whenever someone is writing at 2 AM. :P That being said, I like seeing how your writing (which was strong to begin with) has developed with the stories themselves. I can't wait to read what happens next.

  2. I also noticed some messy grammar but I was into this. The way you built up to it and described each girl's feelings was smooth. It felt a little sudden when Danni did her needle stab, I guess I figured she might have fumbled or something that nobody would have noticed. I am now crazy curious to see just what will happen to Danni.

  3. This makes me want to know more about the power structure and how they got into power in the first place! I also like that the girls are conflicted. They've gone from a two dimensional menace to more nuanced characters in the last few chapters.

    As for the grammar, I'd try reading the story aloud (that's how I do a lot of editing) and maybe a beta reader.

    Now go write more!


  4. i will ignore the grammar as it has been mentioned, and the beta reader idea is a great one.
    I also like how the characters are developing, but you can walk a fine line the more characters you add of creating a well developed community, as this seems to be, and confusing the reader, trying to remember who's who. So far you are doing great though.

    Finally, while I agree with J. A. Platt in telling you to write more, make the time to do it without the deadline. Sit down on a Saturday (or whatever your schedule permits) and knock out as much as you can, don't force it, but write. Create a buffer so you don't feel you have to write until 2 AM (unless you like to).