Chapter One

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"No!" I squeeze my eyes shut, willing all this to go away. My mom walks into the room, her hands chained behind her back. The guards escorting her put her in front of an execution block. I try to run to her but my legs won't move. All I can do is watch. The executioner swings the axe back. "Can't I say my last words?" My mother asks. A guard nods to my mom. "Kaya" my mom looks at me, "I never loved you." The executioner brings down the axe.
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I wake up screaming and crying. I need to learn to control these nightmares. It's the same one each time. I look at my clock. It's five thirty. Not long before I have to get ready for school. I get up and get dressed. I have always been glad that I was a wise nine year old. Until you are nine all your clothes are brown. Two months after you turn nine you choose two colors to wear until you are twenty one. I was smart and chose blue and black. My favorite color when I was nine was pink. But I thought about the future and what color I would like then, and decided on blue. Blue has many shades and is not childish, so I decided that I could live with it for a while.

I brush my blonde shoulder - length hair. I part it down the middle and use a blue barret to pin my bangs back. This is how all girls from nine to twenty one wear their hair. Except the barret is one of their chosen colors. Our society has very little choice. Everyone believes it is better that way. Well, at least the Masters do. The Masters run our world. They have created certain rituals , set dates and strict rules. For example: if you are born in the month of June, as I was, your first name must begin with the letter 'K'. Also everyone must be married by the time you are eighteen. I'm four months shy of being eighteen, and I don't have a husband yet. After you turn twenty two, you must have a child. I don't like all the rules.

I walk downstairs, to the kitchen and start making breakfast. That's another rule. The oldest daughter must make breakfast and dinner on weekdays. I love to cook so this is okay. I decide that today is a bagel day. I spread mine with strawberry cream cheese and my parents get regular. My brother gets blueberry and my sister gets butter. We have an average family around here two girls two boys and a mother and a father. My older brother is 19 and living on his own married. His name is Jason. Then, there's me Kaya. Next I have Alex, he is sixteen, we hang out a lot and we're good friends. Then Miyla, the youngest. She's a spoiled brat and we are not friends. This isn't abnormal. Not all siblings are expected to get along. We still have to be civil to each other though.

It will be a little while before the rest of my family wakes up. I decide to start without them. As chew my bagel I start wondering things. Who will my husband be? What will my job be? Will I be employed at all? Could I be a slave? When you are married, the man technically owns the woman. She must do whatever she is asked, without questions. The man could sell her or use her in whatever way he wants. My father is not like that. Nor my brother. They both let their wives and daughters have freedom. I'm glad. My freedom means so much to me. If I have the opportunity to pick my job, I think I would like to be either a teacher, a cook for the Masters or a writer. I really want to help people, and I love to cook. these jobs would be perfect for me. I don't like that I would have to cook for the Masters, it would work out. It's better than having to be a slave to the Masters, or marrying one! I glanced at the clock. It is still a half hour before school. I decide to take a walk. I quickly scribble a note for my family telling them that I left early. I put on black flats and a light jacket. Maybe today something good will happen to me. It doesn't really have to be good just exciting!
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I get to school. I'm the first one other than the teachers. I even took the long path. Well, better early than late. If you are tardy, you get rapped on the knuckles with a ruler. So, there is one thing I have to clear up. In the future it is not much different than in, say, 2045. The technology, has barely advanced. We don't get special meals or tablets. The society is basically the same. Then, you think about the Masters. They have beliefs very similar to, oh I don't know. What are they called? Oh! The Taliban. And also Aldolf Hitler. At school we learn our history every Thursday. In three weeks it is the one hundredth anniversary of the Masters. The year is 3374. The Masters came to power about after World War III. Which they started. There are now many more terrorism acts then there was twenty years ago. Sometimes there are people in the street, minding their own business, and then everyone is shot. Usually, acts like that only happened to women between nine and twenty one. My age group. Acts like these are coordinated by the Masters. The Masters like to remind everyone that they are stronger. I hate them.

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