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Just a warning for you. The start of this story could be very confusing if you didn't read the little summary thing when you found it.

ALSO    Please do not copy my story!  This is my creation!

Now go ahead and read!

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"Amber Matlock?" The woman at the desk finally calls my name, signifying that it's my turn to go for my examination.

"Okay honey," my mom looks me straight in the eyes. "You know what we've talked about."

"Yes mom," I nod my head.

I do know what we've talked about. This examination is to judge my health and fitness, to see if my name will be put in the Manitoba bowl of names of fifteen year old girls. My mother wants me to completely fail the fitness part. She had to keep me healthy though, otherwise my five year old brother, Ty and I will be taken away, my parents deemed unfit. But I'm not failing the fitness part. I know that a lot of girls purposely do, but not me. I've been training for it. I want my name to be drawn for Manitoba. I want to become a GovChild, as we call them, and find out what happens.

So I raise my head, and walk confidently to the counter.

The woman ushers me behind the counter and takes my weight and height.  Then she walks me into the exam room.

It is a large room. One side of the room is like a normal doctor's office, while the other side is an exercise room, and a much nicer one than the community centre has. In the center of the room, there is a desk, with a computer. Sitting at the desk is the doctor that will be performing my examination.

"Hello Amber. My name is Doctor Ross," she says.

"Hi," I say shyly.

"So Amber," she says.  "We're going to start with the medical exam, which should be just like any other regular doctor's appointment you've ever had. Then we will move on to the physical exam, which I will explain to you when we get to it."

The medical exam goes quickly, and is slightly awkward, like any other exam. Then we move on to the second half, which I breeze through.

"Alright Amber. We're done here. Let me just total up your score." She pauses to look at her computer.  "Okay. Amber, you've passed both tests with flying colours. Looks like your name is going into the bowl."

She gives me a sympathetic look, but inside I'm jumping for joy.

"Okay," I say, keeping a blank expression on my face.

I feel slightly bad, because I know my mom will be devastated if I get chosen, but this is what I want. I know my mom wishes that I had been born a year before or after the year I was born, because then I would be safe. Ty, my little brother is safe, because he will be fourteen in an even year, the year that they'll draw fifteen year old girls. And I'm glad of that, because Ty is small, and weak, and probably wouldn't do well if his name was drawn. He is much more dependent on our parents. Me on the other hand, I want to escape the curfews, and patrols of my current life.

I am quiet as my mom and I walk home. We are not supposed to share the results of our exams with anyone, and I can't give anything away.

The drawings will happen in two days, and if I am drawn, my mother will know that I passed, if I'm not, she'll never know how I did.

All of a sudden, the city's alert siren goes off.

"Citizens of Winnipeg!" A voice booms. "Please return to your homes immediately. There is an important broadcast from the Government of Canada that will come on as soon as you turn on your television or radio. Please wait until all of your family members are at home to watch this broadcast."

The announcement stops, and my mother and I quicken our pace.

The announcement is repeated several more times throughout our walk home.

My mother and I enter our house, and join Ty and my father on the couch. My father turns on the television.

"Greetings citizens of Canada!" The prime minister's cheerful voice calls out. "I would like to inform you that some changes have been made to the drawing system, for the ADCCG, the Annual Draw of Children for the Canadian Government. This year, all the children who passed their exams will be standing right in front of the stage, instead of with their families. The children who did not pass will be watching with their families. One name will be drawn, but anyone who passed may volunteer to go in the drawn child's place. Everything else will continue as normal, the drawn child will still get to say their goodbyes, and so forth. And to any girl whose name is in the bowl this year, good luck to you! If your name is in the bowl, you may let your family know. Thank you."

The screen fades to black, and my father turns off the TV.

"Amber?" Ty asks, "Is your name in the bowl?"

"Yeah, bud, it is."

"Oh! Honey!" My mother cries. "No! Not my baby's name in the bowl! Oh love!" She wraps her arms around me and cries.

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Once Ty and I are in bed, I hear my parent's hushed voices.

"David, what will we do if she's drawn?! I couldn't bear to go through it again!"

"Shhh Penelope. It's okay."

"No! Honey, it's not okay! I worked with her; I told her how she could fail the examination! I cannot do this again!" My mother says in distress.

Do it again? What does she mean? I'm their firstborn child.

"Penelope," my dad says softly. I lean my ear against the vent in my room so I can hear better. "Maybe this is what she wants."

"No! That's not possible! How could she want it? She would become government property! How could anyone want that?!"

"Dear, if she doesn't want it, I'm sure she'll talk someone into volunteering for her. But if she does go, she'll do well doing whatever the GovChildren do. She's a tough cookie, Amber is. Don't stress it too much."

"But David, how can you say this? How can be so calm, when we might be losing another child?"

"I would be sad to see Amber go, Penelope. Just like I was sad when-"

The air conditioning comes on, and I can't hear what my dad says.

Slowly, I slip into a deep sleep, with no thoughts of the draw in my head at all.

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Yay! A new story posted! I'm going to try to keep this story updated fairly regularly, but I'm also working on another story, so we'll see how it goes. Anyway, please comment and tell me if it's any good.

Jen😝

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