Through the gray dim of the clouds, the large ships loom over the cobblestone streets of my city. The spotlights pierce through the dense fog as I try to make it back to my apartment complex, Brahms Place.
The complex stands tall above the others, the red light of the long antenna at the top of the edifice blinks warm against the dark orange sunset.
I walk further down the street, trying my best not to run into anyone. Because anyone could be that one person I need to avoid; I can't be seen with him in public or face the consequences.
"Trust no one," my friend said to me, one night after drinks of scotch and Beethoven over the usual Stravinsky.
Elijah was always a rebel, and I admired him for it.
I hear a faint buzzing sound from above. I scope around the area, and then notice a small flying machine that says, "Looking for a job? Sikr@yandex.ru.
I am glad I chanced upon the request. I smile to myself and continue walking. Now on my block, I step closer to the side of the curb, avoiding a large puddle of some dark, acrid substance. A man dressed completely in black, one of them, watches me with a steadfast gaze. My hands tremble as I search for my keys. Why is he standing there?
His presence is almost as dominating as the heavy ships above.
"You there!" he calls out.
I can feel him pointing his finger at me. Breathing heavy, I turn to meet him, keeping my hand in my purse. Is my ID in here? I panic for a moment, thinking that it is gone, but my relief courses through me as I keep it in my hand — just in case.
His eyes are narrowed and hard, his lips tight.
"It is five minutes until curfew is in effect. Why are you not in your home? The broadcast will begin soon. As a dutiful citizen, you should be dressed in your national outfit. Why are you dressed like this?"
What should I say? How can I explain to this man? Thoughts race through my mind.
"My father is a lawyer," I blurt out.
Surely children of lawyers can get away with the little things. Can't they?
He steps closer, leaning closer to my ear.
"Follow me," he says, quickly. "Your apartment is unsafe."
Why would I follow this man? We are not supposed to walk with the men in black, even if they work for those in the higher powers.
"I'm a civilian," I say, taking a step back. "Please, sir. Let me go home. I can't be caught during curfew. You even said so yourself in the lecture you just gave me."
But it is too late, he already takes my arms and hides me in his coat as we walk across the street. I try to fight him, but his grip is strong.
There is the broadcast sounding through the streets. The beginning dissonant chords of the second movement of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. A man's voice speaks over the low, frantic notes of the orchestra.
"In this fine and fair city, it is our duty to protect all of you. If you suspect your neighbor of illegal or illicit behavior call the number 214-5632."
I need to be at home. What if I am called? I am fortunate that none of the spotlights are shining down on my street, even though they could at any moment.
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Epic Tales from Beautiful Minds: An Ooorah AnthologyScience Fiction
Inspired by @rskovach's DECAMERON 2.0, EPIC TALES FROM BEAUTIFUL MINDS is a sci-fi anthology. Spread across multiple sub-genres, EPIC TALES features short stories from Wattpad's best sci-fi writers. The majority of these different sub-genres feature...