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Pen Your Pride

Freedom Runner

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I was born by the name of Skylar James on May 26th. My mom was a heavy drinker and my dad was killed in the army. My mom used drugs when she was pregnant so I ended up with a liver tumor. She would get drunk, she would come home and abuse me like I was just a toy. She would hit me and break my soul every day. One day, after being out for hours, she came back drunk with a gun and whispered in my ear "You'll never be useful, your just a sorry excuse that everyone will hate." Eventually I got so scared that I had to run away. I had to lie, beg, steal, and cheat just to get my basic needs, and I wandered around the city with little to no clothes for years just trying to survive. Our town has very strict laws, when you turn 16, you have to join one of three factions.

The first was the generous, also known as the Kranos. They help each other, and live in peace together. Then there is the intelligent, also known as the Machists. Their goal is to live in a world so high tech, that a man could live 1,000 years. Finally, there is the brave, also known as the Rekon. They believe every man should fight for himself and live free of fear. They are also the most strict of all the districts. There was rumor of people who have broke free of these laws. Who live outside these walls among nature, free of burden. I have always dreamt about having freedom, I wanted it more than anything. But I knew it was only a dream that I was incapable of reaching.

I was a very skinny girl, I didn't get to eat enough, so I didn't have much muscle either. However, I was completely numb from the feeling of pain. I had a friend once, I trusted him so much, I would even say I loved him. We would sit together every day and just talk. He was my source of happiness. He would make me laugh and smile, he even occasionally brung me food. He didn't care that I was always dirty, or didn't have much clothes, he loved me for who I was. But one day this all changed. He turned 16, and by law, he had to choose a faction. He tried to run back for me, so that we could live together. But instead, he was shot, right before my eyes.

The days went by slowly, but gradually. Some times where easier than others. Some months people where kind enough to donate enough money so I could eat, but some months I had to steal. I had learned to pick both pockets and locks by the age of 9, and I'm afraid if I didn't, I would have died. I tried to make a list of all the things I stole, in hopes one day I could return them. But eventually I gave up hope and threw it away. I finally came of age 16 and I walked to the town hall. A middle aged lady in a white dress came up to the microphone. "Hello ladies and gentlemen," she said in a slow, elegant voice. "You are here today, to choose your destiny. You have been given time to choose you path, and now you must follow it. I have faith you will choose correctly." Slowly numbers where called, which where given to us at birth. I watched people used the sleek, small knife and cut their hand and draw a single drop of blood, which they proceeded to drip into the bowl of their choice district. This process repeated itself many times before my number was called. "Number 42," the lady said in a calm voice.

I walked up the the stage, shaking. After what seemed like five minutes, I got up the the three bowls. A million things where going through my mind at the time, what one do I pick? I hesitantly picked up the knife, as it glimmered in the bring light. I put it to my skin and made a short, thin cut. I slowly brought my hand over to the Rekon bowl, the bowl for bravery. It had hot coals in it, with bring orange embers. My blood trickled off my skin, and as the drop hit the smoking embers, it sizzled and evaporated away.

"Rekon!" The lady said into the microphone. Then there was a deafening cheer from the right side of the room, which was evidently where the Rekons where sitting. They where dressed in black sweat jackets, with red gashes of color, that signified fearlessness and bravery. For one in my life, I was ready for my future

After about half an hour longer, we exited through a back door, and quickly set into a full sprint.

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