"Here they come!" the shout went up and everyone scattered. Within seconds screams flooded the streets, sending those hidden into cold sweats and shallow breathing. I had sequestered myself in a large bush on the edge of the forest, and not for the first time either. They always passed over this area, because in their minds nobody living on the streets was young enough to fit in the small space. The sad reality was how many scared children roamed these streets without anyone's help. These children, like me, would scrounge for scraps left by the careless vendors that lined these streets every other day. The only other options were the orphanages also known as "purgatory". They promised a hot meal and a warm bed for any child under 18 found living on the street. Everyone knows about the attached strings though.
They hire the kids out to the wealthy families of the community. Wives who hate cooking, cleaning, and gardening. A slave for the day, or longer if you pay enough. They don't advertise that, or the tasteless soup that is given for every meal and the cold hard mattress on the floor. So while children lie, crying themselves to sleep at night, the owners pas their pockets with community "donations".
For a young teen, like myself, getting caught right now would mean being sent there for the 2 years until I turn 18. Others had it worse though, being older than 18 and getting caught opened up a whole new can of worms. The Protection Agents would haul you away to prison or even worse. It may be hard to imagine what could be worse than prison without a trial, but trust me, there is. Let me try to paint a clear picture of the world right now, but I have to go back before I go forward. So, let's start at the beginning, the REAL beginning. Buried under a mountain of lies and cover-up stories, is the truth. I didn't even mean to find it in the sewers that day. When everything started going downhill, people hid their books anywhere they could. They tried desperately to save their freedom of speech and expression, but they failed. I had stumbled across someone's stash of books that they had haphazardly shoved down a manhole in one last desperate attempt. I spent hours pouring over the texts, digesting every word. This was the history of this country, and it was dangerous. I carried it with me, as a reminder of why I was fighting for my life. It made me laugh, cry, and burst out in random fits of rage all at once. It was written in journal form by a woman named Amanda Green. Whether that is just a pseudonym, I don't know and I probably never will. This woman writes without abandon, making me think of a time where one didn't fear the government arresting you for expressing yourself. I share it with everyone I meet on my journey. My journey to shut down the system.