Dandelion Crowns and Paper Butterflies

No Enemies

That evening, when the sun has already gone down, Flore is sitting against a tree, at the edge of the Deadheads.

She is feeling heated; Winston has told her that Josiah and Tim are going to be punished. She had almost choked on her chicken wings – the chicken wings from the chickens she had killed – and only her manners had kept her from marching right towards Alby and starting to yell at him.

She is happy, though, that the two boys didn't get a heavier punishment. Three days and nights in the Slammer can't be that bad.

She yawns, stretching her arms. Her job as a Slicer is great, but it is extremely tiring.

I should be going to bed, she thinks, but the exhaustion takes over her mind and makes her fall asleep, right then, right there, with her back against a tree.

In her dream, she sees the two people again – Florilene, the younger version of Flore, and Miss Paige, the serious-looking woman with the tight face.

"Pay attention, Florilene," Miss Paige says, her strict voice breaking the silence. "Your second mission is going to be a little harder than the first one, though I do not think that it will be impossible for you."

There is a silence again; Flore can feel that the woman wants Florilene to ask something.

"What is that mission, Miss Paige?" the younger girl asks then, her high-pitched voice shaking a little. She sounds scared.

Miss Paige nods, her thin lips bowing in to an approving smile.

"Your second mission is to make sure all the Gladers like you," she says. "No enemies. They need to trust you, that will make your last mission a better Variable."

Flore doesn't know what a Variable is, or why making friends will help that.

She also doesn't know what her 'last mission' is, but she can feel a sting of fear at that, though she doesn't know why.

Florilene says something to Miss Paige, but her words are lost in the darkness as the dream fades.

Flore wakes up lying under a warm blanket, curled up against a tree trunk. She has a slight feeling that Winston has put that blanket over her, but of course, she can't be sure.

She rubs the grass out of her hair, yawning and blinking against the bright sunlight. That night's dream is still fresh in her memory, but the actual meaning of it hits her only now.

"Make sure all the Gladers like you. No enemies."

Moaning quietly, she squeezes her eyes shut.

This is going to be harder than I thought. Good thing that I don't have made much enemies.

When she realizes something else, she moans even louder, mentally cursing.

I have to get Newt to like me.


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