Dandelion Crowns and Paper Butterflies

No Torturing

The light of the rising sun wakes Flore up. She blinks against it a couple of times before she realizes what she has to do.

"Go sit in the Box at sunrise."

She jumps out of her bed, shoots into her clothes and races out of the Homestead. She was there because the Med-Jacks wanted to keep an eye on her, because they know that the Changing can drive people totally nuts. Flore would rather sleep in the farm, but now it is handy that she is so close to the Box. It is only a couple of metres towards the metal elevator.

When she sits down in the Box - the shutters are open - she realizes that she doesn't know what is going to happen to her.

Maybe she won't come back.

Maybe she won't even survive it.

She wishes that she had said goodbye to her friends.

Winston doesn't even know what is going on. He will freak out when he sees that she is gone.

And what if she'll never see Tim or Josiah or Newt or anyone else again?

She wants to climb out of the Box, but then she sees that the shutters have closed. Before she even realizes what is happening, the metal elevator starts to go down.

The darkness in the Box doesn't last very long, about half an hour. Flore's eyes have gotten used to the complete blackness and constant rattling of the lift by the time it stops.

A door in front of her opens.

Bright, white light reaches her eyes, making her blink. Squinting against the sudden explosion of light, she sees that three men in black uniforms are standing in the white hallway in front of her.

One of the men seems familiar, and she feels like that isn't a very good sign. Two of the men, the right one and the left one, walk towards her, roughly grab her upper arms and pull her to her feet. The third one, the familiar one, grins at her.

"Good morning, Florilene," he says, turning around. "Good to see you."

The other men pull Flore forwards, after the familiar man. They drag her through white hallways, white hallways with grey doors, which Flore recognizes from her dream. After six corridors, the man in the front opens a door.

The other men simply throw Flore into the room and close the door behind her. A click sounds as they lock the door.

Flore looks around. She is in a small room, about the form of a prison cell, but cleaner and whiter; a small, empty room with a bunk bed, and a toilet behind a wall.

Flore frowns.

Well, at least it's better than I expected, she thinks. No torturing, no killing, no throwing me off buildings. So far.

At the moment that she sits down on the bunk bed, the door opens. She looks up.

A woman in white uniform walks into the room. She looks young, in her early twenties, but her face is so serious that she looks at least twice as old as she is.

She greets Flore with a small nod.

"Good morning, Florilene."

It starts to annoy Flore that people call her by another name. "It's just Flore."

"That is what we made you think," the woman replies.

Flore has to think about that for a moment, which she doesn't get.

"Anyway, Florilene," the woman says, undisturbed, "you are here because you were unable to kill the Keeper of the Slicers. Can you tell me why?"

"Yes," Flore replies, starting to feel irritated. "I couldn't kill him because I love him."

It is true.

The corner of the woman's mouth twitches.

"Then I am afraid that I have got some very unpleasant news for you," she says, making Flore bite her lip. "You have seen the memory of the boy, trying to kill Chancellor Paige. He is dangerous for us, so he must die. There are shooters in the Glade right now, and they are about to kill him."

Something snaps inside Flore. Without even knowing what she is doing, she jumps up and attacks the woman.

In a blur of punching fists, kicking feet and scratching nails, Flore pushes the woman out of the room.

When the door has closed, she yells with choked voice: "How dare you? How dare you just kill someone when you feel like it?"

She slumps down on the bed.

"How dare you?" she whispers.

Maybe, she thinks, I was wrong about the no-torturing part.

With that thought, her heartbroken sobbing starts.

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