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The Keepers

By RythmThief All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Fantasy

i.

The alarm shook on my bedside table, penetrating the silence of my room. Instinct took over, and my hand immediately shot out, slamming it against the annoying electronic, silencing it for good. I groaned as I threw the covers away, dragging my still-asleep body across the room to the bathroom where I took a shower.

The cold water sprayed against my skin sent a shivering sensation down my spine. My sensory neurons took in every touch and feeling of the water, making it seem ice-like. Then it hit me, ‘today’s the day,’ I thought to myself. I went out of the shower, wrapping a towel around my freezing body.

“Today’s the day,” I said to no one in particular and gave a shaky laugh. I slowly walked over to the pile of clothes already prepared by my mom. It was the only outfit I have that is considered formal in the official color of the Secondary Preys. Gray. I’ve never realized how much I’m going to miss everything about this room, unless I get chosen for this sector again, which I promise myself I won’t. I dressed up and looked at my room one last time before heading towards the door. My room was clean, I had made it a habit to clean every week or so; the bed was made and the curtain was open, letting a stream of light shine on my bed. A tear escaped my eye before quickly wiping it away, I can’t let anybody see me like this, I can’t be weak anymore. I closed the bedroom door I have been opening, closing and slamming years ago, for good.

Walking past the halls, I finally realized how much I’m going to miss the creaking of the floorboards, the framed pictures hung on the walls, and shattered windows embracing years of storm. I slowly walked downstairs towards the kitchen to find my parents already ready there. “Had a good sleep? Today’s the day,” Mom said with a hint of crack visible in her voice. Dad was reading the newspaper as always, but this time I could see his attention was elsewhere, his eyes were glassy , a tear threatening to fall.

“Everything all right Elle? Not nervous?” He asked with an eyebrow raised, sadness visible in his voice. I shook my head but my lips betrayed and quivered. Before he could say anything else, mom called me from the kitchen,” Breakfast is ready!” The scent of grilled meat was present in the kitchen air and on the table was my mom’s famous ham sandwich and beside it was a cup of the finest milk in Grenz. “Mom, this must have cost a fortune!” I exclaimed bewildered. “You shouldn’t have wasted this much on me…” I trailed off. She smiled at me sadly before saying, “Today might be the last we see of you Elle… I want you to remember everything about us and never forget.”

I face downwards and mom placed a hand on my cheek before saying,” I know you’re meant for something better than this sector Elle. I just have this feeling, you’re just going to be chosen by something better than the Secondary Predators.” I ate the sandwich slowly, letting my taste buds explode with every flavor, sweetness from the tomatoes; saltiness from the grilled ham, spiciness from the spices and chili she used. Finishing off with milk, I savored the freshness and the creaminess of the milk running down my throat.

“You better be going now Elle, you don’t want to be late,” Dad said from the kitchen doorway, I nodded before hugging them both one last time. “I’m going to miss you both… and the memories made in this house,” I murmured. I head over to the door, took a deep breath before opening it to reveal the shining sun, Secondary predator’s animal spirits running around like a translucent rabbit and rat, a gray glow shimmering around them. I took a step outside before closing the door to both my parent’s sad smiles.

I walked towards the way of the Central Hall, all those around my age also heading towards the same destination with sad expression plastered on their faces. This might be my last memory of my sector; fifteen years of my life spent here would be left behind. Unless the Secondary Predators choose me, I would have to say goodbye to this sector. No. I must not think that way. The Secondary Predators are the lowest among the other sectors. I have to aim high, like what mom said to me.

Noblest Predators where lion and eagle spirits were roaming, was the highest sector someone could achieve, but every Choosing ceremony, only as much as five was chosen. Then comes the Noble Predators. Predators was the third sector, they were usually the neutral ones as they were in the borderline of the Predator-Prey relationship. After the Predators, of course there would be the Preys. The Primary Preys who ranked above us Secondary Preys. It’s just like the animal relationship, the predators eats the preys. Only thirty percent of the one participating in the Choosing Ceremony gets chosen into the Predators, it’s especially more difficult for someone from the Secondary Preys, but I’ve seen it happen before. I have to be one of those in the thirty percent.

I was lost in my thought and before I knew it, I was outside the Central Hall. Teenagers from all the different sectors were present, wearing their respective Sector colors. Majestic gold, brilliant silver, shining bronze, dirt brown and dull gray. The hall towered above me, an arc leading towards the inside and the words ‘CENTRAL HALL’ engraved on the cream colored walls. Flags of all the sector colors were madly waving from the wind that was blowing.

I looked around and noticed that even though we were all from different sectors, be it Predators or Preys, everyone had the same expression on their faces. Dread.

Butterflies were fluttering in my stomach and I took a deep breath.

And I entered the building.


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