I was trying to get Adam to come back with me. The Wipers were still after him and it was up to me to keep him safe from harm. He wasn’t being cooperative, not once. He was being a difficult little jerk and all I wanted to do was protect him so that these Wipers can’t get him. Raven joined us at the Checkpoint after we escaped. She was the most solemn girl I’ve ever met. Black hair streaked blue, white eyes, and dressed in all black. She wore a necklace with a triquetra on it. She was the mature and sensible compared to Adam, whom I affectionately called the dumb, redheaded hare. He fast, redheaded, had freckles, and the key to some operation and our organization but dumber than a box of hammers. Raven guided us towards to a building near the checkpoint. It was a funeral home. I felt comfort. Raven didn’t. She didn’t want go in but the Wipers were near. We had no other choice.
We passed through the chapel. It was large, cold, but inviting to me. In our time, funeral possessions were never at night. In fact, a night funeral was seen as something archaic and ghoulish but not here. I could hear the funeral organ playing followed by a procession. Leading them was a beautiful girl with blonde hair, green eyes, and pale in her late twenties. All of which I knew was fake. Everything on her was bleached. The rest of her family was tanned with dark eyes, and dark hair. Raven looks at the procession and makes the sign of the cross. I did the same. Religion was still a thing to be held in this place. We moved aside for the mourners. I never have seen so many people who were so sad before. The coffin was a small white coffin with silver handles, frills, and things. I felt terrible. The family and close friends of the family of the child went into one room and the mourners and visitors went into another. The last mourner was a small, plump woman with black hair, tan skin, a face stained with tears, and wearing black and lace from head to toe. The family refused to let her in. I didn’t understand why. Raven didn’t look too happy about this. She went into the other room and just sat there. We heard a violin playing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Adam snorted. I glared at him and hit him..
“What? Who would play that at a funeral?”
“Show some respect!” I hissed, “It’s bad enough we’re here taking refuge because you couldn’t have hidden in the Dorm with Hayley and me,”
“I just want out and think about it, who would try to find us in a funeral anyway?”
“Would you please the guestbook?” said the plump woman, who seemed to have calmed down. I nodded.
“Of course. How old was she?”
“Eight. She was a bundle of joy. Her name was Isabella,” I noticed that the door to the guest side was opened. I ushered the woman inside, since she obviously was close to the little girl. This didn’t seem right. She bore a strong resemblance to the blonde woman. Inside the room, it looked just like a regular chapel. The little girl was presented in the open coffin; she didn’t look as if she was in pain. She looked like a sleeping angel. Suddenly, the woman wailed and cried more than before. She sounded like a banshee. I looked around. Something still didn’t seem right. I decided to see how things were on the “family” side. I peeked in. It looked like a party in the chapel. People were laughing; the blonde woman was talking and drinking alcohol with man. Everyone looked so happy. There was singing much drinking. The priest carried on his sermon. Isabella was in the coffin and very much alive. She was in a beautiful white dress, had on a miniature tiara, and wearing white shoes. She was a cute child with chubby cheeks, brown skin, beautiful almond shaped eyes, and a sweet smile. She bore a strong resemblance to her mother and the plump woman, whom I discovered was her grandmother. Isabella laughed and played in her coffin happily and obliviously. However, every time she tried to leave the coffin to join her family, she was pulled back in by her mother. I heard hear the plump woman cry and cry and cry over the happiness and jolliness in the room. I peeked back out, trying to figure out how this was obscuring. Then I noticed something. The guests were watching a movie screen. The plump woman didn’t seem to notice, neither the other guests. I walked a bit closer and saw that the “coffin” was just a very good hologram. The other guests didn’t seem so bothered. She seemed so out of place in a room where there was nothing but happiness in one room and somberness all around her. The guests saw a dead little girl in a coffin; the family knew in fact their daughter was still alive. I looked at the plump woman one last time. The look in her eyes said it all. She just couldn’t bear to be with the family right now. I immediately left out, signed the guestbook with mine and Raven’s names, and went to find Adam and Raven so we can leave as quickly as we can. Raven was still in the chapel looking in deep thought. She looked up when she noticed me.
“You saw, didn’t you?” I could barely form words. Soon speech came back.
“What’s going on, Raven?”
“It’s called a Termination,” she said looking at the door.
“A Termination. You saw that blonde woman in there? That’s the mother of Isabella and she doesn’t want her child anymore. She’s twenty four now and she wants to see the world and things like that and she doesn’t want her child anymore,”
“Isn’t there an adoption agency somewhere?” she snorts.
“That really is a primitive way of thinking, Sage. Why should Society have to pay for her? Besides she’s too old and won’t get adopted. People want five year olds who aren’t set in their ways. When you turn six, your life and cute stage is over,” Raven wipes her eyes, as thought trying to make herself believe that this bullshit was right, “This is Utopia, my friend. The State says that a cell in a body can’t be aborted but Terminations like this are given the blind eye. Mothers can get rid of their children when and how they want to at any age as long as the child is older than the age of five, though it’s harder when they’re teenagers, especially by that time, the State weeds out the weak and strong. She’s young; she wants to have a life without something asking her for love, attention, and food,”
“W-What’s going to happen to her?”
“Well they’re giving her a small little party in there. The Obscure Screen prevents the guest mourners from seeing what’s really happening. Although a blind eye in turned, it still can be considered murder, if she’s caught. Many noticed the screen and that’s why it’s hard to report. As long as they don’t “see it” they’re okay with it. To them, it’s just a regular funeral. Her family is going to have her eat her favorite meal, have her favorite toys in the coffin, and playing her favorite song on the violin, her favorite instrument. Then the priest is going to give her a cup of her favorite juice, she’s going to fall to sleep and her uncles are going to nail that coffin shut. Hopefully, she won’t wake up during the burial. When she wakes up, she’ll have her toys to keep her company and from there, she’ll slowly slip away from lack of oxygen,”
“Why are you so calm about this?! Don’t you have any compassion?”
“No. I’m not a sheep. I’m not going to pretend this is something that is normal and she happen for the greater good of a selfish woman’s life. Why do you think I wanted to steer clear of this place? I knew she was alive. The signs were everywhere. Besides, you know what the Wipers want to do with Adam and what they are willing to do. By the end of this adventure and you go back to your time, you’ll be just as cold-hearted as I am. Let’s go,”
Raven brushes pass me. I gathered myself quickly and went to find Adam. I couldn’t help but wonder, did I just lose my humanity by not doing anything about this or do I lose it when things like this starts making sense.