~Just to warn you I started this book in 2018, so the begging might not be that good, but stay with me~
October 29, 2031
I wake up with sweat running down my forehead another bad dream. This time about being chosen and then Marcus and Jacob coming in to rescue me. Marcus and I have been friends since we were babies, actually even before that because his mom and my mom knew each other since they were teens. Jacob, on the other hand, we met when we were five. His brother had been picked, and I guess I felt sympathy for him.
Today was “The Picking”, so I ran, got in the shower, and brushed my teeth. When I came out of the bathroom, I saw my clothes on the bed - an off-shoulder skater black dress. I would have loved it if we weren’t in this situation.
Sometimes I wonder what my life would be if “The Picking” didn’t exist. Maybe it would be like in the books. Happy families, everyone owning their own house, beaches, parks, even fresh air.
I know we can never have a life like that though because we will die.
Stepping out of Station Ford will kill me. There is too much chemical radiation. All the people that were found alive were quarantined. Since then, the People who remain have tried to find a cure.
So, “the picking” exists. A random number is chosen from the numbers we were assigned at birth and the person chosen has radiation put into them and the leaders find different ways to inject them with things. All people that have been picked so far have died. This has been going on for 10 decades.
As I put on the dress and my shoes Marcus comes in. Marcus is dressed in jeans and a shirt, no surprise, he has loved being a rebel about what he wears and ignoring the rule to dress formally.
He laughed, I asked, “What’s so funny?” Then I laughed because his laugh was that contagious. “ Starr, (I was named by my father because he believed I would be the one to stop it all and I would be the star that led everyone to a cure) You know the service started like 3 minutes ago” Marcus chuckled “old Mr.Stine is talking about the history of the picking.”
“Wait, so why aren’t we running!” I yelled as I took his hand and started to run to the room where we always held the meeting. It was a large room, after all, it had to fit about 30,000 people.
We approached the door and then saw the guards, we knew that if they saw us come in late we would be in trouble, but we also knew if they saw us sneaking around we would be thought of as people trying to escape “The Picking”.
We walked boldly to the door, as the guards saw us they blocked the doors and one of them asked “What are you doing? The meeting started 5 minutes ago! You are late. Under rule 785 being late to the picking is an offense punishable by Death.”
I watched as the guards came towards us, probably to take us to our doom.
Then, out of nowhere, Jacob walked through the doors. He looked at me then started to run towards me blocking me from the guards saying, “No, you can’t take her, she’s my friend.”
Marcus irritatedly said, “You’re so stupid what did you think they would listen to you. You just signed a death wish!”
Then the guards stopped then looked at Jacob then they started to whisper then open the doors ushering us in. The guard who told us we were sentenced to death didn’t look so scary anymore, he kind of looked scared. I wasn’t just going to stand and question him I ran before he could change his mind. Marcus looked at me clearly we were both confused. Jacob tapped his wrist signaling us that we were running out of time.
We speed-walked in lucky no one saw us come late I walked towards my mom and tapped her on the shoulder. My mother looked at me and hugged me, “Oh my god I thought you were dead. I tried to wake you up, but you were having one of those dreams. I couldn’t do anything but leave. I was at least happy that you had a chance of not being picked.”
My mom had never approved of the picking. She thinks we should just live here but she has no choice she was one of the doctors that ran the experiments. I’ve never asked her about what happened, but I don’t think even if I did she would answer.
Then Mr. Stines starts to talk about the rules of the picking how by random a number is picked, and that number is chosen the family members of that who was chosen gets benefits like food, clothes, and other things. Then some lady walks up to him and whispers something. He announces with a grin on his face, “There has been a change of plans we will be trying something new.”
The lady comes back with a new box taking the other one and walking away. Everyone starts to talk the guard's step closer causing everyone to stop talking.
Stine then says, “We will know be trying something different we will be choosing adults not one but two.”
The kids start to cry the mothers covering their mouth looking at the guards. I start to hug my mom then I see Marcus with fear in his eyes he acts tough but we all know he has a soft spot for his loved ones.
I start to cry my mom and father start to pull me in a tight hug, “No matter what we will always love you, be strong.”
Stine then starts to laugh, “Oh enough of the mushy gushy stuff it is time.” He puts his hand in and shuffles it around. He then picks a piece of paper looks around and slowly opens it then looks around “Tyler Banks and Lilly Banks.”
I start to fall to the floor my mom and dad picking me up.I see the fear on there faces. I look at the guards walking toward us. I pray it will be like before and they will change there mind.
Then I watch as they take my mom and dad away. My dad screams, “Remember you are Starr and no one can take that away from you!”
I try to run towards them but Marcus is holding me down. I watch them go through the doors. Knowing, I will never see them again.