I'm reloading My Name is Scream after some editing! Join the Scream Series. 1/2/3 are be available on Inkitt
I like to believe I am a good person. I want to think that I have gotten lost somehow and someone out there is looking for me, wondering where I have run off to. In my dreams, they cry for me, begging people to help find me and no one listens. That is the reason it is taking so long.
I know I wasn’t born here. All the girls are injected on the first day with a chip. Most are too young anyway. The older ones are usually gone by now.
I lie on my side, the only position that doesn’t bring tears to my eyes. I’m used to the ground, cold and coarse against my sunburnt skin. Though it may be harsh and at times uncomfortable, it is never once hard to find. I don’t have a bed to crawl into or a room to be alone in. Every corner is watched. Every inch is taken by someone stronger or faster than you.
I’m outside. I prefer it outside, where the sky is open to possibilities. My blue eyes can watch the clouds roll by. It’s peaceful. It’s deceiving. For a few moments, I can imagine loving parents that I can’t remember. I think of what they’d call me. I probably have some girly name like Melissa or Ashley, or perhaps they wanted something different, so they went with Lasha or Ilde. I have no preference. Anything would have been better than the name I have. I have been given the name Scream.
I don’t care. Names are stupid anyway. I don’t care what anyone here calls me because I’m getting out. I don’t want to be remembered.
When the sky lightens, I try to sit up. I groan and tears produce in my eyes. I’m really amazed at how much a person can cry. There’s no bottom to the number of tears. The well can’t dry up. I would prefer it if it did. They only laugh when you cry.
My long brown hair is in terrible knots as I run my quivering dirty fingers through it. I yank my fingertips from its tangles and focus on gathering my soiled robes of cloth. I’ve overused these clothes. After last night, they barely constitute as clothing.
Every month a new shipment of Rats comes with fresh clothes and supplies. It causes death and chaos, but it leaves more clothes for the ones still alive. I had taken these clothes off an unconscious ten-year-old so they were a little tight. Now they fall right off.
I struggle to my feet; my thoughts go blank as I use every ounce of control not to voice my pain. I don‘t want anyone to look at me. I want to be invisible. In this world, it’s an easy thing to accomplish.
Kids pass by. Clan members walk by. I can hear them but they choose not to hear me. I’m lower than insignificant. I’m a Rat: a clan-less, irrelevant corpse who is merely waiting to die. There is no pity for someone like me. I chose to be alone and even beaten and torn, I don’t regret it.
I use the wall as a helping hand. My own feet trip me. Feeling has yet returned to my legs. I glance down, watching trails of blood roll, taking the dirt, leaving a clean yet dark tint in its wake. I have lost enough blood to make my head swim with dizziness. But I must keep moving. I have to get ready for school.
I allow myself a moment’s rest when I emerge from the last remaining building. The barren desert is before me. I need to cross in front of the school to get to the showers. It’s the most dangerous terrain during the night, but now, with the sun shining and with my last remaining strand of strength to hold, I am safe from further harm.
I look up to see how late the morning is, but the sun is obstructed by the monstrous and indestructible walls. Reaching up to one hundred feet, they allow no escape and no visible view of the outside world. When the sun reaches the very edge of the wall, school is in session. Only when the sun touches down upon the tip on the opposite side does school end.
The sun, the moon, the stars, the vast and empty sky is all I know to the outside world. I have no memories of life before this place. I have nothing to compare it to except what I’ve seen in books. Possibly there is no outside. This just might be what’s left of the entire world.
They want us to believe that, our Parents. They want all hope to drain and destroy any remaining thought that led to the outside. But I won’t let go. I am going to get out. One day, I will leave this place.
If I only knew how.
In this world, violence and death seek their next victim. Safe is a word I hold sacred and one I rarely use. Protection doesn’t exist. There is no one to save you.
Unless you choose to be in a clan.
The clans are in charge, beneath the Parents, of course, but the Parents don’t involve themselves very often.
Boundary is the most populated. It has over two-hundred-plus members. They watch everything, from the campus walls to the halls in the school. With such high numbers, it should be an easy gang to get into. The only flaw is the ability to kill. I haven’t gotten to that point yet.
It seems like such a simple thing.
Kill. Take a life. A meaningless life. It would give me protection. I would have security. I would have a bed to sleep in, people that care for me, and a never-ending supply of food. All of this, just to pull a freaking trigger and I can’t do it.
Hot blood drips down on my leg and mingles with the dirt baked into my foot. I hold the remaining clothes tautly and am thankful there is still enough to cover. I move slowly toward a bathroom across the length of the school. It is behind the Harvest Field and near a playground. It is a dangerous, prime location for evil. Typically, it is a last resort. But for now, I am safe. No one will touch me or hurt me. Murder isn’t permitted without viable cause. And since I am so close to collapse, they won’t take a chance in harming me further.
I lower my head as members of Rain pass by me. Dressed in clean clothes, they are easy to identify. Rain wears blue or white clothing to signify their position. They are the second-largest clan with nearly two hundred members. Their compound is near the back of this town. I’ve heard rumors it’s level after level of luxurious pools.
Rain is the clan that attacked me last night. I can’t recall doing anything to upset them but that’s typical of me. I don’t know the rules, the boundaries, and I have a habit of pissing someone off without realizing it. Perhaps I should learn the rules, but I’m not here to play their games. I’m getting out. Knowing their rules is surrendering to the idea that they really are in control, and I refuse to believe that. They will never control me, no matter how much damage they inflict on me.
I enter the girls’ side just before another girl. I feel her disgusted glare and her whispered, ‘filthy Rat’ underneath her breath. I keep moving, heading to the shower. She takes a left and ends up in the locker room.
Despite me being a Rat, at least I’m not a Clan member, a kid that surrendered to a life here, that’s given up on fighting, that no longer has hope at freedom. I’m better than her, better than all of them.
I strip and squeeze into a little, dirty cubicle. With a press of a button, a timer for three minutes begins. I rush, rubbing all the vileness from my skin. The water is freezing, slightly brown, but I’ve known nothing else. It turns black at my feet for the first minute, the blood swirling down the drain. Eventually, it clears. It always clears. I watch it to remind myself of that. No matter how bad it gets, it’s not forever.
The water snaps off as I’m rubbing off the last of the soap. I lost the game this time around. I snatch a towel from the bin and wrap it around. Within that short time frame, more girls have gathered in the locker room. Their voices echo through the building, gabbing on and on. There seems to be a basketball game this morning between the clans. Games are bloody and brutal to watch. I don’t know why they insist on competitive games. They already fight each other on superiority as it is. It’s just another distraction, another round of pretend so they don’t have to admit that we’re all trapped here.
I stare at my bleak pile of clothes. They are covered in slime, blood, bodily fluids, and tears. I don’t want to put them back on but I might not have an option. There are bins that at one time had been full of clothes, flip-flops, and random items. The clans have taken all of it to sell back to us. The only thing that gets replenished and remains free is disposable trinkets like toothbrushes, dime size toothpaste, condoms, antibacterial hand soap, and deodorant sample packs. There were little plastic combs, but unfortunately for me, there aren’t any left. I don’t much care about the state of my wet hair, knotted and unkempt as it is. I put minimal effort into my appearance for safety reasons.
As I’m brushing my teeth, I hear the bell ring.
School is starting.