Did you ever play chase as a child? Silly question, of course you did.Even if you are by yourself, the sheer freedom of running as fast as you
can, lls your entire body with energy and exhilaration. Sometimes, if
you don’t look behind you, it is easy to imagine you are being chased.
To imagine that any minute now you could suddenly feel a hand on
your shoulder or hear fast footsteps homing in on you. Do you remem- ber the thrill that passed through you and carried your legs faster?That’s the great thing about imagination. You’re in control. You can
be ‘chased’, right up until the point where it becomes too frightening.Unfortunately, this time Mary was older, she was very frightened andthis wasn’t her imagination.
Watching the Authoritarians go about their mysterious duties, she
couldn’t help wonder how she managed to get herself into such a pre
carious situation. Life before now was never really ‘safe’ but it wascomfortable enough. As long as you kept away from the Authoritar
ians, they would usually leave you to it. As far as Mary could tell, itwas only when you angered them or trespassed on their land, you would
pay the ultimate price...sometimes death, sometimes something else.
Mary had seen her kind marched into the huge isolated buildings a few
times. What happened to them after that, nobody but the Authoritarians
seemed to know.
One week earlier...
‘Do you have to do that in public?’ Mary quickly turned away after having noticed what Phoebe was doing.
‘Oh, get over it! I’m feeding my child! Blokes scratch their bits for the hell of it anytime they feel like it!’ She glanced quickly in Mary’s
direction as she spoke but not for long. This was her and Annabelle’s
time and she usually only had eyes for her during their breastfeeding
sessions. Annabelle wasn’t looking at anyone, her eyes calmly shutas she slowly suckled and drifted into a world of her own, one palm
stretched out across the breast.