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The Beginning of the End

The Beginning of the End

Ratings: (0)|Views: 395|Likes:
Published by AnQi Yu
What will you do at the Beginning of the End?
What will you do at the Beginning of the End?

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Published by: AnQi Yu on Feb 04, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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12/09/2013

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The Beginning of The End 
Copyright 2012
AnQi Yu
 
Our 
hacke
rs
 
evealed late la
 s
t Sat 
ur 
day night that thi
ty teenage
rs
e
 s
caped f 
om the Academy, then p
oceeded to c
o
 ss
New Denve
r¶s
bo
de
rs
into Wyld Co
u
nt 
 y. The Academy i
 s
the Fede
al Ed 
u
cation cente
fo
Yo
u
ng Rec
ru
it 
 s
of the National A
my. Not long afte
thi
 s
 , the gove
nment 
elea
 s
ed Infection X, a vi
rus
that will ³ta
 get the weak and p
u
ll o
u
 s
 pecimen
 s
 
 s
ong eno
u
 gh to contin
u
e into the New Wo
ld´. Thi
 s
come
 s
afte
 othe
gove
nment vi
rus
e
 s
 , like DZEZE and Fly Fl 
u
 , which a
e
emembe
ed to be themillenni
u
m
¶s
mo
 s
t deva
 s
tating epidemic
 s
. We
 sus
 pect thi
 s
vi
rus
co
rr 
elate
 s
with thee
 s
cape of the
 s
e thi
ty f 
u
 gitive
 s
 , who a
e tho
u
 ght to be a g 
o
u
 p of di
 ss
ident child 
en being 
ehabilitated at the Academy. A p
ime
 sus
 pect fo
the
e
 s
 pon
 s
ibility of the
 s
e c
ime
 s
i
 s
 Cha
lotte µCha
lie
¶ 
Swinge
 , 16, who wa
 s
at the top of he
cla
 ss
at he
time in Academy. Hopef 
u
lly, they will 
 sur 
vive
u
ntil Rebelli@n agent 
 s
 
ecove
them.-
The Rebelli@n Times, 12:01 AM 
 
I am plucking berries, each of them plump with water and juice. Someone screams, andthe fluids pop all over my hands, trickling down my fingers in ruby rivulets.I hurry out to the direction of the shriek, pulling out my gun, which shakes so violently inmy hands that I¶m afraid it will accidently go off and that I will kill someone. Which isthe point.My heart is thudding so hard that by the time I reach Amy Lewski, I cannot hear her screams, but I can still see the body on the forest floor, sticky in a pool of blood. At first Ithink he is still alive, so I pull on the lapel of his favorite flannel shirt and shake him ashard as my weak arms can. The others come rushing from other parts of the wood,screaming like Amy Lewski. The blood mixes with the juice on my skin. I cannot even begin to imagine what Amy is feeling, watching someone shaking her boyfriend¶s lifeless body, but that is when I begin to cry.They all become silent. Nobody has ever seen me cry. Not even Kiara, who stares at me, open-mouthed, as if shehas never met me before. Someone puts a tentative hand to my back, as if I am broken.Which I am. I am a broken, feeble toy, and now they are able to see my loose stitching. I burrow my hands in my face, blood staining my cheeks. I am too miserable to beembarrassed. They see that I am no leader. They see that I am nothing but a fraud. I have been tricking them all along with my optimistic lies and brave smiles.Today, another has died. What used to be thirty is now dwindling into only twenty-one. Ithas only been a week since we all ran away from that prison, and the Infection is carryingus away into death, one by one. I wonder if death could be better or worse than what Ifeel now.***
 
They are all hesitant around me, as if I am a precious substance like glass. I wonder if Iam see-through like glass too; sometimes, I feel like they can all glance through my skin,and see my heart bleeding inside.When I feel like I am at the highest point of breaking, I watch my classmates work around me. It is comforting, knowing how machine-like they are; how their cogs are sowell oiled I never need to wind them up.In the morning, I wake in the dawn to observe the girls cook our meals. As the fog burnsaway in the daylight, the boys go to the river for what¶s left of unpolluted fish, and Iwatch as they whip their makeshift lines into the swift stream. Midday is another round oinsubstantial food, and in the afternoon they all gather together, training. Occasionally,they give me nods of reverence, making me feel light-hearted, if not healed. I wonder if they think I can still live up to the standard I set when they elected me leader; I wonder if they think I am not as cracked as I feel. Across the woods, I see the tiny frame of JessieTilman shoot an arrow straight into the eye of a bird floating across the red sky. Even agirl two years younger and half my weight is accomplishing something for this motleygroup.At night, Kiara tells me things about our friends before we go to sleep: how Max is soangry at everything that he punches trees to break his bones, or how Liza and Tania donothing but sulk during training and spend their hunting shifts brushing twigs out of their hair. She tells me how Jerri is getting better at reading and how Drew makes the bestrabbit sandwiches in the world. I sometimes wish that I knew all this myself, because Iknow Kiara is distorting what she says so I¶ll be happier, content.That is when I realize I¶m sick.It starts as sweaty flashes when I try to eat or how heavy the air feels after I¶ve run only ahundred feet. One day, I collapse, and I vomit until there is nothing left to heave, andthen I just throw up air. The kindest people always rush to me as I am about to buckle:Kiara, of course, but also Matthew and Timothy, and Georgia and Elizabeth. I mustgrudge a smile even when I feel like spewing my guts, because it is hard not to feel aswell of pride.Sometimes, I am so angry with them that I throw things and yell; I know a fever hasstarted up, but I can¶t face it. Because a fever, as yet, has always meant death. So I take itout on people who come near me. They¶ve strapped me to a cot on occasion, and now, Iam always just lying in bed. Staring at canvas.I¶m sure Amy¶s dead boyfriend has infected me. It was when I was shaking him, shakinghim so hard that his cold blood tinted my skin. I am always offended when I remember the origin of the infection:
To eliminate the weake
 s
t chain in the link 
. I may be weak, yes.Unwanted, even. But I contribute, and the hot flashes return when I think about death.

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QuailBellMagzine added this note
Hello! I like your story "The Beginning of the End." I'm the copy editor for Quail Bell Magazine (http://www.quailbellmagazine.com/). We are always looking for good fiction pieces to repost on the website. Can we use this story? You would receive full credit for it, of course. If interested, please email Julie at jdinisio@quailbellmagazine.com. Thanks!

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