Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
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should be happening remotely "peacefully", though it reads awkwardly. Consider revising the sentence. "I can't see this happening peacefully."

Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
Recommendations: 21

"We'reoff today" he answers No nees to capitalize pronouns after quotation marks.

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Michael Phillips Michael Phillips
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The Rebellion


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She had a friend.

The sun rises from the horizon as I take a peek through my bedroom window.  I’ve been bereft of this view from the eighty-fourth floor ever since the building was hit by that construction project a couple months ago on the emperor’s orders.  It was nothing of the people’s decision.  In fact some residents were failed to be warned, and lost their lives from the wrecking balls that demolished the lower half of the building.  My family, or should I say my brother, since he is the only one I have left, were given an intimation about an hour before the project started, and stayed at the community home provided by the government.


            It’s fine though, now.  Plus the emperor says that in a few years “the power will go to the people!”  Yeah right, he being so opulent and powerful and to be so willing to give that up.  Just wait, in a few years, he’ll start a new project, and suggest more years of service, which can’t be turned down because he is of course all powerful.  Things desperately need to change, but I don’t see that happening remotely peaceful.  This has been reiterating since before my father was even born. 1 comment


My father used to tell me stories about the world before, and how everyone cared for one another before he and the rest of my family were ripped away from me during a public protest.  I watched as they began to cross the street in a single file order, just at the same moment one of the crowd control opened fire on the protesters.  Just as my foot hit the asphalt, both my parents and grandparents fell to the ground with dozens of fatal gunshot wounds.  I saw them scream in pain, and fall dead just feet in front of me.  I pulled my brother down, and back into our building before we were hit as well.


So ever since that day eight years ago, my brother and I have had to accept a great fortitude, and have been going out to our jobs every day, disguised as twenty one year olds, because the jobs at the government building pay substantially more.  We still only get paid just enough to get by, but as long as we are off of the radar from the government, John and I are happy.


“You okay, Mason?” John asks, stepping into my bedroom. “You’ve been staring out of that window for a long time.”


            “Yeah,” I say, shaking my head and rubbing my eyes. “I’m fine, just waking up, ready for work?”


“Were off today,” He answers, a shutter of relief escapes my mouth. “Just got off the phone with Arnold, there is a mandatory speech on television at noon.” 1 comment


“Come one come all,” I begin.


“Never shall we fall,” he ends, letting out a chuckle. “same thing every year.”


            It’s verbatim every year, the original inauguration speech from the emperor.  I don’t know why he bothered.  I learned in school that after the war, he received full control, so it wasn’t a joyous event or anything.  I guess he wanted to make sure that it was known that he was the only one who had control, and whatever he said, no matter what, goes.  He adulterated the government so terribly bad, it’s just pure rubbish that there ever was peace at this point.


            I turn my attention from the window and direct it toward my bedroom door.  Very tentatively I step across my creaky floorboard, trying to avoid making too much sound, in case the people below me aren’t disturbed.  I walk through the doorway, and head directly for the fridge.  The pitiful sight of an empty milk carton, old food, and condensation from the freezer that no longer works, reminds me that I have to go out today for groceries.


            “John!” I shout into the hallway. “I’m going to the store, see you in a bit.”


            I walk up to the front door, throw on my coat and slip on my shoes.  A blast of cool air hits me from the hallway as I open the door, only going away when I step through and head toward the elevator at the other side of the hall.  The carpet feels the same as it always has.  Worn material strung over concrete.  I don’t know exactly why I have always had a peeve about this, but something about it just frustrates me to no end.  Yes, I realize that in this system, the people have next to no say to what goes on, but I guess that I expect them to warily to set up our living areas, to be sure that the residents would be safe, but what are we but a few hundred citizens of this empire.


            I press the small white button with the black arrow pointing down on the wall in front of the elevator.  It could be a while before I am able to board arrives, depending on who used it last.   After five minutes of mindlessly staring down the hallway in hopes for an acquaintance to talk to on the way down.  Finally the bell dings, and the doors fly open, revealing an empty elevator, except for the girl who lives on the floor just above me, Maria.


            “Hello, Mason,” Maria says to me, bright and cheery as always. “How are you this morning?”


            “Just fine,” I reply. “going down to the market for some breakfast for me and my brother.  What are you up to today?”


            “Just going out for a second,” she answers. “I need some fresh air.”


            I step into the elevator, turning to the button panel, which has already been set to go to the ground floor.  The large silver doors close, and I look to Maria, smiling as the elevator tune begins to play.  A few moments of silence pass, until she breaks it.


            “Mason, do think you could give this to John?” She asks, holding out a yellow folder, held closed at the top with two brass prongs. “It would mean a lot to me.”


            “What is it?” I ask, beginning to pick at the prongs.


            “Wait, don’t open it,” She gasps. “Promise me you won’t read it, or show it to anybody.” 1 comment


            “Umm, okay then,” I say in bewilderment.  What could possibly be that important in this envelope that is this important?


            “I’m sorry, I just don’t want you to get yourself in trouble,” She says, closing her eyes and letting out a large exhale.  “I don’t think you would want any part of it.”


            What is she talking about?  What exactly do I not want to be a part of?  Whatever it is, I’m going to find out.


            The bell dings, and the doors slide open, revealing the lobby of the building.  The bald man behind the desk has his nose buried in a puzzle book of some kind, and there is an old woman reading a book in front of the fireplace, surrounded by a small group of children.  Maria nudges me on the shoulder.


            “I better get going,” She says. “Nice talking to you.” 1 comment


            She winks as she walks away, which confuses me even more.  This I can honestly say was one of the weirdest elevator rides I have ever experienced.


            The grocery shopping goes fast, and I return to the apartment with the envelope that is now folded in half from being in my pocket.  John is on the couch, awaiting the national announcement.


            “You’re finally back,” John says, leaping from the couch, “I’m starving, what took so long?”


            “The uh__” I stutter. “lines were long.”


            “Okay then,” He says back. “What’s in that envelope?”


            “A message from Maria,” I answer. “I was strictly instructed to not look at it, and only allow you to look at it.”


            His smile gets wiped off of his face instantly, and he grabs the envelope from the counter.  He rips off the latch, and pulls out the packet of papers stapled six times at the top right corner.  He begins to flip through the pages, and his mouth gapes in awe.  His smile immediately returns, and he begins chanting.


            “John?” I ask. “John what is it?”


            “It’s all in place,” He answers. “It’s all going to happen tonight!”


            “What?” I question, still completely unaware of anything that is going on.  But Maria and John seem to know full well.”


            “Take a look,” He answers, turning the paper to me.


            It’s a diagram of something, something that looks familiar to me, but I can’t put my finger on it.  There are a bunch of lines and numbers all over the pages, which are different angles of three buildings.  None of this means anything to me.


            “John, what does any of this mean?”


            “Is this building bugged nowadays?” he asks.


            “No, it’s the only privacy they give us, nobody will be able to hear you,” I answer.


            He puts his finger on the page, and traces the picture.


            “This here is the ruler’s mansion,” He begins. “and this is the high commander’s school for citizen control.  These are the center of the government.  Any damage to these, and the whole system collapses, leaving it vulnerable to anything.”


            “John pleases tell me that you’re not thinking of,” I say. “of rebellion.  You know what happens if you get caught.” 1 comment


            “I have already accepted that years ago.” He says back.


            “What do you mean years?” I ask, raising my voice at him. “How long have you been hiding this from me?”


            “It was to keep you safe,” He says. “But it doesn’t matter now.  It’s all about to change, just you wait.”


            “When,” I ask. “When is this all going to happen?”


            “Noon,” He answers, and it all hits me like a ton of bricks. “Everyone at work knew about it a few weeks ago, and it is finally happening.  We’re finally going to be free.”


            “Is this why we had the day off?” I ask.


            “Yes,” He answers, an insidious grin forming on his face.  “Only ten minutes left, turn on the T.V.”


I can’t even express how angry I am right now.  Not that I don’t want there to be change, but this isn’t the way to do it.  We’re no better than them if we solve this with violence.  But it’s too late to stop it.  From what I am hearing, the plan has already been set in stone.  The attacks are going to deploy at noon.


            As I turn on the television, I see the emperor stepping up to the pedestal.  John stands next to me, staring as intently as I am.  He turns on the microphones, and his royal mansion goes up in flames, the stage it blown into a million pieces, and the camera get thrown onto the ground, just the right direction to see the crowd charging the guards, and their hands flying up high, smiling and holding hands.  Singing and chanting.  Finally the camera gets picked up, and gets directed toward a man who looks to be in his fifties.


            “My brothers and sisters,” The man begins. “We are finally free.”


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