Author: Jorda PM
It is a time of poverty and everything seems down on its luck. That's when a girl named Joss meets Zoë, and everything starts from there. (Zoë's POV) Co-writing with Plur.Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 1,494 - Follows: 1 - Published: 06-10-05 - id: 1936159
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
She died that day, but I died with her. If we can't live together, I want to die with you. Don't leave me alone... please... I lived with the sole purpose of keeping Zoë alive, protecting her under makeshift wings. It seemed that all life had stopped that day, that indeed it was the end of world, the infamous Apocalypse. They used to say the future would be great- that we should always aim towards it, to make our world a better place. But somewhere, all the dreams had stopped short, the world constantly breeding and building until the sin that would forever bear a grudge against their people surfaced. There was no place left. Economy and culture began to shrivel at that very time, nowhere to go but down. Vast and thriving cities turned into dirty slums, buildings nothing but ruin. The death rate skyrocketed, and if you lived past your 16th birthday, you were considered amazing. People were forbidden to love then, and I made the mistake of falling into it. It was only made worse because I fell in love with Zoë. This was only one of my errors, the many which brought me to my knees in the face of danger.
One :yo, ho, ho and a sea of sewer
I've heard that once, the world was a much better place to live. Everything was beautiful; trees were green and the oceans reflected the crystal blue of the sky. Life wasn't as hectic and people lived for almost a century. Some even had tons of free time to play or do whatever they wanted. Poverty had almost disappeared entirely and the homeless had places to go. And best of all, there were no slaves. My mother would always tell me that one day, the world would go back to being that way. Things like pain, suffering, greed, and pride would just vanish. Believing that, I worked my hardest and never let life bring me down.
The day had started out like every other one; wake up and go to work for countless hours. It was better than the alternative of not working and dying of starvation. There was always stealing food, but not many could get away with it. With either a weak body or the inability to run fast, your chances at success were close to impossible.
The bosses had announced work was over early. A messenger had come by moments ago with news of a fire at the Gov' Building. Everyone was excited to leave early, they had left faster than they were dismissed. I too was heading out, until I had spotted someone else. I changed direction and headed to the dock where I got a better view of the girl. Toes dunked into the dark water and mind somewhere else. I doubted her knowing I was even there. Something about her current state was so admirable. No one seemed to tune out the real world anymore. They were all too worried about having a place to live and food to eat.
I leaned closer, hesitantly poking the girl on the back to grab her attention. The worst that could happen was her not wanting my company, which I half expected to happen. Her reaction was very different from what I had thought. She leapt from her seat suddenly and fell into the water. Quickly, I had looked around to see if anyone was watching, not sure whether to be embarrassed or scared. When I had turned back to the end of the end of the dock, she had resurfaced. Climbing back up, the strange girl was now standing in front of me. It was then that I noticed, other than the fact she was drenched, I was some inches taller than her. I soon found myself giggling at the previous event.
"Uh, thanks." It was all she said as she attempted at squeezing the water from her hair.
"You know, you'd be in big trouble if you were caught. A friend of mine tried to skip out on work last week, but someone ratted him out and we haven't heard from him since..." I wasn't really sure if the other children I had worked with could be called friends. A few of them actually talked to me on the daily basis. It never really bothered me, I never blamed the ones that took work so seriously. "But, I also heard from someone that he got really sick and couldn't come to work..."
"Did work get out early or something?" She spoke once more, taking a step out of the puddle that was forming under her. Realizing she hadn't been listening to me, I stared at her for a moment.
"There was a fire down at the Gov' Building. They immediately sent most of us home. Well, those who had a home anyway..." The last statement came out before I could think over what I was saying. I felt myself blushing and I turned my back to her as I slightly kicked a shoe against the dock. The term 'home' wasn't something I meant to use, since I didn't exactly have one and wasn't sure if she had one either.
Letting my embarrassment fade, I faced her again with a grin. "But you were off in your happy place for a little too long." I laughed at the comment and began to skip away. It wasn't until after a moment or two that I heard the girl call after me.
"Hey, wait up!" My feet ceased movement and I waited for her to catch up. Her feet pounded against the ground as she hurried to my side. She began to hop, trying to slip her shoes back on as she spoke. "My name is... Joss..." Finally, losing her balance, Joss fell backwards onto her bottom.
Holding back a chuckle, I grabbed one of her hands with mine and helped her onto her feet. "Zoë, nice to meet you." Releasing her hand, I wiped the murky water that had transferred onto mine on my already dingy dress. "Doesn't it bother you that it looks like some lagoon monster just ambushed you?"
Joss shook her head at this. "Nah, it's just a little water..." Finishing her comment, her facial cast became odd. "Sort of."
The girl was far more entertaining than she probably knew or tried to be. Joss wasn't like any of the girls I had known. She seemed very unique and fun. And the smallest things, like falling in some water was just.. shaken off by her. I was like this sometimes and the other girls would just stick up their noses and call me weird. But, standing here, with someone else that could be defined by them as weird was just relieving.
"Would it bother you?" The question was a bit alarming. I wasn't sure what to expect after I answered it. Her voice was somewhat serious, yet in an interested sort of way.
"No, not really."
"Oh!" Her face lit up with remembrance. "I forgot something..." With that said, she grabbed my arm and lead me back to the dock. "Don't want to skip off on me again."
When we reached our destination, I ventured to the end of planks. Searching around, I found nothing. Maybe whatever she left behind had fallen into the water. I bent over and gazed into the polluted water, not able to see inside of it. "What exactly did you forget...?" There was no reply. "Joss?" From behind came a laugh and someone pushed me forward. With no deck left ahead, I landed in the water before I had any idea what had occurred.
The second I crashed into the ocean, I got a taste of the liquid. It was, without a doubt, the most disgusting thing I had ever tasted in my life! While in the water, this weird feeling had struck me. The dark and cold of the water made me feel so alone... and somewhat scared. Shaking my head, I swam to the surface for air and light. When my head was above the surface, I gasped a few times, which was followed by some coughs due to the terrible taste. Then I spotted Joss, standing there like I had been with a grin on her face.
Outstretching my hand, she took it and pulled me up. "I'm sorry, you were kind of asking for that..." She stuck out her tongue to me and suddenly raced off.
"Hey, get back here!" I chased after her, coming up with several things to do to her when I caught up. Maybe I would give her a good slap or two, that'd teach her...