|Hands of Maple
Author: Gracious Anne PM
In the near future, the human race shifts and transforms into animal and plant life as stories will tell. Few are safe.One young woman must stand against the insanity and hopelessness in the birth of a new race.Rated: Fiction T - English - Mystery/Fantasy - Words: 1,816 - Favs: 2 - Published: 07-01-10 - Status: Complete - id: 2823981
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Regeneration Enforcer Online Application
Practice Essay Questions
Taken June 2nd, 2015 at 4.40 a.m.
I agree/I do not agree:
That my answers to this online application need careful thought and that this set of essay questions are only for practice in order for the best results and most polished results.*
*Certain psychologists consider these practice questions perfect tools to express one's feelings and emotions to the world-wide phenomenon known as the Sapient Shift. Please consider your final essay questions with professional courtesy even in these trying times.
Why do you want to work with the Regeneration Enforcer Program?
My boyfriend turned into Tree last week. Right on his parents lawn in front of them and me. It was a huge shock. He had just called the doctor's office to schedule a time the next day for the test that morning. We did not think he had the MOD strain since none of his family did when they were tested last year. He just turned nineteen last week the age agreed upon by the experts was the earliest, safest time to be tested. I tested last year. It hurt. I curled up exhausted on the couch with him that night. My hands hurt the most like tiny waves of wasp stings but I still let him hold them until I fell asleep. I don't have Regenerative cells. I'm plain, like sandpaper or tree bark. James is rarity. Shifting into a tree takes a rare set of DNA and MOD cells to shift into a natural plant form like that. The doctors still don't know if the shift is permanent or merely transformative like other forms. There are so few Trees in first world countries. The ones that do shift into Trees are in the Amazon and the tiny islands, too far away and too remote to study.
I saw him begin to shift when he stepped outside on the back deck to the yard. The Shift always begins with the hair, the ends change, even with Trees. James' red hair, the kind girls wished they had, turned into green maple leaves and tiny twigs maturing too fast like in a time warp. I ran to him and called for his mother on the other side of the sliding door but he was shifting too fast. Sometimes it takes days to shift the first time, usually hours, but James took a few minutes. I held his hand and kissed him as he tried not to cry, standing there by the back deck, his bare toes turning to roots that dug into the rain-soft dirt and the limestone beneath my feet. He tried not to show how much pain he was in, a grim resilience settling on him as he wept in silence, but his teeth ground together as his bones broke in quick snaps, and the creaking aching of roots and limbs and I held his hand even as the tree bark rushed down his arm until the shifting ended.
I could work at my grandparents Christmas tree farm like I did last summer but I don't think I could now. Not with James as he is. Working with the Program might take the edge off. Keep me busy. I need something to do with my hands. With the economic fallout there aren't any openings anywhere else, even the Fresh Market downtown is full of people wanting to volunteer for food or barter for batteries for electric generators. My parents can't handle me going stir crazy at home. Carry is already shifting enough to make them crazy, fur balls and hair all over the place. Her tantrums are getting worse. At five, the doctors say she doesn't understand when she is a cat and she is human. Sometimes though I think she does, when the sun is fullest and she curls up by the front door and watching her private showing of the sunbeam dance on the threshold through the screen door. Maybe there is cure that we don't know about. Maybe the program will by an instigator in finding one out.
What qualifications do you have that make you a good candidate for this program?
I have killed chickens before once behind the shed at my grandparents place. I plucked out all their feathers until they were naked and stringy looking. My hands stank for a day. My mother tried mercifully to help grandpa and me with the actual chopping and slicing, but she felt sick and went inside. She shifted into an eagle that night, and brought us back fish from some fish farm down the road. She did not shift anymore, though, that week after she took her pills that I found online to help with the morning sickness. She took her first shift well cleaning the fish guts from underneath her nails the next afternoon, watched father's weekly shift out on deck into a Cougar, and set him off in the direction of the woods to prowl. They are private like that. Our neighbors shift in the evening on the front lawn and try to drive with their big paws around the golf cartwheel. They like the moment of celebrity as everyone accidently looks outside their window to make sure it's just them who is screaming and not some kid dying on the sidewalk.
I have found out that I am good at predicting the time and place people are going to shift. It has become like a game. My hands tingle and then they go all twitchy, and then there is nothing you can do but watching their "inner animal" burst out and run about the supermarket, crashing into carts like fools and watch people smile, those who in the same Shift pool of animal genes.
Sometimes my friends have shift parties that take weeks to plan because everyone's shift length is different and everyone is on the pill at some other time. It is like scheduling a menstrual period, you fight against nature until you beat the wall down and then things get messy. The last time I went to one to keep my friend Tiffany company my hands hurt so bad I thought I had early timers arthritis or something. After Tiffany and the rest shifted, we all somehow moved into the living room, everyone who was still capable of human thought sprawled on the living room floor, and I popped in a romantic comedy for him or her to watch. I think it helps, the freaks getting together, trying to act as if this is normal. The experts say it is just the next step in our evolution or some kind of karma attack of regeneration to scare us into doing things right. We have new drugs and pills we all take every month, those with money, even those like me who can't shift or won't just in case. Our patterns have changed slightly; more are moving into huge monthly cycles, companies are paying more for their employees to shift together.
They forget they all used to be like me. Plain and bagel shaped with bleached teeth and hair dyed an unnatural shade blue to make people notice our uniqueness. It makes you think when your friends start punching anyone who calls them a freak for being the only Hawk in a family of Golden Retrievers. Or makes you throw up your lunch from the burger joint because you ate an burger that wasn't tested for the Shift gene you begin to wonder who are the freaks when you are the only plain bagel left in a town of Shifters with enough money to buy the pills and the creams to help them shift comfortably. If you take the pills, the polite ways to talk to Shifters and the non-shifters away you have scared and hopeless people wondering what planet they landed on March 15th 2014.
Do you agree with our program's mission to protect citizens of the planet under Interspecies Law of 2015 and enforce the penalties that those Shifters have overstepped or ignored and violated? Give reasons why or why not.
I've seen little kids in the school a town over that James' nieces go to get beat up over a sandwich while the teachers watched and admired their "evolutionary development." James' nieces are the only non-shifters at the school. Their mom has taken them to the dentist for chipped teeth and the doctor's for bloody noses. These kids are scared. The shifter kids are scared and their parents are too scared to care over a normal kid's nose when their children's noses are breaking every month.
Our sheriff was corrupt before all this happened. Now he's banging on shifters doors, searching houses for illegal drugs online so he can doll them out to his force. It was clear a month ago that all of this wasn't going to stop. And when it reaches the edges of the state and the country and the edges of the world, what will we be then? Will we find a cure? Will we even want it?
The maple tree in the Harrisons backyard is my boyfriend and there is nothing I can do. I don't know if I'll see him again. My parents are trying to keep my sister out of school until the world wide Shift is over, but until then, the sheriff and the neighbors don't want her at home where a freak like me can influence her. I still go James' backyard and talk to him sometimes. It helps some to pretend he is in a coma, to pretend he's really dreaming and not suffering the rain and the heat and my sandpapery hands. I pick off bugs off his bark and swat birds away. My hands sting when I'm near him. I have to believe there he can shift back, before winter when his leaves fall off and the woods and grass becomes quiet, before the world-wide Shift is predicted to end. I need something to do with my hands. I don't know why they hurt. Give me something to do. I'll kill, I'll beat, I'll run down rabid dog-children and I'll hunt for the magic serum or take changes in biology and chemistry or engineering to cure us.
I'm the last of the normal, freakish people in this town and I'm lonely. Loneliness is a strong motivator to do impossible things, and impossible things are happening every day now. But I believe we can undo the impossible, because that's all I can hope for right now, at least until winter.
Delete these practice essay answers?