This is my latest original story, the only one I've seriously worked on in about a year. Yay! The first chapter is kind of choppy. And don't get too caught up in the description of the village, I don't believe that they characters will ever return to it.

Sela, Morien, and any and all characters that will show up, and any settings, or just about anything are copyright me, so please don't take 'em without permission.

Sela walked to the market. She was a pretty girl, however she dressed simply in a cotton dress and sturdy shoes; the dress was blue. All the other women on the street were dressed the same, except for the colors, but even those were dull and subdued. The men wore white shirts, a coat, pants and boots. All the people looked just about the same: brown hair and eyes, and little deviation in height or girth.

At the market was a long series of permanent booths. Each booth had a person behind it, handing out equal portions to all. The people accepted it calmly without dithering about sizes. Sela collected the food for her family for the week. That day was Firstday, and her family was allowed to get food on Firstday; if they forgot to get it, which was impossible, then they would have nothing to eat for the next week.

Sela was a Weaver, part of the clan responsible for making the clothes. The cotton they received from the Farmers, and they sent the finished product to the Marketers to distribute. In addition were the Tanners, who made shoes and other leather products and the Builders who made the edifices to house everything and everyone. Sela had a deft hand with a needle, so she was a sewer, one of the more difficult positions to maintain. She felt no pride in her role, though. None was any greater or any less.

Sela was happy, even with the conformity. After all, the peoples of her village had lived like that for generations. Any dissidence had been bred out long, long ago.

She hummed a nameless tune on her way back, although there was no art just as there was no art of any form. Everything made was purely functional.

Sela's village was a circle several miles in diameter in the middle of a deep forest. There was no commerce with anyone outside and anyone who left was considered dead; after all, they never returned.

Each of the five necessary groups was a family and they lived clumped together. Sela lived with her mother, father and two younger brothers. Her mother and father were kind and able, but did not particularly care about their children. Sela's mother was a Weaver and her father had been born a Builder. Marriage was carefully arranged to keep inbreeding to a minimum, although they would not have thought of it that way; that was the way it had always been and the way it would remain. Male Builders were the only ones who could marry female Weavers, and so on. But Sela… she wondered if there was something not right with her. There was a Cobbler boy, and there was something that wasn't the same about him, though she couldn't exactly understand why. He was about her age; they had been children at the same time. He was very nice to her, but sometimes he had talked about not fitting, which was impossible; everyone fit. His name was Morien.

And he was coming her way.

"Hey!" he yelled once he was in earshot. "Have you got a moment?"

"Erm, yeah. I mean, I was supposed to take this home, but…" Sela said, stammering and wondering why, while Morien grabbed her arm and pulled her away from the street. As soon as they were out of earshot, he began talking.

"I've been thinking lately. About… you," he started slowly. "And me. I like you, not the same way as, ah, anyone else." This admission came difficultly; it was impossible for anyone to be different from another, but she was to him.

"I agree," Sela said, startling Morien. "About you, not me, I mean. There's something, I don't know, dissimilar. And I like you too." Sela was smiling at him shyly; he pulled her into a rough embrace.

"I want to be with you forever," Morien whispered into Sela's ear.

"But they won't let us! You're not a Builder, and I'm not a Marketer. It's against the rules!" Her eyes were wide.

"We don't need the rules, Sela," said Morien harshly. "I don't want to live in a place where I can see you, but can't touch you. Do you want that?"

Sela hesitated between transgression and love, but in the end, she pressed herself still more firmly against him. "I'll come," she said firmly, if muffled by his shirt. "Are we… leaving now?"

"No. We need to plan." With Sela in his arms, the two new lovers began to plot their escape.