Hey guys! Now, I know that some of you were ready to storm my house waiting for me to update this story, so here it is! I hope it's not a disappointment. :) Please leave a review if you enjoy it!
I stare out of the dirty window as we make our way to the crest, my eyes scanning for anything interesting. All I see is the normal cracked and dusty ground, parched for hundreds of years and blessed by few scattered patches of green that had adapted to the climate. Every once and a while I catch a flash of movement, most probably the few animals that had adapted to survive in this hell. I soon realize that we had been on this contraption a while, but how long? 20, 30, 50 minutes, maybe even an hour or two? It was impossible to tell; my concept of time had grown dependent on the ring of the work bells. The one thing that stays constant during the ride is the glaring sun that beat down on everything within its scalding reach, always hungry, always dangerous.
Suddenly the bus hits a slight bump, and the ride becomes smooth and gentle, the small rattles from the dirt road ceasing. I look down out of the window and suck in a quick breath as shock and a bit of fear slams into me. We had gone onto hard, black road- I recognized this. I think it was called tar, but we called it the Ebony Death.
We mixed it in big vats in the factories, and sometimes there were accidents. It was an immediate death sentence once it touched you, everyone knew that. It would stick to your skin and burn endlessly until all that was left was a thriving mass of red and smoking flesh. The factory guards would grab what was left of the body and dispose of it, but we would all remember that persons agonizing screams for the rest of the day until their death faded into the overall gloom of our lives. I tear my eyes from the hard, black reminder of death before I get too enveloped in my memories of the workers we had lost to the vile substance in its deadly liquid form.
My eyes catch another quick movement, but this one is too big to be a straggling animal. Then another flash, and I gasp as I jump back in surprise. A few more and I finally catch a good look at one of them. They were like the bus, but smaller versions of it. They could probably hold 4 people, and were a lot smaller. They went faster than we did until the road seemed to choke with them and everything slowed down to a steady roll instead of the flying speed we had been going at previously.
The land starts to change as well. Slowly there seem to be more patches of green, but not scraggly trees and shrubs like I was used. Instead there were small leaves that sprouted from the ground in small patches that couldn't have been higher than my lower calf. Soon the small patches start to meld together to make larger strips that line the sides of the road, as if waiting for a chance to spread and overtake it. My heart speeds up as the scenery becomes more diverse and interesting, and I look to see that most everyone else on the bus had turned to look out the windows as well.
I see something in the distance in front of the bus, and press my cheek to the glass to get a better view of it. My mouth opens slightly agape as I see what was in the distance; a city, the Crest. I stare in wonder as we approach the large protruding metallic figures, their forms getting taller as the distance to them decreases gradually. There were so many of them that I lose track, all varying in size. One in particular catches my attention; the Beacon. It was the biggest building in the city, and the place where the government ruled us- everyone knew that much, at least. It was a silvery metallic color, and it swirled into a large point at the top. That was all I could tell at the moment, but as we got closer I could make out more details.
Suddenly light catches the building in a perfect way, and a bright shining light blinds me momentarily. I pull back quickly, covering my eyes with my dirty hands. A shadow of the light remains burned into my vision, and everywhere I look I see a bright white dot that followed the movement of my eyes. I blink quickly for a few minutes until it fades away, and rub my eyes one last time to clear them of the annoying flash.
When I return my gaze to the outside I gasp slightly, the scenery having changed drastically. The small green leaves had taken over all of the ground as far as I could see, but it was shorter now. I look out farther and see strange figures that seemed to stand slightly taller than me, but on all fours. I see a few more from a closer view, and narrow my eyes in confusion. They were massive and bulky, but passive seeming, only being bothered with their slow and lazy chewing. Their white and black spotted skin quivers every few seconds, and their tails flick occasionally. There were hundreds of them, all clustered in small groups, some larger than others.
I look to see that we had approached the crest even more, and the buildings had seemed to explode in size. They had been about the size of my arm from our previous position, but now they were so gigantic I couldn't see some of their tops, only their wide and flat sides. The road seemed choked with mini buses now, and we went at a slow speed.
We are about to be right next to some of the buildings when we pass our first one, a smaller building with many men carrying guns standing outside, eyeing the mini buses and stopping a few of them seemingly randomly. I knew what a gun was. It was what had killed my mother when she had refused to let me go to the factory as a child. All I remember was an unbelievably loud pop and the thud of her body hitting the ground, her life streaming across the ground in an angry red river.
I shake my head to clear the thoughts as I try to focus on the buildings, and I find something just as intriguing. People, but not workers. They were just normal people, walking freely, talking amongst themselves, wearing different clothes than one another. They seemed to be…happy. Some of them even dared to touch each other in public, their necklaces glowing brightly.
Our bus suddenly lurches to a quick stop, launching some of the workers from their seats roughly. The bus hisses and the doors slide open, a woman stepping onto the seemingly unhappy machine.
She looked pretty, but a forced pretty. Her smile looked stretched on her face and her eyes screamed pity and disgust despite her seemingly friendly appearance. Her hair was tied up into a tight hair do that made her ears protrude unattractively, not a single strand out of place. It seemed to have a dull blonde color, but was prevented from looking beautiful by the choking restraint put upon it. Her eyes were a dull brown, but seemed to pop somehow while here eyes were surrounded by a black shading. Her lips were a sickly deep red that clashed angrily with her pale skin and made her seem dangerous. She had pretty shiny metal hoops that somehow stuck onto her earlobes, and a small golden ring on her fourth finger of her left hand that clamped a clipboard to her chest as if it protected her from us. Her necklace was a pretty light blue stone that sat under a bar of crashing waves carved out of a sparkly metal.
"Hello, children. Welcome to the Crest."