I remember when my parents were executed for hiding books.

Dostoyevsky wouldn't want me to say that. He'd want me to say "lynched" or "murdered", but I think he's wrong and that doesn't happen often.

Dostoyevsky let me read his dictionary when I was younger, so I should know that to execute is to carry out a death sentence on a legally condemned person. My parents weren't reading by the Dragoons, but they were caught by the people. It doesn't matter who catches you, though, because you'll always end up the same way.

I escaped, though—ran out the back door when I heard them coming. I escaped death, but I didn't escape the executions because little girls are easily swept along by a big crowd and people scream a lot when they get stoned. Someone could have gagged them, but of course they wanted the Dragoons and the City Council to know what was happening, what good, diligent citizens they all were for punishing rebels and deviants.

It's harder for little girls to escape from a crowd, but I was a frightened, sobbing seven-year-old and you'd be surprised how much push-and-shove power that gave me.

I thought I'd cleared the forest of legs when I ran into another pair, a pair that was only a metre away from the forest but in no way a part of it—an oak against pines.

I looked up and the oak looked down at me, but all I could see was beard, so I looked to the other oak next to him. She was more of a willow, though, because she stooped right over just to talk to me.

So, that was how I met Dostoyevsky. I escaped a forest of pines only to run into an immovable oak and a delicate, deadly willow, my mum and dad's screams echoing from the silent city around us. Nobody noticed the little girl being led away by someone they would consider a terrorist.

That little girl doesn't matter anymore, because five years later, on her twelfth birthday, she became a Rhapsodist. I now hold the rank of novice. My codename is Petra, after Petra Baum, who wrote science fiction right before the publishing industry was brought under government control. I think it suits me.

Though I lost my parents all those years ago, I found a family in the Bristol Rhapsodist Division, and I will fight tooth and nail to make them proud.


A/N: Whoa, it's been like years since I posted anything here, but I want to see if people like this story before I publish it on Wattpad next week. ^^