A Bleak Life

The scream was high pitched and ear piercingly loud, having the ability to obliterate everything in its path. The scream was macabre and filled with hatred and fear toward the oncoming breath.
It was 2020, life was tough for us. Despair rocks the country and we have plunged into debt. Children are deprived from most outdoor activities due to the rise of global temperatures. Food, sparse and looting, ripe. This was due to the work of the pinchers. Their first act when they came into government was to cut off our communication with the rest of the world. This seemed to be our hostile destiny doomed for eternity. Annually eight fathers are selected randomly, to be bound to a colossal wooden post in the capital. We stand silently and solemnly, as everyone is forced to witness the inhumane, brutal torture of eight men. This is the government’s version of ‘entertainment’. All but one man will die on that cross. The one man who survives brings wealth to their district but carries the burden of experiencing a terrifying near death experience.
Last year something intriguing happened. The daughters and wives of all of the men who died on the cross were somehow transformed. Their hair went from a dull shade of brown to a light shade of honey blonde. They had also developed some high pitched peculiar trill when they spoke. The most disturbing transformation though was their eyes. Eyeballs going from a soft hazel to jet black, with no whites or pupils evident. They were so penetrating if you stared long enough they were almost anaemic.
The pinchers have ordered us into the musty assembling room. This is where they elect the father from our district. There are around one thousand alternative fathers here, so I am not particularly concerned for my father’s safety. The announcer’s childish high pitched soprano voice rang loud and clear “Mike Sanders.” My breath caught in my throat. “My Dad no!” I shrieked in anguish. That’s when I ran, weakened by lack of lack of food and exercise it was fatiguing but I knew I had no choice but to go on. I couldn’t watch my father die on the cross like the hundreds of other men. Charged with adrenaline, I darted through the endless rows of waratahs which were abundant with clusters of crimson flowers, flowering profusely -prevalent at this time of year. Soon I was enclosed by dense thick undergrowth. The comforting light of the day now replaced by the harsh night. Stumbling upon sharp twigs that littered the ground my breath was becoming shallow and uneven. Suddenly I lost my balance and fell landing harshly on an acute overturned rock. I gasped in agony as the wind was knocked out of me. My legs gave way and I tumbled to the ground. In minutes I was engulfed in a pool of blood. I died an emancipated girl.
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