Lita was lying on a bed in the hospital room. Her newborn child, Kai, was sleeping in a bassinet near her bed. He was so small and beautiful.
How? How could these people think of killing an innocent newborn?
She remembered the exact words the doctor said the day Kai was born.
‘He is underweight, he is not healthy, he won’t last long.’
Last long? Kai is not some kind of manufacturing product. He is a baby and it isn’t his fault that he was born underweight.
Then the situation got even worse when the Citizons came. They read the law from the Law.
‘Any child born underweight, unhealthy, without an organ, with an extra organ, with any disease (mention in section B), or had any problem in any body part or organ, is not fit for the society, he/she must be executed the day he/she is born.’
Who? Who are they to decide who has the right to live?
After some pleading by Lita and her husband, they gave Kai one month to gain weight. Kai lost more weight during the first week but by the second week, he started gaining weight again. Now he was here, one-month-old and healthy-looking but still underweight.
The Citizons would come today to take him to his destiny.
Lita's husband, Akin, entered the room. He smiled as he saw his wife and his child, but it didn't reach his eyes. He came to sit on a chair near Lita’s bed. He started patting Kai softly on the back and singing a lullaby even though he was already asleep.
“Isn’t he beautiful?” Akin asked.
“Yeah, he is,” Lita replied.
She couldn’t say anything else because she feared that her voice might break.
How can I let them take Kai away from me? No, I can’t, I won't.
“Hey, Akin, listen to me,” Lita said. “Can you do me a little favor?”
Lita cut him off in mid-sentence.
“Take Kai and run away, out of this city.”
Akin was shocked; he couldn’t process her words.
Lita spoke again, slowly and clearly, “Take the baby and go out of this city.”
“Because people from the Citee are coming, they’ll take him away, kill him, and I can’t let that happen.”
“But what about you? You are so weak to even walk. How will we go?”
“I know I can’t walk, that's why I am telling you to take him away.”
“No,” he shouted. “I am not going anywhere without you.”
“Akin, why don’t you understand? Not everyone gets a chance; we’re lucky that we got one. The people from the Citee can be here any second. Now, the choice is yours.”
Akin looked at the baby and then back at Lita.
How can I leave her here? No, I can’t, I won’t. But….
Akin looked back at the baby. He was still sleeping, so small and innocent. How could he let him die?
…. I have to leave her to save him. I can’t let the Citizons hurt my family.
Akin knew the choice was his, either way, he would regret it later. So he chose what felt right at that time.
Lita handed him a backpack.
“It has everything you need, okay?”
Akin just nodded. He felt bad for leaving Lita here, but she had promised him that she will come once they are safely out of the city.
“You can get out,” Lita said, “of the hospital from the backdoor, there are fewer guards there. From there you can go to Street Five and then straight to the forest. Once you have entered the forest, no one is gonna come after you. If I-”
“I will meet you there.”
“There can be anything in the forest; beasts, savages, and who knows what else.”
“There is nothing you should fear.”
“Will you come?”
“Yeah, I’ll come, I’ll definitely come.”
Akin leaned in and kissed her.
“I will be waiting.” He said as he pulled back.
“You won’t have to wait long,” said Lita. “Now, take the baby and go.”
Akin moved towards the bassinet. He had never taken a newborn in his arms and the doctors prohibited anyone from touching Kai. His hands were shaking as he extended them towards the child.
How will I take him to the forest?
The child looked so fragile that it might break if not held properly.
Akin slowly lifted the baby and rested his head against his chest; one hand supporting his head another one at the bottom.
I will, for Lita.
He glanced at Lita, she was smiling, and there were tears in her eyes. He took the baby to Lita. She kissed him on the forehead.
“GO!” She shouted and Akin left the room.
Lita started crying the moment Akin left. She felt empty. The only family she had ever known was gone now. She finally stopped crying when she heard footsteps. Someone was coming to her room. She closed her eyes and pretended that she was sleeping.
The noise of footsteps got louder and louder until it stopped at the door of Lita’s room.
It’s the Citizons.
The door opened and at least three pairs of feet walked in. One of them whispered something to the other.
Lita opened her eyes slightly to take a peek. There were three people; one man, two women. Lita closed her eyes as one of them, a woman, a nurse came towards her.
“Hello, Ma’am,” she said kindly.
Lita didn’t open her eyes. She was trying hard to breathe evenly. Her heart was beating very fast, her end was near.
At least Kai is safe.
“Don’t pretend,” said the man, “we know that you helped them to escape.”
They knew. There was no need for explanations. Lita was guilty and they had caught her.
Lita slowly opened her eyes.
I must face this.
“Arrest her!” The man shouted.
The other woman, a small, fat lady, started walking towards Lita but was stopped midway by the nurse.
“You can’t take her,” she said, “she is so weak, she can’t even walk.”
But this did nothing to stop them. The man took out a gun-like weapon, pointed it at the nurse, and pulled the trigger. There was a loud noise as the bullet left the gun. The bullet hit the nurse and she collapsed on the ground, that very instant. Dead.
The small woman took no notice of her and walked over the body to Lita.
She is brave, she is strong...
Akin was now standing on the edge of the forest, Kai in his arms, not sure of what to do.
They had safely come out of the City. Their most difficult part of the escape was the hospital. Akin had to fight off some guards at the backdoor to get out of the hospital. It was a tough fight but at last, Akin won.
I was lucky because the guards didn’t have guns that can kill people in an instant.
He kicked a stone, absent-mindedly, on the road. The stone rolled on the road and then suddenly disappeared at the place where the forest and road met.
Akin looked at it, eyes wide open. He blinked.
What just happened?
He carefully lifted another stone from the road and rolled it towards the forest. It disappeared again.
Where did it go?
He did this again and again, Kai balanced in his arms until he believed that the stone really disappeared.
What to do now?
He thought of going back to Lita, accepting his crime. But he knew the value. Lita wanted them to go away, he couldn’t waste her sacrifice. He had come this far now he couldn’t go back.
He looked at Kai, he was still asleep.
“Mummy loves you,” Akin said to the baby. “I love you. You will be safe where we are going. You will be happy, that's what your Mum wants.”
He kissed Kai on the forehead and entered the forest.
Are they all alright? Is Kai safe? Did they make it out of the city? OR Are they in some room like this, giving trials?
Lita was sitting on a chair in a room made up only of glass. All four sides were made up of glass. She knew that people were observing her but she couldn’t see anyone through the glass.
“State your crime,” a voice said.
It came from nowhere in particular but at the same time from everywhere.
She knew this voice. It was the same voice who asked her the same question about a month ago at the hospital. But at that time she had Kai in her arms.
“I helped my husband and my son, who was guilty of being underweight, to get out of the hospital.”
“This is your second crime?”
It was not a statement, it was a question.
“State your first crime,”
“I gave birth to an unhealthy child.”
“You know your punishment?”
She knew the punishment; she knew she would be executed but...
“Today evening, at 6 o’clock”
…at least Kai was safe or she thought so.
“Is that clear?”
Someday Kai will understand why I did this.
Lita closed her eyes and waited for death to come.
This is amazing. I just can’t believe this. How is this even possible?
Akin was now standing in front of what should have been thick forest but instead, there was grass, only grass for miles and miles with mountains rising far in the distance. He turned around to take in his surroundings. He couldn’t believe his eyes because where there should be a whole city there was just grass.
Where am I? Am I dreaming? No, I can’t be dreaming. The Citizons would have arrested me by now if I was dreaming.
‘All dreams are monitored. Any person dreaming anything rebellious or against the Citee or the Citizons is classified as a criminal, he/she must be executed the same day of the dream.’
What kind of Law is this? There is this word ‘executed’ in every law in the Law.
His train of thought was broken when Kai started crying, actually crying, for milk, for food, for…… his mother.
Akin sat on the ground, took his backpack off his shoulder, and took out Kai’s milk bottle.
“Now you'll be safe,” Akin whispered to Kai, “like your mother wanted you to be.”
Akin was lying on the soft grass looking at the beautiful cloudless blue sky. Kai was sleeping soundly on Akin’s chest. Akin felt so happy and so ….free.
He wanted to lay there forever. He wanted to sleep but he feared that if he slept, he might wake up in his bed at their apartment.
Our apartment, Lita’s, and mine.
Lita? What about her? How will she come out of the city now? Is she alright?
Akin lay there thinking about Lita when he heard the noise of a car’s engine. He took Kai off his chest and sat up straight.
In some distance, there was a small truck coming towards them. Akin stood up, Kai in his arms, and waved his hand at the newcomers. But he stopped when he heard a familiar voice behind him call his name.
Lita sighed and sat on the bed. There were still 6 hours before her execution and this wait was driving her nuts.
Lita was locked in a cell which mostly looked like her interrogation room. All walls were made up of glass but this time Lita could see through one of them. In front of her cell was a similar cell. An old woman was sitting inside the cell on a bed. It seemed like she was sobbing. Lita tried to draw her attention, she shouted and banged on the glass but nothing happened. The glass was soundproof and bulletproof. She tried again once, twice, thrice. After the third time, she gave up and sat on the bed, sobbing.
She hated every second of her life she spent without Akin and Kai.
Lita didn’t hear it, she felt it. She was lying on her bed when she felt commotion in the corridor outside her cell. She sat up and looked out. The corridor was dark at first but after a few seconds four people; two male, two female, came running towards them. One of them, a black-haired girl ran towards Lita’s cell and started typing something on the keyboard outside the cell. All the others were doing the same. After typing for almost a minute, she nodded and smiled at Lita. The front glass of the cell started lifting. Lita looked at activities around her, with her mouth wide open. The glass was fully up by now. The black-haired girl entered the cell and took Lita out in the corridor. Once all the prisoners were in the corridor, the other girl started speaking.
“Hello, everyone. I’m Valeria and these are my friends, Adela”-she pointed towards the black-haired girl- “Kano”- she pointed towards a tall muscular boy- “and Ezra”- she pointed towards the other boy- “we came here to save you all, to take you all out of this city. We have planned for this day for almost a year and now the uprising has begun. You are getting a chance to get out of this city. So, are you with us?”
“Yes,” Lita shouted before anyone else could even understand the question. Soon, everyone else joined them.
Lita now felt something more than happiness, something she hadn’t felt for a month. Hope.
As Lita came out of jail, she felt like she just entered another planet. Fights were going on everywhere, the Citizons v/s the People. The Citizons had their special guns while the People were fighting with everything they had, their arms, their legs, knives, daggers, etc.
Some other people also joined them in the escape. Valeria and her friends took them safely to Street Five and gestured them all to run to the forest. Lita couldn’t run so she just walked behind all the others. Ezra was leading them while Valeria, Kano, and Stella were watching the rear. They had also stolen some of the Citizons’ special guns.
After running, walking in Lita’s case, for a few minutes they reached the forest. Ezra entered the forest without hesitation and he ….disappeared?
Lita looked at Valeria for an answer. Valeria nodded and said, “I don’t know how this works, but I know that we’ll be safe outside of this city.”
Soon they were at the place where everyone had disappeared. Lita hesitated but entered the forest.
Akin turned around at the mention of his name. Lita was standing there with a bunch of other people. He couldn’t believe his eyes. He felt every emotion at once, happiness, shock, anger, everything. He couldn’t judge which emotion was the strongest maybe… happiness.
“Who are you?” said a boy, who finally noticed that Akin was there.
But his question was answered when Lita ran towards him and hugged him and Kai. She had tears in her eyes. She took Kai in her arms and started talking to him while Akin looked at the truck coming towards them.
Now we all will be safe.
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You hit two genre I enjoy- sci-fi and adventure in a single story. Like Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451," your speculative element is the dystopia, thus deftly avoiding the pitfalls of contradictory science. Very nicely handled. Pacing, plausible characters, grabbing the reader's attention early- you have almost everything needed for a successful sale on a pro market. Obviously this would be reprint anywhere since it's here on Reedsy, which is tough, but some anthology out there would take this story. However, the little "Time Now" bits a...
Thanks for the feedback, Charles. I tried to write the fight scenes but it was exceeding the word limit and I'm not good at writing fight scenes so I skipped them. And I'll remove the date and time. Thank you once again:)
Wow, this was so good! I loved it! Great job!
Congratulations on your first submission! And this is such a sweet story! Loved the dialogues as well. Great job Deepsikha! Keep writing dear!
Thank you, Roshna:)
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I don't even know where to start! The world-building, the character moments, the creativity! Everything about this was so well-written and explained! This was an amazing, thought provoking, engaging read. It almost felt like a real novel. Amazing job.
Thank you:) I'm glad you liked it.
Really nice story! I'd love for there to be a sequel.
It was such an amazing story. As long as it was, it was so interesting. Your story hooks a reader to the end.
Thank you so much!!!
This story is beautiful. You did a wonderful job of creating this strange, execution obsessed society. I am left wondering two things. One: How did Akin fight off guards while holding a fragile newborn? and two: What about the guns were special? Was there a law that only Citizons could carry anything more deadly than a stun gun? Akin mentions that he is glad that the hospital guards don't have guns that can kill. Does this mean they have a different type of gun? or just no gun at all? I love this story so much, and it flows way better t...
Thank you so much!!! And about your questions, 1) Well, I didn't think about this. 2) Yeah, it was a law that only the Citizons can carry the guns (that can kill people) and the hospital guards didn't have any kind guns because....well, I'm planning to do a prequel to this story and I don't want to give away any spoilers. Thanks again:) I'm really glad that you liked it.
Yay! I can't wait to read the prequel.
Aww, thanks!!! I'll write it soon.
Hey Moon!! I heard about the secret downvoter...who got me as well as you. Once school ends I'll upvote you!
No need of that but thanks:)
Wow!!!!! Wonderfully written. A mix of fantasy and realism. It was so sad that the citizons killed the babie if they were underweight. The story was very creative. This one thing I noticed At Least Kai is safe. You have capitalasied least. Great story. Waiting for your next.
Thanks for reading my story and giving feedback:) I'll edit it.
You are welcome.
Amazing story! I absolutely love dystopian books, so this was especially fun to read for me. The different spellings, like "Citizons" and "Citee" really created the sci-fi effect. There were some sentence errors, so I might proofread over again in the future. Regardless, well done :)
Wow! I loved this story K!!!! Wonderfully written! I absolutely enjoyed the sci Fi in it!!😋 Absolutely engulfing! I love the love in the family, it was just so warming😊 For some reason, the People vs the Citizons made me remember Hunger Games, and i loved that movie. This was a WONDERFUL story K!!! Keep on keeping onnnn!!!!🎠 (P.S. do you mind checking out my recents?☺️ Thanks!!!)
Thank you so much!!! Yeah, sure:)
Yupp!! I'm here! Well I'll be leaving for a couple of minutes then i'll come back
Heya Moon!! its not too late in the night is it??
Where did you go, Snow??
Oh I'm at my last class of the day..so I'm just there..And thankk youuu! I have an idea for one of the prompts..and thats for 'Indescribable Like or Love?' and I might write a new story.. What about you? There is a love prompt and there still time on the clock for last week
Nice!! Part 4, right? I'll try that love prompt and I'm also thinking of writing a sequel to my first story. Last week is over for me, I mean, it's night here and by the time I'll wake up in the morning, the submissions would have been closed.
Ohhh wow..time zones are complicated..and no I think its Part 5.
They are super complicated. I wish we were in same time zone so we could at least talk easily........ Oh, it's 5. Sorry, I didn't know.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO READ THIS!! IT'S JUST RUBBISH!! I REPEAT IT AGAIN, YOU DON'T HAVE TO READ THIS!! You know how bored I am? No, probably you don't 'cause you're asleep. I woke up in the morning, opened reedsy and saw that yellow on the bell. I got super excited but when I clicked on it, I was super disappointed. There were two notifications one asking me to read their story and another one thanking me for commenting on their story. I read their story, commented there but....... So I decided that I would definitely submit a story to...
It's 11, not too late for me and I'm so bored.
What do you think about the new prompts?
Heyy Moon! I did it I wrote the Fantasy!!! When you have the chance can you check it out? Thanks. I shall await yours..*bow* Sorry I had to move away from out old chat it was getting wayyy to cramped!
Sure!!! I have been waiting for this day!!! I'm in class now. I'll read it once the class is over.
Kaayyy! I literally keep forgetting your across the world, I was like school in the night? but then I realized..
It's 8:20 in the morning here. I was in the class and now I have to go back to class. Byee!! It's night there, right? Good night!!
HEYYY! Read your Bio- yeah it be like that sometimes.. I don't really know youu but I do know your an amazinnnnngggg writer! And thats something to smile about right!😊 Also I can read the future🤭And I can tell brighter days are up ahead for ya, thats something you can hold on too! Also if you ever wanna talk I'm always here to listen😌😆Have a great rest of ya day! -Ugochi✨*~
Thank you so much, Ugochi:) I thought that nobody is gonna read my bio but people here on reedsy are so...... sweet and supportive. I think I should talk to ya, it might lighten up my mood. So, um, what should we talk about?
hmmm...well lets start with whats it like where you live??
Hi, Ugochi! Sorry for responding too late, my mum called me and I got a little busy. I feel like I'm better now. Thanks:) So, the condition where I live is like this; 1. Corona cases are increasing, people are getting infected but still, they don't wear masks, or do social distancing. They have started going out of their homes like it's all normal. And the government is thinking of starting schools(physically) from 21 Sep. I don't know what is going to happen if schools started. 2. And about me; I just spend my whole day on my laptop. ...
That's crazy because that's the same thing happening where I am. And yes the people going out to party like the corona just disappeared. And same they are considering taking us back to school after second semester. i honestly don't think my parents will let us. Wanna talk about what was bothering you- I mean you don't have too but if you do I will try my best to help😌. Orr we could talk about hows schools going!
I’m sorry, I can’t tell you about that. I’m really sorry. I want to tell you but I just can’t. Yeah, about school it is going fine. I mean teachers are teaching and we are studying, doing homework and stuff. It’s so boring. I miss my friends so much.
This is amazing! I saw a bit of 'The Giver' in it, and it was great, especially for your first story. Do you think you could take a look at some of my stories? Your creativity could help me. Keep writing!
Thanks:) And sure, I'll look at your stories. You're friends with Whirlwind, right?
Thanks. Yes I know her, her stories are really good, if you haven't you should check them out.
Yeah, her stories are nice, yours are too. I'm reading 'The New Girl', will comment there soon.
Hi, Deepshikha! You asked me to read, so here I am. I noticed a few grammatical errors here and there, but I liked the storyline. This reminded me of the Soviet regime in the 1940's. Did you get any basis for this story from World War ll? All in all, well done!
Thanks:) Can you please point out the errors?
Um. I don't really know how to say this, I'm a horrible editor. Let me just start with do you speak English? Because I was reading someone else's story, and they didn't speak English so their way of speaking sounded like grammatical errors to me. Maybe it could just be the same thing.
Well, English is not my first language so I didn't speak it much.
Then that probably explains why I thought they were 'grammatical errors'. It's just not my way of speaking. :/
Oh, maybe that's the thing, I'm learning English so I think I have a lot to improve.
I'm loving this dystopian feel of the book. These types of stories always have me intrigued. What a sweet and creative use of the prompt, well done!
Thank you!! I'm glad that you liked it. Stay safe & keep writing:)
Your welcome! If you can, could you please check out my new story What Would You do?