Open vision bar

2020 Short Story Competition Winners

Last Updated: 6/10/2020 6:29 PM

Zelda’s Star

By Macie Stefano, Grade 7, E.T. Booth MS

Zelda groggily opened her eyes. Her mother and Jakob were standing over her bed shaking her awake. Jakob, her younger brother, was standing next to her mother crying. 
“They are coming for us!” he sobbed.
 “Go grab your things,” her mother sternly instructed, “Zelda, the Nazis have come! Grab clothes and your most valuable jewelry and quickly stitch the jewelry into your winter coat.”
 Zelda heard German’s yelling downstairs, and then her father’s muffled voice, “Please just give us ten more minutes!” 
“No! Now!” the German yelled in broken Polish. 
Zelda grabbed her school bag, stuffed extra clothes in her bag, and put on her winter coat. 
Zelda and her family were Jewish. About a two years ago, when Zelda was in grade six of school and Jakob was in grade two, her mother had stitched yellow stars onto all their clothes.
 “Why must you do this Mama? All of the children at school now stare and point at me!” Zelda cried.
 “Because if the Nazis find us without our stars on, they will throw us in jail, or one of those camps and we will never come out,” her mother said, fear on her face and in her voice. 
The Nazis pushed Zelda and her family out of their home. It was very cold outside; Zelda could see her breath in the air. Zelda looked over to Jakob and saw that he was crying.
“Don’t cry, Jakob,” Zelda’s mother soothed.
Zelda noticed there were lots of people out on the street. It was very late at night, and ever since the Nazis had come no one was allowed outside at night. Zelda saw all of the Jewish children she went to school with outside. All the people Zelda saw had the yellow stars on their coat. 
Zelda and her family walked to the train station in the big crowd of people.
“Papa,” Zelda asked, “Do we get to ride on a train?”
“I’m afraid so,” her father said.
Zelda didn’t know why her father was upset about riding on the train. Zelda loved the train! They didn’t get to ride often after the war started, because they wanted to save the money for food. As they got closer to the train station there were cattle cars in the station where the trains would usually be.
“Papa, those aren’t our train cars right,” Zelda said panic coming into her voice.
“I think they might be, Zelda. But you must not panic, me and your mother will keep you safe.”
Zelda wanted to believe her father, but deep down she knew that they probably will not be safe for a long time. 
Zelda hooped into the cattle car and was getting ready to sit down when more people poured into the car. Way more people were in the car than could fit. Zelda stood up as more and more people poured inside, she could barely see her family. She pushed people out of the way and stood next to her father. It was already starting to smell and become hot in the car.
“Get ready for the long ride,” her father said.

Zelda didn’t know how long they had been on the car. Some people had passed out from the cramped, stuffy air in the cattle car. It was very stinky from the bathroom bucket in the corner of the car. Suddenly, the car came to a halt. Was this terrible ride over? Zelda’s father looked around, she looked up and saw that one tear rolled down his cheek. Zelda had never seen her father cry.
“Promise me if we get separated, you will take care of your brother.”
“Yes, Papa,” Zelda obeyed.
When the door slid open, bright light poured into the car. The people that were still standing squinted and covered their eyes. Zelda tried to walk out but she immediately fell. Her legs wouldn’t cooperate! They were cramped from standing so long. Zelda and everyone on the car had become very malnourished. 
“Come now,” her father said with panic in his voice.
“I can’t Papa! My legs won’t work!” Zelda cried.
Her father hurried over and picked her up. He carried her over and when they got out of the car, they saw Zelda’s mother and Jakob looking around panicked.  
“Mama! Jakob!” Zelda cried.
Zelda’s mom and Jakob spun around and ran over. Zelda’s father put her down and told her to stretch her legs. 
“We have to get the kids out of here now!” her father whispered.
That’s when Zelda noticed the foul smell in the air. She looked over to see chimneys pumping black smoke and ash out. Zelda recoiled horrified and put her face into her father’s jacket so nobody could see her crying. She had heard rumors but didn’t think it was true until now. 
“What is wrong Zelda?” her father asked.
Zelda’s mother and brother looked over. And Zelda pointed to the smoke in the air. A single tear rolled down her mother’s face. Jakob looked at his family confused because he didn’t know what had happened. Zelda’s parents looked at each other.
“Hurry up!” a German voice said, “Get into lines!”
The children and parents were being separated. 

Zelda’s mother grabbed her arm and spun her around, “See that fence over there? Take Jakob, don’t let go of his hand and run as fast as you can and crawl under it.”
“What if we get caught?” Zelda asked her mother panicked.
“Just go. I hope to see you soon,” Zelda’s mother bent down to Jakob, “Jakob I love you. Follow Zelda and don’t disobey her, okay?” 
Jakob nodded and hugged his mother and father. 
Zelda hugged both her parents and took Jakob’s hand.
Zelda knew the dangers of staying here. It was nearly impossible to leave now. They were surrounded by Nazi guards, and there were many watch towers with more guards waiting. The kids were now being separated from their parents. Zelda heard a mother screaming and refusing to give up her child. Then a loud bang and silence. Tears streamed down her face. Again, Jakob was confused and didn’t know what happened. 
Zelda knew what could happen if they ran for the fence, but she knew what could happen if they didn’t. 
Zelda looked at Jakob, “Come and run as fast as you can! Don’t let go of my hand.”
He looked at her and nodded.
Zelda counted to three, and they sprinted to the fence. Zelda didn’t dare look back. She heard bullets whizz past her head. Jakob didn’t let go of her hand until they got to the fence. There was barbed wire on top, and no cuts to crawl through. Zelda lifted the fence with all her might. She pushed Jakob under, he yelped out in pain, the fence had put a gash in his arm. 
“Run!” she yelled to Jakob.
Zelda crawled under the fence. She was almost under the fence, and then her foot became stuck. 
“Jakob!” she called. 
He looked back and sprinted to her. He pulled her out from under the fence. They got up and ran. They had really gotten out of there! Zelda couldn’t believe it. Zelda took one glance behind her back and saw her mother and father wave. That was her last memory of them. 
Zelda and Jakob ran until it was dark. They crawled under a bush and slept there for the night. When they woke in the morning the kept walking in the opposite way of the camp. They walked for hours until they came across a dirt road. 
“Right or left,” Zelda asked Jakob.
“Left.”

It was dark when Zelda and Jakob walked onto the farm. They followed the road and taken many different paths. Zelda took Jakob by the hand and walked to the door. She gathered her courage to knock on the door.
“What if they take us back to the camp?” Jakob asked.
“We will run,” Zelda responded without looking at him. 
Jakob nodded; and turned back at the door. The door opened and a young, blonde, Polish woman opened the door.
“Can I help you?” she opened the door and then looked down at Zelda and Jakob, “Oh my! Come in!”
Zelda stepped in first and looked up at the woman.
“Yes, actually. We just need a place to sleep and some food and then we will be on our way.”
“Are you two from the camp a couple of miles away?”
“Um… Yes mam.” Zelda said not yet trusting the woman.
“Come and stay as long as you like.”
“Thank you very much. I am Zelda and this is my brother Jakob.”
“Nice to meet you Zelda. I am Vanessa.” 
Vanessa took the Zelda and Jakob to the kitchen, gave them a warm plate of food, gave them a bath, and put them to bed. In the morning when Zelda awoke Jakob was gone. Zelda immediately got up and ran downstairs to the kitchen. Vanessa was standing at the stove stirring a boiling pot. 
“Where is Jakob? Did you take him back?” Zelda yelled at Vanessa.
“N-no. I just…,” 
Just then Jakob walked around the corner and into the kitchen. Zelda ran over to him and hugged him tightly. 
Zelda looked at Vanessa, “I’m sorry. My father told me to take care of Jakob and I don’t want to lose him.”
Vanessa walked over to Zelda and hugged her.
“I know how you feel. My husband and son were drafted into the Polish Army.”
“I’m sorry,” Zelda said.
Venessa sadly smiled.

Over the next few years, Zelda and Jakob became quite close with Vanessa. Zelda had just turned fifteen and Jakob had just turned eleven. Vanessa bleached their hair to make them blonde and look more Polish. She said that they were her niece and nephew who were orphaned from the war and came to live with her. 
Vanessa’s son and husband had not yet returned, nor had she heard from them. It made her very sad but having Jakob and Zelda around helped through it. 
Nazis often came around to inspect the farm, and when they did Zelda tried her best not to say or look at them. They brought big dogs with them to smell out any hiding prisoners. On one occasion a prisoner was found. Vanessa told Zelda to take Jakob inside and stay there with him. Zelda heard a loud bang and a scream. Vanessa came inside after the Nazis left and cried for a long time. How terrible this was! Zelda knew something must be done but she didn’t know what to do. 
A couple of months later they were listening to the radio and heard that the Americans coming. Zelda couldn’t believe it! She was going to see her parents soon! One day Vanessa sat down with Zelda and Jakob and wrote in her neat, cursive handwriting to the Red Cross about Zelda and Jakob’s parents. A couple of weeks later the letters came back. 
“Zelda, Jakob!” Vanessa yelled, “The Red Cross wrote back!”
Zelda and Jakob ran into the kitchen Vanessa read the letter. She looked up as tears rolled down her cheeks.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
Zelda hugged Jakob and they both cried for a long time. 
Later that night at dinner Vanessa looked up from her plate to Zelda and Jakob, “The Red Cross also said that you guys do have Jewish relatives in America, and they are willing to sponsor all of us on a trip to America after the war is over.”
Zelda started to laugh then cry, but not from sadness, she was ecstatic. After the news of her parents earlier she didn’t know where she was going to go when the war was over, but now she was going to live with Vanessa and her relatives in America!

The Nazis had surrendered, and Japan was the only Axis power left fighting. America had dropped the atomic bombs and Japan was going to surrender any day now. Poland was trying to rebuild itself and nobody in Zelda and Jakob’s family had survived for except their relatives in America. 
A couple of weeks after Japan finally surrendered Vanessa, Jakob, and Zelda received their Visas and went on a boat to America. Zelda had never been on a boat before. There was so much food! It was delicious, during the war she always felt hungry and now she was always full. The staff was always offering her food!
The day they arrived in America they arrived in New York City and drove by car to their relative’s house in the city. Zelda was excited and nervous at the same time. Vanessa had lost both her husband and son in the war and she had become like a mother to Zelda and Jakob. She even sold her farm to get money to come to America for Zelda and Jakob. 
The car drove through the busy city and turned onto a calm street. Suddenly the car stopped in front of a row of houses connected, sort of like the house Zelda lived in with her parents and Jakob before the war. Zelda was happy to leave Poland, it held to many memories of her loved ones and the terrible camps built by the Nazis. 
The driver turned around, “We are here,” he said in English.
“Thank you for driving us here,” Vanessa said in English.
Zelda didn’t know Vanessa spoke English. She was excited to learn how to speak it, though, and go to school. Zelda and Jakob went up to the door while the driver helped Vanessa with their luggage. 
The door opened and a nice-looking lady opened the door. Two smiling boys, that looked to be about Jakob’s age, peaked around the lady.
“Welcome Zelda and Jakob,” she said in Polish. 

Koniec
(The End)


Life Span

By Baileigh Borna, Grade 8, Mill Creek MS

Running through the woods, forty-eight-year-old Darin Parker trips over another tree root in the path, but he keeps going. The disease, which has now metastasized on the right side of his brain, causes him to feel dizzy and disoriented. But he has to catch her. His life depends on it. The news that the inoculation failed to slow the disease keeps his legs in motion. Then he sees her. She is trying to climb a tree up ahead but her foot slips on a branch and she falls to the ground. He slows to catch his breath and then he ambushes her, taking her life instantly as he pushes the red glowing Tazard[1] into her neck.

Sitting beside her body, Darin’s feelings of remorse are replaced with relief that just seems to pour all over him. He can already feel the Pluton[2] mass in his brain disappearing.

*       *      *

“Oh no, today is my sixteenth birthday,” Luna says out-loud as she crawls out of her sleeping pod to get dressed. Looking at herself in the reflector she sighs, still talking out loud, “Sixteen. The worst age to be nowadays. I wonder if they are tracking my birthday.” Running a hair phaser through her hair, she decides to be satisfied with how she looks and walks downstairs in her father’s house. Smelling the freshly brewed coffee, she grabs a flagon[3] and filling it up asks, “QUERI[4] what’s the top headline in Calitoneia[5] today?”

“Good Morning Miss Luna! Today is Wednesday, February 18th in the year 2099. Today’s headline in Calitoneia is Supreme Being Justice, Darin Parker, Extends his Life by 76 years. Would you like the details?”

“Sure,” Luna replies thinking how this could only heighten her anxiety about turning sixteen today.

QUERI continues: “Justice Parker, who was diagnosed two months ago with Pluton in the brain was given only 12 weeks to live. However, he was cured yesterday afternoon when he successfully transferred the disease to a sixteen-year-old Healthy after a successful hunt in The Zone. Justice Parker will now reportedly live another 76 years. The Healthy was a registered 16-year-old-teen with a reported remaining life span of 76 years. As national controversy continues over the legal mandate for healthy people to register their projected life spans, the battle continues at the Life Span Council[6] over the process for how the Afflicted can access the Healthy Register.”

“Wow,” Luna replies thoughtfully. “How can anyone just take someone else’s life to save their own?”

“It is required,” QUERI replies still unable to distinguish a human rhetorical question.

Logging off the news feed, Luna stuffs a bio-engineered banana into her pedestrian pack and heads out the door to her mother’s house. Before reaching the sidewalk, a man approaches her, flashing a Calitoneia Recruiter badge he asks harshly, “Are you a registered Healthy?”

“Leave me alone,” Luna shouts pushing past him. “It’s none of your business.”

“It’s your 16th birthday and you are required by law to register as a Healthy or Afflicted,” he calls after her while taking pictures of the address plaque on the building. Then speaking into the Tile[7] on his wrist, the Recruiter says, “She’s not registered yet, but I am certain she will be. She is strong, in good physical condition and mentally alert. She could have a lifespan of 80 or more years making her a top desired target.”

Just minutes later, entering her mother’s residence, Luna calls out, “Mom, where are you? Are you ready to go to the show?”

“I don’t think so,” her mother strains, calling from the back room. “I’m not feeling well.”

“Mom, what’s going on?” Luna asks, walking into the room and seeing her mom lying in her sleeping pod looking somewhat green and shaky. Quickly picking her up, Luna rushes her mom out the door and puts her in the transporter. They head straight to the nearest infirmary.

On the way, Luna can’t stop thinking about how this could be helpful because now maybe her mother can qualify to register as an Afflicted.  This could keep the recruiters away from both her and her mother. But she also couldn’t help but worry that her mother was feeling more than just under the weather. The new normal in Calitoneia was the frightening reality of living in a society where the fatal Pluton disease is afflicting more and more people every day. But the alternative is equally scary. To survive the disease, you have to kill a Healthy by injecting a Tazard which then transfers the disease to the deceased and gives you their remaining lifespan. At first this was being done without any strategy to just get rid of the disease. But now, careers are being made for “Recruiters” who are hired to find the Healthy with the longest lifespan. At one time confidential medical records were protected, but now they are registered, and the Life Span Council sells them to the highest bidder.

For Luna, the idea of killing someone to extend one’s own life is a repulsive concept. But most people do not share her view. In the community of Calitoneia, people no longer value the life of others. Friends and now even family members are at odds and the youngest and healthiest citizens have become the hunted and the Afflicted have become the hunters.

Entering the Infirmary, Luna prays that her mother does not have Pluton but she hopes that this visit will taint her medical status and enable her to register as an Afflicted. But unfortunately, the first test reveals that her mother is infected with Pluton.

Seventy-five years ago, when the cure for cancer was discovered, the human race thought no disease would ever plague the planet so harshly again. But that was before Pluton spread across the globe in 2089. And two years later, everything changed when it was discovered that injecting and killing a healthy person with a Tazard can transfer Pluton to the victim and extend the afflicted person’s life by the victim’s lifespan. Now a national registration process requires all people to register by age 16 as a Healthy or an Afflicted based on their medical health status. In recent years the registration age was lowered from 25 to 21 and then to 18. But just last year it was lowered further to age 16.

To Luna, the killing is immoral and lowering the age to sixteen is horrible and yet she knows that the government will continue to lower the age as more and more people in power become Afflicted because of Pluton. This means the younger generation will be extinguished while the older generations become almost immortal, living well beyond 100 years.

When her Tile buzzes on her wrist, the face of an old playmate Putrid Nunce, a Recorder from the Registrar, appears on the screen.

“This is an official call,” Putrid announces in a serious tone. “Your mother will need to register as an “Afflicted” by noon today. And now that you have turned 16, Luna, you must also register. You need to scan your medical reference sheet and register the results. You will also need to get an LS Scan[8] to find out the length of your remaining lifespan for proper recording. Remember Luna, failure to do so will result in the assumption that you are a Healthy and you will be captured for not registering and sent to The Zone[9] where you will be prioritized on the hunt list for Afflicted officials, royals and wealthy entrepreneurs.”

“Let me take care of my mother first and then I will comply,” Luna responds, feeling nauseated and sick in her stomach.

“Luna, although we are childhood friends, do not delay,” Putrid warns her. “I will capture you myself, if I have to. You know the law and you know that I am obligated to enforce it.”

“Did you register last month on your 16th birthday?” Luna asks Putrid, already knowing his answer.

“You know that I’m exempt as a Registrar Recorder,” he states indignantly. “Don’t Delay!” he snaps before disconnecting his Tile.

Turning to the Medic entering the exam room, Luna and her mother wait expectantly.

“Four weeks. That’s how much time you have to live Ms. Halo. Your LS Scan results show only four weeks. You need to get registered as an Afflicted and consider hiring a Recruiter to help you find a Healthy because there isn’t much time.

“What about the inoculation trials?” Luna asks hopefully.

“There have been absolutely no positive results,” the Medic answers, “so, we have discontinued them completely.”

At only 41, Luna’s mother is devastated to receive this news. Looking at her daughter she embraces her with tears in her eyes and whispers, “Don’t worry Luna, your father will be here to take care of you.” 

“No mom! No! You can’t give up. I won’t let you die.” For the first time, Luna considers all the options for extending her mother’s life. She is shocked by her own thoughts but the love for her mother is so great. She begins to realize that she will do anything to cure her. Maybe even help her take the life of a Healthy.

When the Medic returns with a copy of her mother’s medical results, he advises Luna to scan them right away and submit them to the Registrar.

“Being a registered Afflicted is your only chance Ms. Halo. It will activate your options to hire a Recruiter and legally hunt a Healthy,” the medic explains.

Less than two hours later, Luna hears from Putrid again. “I’m sorry to hear about your mother and I see she is now registered. But, you still haven’t Luna. I warned you earlier and I wish you would have obeyed like you promised.”

“Putrid,” Luna pleads into the phone, “just give me a little more time. I am dealing with my mother’s diagnosis and making decisions about her options.”

Although Putrid could hear a change for the better in Luna’s attitude, he was furious that she did not respond to his first call. “Too late,” he snapped. “Luna, you are going to The Zone.” He disconnected before she could say another word.

Feeling angry, Putrid began plotting his capture of Luna. His superiors at the Registrar would expect it. Even his own family would demand it. The Nunces come from a long line of Supreme Being Justices, Solicitors, Enforcers and Recorders. Putrid’s father was a registered Afflicted at age 38 and hired a Recruiter who identified a young Healthy with a life span of 75 years. Now a Senior Enforcer, Putrid’s father is in charge of supplying The Zone with Healthy candidates to help expand the lives of Afflicted VIPs. Putrid is very loyal to his father and the Registrar. He believes that he must capture Luna to impress them both.

Back at the infirmary, Luna feels desperate to save her mother. “Mom, I think we need to hire a Recruiter.”

“No!” her mother says shaking her head. “I can’t kill anyone, not even to save my own life. Let’s go home and start preparing for my passing. There is a lot to do and I want to make sure that you and your father can access to my life accounts.[10] These are the things we need to focus on right now.”

“But Mom,” Luna pleads, “I can’t lose you. You must do this. I need you to live another 100 years. If we hire a Recruiter, we can make sure that you get the longest lifespan possible. I won’t just let you die.”

“I said no, Luna,” reaching for her daughter’s hands, Ms. Halo holds them tightly. Then locking eyes with Luna her mom reassures her, “I know you don’t believe in killing others to save a life, even if it’s mine. You are just feeling panicked by this news and I understand. But one of the things that I love most about you is your moral compass and we both know hiring a Recruiter is wrong.  Now take me home. I am tired and I have a lot to do and need your help.”

Luna’s father is a 50-year old registered Afflicted. Walking up to the outside door of the transport hovel at his ex-wife’s home he looks weary. With diabetes, a pacemaker, and a remaining life span of less than 10 years, Mr. Halo is not at risk for being hunted.  He embraces both Luna and her mother as they exit the transporter.

“Your mom and I have spoken by Tile and she made it clear that although hiring a Recruiter is legal, she feels it is not moral.”

“But, Dad!” Luna cries. “She will die if we don’t. How can you just let her die?”

“Luna,” her father says, trying to comfort her. “If I could do it for her, I would. But your mother is the only one who can hold the Tazard and inject it to survive, but she refuses. She says there is no way that she can kill someone to save her own life. You, yourself have stated you could not take a life to save your own, haven’t you?”

“Yes. I have said it,” Luna concedes. “But it’s different when it is someone you love so dearly.”

“You all go inside and rest,” says her father, hugging Luna one last time. “I will come back tomorrow night and we can all have dinner together. Just call if you need me before then. By the way Luna, Happy Sweet Sixteen! Did you register this morning?”

“Not yet,” Luna replies. “I will do it tomorrow.”

“You should do it now. You know how those Recorders are. They are tracking your age and won’t hesitate to capture you for The Zone. I understand they have a shortage of Healthys up there right now, so you are just putting yourself at risk.”

“Ok, Dad,” Luna says patting him on the shoulder. “Don’t worry, I will register.”

Watching her dad walk down the street towards his home, Luna ironically feels grateful that he is an Afflicted

That night while Luna is sleeping, she hears a noise on the main floor of her mother’s house. Descending the stairs, she sees a shadowy figure moving slowly in the front room.

“QUERI turn on the lights!” she commands.

Lighting up the room, she sees Putrid standing inside by the window with a blue glowing Tazard in his hand.

“You will come with me,” he orders.

“No, please Putrid! I meant to register. I can do it right now, let me get my papers and scan them,” Luna implores.

“Too late,” he replies coldly. “I warned you and now I will capture you.” Speaking into his Tile, Putrid calls out, Healthy capture in progress. Send backup to my tracked location.”

“Putrid,” Luna begs. “You don’t need to do this.”

Approaching Luna, Putrid grabs her hands and pulling them behind her back he forces her to her knees. Pushing the blue glowing Tazard into her neck, he screams suddenly. Both he and Luna fall to the floor. The tranquilizer instantly causes Luna to go unconscious but the red glowing Tazard that Ms. Halo injected into Putrid’s neck kills him instantly.

When Luna wakes up, she feels foggy and her surroundings are unfamiliar. A door opens and she is pulled to her feet.

“Where am I?” she asks the strange man standing before her.

“You’re at The Zone,” he replies.

“My mother?” Luna whispers.

“She’s fine,” he replies. “She killed the Recorder to save you and the news is reporting that she received his remaining lifespan of 80 years.”

“So why am I here?” Luna asks, somewhat elated and somewhat confused.

“You were captured and charged with failing to register on your 16th birthday,” the man explains, strangely cheerful, “and now, the Enforcer has officially registered you as a Healthy. Today you will be hunted by a VIP Afflicted. It’s kind of an honor around here.”

Just then a greenlight flashed brightly. Opening the door, the man shouts, “Run girl, you only have a two-minute head start.”

Running into the woods, Luna’s mind races with emotions. She knows that there is a slim chance that she can escape if she can make it to the trap door in the fence across the final clearing. Though only a few Healthys have escaped, the Life Span Council created this escape opportunity to enhance the hunt and keep the hunted from giving up easily. Hearing footsteps in the distance, Luna increases her speed. The sun is high and it’s getting humid as she passes through the second clearing. She starts to believe that maybe the hunter is badly afflicted and won’t be able to catch up to her. Only two more clearings to go.

Approaching the next clearing she is forced to slow down. There are barriers made of thorn bushes making it difficult to navigate with speed. As she squeezes through the bushes, she catches a glimpse of a figure in a transport rover in the distance. He accesses a camouflaged ramp that takes him up and over the bushes. Panicking, Luna crouches down and continues to navigate the barriers causing deep cuts and scratches all over her body. When she reaches the other side, Luna races back into the woods. Although her body aches, she feels triumphant. There is no way that rover can possibly drive through these trees. They are much too close together. Seeing the final clearing, Luna carefully looks around before creeping out into the open. She remains focused on the trap door in the fence on the other side. Seeing no one, she takes off running. Just as she reaches the door, a man grabs her wrist and they both fall to the ground. Struggling, Luna fights with all her might, but then she suddenly freezes. Face-to-face with her assailant, she is overwhelmed with relief.

“Oh Daddy, it’s you!” she cries.

“It is!” Mr. Halo smiles and pulls her in close as he begins to cry.

“Mom is ok!” Luna shares excitedly. “She is going to live 80 more years!”

“I know honey, it’s the best news,” her father says looking at her lovingly through misty eyes.

“Wh-what are you doing here Daddy?” she asks as the situation dawns on her.

“I’m so sorry baby.” Pushing the red glowing Tazard into her neck, he whispers sadly, “I’m hunting you.”

 

 

[1] A Tazard is a state of the art weapon that can temporarily tranquilize or permanently kill a human depending on the setting. The device can be set to transfer all disease from the holder of the Tazard to the injected person. When the Tazard is glowing blue it is ready for use as a tranquillizer but when it is glowing red it is ready to kill and transfer diseases from the holder.

[2] Pluton is a deadly disease caused from the increase of Plutonium in the earth’s core that has gotten into the water, crops, and other natural resources of the earth.

[3] A flagon is a modern thermos designed in 2098. It is very popular among teen girls

[4] QUERI (Que of Ubiquitous Electronic Referenced Information) is a state of the art on-demand voice activated system that can answer all human questions.

[5] Calitoneia is a colony on Earth geographically located in the ancient state of California.

[6] The Life Span Council replaced the Census Bureau and merged with the World Health Council in 2090.

[7] The “Tile” replaced the “Band” in 2091; which replaced the “Gem” in 2074; which replaced the “Pod” in 2062; which replaced the “Cell Phone” in 2050

[8] An LS Scan uses the most modern technology to measure a human’s remaining life span by scanning DNA strands and the body’s organs with a wand-like instrument.

[9] The Zone used to be Camp David which was a retreat for the President but in 2090 the camp transitioned to The Zone to serve as an elite hunting retreat for Afflicted VIP officials, royals and wealthy entrepreneurs. The Zone makes it easier for them to hunt and expand their life spans and maintain their power and control in society.

[10] Life Accounts in 2099 include the money and property a person owns.