Rewrite: Radioactive

I’m sorry you had to read my old stories. I’ve deleted many in shame. Let’s see if I can improve after 3 years. I’m still pretty terrible, but I’ve learned some grammar tips and can write better analytically. I haven’t written anything for fun since I started High School, and it shows. 

Read the original here.

Summary: An unnamed protagonist plays with a new discovery.

“This has potential for a continuation, but I have no motivation.” (Ugh. This is so real, even today.)

Her earliest memories were of war and the cavern that served as shelter for the people of her city. It wasn’t much, but it was paradise compared to living on the surface. The life she’d known for years changed when she turned twenty. The surface was deemed livable again, and everyone began work on their new homes. Life above was much more satisfying. The grass felt like soft green carpet beneath her bare feet, and she became acquainted with several different small, furry creatures. She, as well as many of the other citizens, soon discovered the sun burned their pale skin, leaving it to peel and itch. Her dark hair lightened, and she began to have more energy for working. The natural, non-recycled air made her feel the best she had in years.

Though it was an improvement from the shelter, certain places on the surface were still dangerous. The outer edge of the city had piles of rubble and suspicious looking puddles filled with a green substance she was told to be wary of the minute she arrived. Despite this, it was beginning to be a place many called home. Picking up a rock, she threw it at the suspicious puddle. It bubbled and made a hissing sound, dissolving the rock on contact. She made a face. This was not something she wanted to touch, let alone use to look for resources. She backed away, sure to watch her step from now on.

Being this close to the edge of the city made her nervous. Soldiers marched everywhere, looking for escapees. She had watched a few brave citizens attempt to climb the fence, immediately being detained upon the first attempt at freedom. A few soldiers were aware of her presence and watched with interest, but she was soon passed off as non-threatening when they saw her looking through the pile of rubble for something interesting to play with. It was mostly broken glass, rocks (More for the puddles.), and bits of steel that were much too large to be moved by one person. Most likely remains of buildings. The broken signs were a helpful clue.

The scariest part of her walk was the propaganda. Shiny, brightly colored pictures of “Our Leader” were plastered upon every surface within her vision. Though the actions depicted in the posters made him appear to be a kind, likable man; she was skeptical of “Our Leader”. He was already on the surface when she and the other citizens arrived, and they were immediately promised a new, happier life. He told stories of a rebuilt city: a system of transportation, glittering department stores with beautiful clothing, and well-paying jobs for everyone of age.

However, this was too good to be true. None of his promises were being fulfilled, and most of the citizens were being used as free labor. “Jobs for everyone” was twisted to mean the citizens were forced to be soldiers or build buildings for hours on end. She, on the other hand, was still too young to work. As long as she stayed out of trouble and followed the rules, she was a model citizen in “Our Leader’s” eyes. This was quite easy. She, and the rest of the citizens, were terrified of the rules he had set for City 11. Rule 26 gave her chills.

Disobedience will not be tolerated. Any citizen displaying anything short of model behavior will be punished by death.

She shook the thought away and continued walking until she found more rubble to look through. After several minutes of searching, she found very few objects of use. Most were damaged beyond recognition, and weren’t worth carrying back. As she was about to complete her search, her foot brushed against something, dislodging it from its resting place. The tube shaped object rolled off the pile and across the dirt. After chasing it, she grabbed the mysterious object to take a closer look. She looked at the small black and white tube. Though difficult to read, it had something written on it.

Magic rker

Maybe there was something useful or magical, like the tube advertised, inside. She’d found bigger tubes with pictures inside, and they always had a lid. She pulled at both ends of the object until she heard a pop.She now had two pieces in her hands. One end had a black tip, which she touched cautiously. No damage was done, except for a black dot on the surface of her skin. She dragged the tip along her arm, leaving a streak of black behind. She looked at the tube again. Maybe it was supposed to say Magic Marker. She looked at the propaganda, at her new discovery, and one last look at the propaganda in front of her to confirm her actions. It was made for markings, after all.

She walked as innocently as possible to the nearest poster of “Our Leader”. Pretending to admire the image before her, she discreetly lifted her discovery to its glossy surface and began to draw. She giggled as she worked on her masterpiece.”Our Leader” had gotten a considerable makeover. His previously clean-shaven face now had a mustache and a unibrow, and she’d even taken an artistic liberty to black some teeth out of his winning smile. She admired her work quickly before advancing to the next poster to use as an artistic outlet.

She heard the crunching of boot clad footsteps before she could begin work on her next masterpiece“Stop defacing government property,” a soldier barked, approaching quickly. Another soldier caught up to his quick pacing and grabbed his arm to hold him back. He laughed. “Relax,” he said, “She’s not doing any harm. I can replace the posters before Our Leader takes notice.”

They continued their walk at a more leisurely pace, and both were failing to maintain a serious facial expression while looking at her artwork.

“Miss,” One of them said, “I’d like to advise you to stop marking on the face of Our Leader. I suggest you leave before I have to report you.”

She nodded and saluted both of the men as she walked away, thankful they had shown some leniency. As she made her way back to the city, she heard stifled laughter in the distance. The soldiers were most definitely appreciating her artwork. She knew this would be an interesting story to tell everyone back home. A smile was seen on her lips as she recalled the scenario. Two good soldiers and a model citizen.


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