Welcome to the Call Me MAYbe Flash Fiction Challenge!!
All stories begin with "The phone rang" and are no more than 1,000 words. Deadline to submit is May 31. For full contest rules and prize list, visit this link: http://mystiparker.blogspot.com/2013/04/next-month-call-me-maybe-flash-fiction.html
The phone rang on the day I found out I was chosen. It was on a Friday and my Mom answered it. That was a whole month ago, and now, today’s the day. My family isn’t happy about it through and just cried some more when I told them I’d see them after school. My teachers say it’s a good thing to be chosen. Last year one of my friends was chosen and all the teachers gave her a cake and the lunch ladies cooked her favorite meal before her final test. After that, I didn’t see her anymore. Her parents always look sad now. People who get chosen are special. To get chosen, you either come from a large family or are different from everyone else somehow. Either way, you take a bunch of tests which tells our leaders who’s smart or not. We’re not allowed to know what the results are, just if we get chosen or not. My parents and older brother just cried and held me for a long time when they found out I was chosen. I still don’t know why they aren’t happy for me.
Grownups who are older took the test starting twenty years ago so now they just have the teachers test the kids. I think my friend got chosen because she was so smart and was always asking our teacher lots of questions. I think I got picked because I like to draw and write a lot. My teachers are always reminding me to pay attention and do as I’m told. After I was told I was chosen last month, both my parents went to the school and begged and pleaded for them to change my results somehow. The principal said that the government handles the results and there was nothing that he could do. They then called the government test lady who said something about my ‘quotient being too skewed towards the arts’ and that I ‘wouldn’t be a suitable worker’ because of it. When my parents told her they wouldn’t let me draw or write anymore if she changed my results, the lady said there was nothing she could do and that my brother and baby sister would be taken too if they kept me from my final test. So my parents couldn’t get my results changed. After that, my whole family has been awful nice to me. Because I was chosen, I didn’t have to go to school anymore until my final test day. So my family took me to all the places I always wanted to go and took lots of pictures. They still aren’t happy though. Last week, I heard them arguing about it when they thought I was asleep.
“Lacey, we’ve got to do something! Get her out of the country, smuggle her underground somehow!” Daddy sounded frantic and scared, though I didn’t know why.
“Jason! You know everyone’s been chipped, we were chipped twenty years ago after we ‘passed’ the government workers test while each of our children were chipped at birth. They are tracking her already! I heard that wench from the government testing agency call her number in…” Mama was now weeping as Daddy spoke again.
“That test! All because the bureaucrats wanted little cogs for their corporate masters who would do as they’re told. They wiped out most of the artists and thinkers years ago and now they go for anyone with a spark of life in them just to keep everyone in fear! To hell with them! I want all our children, not just the ones the government finds useful!”
“Don’t you think I don’t want that too?! Jason, I love each one of them as much as you do and if I could give my life for any of them I would! Where can we go? Our house and car belongs to the state and we have no money thanks to the low wages we get from ‘working’ for the corporations that buy our leaders off. Not to mention they’ve disarmed most of the population years ago to prevent another uprising! They’ve got us right where they want us and everyone else that’s not part of their elite group! There’s nothing we can do without losing Lexi and Daniel too. At least she won’t be hurt by it…”
“That doesn’t help! You know I’d gladly take a bullet for any one of you! Please, help me fight for her! I’d rather lose her in life than lose her to death! I- I think I know someone…” After this I got sleepy and didn’t hear Daddy and Mama finish talking.
This morning, a lady came to my home to take me to school in a limo like I was a movie star. Daddy and Mama looked a bit happier then and the lady told them not to worry after they signed some special papers she had. When I got there, all my friends were waiting for me and I got my cake and special meal just like my friend did. The lady told me we had to keep up appearances for some reason, so I couldn’t tell anyone about the limo ride. After that, the lady and me took the limo to another building where she showed a man from the government the papers my parents signed. She then took me to a special room and had me change my old clothes into some fancy ones she already had for me. I even got to pick out a special necklace for my parents to have once we left there. I was told it would be like a special phone so I can talk to my family anytime I wanted and I picked one that looked like an angel, like my friend’s mom now wears. After that, I took a nap on a fancy couch in the room I changed in. I woke up when I heard the lady say to get the limo ready for her and her new daughter.
Leila Smith currently lives in Tennessee and writes creative fiction in her spare time. She enjoys a variety of fiction, mostly speculative, horror, and science fiction. Though it's been touch and go as far as getting on a writing routine, Leila has been writing more regularly as of late. The work featured in this contest is part of an anthology of mostly flash fiction she hopes to self publish once it's completed.