PROMPT: This is a picture/word prompt via http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com/
|Prompt Words: gallows, tide, mat, section, staple|
The Monitors had already swept the Northeast section by the time Eddie was walking home. One of the perks of night shifts was avoiding unpleasant scans. Even if you didn’t do anything wrong, it wasn’t uncommon to witness others being taken. They’d be dragged along the streets, dirt entangling with already matted hair, toward the gallows, where the Section Leader would decide their fate in the morning. It was hard to forget those images. Better to stay out of the way. Avoid adding to the tide of nightmares to be had.
Of course, there were still the Burners. Large, floating orange-yellow orbs tracking his progress as he went. Making sure his steps were timely and documented, buzzing dimly as they noted his movements, and letting off a sulfuric smell, which Eddie could never quite get used to. He made his way with no particular speed. He was never really in a hurry to get to his cupboard. It wasn’t a bad size compared to what some others lived in, but it wasn’t the “studio apartment” his naïve mother had tried to spin it as when they’d been moved to the sections, many years ago. It was fine. A sleeping board, several cans of food staples, and access to a bathroom shared by only 17. It could be worse.
A voice stopped Eddie in his tracks, just a few drives from home. “Hey there” came a harsh whisper. Eddie turned his head to try and find the source of the voice. “Hey, I’m in the alleyway!” Eddie turned to see a dark cavity in the walls of the drive. He could see a shadow, but there was no light. “Who is that?”
“I need your help!”
“I’m out past my time. I was doing fine, but there are more Buzzers on this street than the others.” Eddie stared up at the Burner several feet in front of him. He didn’t know of a way to avoid being tracked, but how had this person gotten so far at all?
“Why don’t you go back where you came from?”
“I can’t! I’m from Southeast. The Monitors’ll be there by now and they stay until morning.”
“What do you want me to do?” “Let me walk with you. I’ll shadow your moves; it won’t know there’s two of us.”
“Does that work? Can’t they identify two heat signatures?”
“But they’ll get muddled and won’t know who is who.” Eddie thought about whether this could be true.
“But they’ll know it’s me. I’ve already been stopped too long.”
“Then let’s move.” But Eddie knew that he’d be traceable either way. They knew his route. He’d already been tracked for the majority of the way home. Any confusion would lead right back to him. And this person was hoping he wouldn’t figure it out. He turned to look at the shadow and bolted back to his cupboard, hoping that he wouldn’t have to answer any