I walked wearily to what passed for a bed. I hurt all over…it was a physical training day today at Amanda Haler’s Home for Those Deprived of Parents (AHHTDP). I sank gratefully into my tube. That’s what it really was. I was in a huge room with big tubes running from wall to wall. They were five high, and five across. I was lucky enough to be on a bottom bunk near the wall. I closed my eyes as I felt Ted and Gary slip into the tube a little farther down and went through my nightly routine.
I am Kian. My mom and Dad are dead. I live at AHHTDP. I someday, when I get old enough to leave, I will make my own orphanage where people like me can actually live normal lives. My best friend is Felicity. She is my life, without her I would have gone insane long ago.
I shivered; I wasn’t sure which was worse: Today or tomorrow. Every other day was test day. It was why we had physical training day. There were several groups of us here at the orphanage: the weak, the fat, and the physically fit. We were all kept in the same condition purposefully so that we could serve as test subjects. I hoped tomorrow I would be lucky and only end up testing music. The thing was, I would probably end up testing some new strength enhancer or anti-perspirant or medicine. I grimaced. I hated the meds the worst. Some of the stuff’s effects would make you wonder whether they had been tested on animals first or not. My guess would be not.
I sighed heavily and rolled over. The lights snapped on and a whip came in. whip was what we called them; they were basically big, angry men who would hurt you given the slightest provocation. “Alright everyone except those of you on the bottom bunk, move down a bunk!” he called out. “New arrivals get the top bunks!” As he finished a miserable line of dirty children picked off the city’s streets filed past him and began to climb the ladders to the top bunks.
As everyone else groaned I smiled. I was getting really lucky tonight. I would have been incredibly worried and uncomfortable if Felicity hadn’t been on the bunk directly above me. Worried, because not everyone in this orphanage would treat her respectfully…I shivered as I thought what might have happened if she had been above Bruce’s bunk. I would have been uncomfortable because I knew that they only put girls above guys, so I would have had to sleep with some random girl in my tube with me.
Felicity’s head poked into the tube and she smiled wearily at me, “We got lucky didn’t we,” she commented as she climbed in beside me.
I nodded sleepily as the lights went out once again. “Yes we certainly did,” I said as I gave her a quick hug when she settled down beside me.
We were both asleep in almost no time at all. I woke up the next morning as the wake-up bell rang shrilly in every tube. I was immediately awake as I crawled out of the tube after Felicity. She grimaced at me and nearly fell over. I quickly caught her…must have been some experiment they had done on her yesterday…I grimaced and held her up until she regained the strength to walk. She was in the weak group…she wasn’t necessarily weak; she just apparently didn’t have the right genetics to allow her to become as strong as they wanted her to be. So for her, everyday was a test subject day.
“Sorry,” she apologized sadly.
I looked into the lovely deep brown pools of her eyes. “No, don’t be…it’s not your fault.” I told her, frustrated that I couldn’t help her more. One day we would get out of this, together.