I woke with a start. I had been dreaming about the Dictator again. The Dictator is the ruler of my world. He used to be part of the High Council of the city. But after something or other (no one knows for sure except for the Dictator himself), he single-handedly overthrew the government and rose to power. He took away our rights.
I was twelve when the Dictator rose to power. Five years has past since. I remembered the world before this one vividly. The colors were beautiful and intimidating. It told you how people were feeling, almost like a mood ring. And the colors were like a plague. Once someone was happy, it spread to other people like a wildfire. Here, in my world, emotions are hard-wired to the color of the surroundings. So when someone is happy, the colors are bright and cheerful. When someone is sad, the colors are dark and dangerous.
But now, there are no emotions. In fact, emotions are forbidden. There is no smiling. There are only indifferent lines on people's faces. The colors in my world are literally only black, gray, and white. They are like that for everyone else in my world, too.
But I am here to change all of this. I believe that once the Dictator sees people showing signs of forbidden emotion he will leave his spot, afraid that his army will turn against him and go after him. He will flee and we will be free to choose our next leader. The Dictator's belief is that with no emotion, no one gets hurt. Everyone is safe. But I think he's just a coward.
He banned emotion because he was afraid of getting hurt. He didn't care about us. He never did. This was all for his benefit. And I hate people like that.
I stood at the top of the building. The sight was terrible. There were broken buildings, dead trees, and smoke coming out of rooftops. I smiled at one rooftop, the smoke coming from its chimney in a definate heart-shape. People weren't allowed to love, but they really, really wanted to. Someone that lived in an apartment building had built a bridge, connecting the two buildings. My white face flooded with color, so I immediately changed my smiling expression to an indifferent one before anyone noticed.
I climbed down the escape ladder that was on the side of the building I was standing on. I needed to see someone.
I climbed on top of the apartment buliding using the stairs. Once I was on top, I saw that the buliding was very close to a cave entrance in the ground. I took one last look at the city skyline. My eyes went immediately to the largest black and white sign you would ever lay your eyes on. It said "REMEMBER; NO EMOTION!" I scowled at it for a half second.
I searched for a way to get down in the tunnel. There was a ladder right there. It seemed to be made of steel. And if there was color, I bet it would be rusty and old. But there was no color.
I found the tunnel floor after about a hundred feet. There was no darkness. The cave was mostly white, with black cracks in the wall and gray shadows. This was a tunnel that people used. Not something for mining like I had thought at first.
I started walking slowly, only one thing in my mind: the person I needed to see. There was a large sign made of steel reminding people that there is always the risk of cave-ins. I scoffed to myself. The world has already caved in, I thought.
I dodged stalagtites and stalagmites. The entrance was over this one hill, only the hill was going up ten feet at a ninety-degree angle. I climbed on to a stalagmite, and pushed off with my foot, and for a moment, I was airbourne. I flew into the wall, found a place to put my foot, and hoisted myself up. I grabbed onto a ledge and was able to pull myself over. There was the exit. Only twenty feet away.
I nearly ran to the exit. I needed to see this person badly. I ran through the exit, the sunshine piercing my skin, white and cold.
The wall behind the entrance went up at another 90-degree angle. But there was a vent--and it look powerful. I wondered why people couldn't just use elevators anymore. I flipped on a switch, went flying through the air on a powerful gust of air, and slammed into a clear, 3-inch-thick plate of glass. A switch. There had to be a switch somewhere. And then I saw the small, gray, box-shaped cabinet.
I touched the cabinet, pulling on the small handle. Locked. I frowned, and then hit it a few times with my fist. On the third hit, a dent appeared and it popped open. And there was the switch, only about the size of a lightswitch. I flipped it on and the barrier started to move into the wall. The vertical tunnel vanished as I was flung upwards, and apartment bulidings took its place. I was thankful it was there so I could land on it. The people here must use the tunnel to get to the city. There was another building at the other side of the tunnel to the left, but it was too far away to jump to. I need to get to the building across the mine. But how?
"Hey," a voice called behind me. I turned.
"You need to get across?"
I nodded desperately.
He smiled, but then quickly changed to a neutral expression. He nodded curtly, and the rushed to my side. He seemed to be counting bricks at my feet, then suddenly he pushed a random one. A bridge erupted out of the side of the building.
"Good luck," he told me. He turned and left, opening a trapdoor in the ground and jumping through.
I turned back to the bridge. I took a careful step. It was sturdy. I took another step, and then flat-out ran across to the other building.
The other building was tall enough that the very top disappeared into the clouds. When I reached the top of the other building, the bridge disappeared. I took a tentative step on the clouds. Thank goodness; they were solid today. I started to run . My destination was so close.
Finally, I saw her. She was standing on a mountain cliff. And the clouds made a perfect bridge to the mountian she was standing on. Krista.
I ran faster. The scenery behind her was full of color. The pine trees were a beautiful green. The sky was a pale blue, and the grass full of life. What the Dictator didn't know was that some things are worth getting hurt for.
I was only a few steps away from Krista. Finally, I reached her, and wrapped my arms around her. She wrapped her arms around me and we both smiled. She rested her head on my chest.
"I love you, Krista," I whispered.
"I love you, too, Jake," she whispered. She looked up at me. I kissed her.
I was tired of not being able to show emotions. It was time to get hurt.