When you live in a world where friendship is strictly forbidden, and you're not allowed to leave your own house until you turn 18, you learn to rely on family. But, what if only one child from your family could reach adulthood, because your family couldn't afford to pay the Fee? What if, when the oldest of said family turned 18 the siblings were sent into a maze together, knowing only one thing; that only one of them could make it out alive? That's what 16 year old Pia has to face when her older
I grew up knowing that I would either die, or have to live with the fact that I am the reason that my siblings are dead. I had long since accepted the fact that I would not be the one who lives. If I do my job right, it will be one of my two younger sisters. Next week is Kove’s birthday, our oldest sibling, who is turning 18. On the day of his 18th birthday, my siblings and I, are sent into a maze together, and only one of us can make it out. It’s a law in our country, Govia, that if your family cannot afford to pay the Fee, then all the children of said family must be sent into a maze, with no help from the outside. They must try to survive, with what little resources they can find in the maze, and can’t get out until all the others are dead.
I set down my pen and close my journal. The alarm clock on my desk says it’s midnight, but my brain won’t let me sleep. My older brother, Kove, is probably sleeping just fine, as he doesn’t really have any doubt that he will win. He doesn’t care about family, he cares about himself.
Like when our parents died a half year ago, he didn’t do anything to try and keep our house, or put food on the table. I ended up having to leave school at 15 to get a job of my own. I do all the shopping, and taking care of the girls.
We never see Kove, he’s always in his room. Which is probably just as well, because there are times I would honestly punch him right in the face. And he would deserve it, but I can’t do that in front of my sisters. They don’t know the worst about Kove.
My little sisters, Kloe, 13 years old, and Trissa, only 8 years old, have been very supportive, and Kloe has offered to quit school and get a job, too, but I wouldn’t let her. She needs her education more than I do,. Since my parents died, it’s been my job to take care of my younger siblings.
I hear a bang on the closed door to my bedroom. “Come in.” I say quietly.
The door creaks open and I see a head of curly blond hair. It’s got to be Trissa, as she’s the only one in the family with blond hair, unless Kove has suddenly shrunk down to 4 feet.
“Hey, sweetie! What’s up?” I get up and hug my younger sister. I pull back and look at her. Instantly, I can tell something’s wrong. Her usually bright, happy eyes are red and full of tears. I gently pick her up and set her down on my bed. Sitting down next to her, I ask, “What’s wrong, baby?”
She hugs me. “I’m scared, Pee”
‘Pee’, short for ‘Pia’, my name, is the nickname she gave to me when she was a baby, when she couldn’t pronounce my simple name. I loved it, and it stuck.
“Baby, what did I tell you?” I smile at her in what I can only hope was a reassuring way, as I am freaking out, myself.
She looks up at me, tears in her knowing eyes, and it’s then that I know the years of reassuring her that everything would be fine haven’t really paid off. She understands what is going on.
I sigh and wrap my arms around Trissa, pulling her close to me. I let her fall asleep in my arms and lay down next to her. Listening to the gentle rhythm of her breathing, I eventually fall asleep.