Lost. Everything is truly lost. At least before, I was the only one who would be taken by the game. Now, my whole family has had to suffer. I feel absolutely helpless in my own life, unsafe with every step I take towards the door, flipping the light switch to “off”, and closing the door. I make my way into the hallway and robotically turn into my parent’s room, where their bed remains unmade and my mother’s dresses still lay out on the bed. Opening the small hutch, I hang them and tidy the room, shuffling around in shock. I pull the covers over both of their pillows and collapse into the middle of the bed, as I used to when I was a child and could not sleep on my own. I sob into the mattress for an hour or so, then wipe my nose on the sheet and stumble out of the room, closing the door on them.
My sister's room seems to move toward me in the hallway, and I briefly remember when we were both young, the best friend anybody could have was my sister. She was brilliant, even as a child, fixing our toys, or getting bullies to leave me alone. I thank her silently for choosing to admit her weakness on this day. If she had come home while I was here, I have no doubt they would have dragged her along with them. I do not close her door, I can’t bear the thought of shutting her off from my life. I stumble down our uneven stairs and turn from the kitchen, flashbacks of our last dinner together beginning to bear down on me. I turn back with the front door half open, and say “I love you” to the life I’ve always known.
Shuffling around the gravel road, I wander around my Quadrant. My school, training grounds, and the work building dark. I try to picture the streets as they usually are, filled with light even when the sun sank below the horizon. Filled with noise and laughter and people, dancing and talking about whatever they could find to say. It’s all empty now, not a single person to see me cry. So I do. I let myself cry at last, because it really doesn’t matter anymore. It’s time for me to die. I stop when children start shuffling into the streets. Trickling out of the tiny lit houses like the tears down my face, gathering at the gates to our Quadrant much like my tears gather on my chin.
They, unlike me, do not have tear streaks painting their faces, but triumphant smiles. It is considered an honor, and a right of passage, to enter the games. Much like our tattoos, they blend us only closer to the new society. They talk about the old world sometimes, how all they cared about was their own happiness. How they would do whatever was needed to climb to the top of the world and rule it. In ancient studies, I learned that the Nazis were world leaders who struggled to unite all people in order to better the world. They spoke of how everyone else was against it, that they were murderers, killing masses of people in cold blood. But the Nazis were not just a power struggle. They tried to save the lives of many, to better society as a whole, even though it was at the expense of a general few. Or at least that’s what they teach us now.
I can still pick out the fierce cruelty in Hitler’s black and white photos. The white rage that he covers with his mask of satanic pride is much too obvious to me, but the people apparently remain ignorant and obeying. Little did the old world know that they could never extinguish a race as effectively as the Nazis did. Their people, few and far in between, survived, and swelled again in numbers, shrouded in secrecy and manipulation. April 4th, 2014, 59 years after their “defeat”, they rose again. The Auslese came to power that day, using a mercury bomb that surpassed any technology known to the old world. None of those innocent people stood a chance. Some, the intelligent ones, bowed before the superpower, begging for forgiveness, and asked for a second chance. It was because of these people that the tradition of the Spiele took place.