Rhia is a sixteen year old orphan who lives in a world where every sixteen year old competes in a race. A deadly race. Only the top three winners of the race get to live. There are four races in each cup and each are held in some of the most hostile environments in the world.
Rules? Anything goes, just don't make the track too messy.
Get ready, get set, race.
I looked out the window at the track below. I would soon be on that track, racing. That's what all orphans do. When we reach sixteen, the government puts us in a deadly race to try and eliminate some of us. The top three racers stay alive. The race is deadly. Each vehicle is equipped with weapons, the same ones the military use. Heat-sensing missiles, bombs, guns, and a few older weapons, like javelins and arrows. There are four different races that can take place anywhere in the world. Usually, the races are in some of the most hostile environments in the world. I shake my head and look away from the racetrack. This race is stupid, another name for the murder that the government plans on committing. I walk away from the window and look at the sparsely furnished room. Laminate oak wood floors go from wall to off-white wall. A twin bed the same color as the walls is pushed up against a wall. The headboard and footboard are the same oak as the floor. I stand in the middle of the room. I wouldn't be here if my mom hadn't married a guy who didn't want children. I guess she loved him more than she did me. She always said I reminded her too much of my dad, who died in a tragic car accident.
I look turn and look in the mirror beside the window. My dad and I both had the same wavy, black hair, the only difference being mine falls to my waist and I have dark purple highlights, one of the small ways I rebel against the government. We both had the same shape face with prominent cheek bones and a strong brow bone. His green-gold eyes look through the mirror back to me.
I tuck my hair behind my ear. "I love you, dad." I know that seems stupid, but my reflection is the only way I can still be with him. I remember being in the car with him when the eighteen-wheeler hit our little Acura-Integra. It was Valentine's Day and we were going to surprise mom at work. Then the light turned red too quickly and the truck came careening towards us. I remember my dad knowing it was going to hit us and pushing me out of the car right before it hit us. He opened the door and shoved me out of the car. I remember pressing myself against the asphalt as the small car flipped over me. I just barely missed being decapitated by a truck wheel. When the police and ambulances got there, I was sitting by the open passenger door, looking at my dad's blood covered hand. I was only five.
After the accident, I lived with my mom until I was seven. Then she married Frank, my stepfather. He didn't want children, and for some reason my mom hid me from him. And when they got married, he finally found out. She had been hiding me in the guest room closet. Frank found me one day and beat me. He was drunk. Frank broke both of my legs, cracked three ribs, and covered me in bruises and cuts all over. My mom walked in from work to find him in mid-swing with a baseball bat. That was when she told him I was her daughter. Frank said he would divorce her unless she got rid of me. I guess when she saw me laying on the floor, looking like my dad after the truck hit him, she decided I was too much of a reminder of my dad. She took me to an orphanage the next day. She left me laying on the doorstep and didn't look back. I remember screaming and crying for her to come back. She drove away without a tear. The owner of the orphanage, Mrs. Rose, walked out when she heard my hysteria. She took me in and took me to a hospital. After I was released from the hospital, I wanted to die. My mother chose Frank over me and my dad was dead. I tried to commit suicide so many times, I lost count. Mrs. Rose wondered why I kept going to the hospital for stomach problems when she caught me one day. The orphanage never had any weapons and all knives and the like were locked up tight in the kitchen, guarded by a Swedish cook named Helga. So I used pills. I would beg and sometimes steal them from other kids. Mrs. Rose walked in when I was about to pop another handful. That day, we both cried. I told her the only person that loved me was dead. I had to join him. Mrs. Rose sat down and pulled me into her lap, even though I was ten. She told me that she loved me. I went to therapy. Mrs. Rose made sure I never got any medicine from anyone.