AirMature

'I'm sorry, what?' said Rose, looking at the oddly dressed man. He was wearing a suit that was obviously a uniform, of a soft dark blue colour that matched his eyes.

'Your public air permit. And some kind of identification,' the man repeated.

'What's a public ai-' Rose started to ask, but she was cut off by a voice behind her.

'There you are! Put on your mask right now!' said a short girl about her age, who suddenly appeared in front of her as a huge mess of blonde curls.

Before Rose could say anything, the girl pulled something cool over her face, and all of a sudden, the air she was breathing felt entirely different. As she struggled to get accustomed to the changed sensation, the girl turned to the man in the uniform.

'I'm so sorry, officer. This is my sister, she's suffering from post-traumatic stress. She was caught in the fire at the Liz,' she explained.

'I understand, ma'am. Please, make sure your sister wears her mask from now on,' the police officer said. He saluted them and marched back to a vehicle that was probably something like a motorcycle.

The girl was now staring at Reizele.

'My name's Pen, and I just risked a trip to the showers because you forgot your mask at home. Who are you?' she said.

'I'm Rose,' said Reizele, still dazed from the mask she was now breathing through.

'Okay, Rose, why don't you know that you're supposed to wear your personal air mask outside? Otherwise, you have to have a permit, which as you're supposed to know is expensive,' said Pen.

'Why?'

'Because to keep the air clean, the government wants everyone to be responsible for their own air, by acquiring an air mask at birth and paying taxes over public air. What else do you not know?'

Rosa stared at Pen. It was so clear she was not in the synagogue anymore.

'What year is it?' she asked.

'107 AR, After Rebirth.'

The End

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