Thousands of course, was by the guarded exists,

Thousands upon thousands of men, women, and children were gathered in Salanda’s Grand Auditorium, filling each and every seat. The air tastes of bitter anxiety. Even those upon the stage were restless, grasping at their clothes and continuously wiping their foreheads. It didn’t matter if they were prestigious or poor. Much like with death, a person could not use money or status to avoid Sacrifice Day. Or that is what has been told.
Thea sat near the back of the room. Her blonde hair was styled in tight ringlets around her face. She joined her fingers together and allowed her eyes to travel throughout the room. It was easy to distinguish which of the people were frightened the most. They were in one of two places: first was the upper level of the auditorium, where people could feel an imaginary safety when they are farther away from the stage; the second, of course, was by the guarded exists, as though being so close to freedom would protect them, should their name be on the list.
Commander Valle signaled his associates, all of whom preferred to be in the shadows of the stage, before taking the center podium. His confident smile and waving to the people suggested that this was the best day of the year, which it was not. Commander Valle is said to be fifty-three years old and has been commander for over twenty years. Anyone who was able to live through Sacrifice Day for that long was seen as either lucky or is rumored to have an in, which allows them to hack the system. The projected screen then illuminated over his head, displaying an empty, numbered list. One thousand and fifty slots, each awaiting the name of its unfortunate soul.
Thea glanced from the blank list to Commander Valle to the perfectly formed numbers on her left index finger which read 5388205. She had been given the tattoo at the age of three. Everyone in the room bore a tattoo of seven digits, even Commander Valle. Nobody bore the same arrangement of numbers.
“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen”, said Commander Valle. His voice echoed throughout the entire auditorium. “Welcome to the twentieth anniversary of Sacrifice Day.”
Somehow, the room fell even quieter than it was before. Thea untangled her fingers and gripped the armrests of her chair and began tapping her left foot on the floor. Her parents sat on either side of her, but they were worried too much for themselves to notice their own daughter’s worriedness.
“I created this enactment to ensure that we will grow to be a better country. This is a day of peace, this small sacrifice that will give us the ability to grow and prosper.” Commander Valle paused for a breath and gave a reassuring smile to the crowd. As he continued his mandatory speech, one that Thea had well memorized by the age of ten, Commander Valle’s voice quickly lost its confidence. “Do not fear Sacrifice Day. This is not a day of loss, but of a day of positive growth. And soon, we will live in a country without population control. Please accept your sacrifice, or applaud to those who do.”
Commander Valle’s speech went on for another hour; and at that point, Thea’s sanity was quickly fading. She became consumed with her own thoughts of her mom being called down, or her father, or even herself. It was one of those fearful bad dreams that could not be stopped or controlled. She could only grip the armrests tighter, tap her foot more rapidly, and pray her fears would remain locked within her head. She hoped she would be blessed with the ability to scream and curse at the unfairness of it all when she was safely returned to her home.
“Number 4828777”, said Commander Valle. Thea’s head quickly moved upright. It was beginning.
Applause blasted from the people all around her. Thea’s hands clapped together, almost as if it was muscle-memory. Every piece of her rejected the movement, but her muscle-memory was strong enough to overpower her thoughts. Kiran Celestine, age twenty-five by his description, walked to his death, and Thea Porter clapped.
Kiran reached the stage. He was attractive, at least, from a distance. He maintained a stoic expression all the while Commander Valle gave him a gold medal of sacrifice around his neck. Thea watched, wondering why her commander bothered with a medal as if this was a big achievement that you’ve earned. It would be decorating the body of a corpse within twenty-four hours.
Commander Valle continued, “Number 3856117.”
Eighty-seven names were called, yet Thea was no less fearful than before. If anything, applauding dozens of people to their deaths had only increased her panic. Her panic was eating her alive. She only hoped that she would be able to go home and complain about this system instead of dying because of it. She prayed to be able to live another day.
By the hundredth number called, she then started to guess how the next person will reaction to being called. There were only three reactions to expect. The first was a detached, sort of nonchalance reaction. The second was a high level of both panic and tears. And finally, the third was one of resistance, which were people trying to run, fight, or even attempt to talk their way out of the execution. If Thea had to guess her category, the second seemed the most rational.
But, the highest level of reaction came not from the Honorary Sacrifice, but from their family. The guards often intervened by restraining distraught mothers as they reach for their child’s hand. Anyone who disrupted the service would later be punished and fined. Thea knew that didn’t matter, to her and to that person’s family. How could any punishment compare to losing a child?

x

Hi!
I'm Owen!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out