The Subsequents (An Original Story)

Three-Hundred-and-Twenty-Nine years in Mankind's Future, at exactly 8:12am, the fate of the world lies in the clammy, shaking hands of one young boy.

***

Chapter 2

Gone

by: Skyling
It’s gone.

The realisation had hit me before I even opened the book. I can tell by the way the cobwebs have been brushed aside and how the dust hasn’t had time to settle.

Someone got here first.

My fingers start flipping unthinkingly through the pages. I find, almost immediately, the slim, cutout section in the cover where Albert’s information would have been concealed.

Empty.

I gently trace its outline with my thumb. In a way I am relieved, I suppose; no more mutinous ideas to add to the growing number already swirling around in my mind. But somewhere deep inside myself, so deep that I have to search a moment to even find evidence that the place exists, a new part of me stirs. A bold, determined, dangerous part; a part that questions anything and everything without thought or hesitation and now it’s asking; who?

Who? WHO?

I snap shut The Collective Work of Charles Dickens and slam it back into the shelf. An ugly emotion is writhing in the pit of my stomach. It’s hot and dark and overpowering. I try to force it down before it swallows me whole, but no matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise, I can still feel it bubbling away in the gloomy recesses of my heart.

Anger, I’m angry and determined- a nice mix for getting things donne.
But I can’t let my anger take over or I won’t be able to think, and I need to keep my thoughts in order if I’m going to figure out who has the papers.

I pause, do i really want to find this information? It's the second step on the road to rebelling against the Precedents -- commiting mutiny. Can I do that?

And if I do, it’s not just me who will pay the price.

My shoulders sag and I try to make my heart to beat slower.

I should view this as a secret blessing, what kind of trouble I would’ve got myself into had someone not gotten to this book before me?

I've almost convinced myself to forget all this and just go home when something in the back of my mind whispers; You can't let these questions go unanswered, Jude. You are an Asker, and Asker’s always want answers. . .

I try to shake that thought out of my head. But then another one occurs to me: if I do find those papers, and take them straight to the Precedents, I will be rewarded -- possibly even recommended for a place on the List, the List of Survivors.

All I have to do is find whoever took Albert’s information.

I know exactly where to start.

*

I am just about to dash out to the front desk to set Part One of my plan into action, when suddenly, there is a loud commotion out the front of the Building. The large double doors to my left burst open and, in a silent swoop, a group of about six or so Precedents stream in.

Standing serenely, they regain their composures, and survey the frozen room.

Any emotions I may have been feeling a millisecond ago flood out of me faster than the Precedents flooded into the Library.

All that is left is a cold, sickly chill, filling my entire being.

The Leader of the group takes a confident step forward; he looks about Eighteen, with dark hair and -- I guess -- an even darker heart.

His emotionless eyes make piercing contact with every person in the room, and -- as they lock onto mine for half a breath -- I feel them stab straight into my soul.

“Populace of Iriselas,” He speaks in a harsh whisper, his cold, impassive voice reverberating off every wall, “We have a runner.”

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