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Chapter 1, part 1
*please not, I do not own Doctor Who or any of those elements, this is just a fanfiction*
“All citizens are reminded that the 9:00 curfew is now in effect. Anyone found outside their homes will be subject to punishment determined by the Governor himself. Thank you, and have a great evening.”
The voice boomed over every loudspeaker on every street in America. The little country house outside of town was not excluded. It was a quaint little two-story house. It was simple enough, made of wood and painted stark white, just like every other house. It had a long driveway, and at the end of the driveway was a street lamp and speaker. It was the same as any ordinary street lamp, except that it sat at the end of a driveway,rather than on a street corner, and that all the citizens knew there was actually a camera in it, keeping watch over their every move. At this particular house, if you were to glance in the second story window on any ordinary night, you would see a mother and her little five-year-old girl getting ready for bed. The mother was in her mid-thirties, with reddish hair and a face that held more wisdom than you would think possible in a woman of her age. The little girl had the most innocent face that could ever be seen in the face of a child. She had long brown hair that flowed down to her waist, and a constant smile that stretched ear to ear.
“Come on sweetie, time to get ready for bed,” said the mother, glancing cautiously out the window towards the speakers.
“Okay mommy.” the little girl replied, not noticing her mother’s nervous glance.
“Don’t forget to say your prayers.”
“Yes mommy.” She said, sliding out of bed and kneeling next to it, folding her hands. Her baby blue nightgown seemed to glow in the moonlight, and her long brown hair flowed gently down to the floor when she knelt.
“Dear God,” she began,
“Please bless mommy and daddy and even the Governor, ‘cuz even though nobody likes him, I know you love him. Goodnight God.” She unfolded her hands, stood up, and clambered back into her bed. She promptly fell into a deep and innocent sleep. Her mother bent over and kissed her forehead. She walked back into her bedroom, where her husband was also slumbering peacefully. She knelt down and said her prayers too, none of which thanked God for the Governor. She did however, thank God for her little girl.
“Thank you God, for giving me Amber.”
Amber woke with a jolt She wasn’t sure why, but she felt like something was different in her room. She glanced around, but didn’t see anything unusual. She suddenly felt compelled to get out of bed and go to the window. She didn’t know why, but she followed this impulse. When she got to the window, she noticed it was raining out on the sidewalk, but not on the windowpane.
“That’s weird,” she thought,
“It wasn’t raining a few seconds ago.” There was no doubt about it, though. The thunderstorm raged loudly, and the lightning flashed scarily close. But that wasn’t why Amber had suddenly woken. She felt in her heart something was happening, but she wasn’t sure what. Then, she noticed something she hadn’t before, and she grabbed an umbrella and began running downstairs. There was a man standing outside. She knew somehow that this was not an agent of the Governor, but she wasn't sure how she knew. Her mother had warned her about stranger danger, but this man somehow didn’t feel like a stranger. She continued to walk downstairs.
“I have to help this man,” she thought,
“He doesn’t know about curfew. He could get in big trouble.”
She must have made more noise than she thought, though, because her mom was waiting at the bottom of the stairs.
"What's the matter, sweetie? Did you have a nightmare?"
"No mommy, I got up to help the man outside. What if he gets caught?"
"A man?" Her mother looked suspicious and scared.
"What did he look like? And why are you holding an umbrella?"
"Because, he's gonna get wet standing in the pouring rain."
"The rain outside, silly."
"Honey, it's not raining." She carefully and slowly pushed the door open to prove her point. The sky was completely clear. A bright full moon illuminated the empty driveway, which had no trace of rain, or a man. Her mom looked relieved.
"See? No rain, and no man. You must have just been dreaming. Go back to sleep." Amber grudgingly walked back up the stairs.
"It wasn't a dream," she thought,
"It seemed so real. He was so real.I just know it!"
But she was careful not to argue with her mother. She was a good little girl, who listened to her parents and obeyed most of the time. But this was one thing she was sure she was right about. She didn't notice her mother cast one last wary glance at the door before closing it and locking it up tight, but She was sure there had been a man standing there, and she was even more positive he didn't work for the governor. After all, men who worked for the governor, known as blackshirts by the citizens, wore black suits, ties, and sunglasses. She had certainly never seen one who wore a trenchcoat and converse shoes.
A few years later, you would find Ambers house looking exactly as it had before, but now Amber was seven, and her hair had grown down to her knees. One day, Amber went to the park to meet her best friend Allie for a playdate. They were sitting in the sandbox when Cora came over. Cora was nine years old, and the biggest bully in town. She was able to get away with it, though, because her dad was a blackshirt, and he was ranked really high up, too. If Cora bullied someone, her father could just erase or edit the footage and blame it on someone else. Everyone was jealous of Cora, because she could get away with anything. Some muttered that she could get away with murder if she wanted, but they were careful not to say it too close to a streetlamp, just in case her father was listening. On this particular day, Cora decided she wanted to pick on Allie. She approached the sandbox with her nose in the air.
“Oh,” she began in a sarcastic tone,
“I was about to tell father that the Governor needed to fix the smell of this playground, but I guess that’s just you.” She said, looking at Allie.
“Leave her alone!” Amber shouted bravely. At first, she thought she had been successful in stopping Cora, but instead Cora just turned to her instead.
“Well, look at that. Little miss religious is trying to protect smelly Allie. How cute. Why don’t you just pray to your God to make me shut up?”
“Please,” Amber pleaded,
“Why should I?” Cora asked snidely, reaching over and shoving Allie into the sand.
“Hey!” Allie yelled,
Amber couldn’t stand seeing her friend get hurt, but her caring heart also wouldn’t let her hurt anyone, not even someone as mean as Cora.
“Go on then, Amber. Hit me and protect your smelly little buddy.”
Amber suddenly decided to do something she would regret forever after- she hugged Cora. An array of images rushed into Amber’s mind. She saw a little girl, cowering in the corner as her drunken father hit her. She saw the father saying he was sending her away because he could care less about her. The little girl begged her father not to let her go, but he just turned away. Amber realized with a start that the little girl was Cora. Before she could see more, Cora pulled away from her embrace, staring at her. She looked scared for a moment, but then her face resumed its usual scowl. Amber started to stutter an apology, but before she could, Cora said,
“Weirdo.” and walked away.
Allie just stared at Amber.
“What was that all about?” She asked.
“What are you talking about?”
“You hugged her.”
“She looked sad.”
“Well, since you’re too busy thinking about the bully’s feelings, I’m going home.”
“But Allie, wait!”
“No,” Allie countered,
“I can’t be friends with someone who wants to take the bully’s side.” Allie turned on her heel and started walking away.
“Allie, please wait! You don’t understand!”
Allie turned around and said coldly,
“You’re right, I don’t understand. All I understand is that my ex-best friend is more worried about a bully’s feelings than mine.” She turned back around and left.
Amber was left standing in the sandbox by herself, and all she could do was stutter,
She waited for Allie, but eventually her mother told her she had to give up, because it was time to go home. Allie never talked to her again. Amber was left to her own thoughts. Allie had not just been Amber’s best friend, she had been her only friend. She was now friendless, alone, and confused.
Amber laid on her bed, thinking. Her hair now went down to her knees in two neat braids. It had been 2 years since Allie decided not to be her best friend. She thought that had been her worst day ever, but she had no idea of the troubles still to come. Allie had been so mad at Amber that she had spread rumors all over their school that Amber had become friends with Cora. She suddenly became even more of an outcast than before. At least before, kids had sometimes said hi to her in the hallways. Now, nobody would even talk around her at all. Amber tried to ignore it, but she would sometimes catch whispers when they thought she wasn’t around.
“That Amber is such a weirdo.”
“I wish Amber would just disappear. She doesn’t ever talk to anyone.”
“Amber’s so strange, you should stay away from her.”
It had been like that ever since she had hugged Cora two years ago. Kids still refused to talk to her. You might think Amber would want to move away, but she didn’t. She always hoped that Allie would apologise and be her friend again. Even though she felt sad when she heard kids whispering about her, she never got mad or confronted them. Instead, she would say a prayer for them and tall herself,
“They don’t mean it. If I was in their shoes, maybe I would say those things too.”
That’s what she kept telling herself, but she still wished she could make a friend.
By the time she was 12, Amber had learned to just avoid people. They never talked to her anyway, so why bother? The rumor had died down, but now everyone just said she was weird. Every once in a while, a new kid would come to school, and Amber would be nice to them, and they would become friends. Unfortunately, they always discovered very quickly that Amber was “a weirdo”, and if you hung out with her, that made you a weirdo too. So, they would make new friends instead, in order to fit into the “cool crowd”. Amber didn’t want to be part of a crowd by any means, but she did wish she had at least one friend. She would smile when she was at school, pretending everything was ok, but when she got home, she would cry. But even when she was so sad, she still prayed and kept faith that things would get better. She never gave up hope that she would eventually find a friend.