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The Runaway

explanatory Essay
1934 words
1934 words
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I am going to runaway.
The risk is immense, the danger unbelievable, the punishment unspeakable if ever I am caught. But I have to do it. Not just for the legacy of Tyson, but for my well being. Every day I spend as part of the future army of Sonora, I feel physically sick. I hate my life here. I do not want to spend my life in servitude to the government. And even if I were not a soldier, that would be the case. I will always belong to the government. Running away is my only option for the true freedom I sought.
I have to do it tonight. Tomorrow, September first, is the day I am to permanently join the army, since I passed the Test two weeks before.
Tonight is my final chance to save myself.
I have everything planned down to the second. It is foolproof, really. The first step is to lie in bed and fake a deep sleep until midnight. For me it seems the hardest part, as I am to lie here, preventing sleep, while all alone with my thoughts.
It is 22:00 when I lay down, and my eleven roommates do the same, as it is curfew. And no one ever breaks curfew. It is half an hour before the other three, all fifteen with only the faintest idea of how difficult being sixteen and taking the Test is, drift into sleep. That is the only thing I needed to focus on until midnight. Hearing them fall to sleep, so they will not hear me leave when the clock projected on the wall shows 00:00.
Once they all are asleep, I allow myself to open my eyes. I cannot hope to sit or stand yet, so I just lie there with my eyes open.
My first thought is of Tyson. The pride that would be in his bright blue eyes if he knew that I was finally getting out.
If only he was, too.
I did not cry when Tyson died. I wanted to, and would have, if the generals judging the Test...

... middle of paper ...

... to climb over. The guards and generals do not think anyone knows or would notice.
But I did. One night while Tyson and I were running around, enjoying one of our final nights before the Test, I tripped. Odd, because I never stumble, but I fell against the fence at the part that does not work. I expected to be electrocuted, but nothing happened.
I had checked this part of the fence every night up until now. It still does not work.
My heart beats faster once more when I see the guard walk by. Possibly the only one I will ever see again.
He marches off into the distance, and once he is out of sight, I begin my ascent, shaking a little, but otherwise fine. I am worried the fence will not hold the weight of the bag and my weight, but it does, much to my surprise.
My feet hit the tall grass on the other side, and my heart pounds faster than ever before.
I am free.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that they did not cry when tyson died. they wanted to, and would have, if the generals judging the test didn't see it as a sign of weakness.
  • Describes how they sit completely still, their long blonde hair not even moving in the breeze coming through the cracked window. it is unusually hot for mid-september, and the air conditioning is broken.
  • Describes how they move to the back of the closet, where heaps of cardboard boxes are, and grab one that still has bags of oats crammed inside.
  • Opines that survival is what they have been trained to do. their heart skipped a beat as they stabbed him and they are saddened by it.
  • Opines that running away is their only option for the true freedom they sought.
  • Explains that they have everything planned down to the second step, which is foolproof. the first step is to lie in bed and fake a deep sleep until midnight.
  • Recalls the day before they turned seven, nine years ago, when general tate came to peeks to deliver the news. their parents tried to comfort them, but they had forgotten what sadness felt like.
  • Narrates how they met tyson on their first day at the encampment. without him, they would be sent to fight a war they knew nothing about.
  • Narrates how they sneak through a barbed wire fence to get to the southern wall of the encampment.
  • Describes how they search for food in a white kitchen. they find oats, nuts, raisins, pistachios and other perishables.
  • Narrates how they close the closet door, silently beg for the guard not to look inside, and hear the door to the kitchen swing open.
  • Explains that they listen to the man's footsteps carefully with their right ear pressed against the door. he walks slowly, but not in a way that seems deliberate.
  • Describes how they pull the knife from their boot and swipe it across his neck, driving it just deep enough to nick his jugular vein, a technique learned by everyone in the encampment at age twelve.
  • Narrates how tyson tripped against the fence at the center of the southern fence, which is the only safe place to climb over.
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