GENRE: YA light scifi
On the morning of my Commencement, I’m eating breakfast in the car when the radio broadcaster tacks 461 more deaths onto the growing May Massacres’ list.
“Us,” I tell my dad, finding that I can’t bring myself to finish my toast. “That’s us that the Normals are killing.”
“Not for you to worry,” says Dad as he parks in the School’s lot. He reaches over to ruffle my hair. “Cheer up, little bird. Press forward with what you know best and put your faith in the authorities.”
I trust Dad, from the lilt of this voice when he says little bird to his long fingers. Even so, I can’t help but glance at the Normal volunteers who hand out programs. You’re killing us, I think, think as the words “thank you” leave my lips.
That’s what we do as Ingenia—press forward and trust others to do their jobs well.
Later, when I’m sitting with the rest of the graduates, my hand begins to dampen, causing my diploma to warp. A drop of sweat slips down my back, tickling my skin. But like the rows and rows of Peers before me, I sit still. Out of politeness, we wait for the head Mentor to finish his speech.
You don’t really need to hear the words when you have lived them, but I hear them all the same, and when he finishes, I’m the last one to rise. Mindy, who’s sitting next to me, snatches my cap and waves it in front of my face.