TITLE: The Cure
GENRE: YA Dystopian
Sixteen-year-old Darcie McKenna lives in a society where life is sustained through pharmaceuticals and death is usually early and controlled. When her grandfather dies of "natural causes," he leaves behind clues to a healthy, technology-free community, the discovery of which could offer life to Darcie's dying sister--and death to her entire family if the government finds her first.
I have never seen anyone die outside a hospital. It is always controlled, sterile, painless. For the person dying and for anyone who might be watching.
Great-Daddy Matthias has been alarmingly free of tubes and injections, considering he's past ninety. Even so, I am stunned when the nurse repeats for the third time that Matthias DeFarge has been released. Dad's message was clear as it could be--Great-Daddy was dying and would I please come directly from school to be the second witness.
Death isn't something people get wrong. There is no way to miss the signs, to know when a bodily system, held together for years by advanced medical technology, is finally breaking down. So I can't figure out what's gone wrong.
After glaring at the nurse's blandness, I turn from the sleek receiving station and walk down the scrubbed-white hall the way I'd come. Past quiet rooms of expected death, every patient over sixty and ready to depart. Into the elevator that smells of antiseptic and body odor. Down past fourth floor cardiac, third floor infant extractions, second floor outpatient disease maintenance. When the bacteria-resistant doors slide open onto the first floor, I am reaching for my mobile. No use trying to contact Dad from inside the hospital, where all signals are blocked. I wait until I've reached the courtyard before holding the device to my lips.
Two rings and he answers. "Where are you, Darcie?"