by Laila Mace
Before my life had been what some might consider normal, dull, protected. But not for long
| Fact: your City Registration is your lifeline.
Fact: The City knows you better than you do.
Fact: The City knows what is best for you.
Fact: over many years we have taken ground breaking strides in creating a safe, comfortable, world for you. Registration powers your cars, it heats your house, you name it Registration can get the job done. Registration will go to great lengths in preserving your well being.
The City Registration cares for each and every one of you.
The day was like ice, fairly common in our City Registration District, Ronda and I were walking across campus back to our shared Unit in B building. It was just a boring day; see we had this hour break after Galactic History, why Ronda talked me into that class I’ll never know but she was like, “Come on! My cousin’s sister’s uncle teaches the class, that’s a guaranteed pass”. That was before I discovered that her cousin’s sister’s uncle was a total stiff, plus dead beat boring, which wound down to this: no matter what relative of his I roomed with he’d never let me pass. Anyway we were just walking back to our Unit and I was listening to Ronda chatter on about these flicked out frames people wore, like, eons ago back on earth. If I recall right they protected people’s eyes from a huge ball of fire in the sky, I was about to ask if they wore them all the time because their eyes would burn out or something when all sudden like Ronda stopped and stared, mouth open, full metal gaping. She just stood there shell shocked eyes all bugging out of their sockets it was pretty funny, that is until I noticed what she was bugged about. There was this creepy old prune of a man sitting cris-cross , with his eyes wide open, all bloody red, on the front steps of B Unit. But there was more it’s like the longer you starred at him the stranger things got, his clothing was like nothing I’ve ever seen. It had all these different colored patches, really flat and dull actually. Hand stitched maybe? I still don’t know it was like something from Ronda’s Fashion History Zine’s. Like clothing not made of metals and minerals but something else I’ve never seen, he was like from a past time. I couldn’t read his Registration ID codes and his Locate was all fuzz, that’s when I started to get the jits because I’d heard about people like this before, outsiders, they don’t belong to any City or District but somewhere unheard of, place we were not to speak of under any circumstances.
We stood gaping at the old man and Ronda was all hushed voice, as if he could hear us from ten feet away, “I’m not getting any readings, just fuzz, just fuzz…” her voice got softer and softer, I on the other hand didn’t say anything. The two of us probably would have stayed like that all day if the creepy little man hadn’t finally fallen out of his trans, but the only person he seemed to notice was me and his red eyes bore into mine, suddenly I felt…I don’t know…something inside my chest sort of twisted and a wave of the jits washed over me.