Extinction of All Children
I take in a deep breath before walking into my family’s house. Our brick home is around a thousand square feet. My father says since it is on the smaller side, it takes a lot less money to heat and cool. The back of the house is like a forest, and the front of the house is on a dirt road with lots of gravel. As soon as I reach the front door, I notice the stench of beans lingering in the air, making the room smell as if a skunk has run through it.
“You’re late,” my brother, Theodore, says. “You know dinner is at six.”
He shoves my arm. He has on dark clothing that mirrors my own.
“Whatever,” I say, rolling my eyes. Another stupid rule. “It’s almost eight.” I glance at the brown clock on the wall. “Shouldn’t you be done?”
His Adam’s apple moves in and out, while the bottle crinkles in his hand.
“Yes, the announcements came early.” My father rises from the dining room table. “I’m sure you heard them.”
He walks to the living room where I am.
“I did.” I lower my eyes.
“Where were you?” Mother asks. “We were worried.”
“I know, and I’m sorry, but I’m fine. I watched the announcements from the supply store.”
I know they worry about me, but I also know they won’t ask how I ended up at the supply store, or ask why my jeans are dirty. There is a more pressing question they want to ask.
“Did you see her?” my mother asks.
“Yes,” I reply.
Now that is what they really care about.
“How was she?”
“I guess as good as she can be.” I shrug.
“What does that mean?” my mother asks with a frown. “You’re not giving me any details.”
I sigh. It was the same questions every time I go to the wooded area. Another sigh follows because my heart saddens, seeing how old my mother looks. She is only in her fifties, but I can see the gray strands in her dark hair instantly becoming grayer every time we discuss this. Even when I bring back food, my mother is too tense to eat. Day by day she is growing thinner.
“Emma, answer your mother,” my father says, looking at me with slanted eyes.
“If you want to know how she is, why don’t you go and see her yourself?” I snap back. I’m tired of the theatrics. But it was a stupid question. I know why they can’t go. They aren’t strong enough or fast enough.
“You know your mother moves too slowly. She would never make it there,” my father says, echoing the very words in my head.
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