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LJ Idol Exhibit A - Week 2 - Insignificant

It was his eyes.  The recognition clicked for Gabby, hard and fast, as soon as she looked into his eyes.  The cold steel grey, lacking feeling, delighting in torture.  The memories came back then in an instant that seemed like an eternity.

She guessed she was about eleven, her real age but a vague memory.  Skinny and dirty from living on the streets, she found herself in a Masque dispensary.  The Masque was supposed to save them, but only if you had been chosen or were wealthy enough to buy your way to survival.  Street orphans were neither.

The dispensary was crowded.  Gabby, along with several others had been able to sneak in.  Each Masque was custom fitted to patrons and the trimmings were left to fall to the floor.  If they could gather enough, it could be remolded to fit their face and they might have a chance at survival too.  The rag tag band of urchins battled for the dropped pieces as fiercely as possible while trying to maintain a low profile.  No one paid them any attention unless things got out of hand.

The gas, referred to as Guardian, was scheduled for release soon.  It would wipe out the plagues that had descended on the earth, the plagues that had taken Gabby’s parents.  To survive Guardian, you had to have the Masque.

Gabby watched as some of the orphans hid on cold metal shelves, searching supplies there.  Some of the older kids were taking a white, vaseline-like substance and placing it in their nostrils.  It was the active part of the Masque, the part that provided the protection from the Guardian gas.  She had no idea if it would work, but it was much easier to get to the shelves than it would be to steal the droppings on the floor.

Gabby reached in and put two gobs of the substance in her nostrils.  She marveled at how it didn’t really make her feel any different.  Suddenly, the children in front of her scrambled through the shelves and started running off.  She turned and watched armed guards heading in her direction.  Stealing the Masque was a death offense.  They could and would shoot on sight.  She also noticed Milton.  Milton was a small child from the streets.  She had shared her scavenged food with him before.  He was running as fast as his little legs could carry him from the floor where he had been collecting droppings.  He had formed a small Masque that covered his nose and most of his mouth.  She couldn’t leave him behind.  She grabbed him as he ran past her, and headed off around the edge of the shelving.  The shelving rounded into a larger room filled with countertops, metal storage closets, refrigerators and glass lab equipment.  Hoisting Milton on her back, she ran for the far edge of the room coming to an abrupt stop when she realized all the other children were being rounded up by the guards.  She quickly ducked under one of the counters and squeezed herself, Milton on her lap, behind a small refrigerator that was under it.  She motioned for Milton to be quiet and held her breath.

She saw the toe of his boot first.  Big, hard, offensive, built like a weapon.  Then, the end of the club he had been holding.  Finally, the guard.  His face loomed in front of her, club poised to strike.  He caught her eyes and she stared defiantly back.  Then his gazed dropped to Milton and he sneered.  He lowered the club and looked back at her.  As he started to back away, she looked at Milton and she knew.  She saw it in the trooper’s eyes as she figured it out.  He was happy that she knew.  He was delighted in her realization and compassion and pain.  Milton’s Masque was shrinking as it dried and set.  It would never be enough to cover his face and save him from The Guardian.  The trooper was turning his back on them, knowing that Milton would face a death far worse than the execution that would occur had he been caught, and the bastard took pleasure in the knowledge.

Those same cold, grey eyes were in front of her now.  She had survived, but she had changed.  The guard hadn’t as much.  She noted the anger in his eyes, noted the defiance.  She pushed the ancient bayonet into his chest cavity.

“For Milton, you son of a bitch!” she said as she let it slide deeper.  “The little boy with the Masque that didn’t fit.”

She watched his eyes as recognition dawned, fear replacing the defiance and anger and finally death clouding them over.

"Gabby!" Milton called from across the alley.  He ambled over, his twisted leg dragging behind, his face grotesquely deformed, both results from the Masque he created for himself as a child.  "Gabby, are you okay?"

This is an entry for LJ Idol Exhibit A Week 2 "Throw Back the Little Ones."  It's a concept that I plan on building on.  It's working title is Insignificants.  Concrit is welcome.

Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
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alien_writings
Jan. 31st, 2013 09:21 pm (UTC)
You have an interesting concept here. :)
tatdatcm
Feb. 3rd, 2013 06:15 am (UTC)
Thank you. I need to work on developing it a little more.
rosefyre
Jan. 31st, 2013 10:37 pm (UTC)
Oooh, interesting. Can't wait to see more!
tatdatcm
Feb. 3rd, 2013 06:15 am (UTC)
Thank you. I'm planning on more.
amazingwriter23
Jan. 31st, 2013 11:46 pm (UTC)
I hope to read more excerpts! AW
tatdatcm
Feb. 3rd, 2013 06:16 am (UTC)
I'm going to try to develop it more.
lilycobalt
Feb. 1st, 2013 01:33 am (UTC)
I like the idea of the Masque. Looking forward to seeing this fleshed out some more!
tatdatcm
Feb. 3rd, 2013 06:17 am (UTC)
Thanks. I have a little more already planned out, so hopefully they'll fit the prompts.
n3m3sis43
Feb. 1st, 2013 02:07 am (UTC)
Oooooh. Please tell me you are going to write more about this universe someday. I really enjoyed this and I wanted to know more about the world Gabby and Milton live in.

(Oops, just read your note at the end. Yay!)
tatdatcm
Feb. 3rd, 2013 06:17 am (UTC)
I'm going to try. So far, they've been speaking to me.
jenny_evergreen
Feb. 1st, 2013 05:36 pm (UTC)
Interesting and well done.
tatdatcm
Feb. 3rd, 2013 06:17 am (UTC)
Thank you.
jem0000000
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:48 am (UTC)
This is an interesting premise, and an intriguing world. I'm definitely interested in reading more. :)
tatdatcm
Feb. 3rd, 2013 06:18 am (UTC)
Thank you.
(no subject) - jem0000000 - Feb. 5th, 2013 05:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
tatdatcm
Feb. 3rd, 2013 06:19 am (UTC)
It was hard to not go into too much detail as I was writing this bit, but I've been thinking about how it all fits together and how to present it.
kandigurl
Feb. 2nd, 2013 04:09 pm (UTC)
Very unique! I liked this concept.
tatdatcm
Feb. 3rd, 2013 06:19 am (UTC)
Thank you.
(Deleted comment)
tatdatcm
Feb. 3rd, 2013 06:19 am (UTC)
Thank you.
roina_arwen
Feb. 3rd, 2013 03:14 pm (UTC)
Interesting concept you've got going on.

Just a little concrit: The bayonet came out of nowhere, and for me the change in time from the past back to the present could use a little work - I was confused when Milton went from being in her arms under he counter to being across the alley. Just my .02 cents. :)
tatdatcm
Feb. 4th, 2013 01:15 am (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. I should probably be more clear that she was flashing back to the memory in the dispensary. Maybe if I added to the beginning that she was in the alley, holding the guard off with the bayonet it would be more clear.

I'll keep it in mind as I expand the story.
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Feb. 4th, 2013 02:19 am (UTC) - Expand
halfshellvenus
Feb. 4th, 2013 01:05 am (UTC)
I like the whole setting here, and you told it well. Plus, met the prompt and the concept behind it, and wrapped up a nice little vignette!
tatdatcm
Feb. 4th, 2013 01:15 am (UTC)
Thank you.
phoenixejc
Feb. 4th, 2013 03:11 pm (UTC)
I like what you have here, and am looking forward to getting some more details.
tatdatcm
Feb. 6th, 2013 11:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'm hoping for some good prompts.
myrna_bird
Feb. 4th, 2013 09:28 pm (UTC)
Interesting storyline. Hope you get prompts to tell us more.
tatdatcm
Feb. 6th, 2013 11:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Me too.
baxaphobia
Feb. 4th, 2013 10:12 pm (UTC)
This was interesting. Wonder what happens next?
tatdatcm
Feb. 6th, 2013 11:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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( 32 comments — Leave a comment )

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