Ten: Chapter 2

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Transcript Transmission: 09:00 am 4016.2.27

NAME: CAMERON SPENCER HAVER

REASON: LETTER DISPATCHED.

INSPECTION NOT REQUIRED.  

RULES CEREMONY: HAVER RESIDENCE 12:00 PM.

EXPECTED WATCHER ATTENDANCE: 12

PRIORITY: 0.42

LOYALTY:RULES

Transcript Transmission: 010:02 am 4016.2.27

**FLAGGED**

TARDINESS

**OVERRIDDEN. POST OFFICE OFFICIAL: JAMES CALLWATER, #2205**

NAME: JUNO DIANA EAVES

REASON: LETTER DISPATCHED.

INSPECTION NOT REQUIRED.  

RULES CEREMONY: HAVER RESIDENCE 12:00 PM.

EXPECTED WATCHER ATTENDANCE: 12

PRIORITY: 0.91

LOYALTY: UNDEFINED

 

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Day Zero: Diary of Juno Eaves

 

My letter has arrived.

My letter was late, which was the first indication that it really was from me. I’m never on time; it’s a simple fact that makes me predictable. So the Watchers considered it safe for me to collect my letter when it finally did arrive. Had it been anyone else, their letter would have been retained for time screening at the Presidential Palace and my Ceremony of Rules would have been rescheduled.

I’ve just gotten back from the Post Office.  Luckily, I didn’t spend too much time there waiting. My letter was supposed to arrive at nine.  I was also supposed to arrive at nine.  I arrived at nine fifty-eight.  My letter came at ten.  Like I said, I’m predictable.  Apparently my future self still is too.

Generally, as part of the Ceremony of Rules, each letter recipient hosts a giant party and invites all their friends.  Then, it’s expected for you to open the letter and read it aloud.  After this, everyone eats a slice of too-sweet cake, chats aimlessly for about an hour, and then everyone leaves you to make your decision about whether or not you’ll follow the Rules.

The problem with reading your future aloud is that people hold you to your ten rules.  They assume you are going to follow them, and, for example, they’ll remind you not to take the bus on the thirtieth of June in 4059 every week for the next few decades.

 

Luckily, my Ceremony of Rules party is at Cam’s since we share a birthday.  I didn’t want a party of my own, despite how much my parents suggested it, and the only way they could get me to have a party was if I co-hosted one with Cam.  In a way, this is a better situation anyway, because I won’t be doing the Ceremony alone. Cam has to perform all the same Ceremony obligations as I do, including reading his letter aloud.  Cam is different, though.  He doesn’t see anything wrong with his Rules being public.

 

“Regardless of whether or not you end up following them, showing loyalty to the Ceremony of Rules is a good idea, Juno,” he often says.  “People are curious about how you’ll turn out.  Satisfy their craving for answers!”

 

Usually I just wave him off, but today part of me considers taking his advice.  And the other part of me quells it as soon as it enters my thoughts.

 

I now have about twenty minutes before I have to be at Cam’s house, and that letter is burning a hole in that bag every minute that it sits in my burlap messenger bag, unopened.  What is in it?

 

My curiosity is certainly piqued, but I resist.  Somehow, opening it feels wrong, as if I would be jumping into a deceivingly deep pool only to discover that it is shockingly shallow.

 

I’ll adjourn this entry until after the Ceremony.  May I have wisdom in my choice.

 


jwest
About

Staff Writer for the Oredigger Newspaper Contributions in Creative Writing, Book Reviews, and Movie Reviews. Favorite place to write: a warm coffee shop on a weekend.


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