Dispatch | Teen Ink


November 16, 2021
By Baseball2008, Newton, Massachusetts
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Baseball2008, Newton, Massachusetts
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I have only ever seen the outside world from the tinted glass window of my room. From where I can see, life out there is fine. Of course, it can’t compare to my luxury home, but it seems like a liveable place. I can see people dressed in clothes that look like they might be passed down from person to person. The houses are smaller than I would like to live in, but it's not like they have a choice. Each neighborhood has exactly five thousand people. To keep that exact number of people, we have a system to terminate any additional people. I find that technique very interesting.

Although my lifestyle is much better than theirs, I don’t have any sympathy or feelings for them. Their lives are worthless. All one piece in a puzzle is much too big for them. To live, you must have success. Those people have nothing. Own nothing. Feel nothing. For that reason, we have dispatching. 

Being dispatched is an honor. In the act of being dispatched, they say you move from mortal life to one that can never be taken. I can’t say that it is good to be dispatched, but since I have full immunity from being dispatched, I don’t have to worry about that. On the other hand, being executed is not an honor. The point of executions is to remind the people that they don’t control their lives. Every month, one person is chosen from each neighborhood to be publicly executed. Usually, the Council of Leaders does the executions except for their children who will take their position when the time comes. I am personally looking forward to that. Since I am only fifteen years old, it might not happen in a while. Nonetheless, I am determined to succeed my father.

The set age for a child of a Leader to perform an execution is not always 16. It depends on what age the Leader chooses. There has once been a twelve-year-old child who performed one. So, I am always prepared to do one at any time. My father always says that I am on track to become one of the Leaders. The only case that I would not be one is that I fail the test, executions. But I am completely sure I will have no problem with that.

I wake up the next morning with a sudden urge to explore the society built around me. I decide to get dressed in the dirtiest clothes I have to blend in with everyone else. This is because my father told me that some people deny the authority of the Council of Leaders and would find pleasure in taking down the child of one. These people are known by the title of the Rebels. Since I am not allowed to go out of the grounds, I must find a way to sneak past the guards. I walk down the stairs. The lights are dim. I have never actually noticed the hallways so empty like this. All I can hear is my footsteps carefully making their way across the hallway. Spot the first guard. They are dressed in the regulation black uniform with a bulletproof vest and black gloves with black boots to go with it. They hold what seems like a new model gun. Without anyone’s permission to go in the halls, they will shoot at any target.

I dodge the first guard narrowly escaping beyond their line of sight. The second one is not so easy. They walk back and forth along the walls, making sure to check every spot. Triumphant again, I manage to sneak past them. Finally, I reach the elevator. I take it all the way down to the first floor where the front door is. I walk out of the exit. Once outside, I look back and see the building I had just left. It looks much different from the outside. It is a modern white building with black windows and a gold dome on the top. Every building is the same as the one I had left. Altogether there are at least five buildings all the same. Each one with a different colored dome. I have never had this view of where I had lived before. It is as if I am walking through the same place but as a different person.

Going back to my original task, I look around, finding a place to start my adventure. I spot an alleyway across the street. Carefully looking around me, I cross the street. At this moment, my gut takes control. If I had thought about what I was doing, things would have gone much differently. Before entering the small passage between buildings, I take a deep breath. This could be the start of something new. I step in and instantly regret it. Standing in front of me are three people all assaulting a man. This is new to me. I have never experienced this.

After a few minutes, the assaulters go away, leaving the man on the ground, bloody. Once the coast is clear, I rush to the man. He is slow to get up but still manages. I lean him up to the wall. “Who were they?” The man didn’t respond, he just shrugged. “Why were they beating you?”

“For my money,” the man said. “They noticed my nice clothing and phone. You should be lucky they didn’t notice you. You seem like one from the other side of town. The wealthy part.”

“Yes. My father is on the Council of Leaders. I just decided to explore this part. This is my first time getting out of the complex without supervision.”

“I see,” the man said, “You don’t know of the troubles the rest of the world has to face. Would you like to know the truth about us?” I nod my head. This is what I have been waiting for. “Where should we start? Ah, executions. As the child of one of the Council of Leaders, you must be performing one soon. Dispatching is not what it seems to be. It is simply to eliminate the possibilities of threats to the Leaders. As for executions, they are to remind people about dispatching and that they could easily be chosen to be dispatched. Don’t take it personally but everyone in this world pretty much hates you and who you are affiliated with.

This takes me back. I have never needed to focus on the appearance of me and those I am close with, but suddenly, it means a lot. I decide my time with this stranger is over. I have had enough of all this. All I want is to go back into my cozy room. I wrap up my conversation with him and walk away.

As I arrive at my building, I go straight to my room. Looking at it again, I feel guilty knowing that I have much more than other people could dream of. Suddenly, the door opens and my father walks in. This is rare. He seldom sees me during the day. “What is it?” I ask him.

“I want to tell you something.” Oh no. Has he found out that I was out of the compound? “For long enough now, you have seen me do my work. You know that it takes a lot to complete the task. I am becoming old, and I need someone to succeed me. You, being my only son, will be my choice. Tomorrow, you will fulfill your duty to this world by doing your first execution.” That is all he has to say. I am completely taken aback. Yesterday, I had been looking forward to the day this would happen. Now, I feel taken back. After my encounter with the stranger I had met so recently, I have had a change in heart for completing this assignment. Instead of arguing with my father or telling him to do it a little bit later, I just make out the word “Okay”.

The next morning, my body refuses to get up. Once I am up, the day will start. In my mind, I am thinking of ways to get out of performing the execution. I could pretend to be sick. But the more I think about it, the more stress I have. This isn’t some sort of sport, this is taking someone's life. Just because my father finds no harm or difficulty in it, doesn’t mean it is fine to do. As a guard enters my room, I give up on any hope of getting out of it. The guard escorts me downstairs where I am dressed in the traditional clothes for an execution. Once I am dressed, they bring a mirror for me to see myself. Despite the occasion, I am wearing this for, it is a nice outfit. I am dressed in all black with a red stripe down the middle of my shirt. The traditional colors are black and red. The guard then brings me to the kitchen where my father is sitting at one of the chairs sipping his coffee, dressed in the same uniform as me. “Are you ready?” he asks. Oblivious to the true feelings inside me. I nod. Today is the day you become my apprentice to the Council of Leaders with the hope that you will one day become what I have.” A guard comes up to us and tells us to begin entering the platform where the execution is to be taken place. It is a raised platform with the Community seal on it. The same black and red colors. The whole community is crowded around this platform. Guards are keeping people a safe distance away from the platform. As usual, the person chosen to be executed is not shown until later for the simple reason that people close to that person might rebel.

As I walk onto the platform, I am consumed by the tense vibe of this environment. My father puts his hand on my shoulder which only makes things worse. I reach the center of the stage. I join the semicircle of members of the Council of Leaders. The ceremony begins. One of the Leaders begins to explain the history of our society but someone from the crowd yells for them to get to the point. Then, one of the Leaders signals someone to bring forth the person to be executed. My jaw drops when I see who it is. The stranger who had told me everything was being brought onto the stage. My father smiled as he beckoned me to go to the blade leaning against the table where the person will be held against. I had a plan in my mind. I took the blade. I nodded at my father. I was brave. The man was strapped to the board. My father stood next to me. Support me. I looked into the man’s eyes. They were blank. Lifeless. As if he was waiting for this all along. I will have no regrets for whose life I end today. I gripped the blade tighter. It was long and the sharpest thing I had ever seen in my life. Everyone was watching me. I lifted the blade above my head, spun around, and dug the blade deep into my target. Lying beside me was the victim of my execution. The man was still alive. But my father lay dead next to me.

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