Here it is, as promised part 2 of Chapter 1, as well as some information regarding how I came up with the idea. “The Words On Me.” I forget exactly what inspired the phrase, but I wrote it down originally thinking I might write a poem inspired by/using it. The next day, when I looked at my notebook, the idea of people with words on them popped into my head. All I needed was a story to go in that world. A world where people lived by their words, literally. For those interested, I recommend reading “Chapter 1 Part 1” first. It is not long and helps this part make sense. Happy Reading!
I made it to the station without anyone spotting me and was able to buy a ticket card from the new automated machines the town had installed a month prior. Just in time too, for just as the machine dispensed my card, the train pulled up. I had just enough time to swipe my card allowing me through the doors on to the train platform. Luck was with me at that moment, the engineer was at the opposite end of the platform looking away. I quickly stepped on board the empty train and found the bathroom, went in and locked it.
I let out an explosive breath, practically collapsed onto the closed lid of the toilet and silently wept. It was just too much. I had no idea of what I was going to do once I got to Waterville. I didn’t understand why my words had changed. I was afraid that the Editors would be coming after me at any second. I was afraid of how my parents would feel about all of it, and felt horrid about making them worry and shaming them. I didn’t know anyone in Waterville and even if I did, if I couldn’t trust my parents who love me, how could I trust anyone else? Easy, I couldn’t.
I was all on my own, the only thing on my side was I knew Waterville well, having been there often, and that about two years ago, a study came out showing a correspondence between population per square mile and the amount of Editing occurring. The bigger the population, the greater occurrences requiring Editing occurred. To combat this increase in Editing, the government created many automated systems, to help prevent the spread of the “Foul Language Epidemic,” as the news media had begun calling it. According to the news, having minimal person to person contact helped to moderate the spread of the epidemic. All of this was good news to me, since it gave me a chance to buy supplies without having anyone see me and report me to the Editors.
Thank the Writer, there were no other passengers in the train car where the bathroom was when we arrived at the station. I hurried up to the main level. At the train station in Waterville, there was a mall built above it where I could buy my supplies. The only problem was that I had cash, not a cash card. Fortuitously for me, since the last time I was in the city they had installed many more cash converter booths around the mall to help with the auto-shopping. I stopped in one and converted about $1,000.00 in cash, to a card. My next stop was a shop booth, to get supplies.
I remembered seeing a segment on the news one night about men who lead the few trade caravans to the Outlands bringing back women with them. The women were always covered from head to toe, only their eyes showing if even that much. Since the autumn started, it had started to become fashionable to cover up like them, but leaving one’s face showing. So the first thing I looked up on the monitor was clothing like that, figuring at the least, it should help hide me till I got past the river to the Outlands. I also got some warmer items, a coat, jacket, sweat shirts and some other stuff. I didn’t know how conditions were, but with the new thin Neutratemp fabric that came out last winter, I could get quite a few pieces and not worry about how to carry it.