Monday, March 25, 2013

Chapter 11: Trapped

Why did The Leader think Silicon Shores was so dangerous?

The Leader thought that the active nightlife scene found in clubs and casinos held lots of danger and temptation.

"Today's class is about safety. This town is especially dangerous at night. The Strangers hold lots of drug addled parties at night where they try to take advantage of those who are unaware of their devious ways. This is why we have a 10pm curfew so that our residents won't be caught up in the temptations of the clubs and casinos, where impurities are rampant. Going to these places can greatly damage your purity. You must always avoid them."

"Aren't those places supposed to be fun? What do you have against fun? Being pure all the time is boring and lame."

"CAMO! Being pure is something you should be proud of. In these modern times, purity is a lost characteristic. What do you feel is lacking in your life?"

"Well, the only thing to do here is read and sit in front of the fountain. I mean, can't we have a foosball table? Or something else to play with? A foosball table wouldn't taint my purity, it's just a game."

The teacher looks at Camo and smiles.

"Camo, I will send your request and reasoning to The Leader. I think it is a valid point that no one has ever brought to his attention."

Camo and Titanium are on their way to work. Despite the day being cloudy, the boys are in a good mood.

"Wow, can you believe the teacher actually agreed with me today? Maybe she's not so dumb after all."

"I am glad you asked about that. It is kind of boring there."

"I think it was a great idea to get this job. I can't wait to see Verona again."

"Have you talked to her yet?"

"Not really. I think I may have said yes to her request to do some work thing, but you've got more balls than I do when it comes to talking to your crush. I'm scared she wouldn't want to talk to me."

"Why not?"

"I'm a jerk."

"Hmm.. you can be, but I'm your friend, so you clearly know how to make friends when you want to. She seems nice, she'd probably talk to you."

Argh. Mother, must you be so infuriating all the time?! I had just gotten ready for the day to find my ever annoying mother sitting on the couch with a stupid grin on her face and yet another set up for me.
She's been doing this ever since she caught me making out with Damien, our pool boy. He was hot and interesting, which was more than I can say for these super dull guys she keeps bringing to meet me. After firing Damien, she became obsessed with playing matchmaker because she says I've proven that I clearly don't know how to find men for myself who are of the correct social status.

"Good morning, darling Verona."

"Good morning, Mother."

"This is Marcus. He is studying to be a doctor."

Great, another uppity jerk who fits neatly into one of Mother's pre-approved professions. I hate how Mother thinks status is the only thing that matters in life. Instead of saying what I really want to say, I smile at Marcus and say how nice it is to meet him and that I hope he is having a good morning.

"Verona, sit down. I will go make you and Marcus some tea so you can get to know each other better."

I do as my mother says and sit next to Marcus on the couch, although I sit on the cushion furthest from him. We sit there smiling awkwardly at each other for a few minutes.

"So, Verona, what do you do?"

"I work part time at the Silicon Shores Bookstore."

"Surely, you don't need to do that living in a place as exquisite as this."

Exquisite, I think mockingly. Who talks like that? It's 2013, and Marcus talks like he's from the 1800s. Yeah, my family is rich and we live in a mansion with a fancy ass gate out front. So what? I have to act like a hoity toity asshole because of it? I don't think so. So what if I want to make my own money instead of mooching off the parents like my brother does?

"It's not out of necessity, Marcus. It's more something for me to do."

Marcus seems accepting of that answer, despite the weird look he gives me. I look at the clock wondering if it's close enough to four o'clock so I can go to work already and get out of this more than uncomfortable situation. Disappointingly, it's not even noon yet. Just then, Mother comes out of the kitchen and sets a tray of tea on the table.

"So, how are you two getting along?"

"I have learned what Verona does with some of her free time."

"Yes, no doubt she doesn't need such a pedestrian job. I have always told her she would fit in better at the country club instead of that low class bookstore."

Here we go again. Mother talking about me as if I'm not here and can't hear every insulting word that comes out of her ridiculous mouth. Dad's a famous director, hence the wealth, and probably how he attracted such a classy lady, I think sarcastically. I sit in silence, letting her insult me, not wanting to cause a scene in front of our guest. I sip my tea and occasionally glare into the cup, pretending it's Mother.

What were the temptations The Leader wanted you to stay away from?

Things like alcohol, gambling, drugs, and going to clubs to dance. He thought that just setting foot in a club or casino would guarantee we would fall into all the temptations and ruin our lives.

Titanium and Camo are taking a break at work in the cafe part of the bookstore.

"I'm curious why you think we're not free, Camo."

"Really? You don't see it?"

"Well, no. We can come and go as we please now that we're adults. I mean, when we were teenagers, we couldn't go anywhere unchaperoned, but that's cause we were still too young."

"Titanium, it's the rules that trap us. Do you really think most other adults have to follow a curfew? All the things we can't do are what takes away our freedom. Aren't you ever curious to find out if those things are as dangerous as the teacher says they are?"

"But those rules are there are to keep us safe. I was curious once, but that died a long time ago. I don't want to risk my life if those things do turn out to be dangerous."

"What are you so scared of, Titanium?"


"Death? What do you think is going to happen to you? Do you think you will die instantly because you step into a club?"

"It's the scary people, Camo. They hang out at the clubs and try to drag you into their world of danger."

Camo drinks his coffee, unsure what to think of Titanium right now. His friend is clearly paranoid, but Camo doubts it's just because of what the teacher says.

"Titanium? You have never been to a club, so how do you know the teacher isn't just lying to you?"

"I don't know, but I would trust her over a Stranger."

"What if Absolon told you clubs were safe, and they were fun places to go? Would you trust him? You clearly like him, and he's a Stranger."

What do you think drove your fear of the unknown?

I think I was scared to try new things because the first time I did, it resulted in my friend's death. Maybe I associated curiosity with death.

"Camo, I don't know the answer to that question, but I remember once when I was a child, I met a girl and we talked about The Strangers. The next thing I knew, I was in Isolation. My friend died there. I still feel like I killed her because I am the one who asked her if she thought The Strangers were really as bad as the teacher said they were."

"Wow, dude, I'm sorry. Is that why you're so quiet and shy all the time?"

Titanium nods, feeling the sadness of his friend's death again. He's also thinking hard about Camo's question about Absolon.

As I leave work, I notice that aqua haired boy with his guitar playing outside the store again. I've never seen him talk to anyone. I don't know why he's always there, but his music is nice.


  1. I can hardly wait for the somehow inevitable moment when Titanium and Abs walk into each other in front of that bookshop ^^

    1. Me too! :) Excited for the next update

    2. Random thought, what on earth would make a good nickname for Titanium?! O.o

    3. :) It will be a good, life changing moment for the both of them. And LOL, I can think of inappropriate nicknames for Titanium! But it's funny because you have dubbed Absolon 'abs,' which is a body part, so it would be only fitting to have Titanium's nickname be a body part too! ROFL! I'm not big on nicknames, but it is funny to think about.

    4. @Anonymous: Hello! Thank you for reading and commenting. :D

    5. I know, abs are some muscles, right? And given how muscular that guy is, it kind of jumped me... aham... just like tits for Titanium, but nawwww *lol* he really deserves a proper nickname, he has already been trough way to much to end up with this one *lol*

    6. Call him Titan! That's what I've been nicknaming him in my head whenever I read. :)

    7. @annasommer: Abs are muscles on the stomach.
      @theduboislegacy: Titan is a great nickname! :) Good job!

  2. ''I'm a jerk.'' Camo says. Lol! Yeah, he can be, but that's because he's defensive. Still, it was funny thathe said that, n a little sad too. It shows a bit of low self-esteem coming through.

    1. Yeah, poor Camo. Cults do wonders on people's self-esteem, for the worse. The teacher's always scolding him just for asking questions, so he feels like he's wrong all the time. You're right, he is very defensive because that's how he's learned to survive in a place like The Compound.

  3. Good update! I can't wait for Abs and Titan to finally realize that they're so cute together, I love reading about romance. :D
    Can't wait for more!

    1. Awww yeah? Cute. LOL. I am always worried I'll run out of stuff to write for this story and that it will end too soon. So... I'm trying to drag things out and show bits and pieces of things since people seem to love it so much! :)

  4. I love that we are getting insight into Verona and Absolon's lives as well as what's going on the Compound.
    Camo and Titanium's discussion about freedom made me sad. Poor Titanium was hit pretty hard with his friend's death as a child.
    I look forward to the day he finally gets to spread his wings.

    1. Aww yay! I was kind of running out of things to say about the present day like I did in earlier chapters, so I felt it might be okay to delve into the past since this story is about looking back. I'm so glad it sits well that way with the readers! :D His friend died when he was still a kid, and it was even worse because that was the first person he tried to talk to. For now, he'd rather obey so that no one else gets hurt because of him.

  5. Abs and Titan! LOL, yeah those are great nicknames :)

  6. Titanium has a long way to go. Camo is more inquisitive and questioning that Titanium, and he's alove... I understand that the loss of his childhood friend impacted him greatly. I hope someone can help him past that soon.

    1. Camo has always been more of a free spirit, and it is very good that he is friends with Titanium because he gets Titanium to think about things he normally wouldn't. Titanium has deep emotional wounds at this point and he and Camo are only beginning to learn things about how the real world works. Camo is the one who eventually helps him past his guilt. I feel I can tell you that without ruining anything. =)

  7. The world isn't dangerous....There's good and evil everywhere you just have to use your common sense. Ridiculous as always...

    Hopefully they will take Camo's request into consideration...At least let the brainwashing be fun lol. He's the one character I'm always surprised at...He's so daring and sarcastic, I'm surprised he even joined The Compound in the first place.

    Verona's mother was a little over the top, you can't pick and choose your child's husband/wife...That's just weird. Money isn't everything either so I don't understand why Marcus felt it was necessary to ask her about her job, he could've asked her a much more interesting question...Apparently working at a bookstore is 'low class' that's like my dream job...until I start college lol or I would work at the library. Either way I don't see how a bookstore is low class. Her mom is just being ridiculous despite how nice she looks.

    It's good to see Titanium open up about his fears...Hopefully that will change.

    1. LOL, aren't you glad you know that about the world? :D I love common sense, I think it's my greatest asset.

      Camo didn't join The Compound willingly, he was like Titanium, he was born there, so essentially, he's stuck there.

      Verona's mother is of medieval thinking. Remember those days of kings and queens when the king would marry off his daughter to someone of high prestige? That's what Verona's mother is doing. Verona's family is rich and they're one of the most famous people in town, so Verona's mother is a snob, LOL, she thinks that things are divided into classes, especially jobs, which is why she only approves of certain jobs that are of the proper class. Marcus is also of a similar mindset as Verona's mother, that's why he asked what Verona's job was. Also the point is that Marcus is not an interesting person, so he doesn't have interesting things to talk about LOL. You're right, though, there's nothing inherently wrong with working at any job, it just matters if you like it or not.

      Yeah, Titanium is on his way to becoming more open minded. That's why Camo is good for him.


Tell The Leader your thoughts...