Bücher online kostenlos Kostenlos Online Lesen

The Declaration

Titel: The Declaration
Autoren: Gemma Malley
Vom Netzwerk:
Chapter One
    11 January, 2140
    My name is Anna.
    My name is Anna and I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t exist.
    But I do.
    It’s not my fault I’m here. I didn’t ask to be born. But that doesn’t make it any better that I was. They caught me early, though, which bodes well. That’s what Mrs Pincent says, anyway. She’s the lady that runs Grange Hall. We call her House Matron. Grange Hall is where I live. Where people like me are brought up to be Useful – the ‘best of a bad situation’, Mrs Pincent says.
    I don’t have another name. Not like Mrs Pincent does. Mrs Pincent’s name is Margaret Pincent. Some people call her Margaret, most people call her Mrs Pincent, and we call her House Matron. Lately I’ve started to call her Mrs Pincent too, although not to her face – I’m not stupid.
    Legal people generally have at least two names, sometimes more.
    Not me, though. I’m just Anna. People like me don’t need more than one name, Mrs Pincent says. One is quite enough.
    Actually, she doesn’t even like the name Anna – she told me she tried to change it when I first came here. But I was an obstinate child, she says, and I wouldn’t answer to anything else, so in the end she gave up. I’m pleased – I like the name Anna, even though my parents gave me that name.
    I hate my parents. They broke the Declaration and didn’t care about anyone else but themselves. They’re in prison now. I don’t know where. None of us knows anything about our parents any more. Which is fine by me – I’d have nothing to say to them anyway.
    None of the girls or boys here has more than one name. That’s one of the things that makes us different, Mrs Pincent says. Not the most important thing, of course – having one name is really just a detail. But sometimes it doesn’t feel like a detail. Sometimes I long for a second name, even a horrible one – I wouldn’t care what it was. One time I even asked Mrs Pincent if I could be Anna Pincent, to have her name after mine. But that made her really angry and she hit me hard across the head and took me off hot meals for a whole week. Mrs Larson, our Sewing Instructor, explained later that it had been an insult to suggest that someone like me could have Mrs Pincent’s name. As if she could be related to me.
    Actually I do sort of have another name, but it’s a pre-name, not an after-name. And everyone here has got the same one, so it doesn’t really feel like a name. On the list that Mrs Pincent carries around with her, I’m down as:
    Surplus Anna.
    But really, it’s more of a description than a name. We’re all Surpluses at Grange Hall. Surplus to requirements. Surplus to capacity.
    I’m very lucky to be here, actually. I’ve got a chance to redeem my Parents’ Sins, if I work hard enough and become employable. Not everyone gets that kind of chance, Mrs Pincent says. In some countries Surpluses are killed, put down like animals.
    They’d never do that here, of course. In England they help Surpluses be Useful to other people, so it isn’t quite so bad we were born. Here they set up Grange Hall because of the staffing requirements of Legal people, and that’s why we have to work so hard – to show our gratitude.
    But you can’t have Surplus Halls all over the world for every Surplus that’s born. It’s like straws on a camel’s back, Mrs Pincent says. Each and every Surplus could be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back. Probably, being put down is the best thing for everyone – who would want to be the straw that broke the back of Mother Nature? That’s why I hate my parents. It’s their fault I’m here. They didn’t think about anyone except themselves.
    I sometimes wonder about the children who are put down. I wonder how the Authorities do it and whether it hurts. And I wonder what they do for maids and housekeepers in those countries. Or handymen. My friend Sheila says that they do sometimes put children down here too. But I don’t believe her. Mrs Pincent says Sheila’s imagination is far too active and that it’s going to be her downfall. I don’t know if her imagination is too active, but I do think she makes things up, like when she arrived and she swore to me that her parents hadn’t signed the Declaration, that she was Legal and that it had been a big mistake because her parents had Opted Out of Longevity. She insisted over and over again that they’d be coming to collect her once they’d sorted it all out.
    They never
Vom Netzwerk:

Weitere Kostenlose Bücher