A small taste of common life during the “century of tyranny” that predates Maxamillion Schulberhe’s rise to power. A populace segregated into Allowance-Levels by the System; they are permitted to own only that which the System deems necessary…including the structure of one’s family. Any violation of the established structure is promptly dealt with.
“Don’t you dare make me choose! I will not choose between my two children!”
The woman appeared unaffected by her passionate cry.
“As you wish.”
Mrs. Roberts was suddenly aware of the second man moving behind her. He approached the cradle and lifted her baby into his arms. The girl gave a pinched cry as he brought her to his chest for protection. Her eyes wild with alarm, Mrs. Roberts lunged at him. But the official woman gave her wrist a sharp twist, causing Mrs. Roberts to squeal and slump with submission.
“Take them,” she said, and the two men obeyed.
Little Johnny squirmed and reached out for his mother. His captor hefted the struggling boy over his shoulder and followed the first man out into the drizzling chill. The pain in Mrs. Roberts’ heart was intense and bitter. She gave a wail that shook her body to its core, feeling as though she would die from the anguish inside of her. She collapsed to her knees, and the official woman leaned down to look into her tear-flooded gaze.
She said, “Mrs. Roberts, it is clear that you and your husband are incapable of taking proper care of your family at this time. But perhaps this will motivate you to make wiser decisions in the future.”
Mrs. Roberts’ grief turned to hatred at the sound of her words. Her face twisted as she spat.
“You have no right to do this!”
The woman gave her a tight smile.
“We know what’s best for your family.”
She made her way toward the door then, leaving her with a final word.
“We’ll see to it that your children get their chance at a better life.”