It must be afternoon, I thought, as the trains shook the ceiling, causing dust to drift down to the floor. The trains arrived the same time every day, always bringing a new shipment of children, and sang like clockwork, telling me when the adults were soon to arrive.

For an instant, the lights flicker and cast errant shadows about, reminding me of the bed aboard the cars, when I was transferred myself. A silent echo fills the room, a loud screech of wheels and horns, and my stomach grows sick with the memory. At least delaying my ongoing hunger and thirst. (1)

If you don’t succeed before graduation, you don’t get to live. This is the pressure that Wrander has to live with every day of his life, and it’s not because he isn’t accomplished. He paints. He draws. He can do many artistic things. But, when people’s opinions of him don’t match his own, then he’s not necessarily accomplished…by their standards.

Follow Wrander on his adventure to live or die, whichever comes first.

Published July 2015 through eFiction.

Length: 10,800 words.

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eFiction July 2015


“The big strength of this story is in building its world – the environment and reality are established quickly and expertly. The dystopia takes common fears and the modern obsession with celebrity and talent-searching to a horrifying yet believable extreme.” – TCC Edwards, Write, or Else!