Two boys sit calmly in the tall grass by the pond. The clear water swirls with the movement of brightly colored fish. Zzzzzap. Another one hits the fence.
The taller, stockier boy lifts up an old pool cleaning net and scoops out the charred fish, adding it to their bucket.
"Daniel, have you ever thought about the otherlings?" The other boy, meek but strong bodied, cowered at the question.
"What do you mean? Of course I haven't thought of them, why would I think of them?"
"I don't know. I guess...
Well it's just, they were just like us too? And now they are not, and well, what if we turned into otherlings, Danny?" The other shakes his head and stares out at the fish.
He grabs up another net and wades in to reach the fish closest to the fence.
"Jess. You know the rules. Just don't think about it okay? There's no need to think about it." He throws the fish in the bucket from where he is standing and smiles.
A small thoughtless smile. Jess hardly notices, his face is toward the ground, his fingers twirling the long blades of grass.
"But why? Why is there no need to talk about it?
That doesn't make any sense, Daniel, WE are the ones that have to live so close to the gate, WE are the ones that get turned into those sad, disgusting creatures,
WE should be allowed to talk about it and figure out why it happens. So why is there no need?"
"Jess... they'll hear you... keep quiet, please." In a flash of heat Jess stands, taking the pole in hand and swallowing a fish in the net.
His quick movement causes him to slip into the water. Soaked and angry he turns to glare at the other.
"That's all you care about! You're always telling me to be quiet, but I've had enough of it, okay?
Far too much of it! I am setting up meetings, I-I'm going to do something! I can't just keep sitting here not thinking. Thinking is what makes us human and what makes them otherlings.
They are brainless, bloody, rotting creatures that do what they're told when they're told. We don't have to be like that.
We don't have to do that! The Listeners are probably the ones controlling the otherlings anyway, Daniel, and I'm done letting them control me! Come on, Danny, please?"
Daniel looks into his best friend's eyes torn with his love for him and his fear of the Listeners.
Jess's soaked body sinks, painting the water as bright as the fish.
"Daniel Gonzalez come with us please."
The other boy, crying, soaked in blood, and no longer torn follows.