[SHORT STORY] The Rationing: Part III of VI

by Frances Rey

She looks at me meaningfully. I cast my gaze to the sides of the crowd. It was true: there were only Peace Officers today. Peace Officers with guns and gas masks. “Look after yourself and your mother, young one,” says Theresa as the crowd pushes us apart. We are shepherded like livestock into the Parish, which was the only structure in Project 7 capable of holding the whole town. Mama and I are ushered to the second floor of the Parish. Above my head is a marble frieze, upon which stood the statues of our saints, overlooking the crowd that now flocked inside the church. There is a sound of straining wood; the Peace Officers were closing the Parish doors.

“Where are the rations?” The starving people demanded, banging their fists against the doors. I struggle against the crowd, trying to see for my own eyes if it was true, but I knew that the distress of our town was enough to know. The church nave, upon which the boxes of rations are usually placed, was vacant. There were no rations.

No… rations…

We won’t have anything to eat or drink for the next month.

“The doors are barricaded!”

“Where is our food?!”

The country had abandoned us.

Morose screams reverberate through the holy walls with the horrible realization. My eyes prickle with rage, but unable to produce any tears. I trace my fingers along my chest, where my ribs were pressing against my skin, and look to Mama fearfully. Mama, what do we do? She was crying, trembling, shaking her head. Nothing comes out of my cracking lips but a strangled, broken scream.

Wrathful hands slash across my back, jab my flesh, pull my skin. Some use my body to climb over the crowd. People jump over the second-floor balcony to fall upon the cushion of heads below. The town turned into one collective, mindless beast, stampeding to break open the Parish doors.

“Mama!” I scream, overwhelmed by the crowd. I can’t find her.

I can’t find Mama.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Frances Pia Alexy Rey

I am Frances Pia Alexy C. Rey. I think of myself as an optimistic and passionate writer who likes to challenge and further develop my writing prowess.

I won the 2018 Essay Writing Contest of APEC Grace Park West, composed the graduation song of APEC Grace Park West for the batch of S.Y. 2018–2019, and have written fictional short stories and poems that focus on the human nature and condition.

I also enjoy watching and evaluating movies; listening and singing along to music; and experimenting with poems and narratives.

-F.R.

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The official school publication of the UST Angelicum College SHS Department. At the forefront of USTAC SHS’s publication and affairs. Vanguards of Truth.