Ten summers has passed since the day I was beaten by the guard.
Am I okay? What do you think?
The male vElves call me Tiger because I have ten white stripes on my body. I hate seeing myself in the water room's mirror. The scars make me look like a hairless albino tiger. The older female, Merna, said that those scars showed that I would make a fine warrior one day.
“Warrior? What do you mean? The vElves are a peaceful society. We don’t do wars. It’s a waste of time.” I said. “Child, look around you. Do you see smiles on the faces of these woman? Do you see the young females play?” Merna asked me. “But smiles are not an indication of happiness. The young females are not playing because they are working. Plus ... the Vetales said that playing will dampen our future capability in life. And that’s not good” I replied while remembering what the Vetales taught us.
Merna patted my head before explaining, “You have a lot to learn, child. But let me make something clear. We are not a peaceful society. The females are oppressed. We are not free to do what we want in life. And most of us are definitely brainwashed. You, for example.” I looked at her with confusion written on my face. She took my hand before saying, “Come with me”.
We stopped walking at an open field. Standing behind a tall barbed wire that resembles a wall, I could see young males everywhere. They were pushing balls using their feet. Some were running around in circles. “What are they doing?” I asked the older female. “They are playing, which is what the young females should be doing too. Not working, but playing. Enjoying life. Quick, pretend you’re picking up this trash. Someone is watching us!” said Merna while handing me a crumpled paper. I took the crumpled paper and put it inside the pocket of my pants. Pretending to look for more trash, I bend down before picking up fallen leaves. After a few clock rotations, I walked back to Merna and followed her back to the females’ building.
… It was evening meal time. As soon as I got my meal, I sat beside Merna before smiling. “What, child?” Merna said while laughing. “Tell me everything, including the meaning of oppressed and brainwashed” I said, looking hopefully at her.
That day, Merna told everything that I needed to know. The meaning of oppressed and brainwashed. I was surprised to find out that there was a failed uprising years before I was born. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. Before Merna could tell me that the females has been planning another uprising, I blurted out the words “I want in”.
“Whatever you told me sounds fun and I want in” I said again. Merna laughed before ruffling my hair, “Sure, you can join us but you need to pass a test first. You need to prove you have what it takes first”. She proceeded to tell me that the females has been planning another uprising and they need a fresh face to execute their next plan. Sitting up straight, I gave her my best smile. “Nice try. You look innocent. But.. not enough.” she said. “Actually, we already have a young female in mind for the job and she already said yes. But do not despair, we could use your brain behind the scenes. I heard you’re one of the top in your class” she said.