Berkley She stood alone, tapping at the glass of a display case, calling her friend over to take a look. Her friend Cara jogged over, earning a stern glare from one of the black-suited nerds elected to watch over the room. The museum had a moldy smell, and the air was thick with humidity. The place was disgusting- outfitted with sticky, wooden benches, dusty curtains in each room, dingy light fixtures, and cracked glass boxes. She came here everyday, just to study the artifacts from thousands of years ago. I never knew why.
She had moved into the 2000's, surveying old flat screen tv's with her crisp, green eyes. The tv's were cracked and dented from wear, and played scratched cd's upon their screens. Feya walked over to the old devices, tapping at the screen of an old "ipad," which had a web of splintered glass on one of the corners. Meanwhile, Cara was pulling her long, blonde hair into a ponytail. She looked bored and grossed out, so I decided to strike up a conversation.
"Hey, the name's Berkley, what's up?" I asked, trying to imitate her lazy demeanor.
"Oh, I'm Cara, and I'm just waiting for my friend. Hey aren't you the manager of the cafe downstairs?" She said. Her eyes brightened, as everyone's did when they saw me.
"Yeah. By the business sector." I said with a forced smile. The museum was in a tall building that had many companies and 'sectors' inside, a health development sector, a business sector, a government sector, and many others.
"Oh cool! I love your smoothies! They are so sweet!" She bubbled. I brushed a piece of light brown hair out of the way of my golden eyes, and when I looked back at her, she looked like she was ready to melt.
"I better get going Cara. Gotta go... Manage I guess." I said, quickly retreating from the conversation. Before I knew it, she had stuffed her phone number into my hand and winked at me before turning away. I walked downstairs quickly, tossing the number into the same trashcan I crumpled every other girls' number in.
Feya I strode across the warm, wooden floor, pausing at each detailed, beautiful artifact. The museum had a certain rustic charm, emitting a unique beauty and warmth. The light filtering in from the windows was so natural and pure, the air was sweet and soft on the lungs. The wood-work was detailed and carefully crafted. I loved looking at stuff from before the revolution. Now everyone had to use tattoos to go into any building, as they were proof of citizenship in the R.U.S... Known better as the Re-evolved United States. I pulled at a strand of dirty blonde hair as I analyzed a keyboard. I looked back to call over my best friend Cara, only to see she was talking to that Berkley guy who managed the cafe. All I knew of him was that he was a player. Everyday there was a new girl ogling at him. He wasn't that attractive to me. Cute maybe, but nothing to lose pride over. Cara was practically throwing herself at him, and I just shook my head at her. Finally he walked away, pausing at a trash bin before returning to bounding down the stairs. He always sat in the museum during his breaks, always on the same ornate, beautiful bench. I walked over to Cara, and snapped my fingers in front of her dazed face, shaking her to reality. Her blue eyes met mine as the fog cleared.
"Huh, what?" She stuttered. She looked around, confused.
"You were talking to that guy, Berkley." I sighed. What was she doing?
"Who? Can we go now? I'm tired." Once she began to whine, I knew it was time to go. As we walked to the exit, I began thinking about that Berkley guy. Weird that Cara couldn't remember him. I shook the thoughts from my mind and stepped out onto the clean concrete sidewalk.
I slumped onto the chair in my office and pulled a thick binder my way. As I flipped through the thin pages, one of my workers came in and stood before me, arms crossed. As I met her eyes, I realized it was only Charish, my friend.
"What the heck is wrong with you lately, you're a huge drag." She growled, shifting her weight back onto one foot. Charish was tall, about six feet tall in fact, with dark brown hair and matching eyes, which disguised her identity.
"Can we go on the hunt later? Or do you have... Work." She looked upon me disapprovingly as I shook my head.
"I think I found another one of us." I sighed, giving up my secret and showing her the binder. She flopped through until she saw a picture.
"Oh! Feya?" She grinned, becoming sweet as ever, unlike before. "Yeah she always comes by the museum for some reason. Why her? She seems so...nice."
I spun my seat to face the small window in my office and shrugged. "Yeah, that's what I'm worried about. Getting her to ignore morals and laws." I leaned back in my chair, slapping my feet onto my mahogany desk. Cherish shrugged.
"I could play friend if you want. Get her to trust me, then get her to turn." She showed her fanged smirk and stepped back. "If you want me to, don't hesitate."
I stepped lightly across the cool concrete, my steps echoing between the many tall buildings. Cara gave me a friendly wave and turned the other direction for her job, and I began to weave through the busy streets. I sighed to myself. Why could no one see what I saw in all those old treasures at the museum? Why did she think this metallic, controlling world was so great? My flip flops slapped quietly as I turned onto the housing street, where my loft was located. A guard scanned the black, swirling tattoo on my wrist and waved me inside of the cold, metal building. Up four flights of stairs sat my large loft, which I payed a hefty penny for. I unlocked the door and quickly shut it behind me, hiding what lay inside. Illegal, banned, ancient books sat upon every table, and thick pencil drawings of what the past might have been like sat everywhere. Amongst it all was one pot of ferns, beautiful and simple, the only old-time plant that could survive the revolution. I suppose my fascination with the old world stemmed from my parent's occupation. They were both scholars and thinkers when I was a child, and retired after only seven years at the job. They would inspect old books, maps, articles, papers, history, notebooks, and anything with any clues as to how the world used to operate. I would always hear them discussing in hushed voices in the spacious kitchen of the old house.
"I really do hate this."
"I do too, but we have to do this, to keep Feya and Antho safe." I always believed they were speaking about their job, which I new they both vehemently disliked, as the government tried to suppress anyone showing past-like qualities. After my parents would read an old story, if the government approved of it, they would have to rename the story and award the rights of publishing to another author and highest bidder... Nothing could be of the old world. As for Antho, he is my older brother. He always had fantastic grades, was an amazing role model, even got a job in the government, followed by a huge promotion. He came to my house around a week later, face pale and movements spastic.
"I gotta get out of here. It's... I can't say."
"Out of your job? But the huge promotion!"
"You wouldn't understand. Just stay the way you are. Don't let the world change you. Stay nice." He whispered. After that, I never saw him again. Searches were made, posters were hung, but no one found him. Not even the government.
And they find everything.
"How can I help you." I yawned after saying this, bored to death and exhausted. The anemic looking blonde who was ordering giggled as I watched the fog float over her eyes.
"Haha, well, I'll take a sweet strawberry smoothie and your phone number." She smiled flirtatiously, and I felt the bile rise in my throat.
"Please keep your order to what's on the menu." I snapped, hoping the fog would disappear.
"Sorry!" She laughed, handing me money for her drink. "I just gotta say..."
"I gotta go." I frowned, balling my fists and storming away abruptly. I ran right into Charish in my fit of rage, who pulled me into a room and slammed the door.
"What is your problem!? Get your act together Berk." She growled. "If you can't handle this job amongst the humans, maybe you should go back to the clan."
"I can handle myself fine! It's amazing I haven't torn apart one of these weaklings! Watch them beg and barter! It's ridiculous!" I snarled back, meeting her furious glare. She sighed, leaning against the door and crossing her arms.
"It's not their fault they're drawn to us. Berk, they're just humans."
"So what does that make us?"
"We are what we are Berkley. Now you can make the best of it or sulk like you always have." She folded her hands before her, waiting for a response. "Be like museum girl. She's always peppy."
"It's Feya, the one I've been watching. She doesn't react to us." I sighed, falling back into a chair and digging my fingernails into my palms.
"Okay. So recruit her. Get her hired. We'll make a cactus out of a wimpy fern."
"She doesn't know she's one of us! And I think that's impossible." I frowned, knowing I should stop talking now, before Charish told the clan I couldn't control my emotions. I couldn't control myself. What a life.
"Oh what a life we are living, filled with light and hope..." I whispered to myself, running my hands over the sign the sentence was engraved into that was stuck to the museum. I walked inside, excitedly jogging to today's featured exhibit, the 1990's. I stared at pictures of happy teens with their hair crimped and colored, clothes screaming peace and equality. A second later, I noticed the Berkley guy standing a few feet away, staring at an old radio. He looked up with his golden eyes and made eye contact for a second, then flashed a flirty smile. I turned away, disgusted. Who was this guy? What did he want? I shrugged it off and turned to go look at cassette players, but found that Berkley had now moved there.
"I can't let him ruin my free time." I huffed under my breath, walking to the players. In that I include the guy. I stared at the dusty tapes and analyzed the machinery.
"You have really pretty eyes. They're like plants, thin, full of life, and fragile." He smiled a flirtatious smile once more, and I tried my best to ignore him.
"Something wrong? I should probably introduce myself. I'm Berk..."
"Yeah I know who you are." I growled. "Berkley whatever, manager of the cafe on the fifth floor."
"May I have the pleasure of knowing..."
"Who I am? Feya. What's it to you?" I tried to ignore his eyes, piercing gold, but I noticed an underlying darkness to them. Anger. Frustration.
"Feya, do you have a problem with me or what?" He snapped, all flirty idiocy fleeing from his face.
"I... I um... What?"
"I said do you have a problem or something. Did I offend you somehow?" He asked again. I gaped at him, not expecting his blatant behavior.
"Uh... No sorry. I'm just in a bad mood." I finally choked out. He shrugged, then pointed at one of the cassettes.
"That's a good song." He spoke smoothly, but I could still hear the edge to his voice. The cassette read 'Livin' on a Prayer.' I nodded and smiled to him, nervous to speak.
"You wanna take a look around with me?" He asked, and I saw some honesty fill his face.