United States

Do you really need to know anything about me?
If you said yes, then I like you because we're both nosey
Gender is a social construct but I go by she/her
Sexuality is irrelevant
I live my life by the statement: "Is this decision punk rock?"

Message to Readers

Besties I don't even know what this is tbh. This is the first thing I've written on here and the word count constraint is rly getting me. Feedback would be heavily appreciated as I rly like the premise of this story but ik it feels rushed and idk how to fix it. Thanks besties :) (P.S. The title is in Icelandic and it means Radioactive)


June 10, 2021

     I inhaled the scent of lavender and honey as the breeze danced carelessly through my hair. Bending down, I grazed my fingertips against the lush grass that I stood on. The setting sun blended the waiting sky with the hues of Nyx, and I was in awe at the beauty before me. Closing my eyes, I inhaled once more, a persistent tear rolling down my cheek, and stepped forward. 
    Reality came crashing down all at once as I stepped out from the pixelated world that had brought me so much joy. I opened my eyes to my teacher, Mr. Marx, looking at me curiously, brows furrowed as if knitting them would unravel his yarn of thought. I furiously wiped the tear rolling down my cheek, and strode past him to the next exhibit. 
    As I stood with the rest of my class listening to the story of The Great Disaster for the millionth time, I thought about how unfair it all was. Why did I have to be born now? Why couldn’t I have real grass and real lavender and just real? I was born into a world of fake. My reality was dull and unpolished metal with rust and chips. My reality was scientists worrying about our artificial climate system and oxygen levels. My reality was anything but real, but if it was anything, it was unfair. 
    “There was nothing to do after the nuclear energy had been leaked. The government was at no fault as this was a freak accident. However, if this catastrophic event was to be placed on one person’s shoulders, it would be Reynard Mcbride. He was the head engineer at the time of the disaster…” The hologram woman in front of us droned on about the man who everyone already knew. 
    Reynard Mcbride; the cause of my unfair life. I felt as though I should resent him more than I did, but a part of me felt bad for the guy. Realistically, we all knew that the government was at fault, and was just trying to push the idea of them being perfect. To do this, they needed a target, someone, for the public to blame. It seemed to me that this guy was just the unfortunate receiver of this bullseye, yet, that didn’t seem to make me hate him any less. 
    The pixels of the hologram faded and my body once again mindlessly moved me to the next exhibit. This one interested me a little more, as it was a semi-interactive diagram of the radiation beneath the ground we stood on. 
The exhibit allowed you to place your hand through separated layers of metal and rock and feel a harmless simulation of the radiation. As I placed my palm through the layers, I felt a small zap, like pulling out a stripped electrical cord, and quickly jerked my hand out, holding it with my other. I looked to my right, and, once again, Mr. Marx was staring at me like I was an intricate puzzle waiting to be solved. I mimicked his expression and he continued to stare with awkward eye contact, so I resorted to turning away with a huff. 
    I made it about ten steps before I ran into a warm and solid mass with a small 'oof'. Arms wrapped around my shoulders, steadying me, and I looked up to see the man I had run into. 
    “I’m so sor- Mr. Marx?” 
    He said nothing, his hands still on my shoulders. We stood there for a moment until he patted my upper arm awkwardly and then walked away towards the rest of my class. I blinked in disbelief because how the hell did he get over to me in 0.2 seconds? I shook my head slightly as if it would make the memory any clearer and then trudged after my classmates.
    "Gesa, are you all right?" A coarse palm touched my upper arm sending my head shooting in the direction of the cause. My breath hitched as I saw the lean face to my left.  
   "I'm fine, Mr. Marx," I lied. 
  "Good," he smiled in a sickeningly sweet manner, "We wouldn't want our star student dropping out on us now would we?" 
    "Sir, can I ask you something?" 
    "Go ahead." 
    "What's going on?" 
    "There are many questions in the world, my girl, and you will come to learn many of them are answerless." He smiled once more, nodded his head curtly, and turned on his heels to walk towards a large statue. 
    I was left standing alone with my thoughts racing. What was all of that supposed to mean? Why couldn't he answer me? My breath began to quicken and my skin felt clammy. I looked down at my fingers, long and slim, and was startled to find that they were tingeing on a putrid shade of green. In a moment of sheer panic, I bolted out of the nearest exit to my right. 
    I came to a halt outside of the museum. I frantically searched for a destination in my head, but when nothing came, I began to run down the metal streets; my thick government-issued boots clanking as they hit the iron. My legs strode but the scenery stayed constant; as if I was on a treadmill. 
    And suddenly, I was on the ground; cold metal against my back as I gasped for frigid air. Blood trickled from my nose and I struggled to move my legs. My head lolled and I couldn't help but gasp at the sight of my arms. The tips of my fingers were singed charcoal black, and the color slowly faded up my arms into chartreuse.
    The memories flooded as the dam was broken. The lab. The accident. The government officials coming. Mr. Marx being one of them. Learning that they control the radiation. Them turning on the radiation and pushing me in as a test subject. Learning that they had done the same to Raynard McBride all those years ago. 


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  • June 10, 2021 - 5:53pm (Now Viewing)

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1 Comment
  • Rose Beta

    Just the first line got me hooked. This is wonderful!

    9 days ago