Below, you will see the graphic for the blog’s next featured story:

Grace Trials

THE STORY

If you saw the post about Manuscript Monday, going into extensive detail about why I chose the story I selected, I mentioned a story I wrote called, “Girls of Grace”.

“Grace Trials” is “Girls of Grace” rebranded, revamped, an under-new-construction rewrite. I guess, this will be my revision quest and I’m inviting all of you along for the ride.

In the original “Girls of Grace”, it was about three girls who became friends through church. In all honesty, this story is slightly based on real life, but in totality it really isn’t.

Like, the main character is a little like me. One of her friends is a little like one of my strong-willed friends that battles depression. The main character’s other friend is this super-family-oriented-person who has OCD. All three of them go to a tiny, baptist church where everybody knows everybody.  Me and my two friends, all went to a tiny, baptist church where the three of us formed a friendship. Beyond that, that is as real as the story gets. Okay, most of the story takes place in the city where we all live…

But the main plot points, the scenarios that unfold, and events that take place… never happened to me or my friends in real life… to my knowledge.

This revamp, however, will be wildly different. I started the project in 2012. Seven years later, with the characters well developed and a plot with lots of options, the content will be richer.

SYNOPSIS

Lauren Rae Tyler – 18, Melissa Grace Russell – 21, and Makayla Johnson – 17, are best friends that are closer to each other than sisters. Through all the trials life hurls them into, they rally to be there for one another and see each other overcome their tribulation. But they know they can’t obtain any victories without God’s grace.

Grace Trials may be the name of Lauren’s dad’s ranch and church, but the “Grace Trials” make up the casebook that proves God’s grace is for those who believe and cannot be saved, delivered, or set free without the free grace of God. (Okay, you’re right – the Bible has already done that, and proves so… It’s great!)

DREAM-GOAL

Yes, I want this story turned into a movie too! Executively-produced by Kirk Cameron. Pray with me y’all! (I’d accept working with David AR White too.)

It’s odd that I want to work with him so much… like I’m not a fan girl of his… I don’t really watch a lot of his ministry videos, nor have I seen any of his latest Christian Film Productions.

I just want to work with him. I think it would be cool!

WARNING

This story will feature some hard to swallow material, but the topics shouldn’t be ignored and swept under the rug in the church anymore.

MY REQUEST

If you like it as you read it, share it with someone you think may enjoy it, or benefit from it in someway.

MY HOPE

Is that someone who never had faith before, find faith in Jesus.

Yes, this may be a fictional story, with fictional characters, but the God of the Bible is the only God. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life… and in this little piece of fiction, God can save you or someone you’re praying for to be saved!

MANUSCRIPT MONDAY or STORY SUNDAY

At this point, I’m thinking neither, but we’ll see.

Thank you for joining this journey with me.


If you read my post,“Crossing the Finish Line”, then you heard about my story on LITNET called, “A Digital Age Courtship”. If you didn’t read that post or even if you did…

A Digital Age Courtship

The link below takes you directly to that story. ENJOY!

https://litnet.com/en/reader/a-digital-age-courtship-b106691?c=928921&p=1

KYLIE

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“I like the name Gwendolyn for a girl and Murphy for a boy…” Kylie confessed with an unsure look on her face. She winced worried she’d bring up painful memories for Jon.

“I think both of those names are lovely. Papa Silas and Mom will feel honored when you share your preference, but I like Marie for a girl or Yesh a for a boy…” Jon said.

Kylie rolled her eyes wishing she could argue with him over those names. He like Marie because it’s a form of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and he likes Yesh, short for Yeshua, the Hebrew name of Jesus. Jon believes names are prophetic statements over once’s life… that a name can help shape who you become… that’s why God changed peoples names in the Bible or said what their names should be before they were born.

Kylie stuck her nose back in her book-styled tablet. The paper-light made it similar to reading an old-fashioned paper book. And though Kylie had plenty of regular paper books to choose from in the manor, with the rare blessing to be the newest, and youngest Philosopher’s Wife, she was used to using a book-tablet for all her reading like when she grew up in a Sanctuary.

The sudden touch of Jon’s cold, large, slender hands on her bulging middle made her heart skip a beat for a moment. She closed her book-tablet, and set it in the middle of the bed. She watched Jon lay sideways on the bed, his torso facing her, while his face was fixed on the exterior of her womb. Gently, he rested his forehead and his lips moved but no sound came out. He was praying for their unborn child. She could feel the warmth of the Holy Spirit flow from his hands and into the baby’s chamber. The baby began to kick and move around. Kylie giggle trying not to let the discomfort the baby gave bother her. She imagined the baby was dancing.

In Romans, the Bible says we are all born with the knowledge of God… her heart’s deepest prayer was that her baby would never forget about God. She prayed that God would lead the child to the path of eternal life.

If she knew God when she was pregnant with Bailey’s and Garrison’s daughter… she would have prayed the same… She’s so big now. She’s the 97th percentile for 7 year olds in height, She towers over all boys and girls. Kylie didn’t think her egg and Garrison’s sperm would make such a beautiful, tall, lanky kid. She worried the kid would be ugly. With the exception of Gwendolyn, the Angelcrest’s looked like the trolls that hung out under the bridge… not pretty. Kylie personally doesn’t find herself pretty, but little Taylor is the most gorgeous girl that ever lived.

Sometimes she wished Taylor could be her daughter instead of her niece… but right now, Kylie held the title of most awesome aunt in the world! As long as Kylie kept that what could go wrong.

When Jon finished praying, he used his elbows on the mattress to crawl to meet Kylie face to face.

“Have I told you lately how much I love you?”

“Only every chance you see me…”

“I love you,” He said as kissed Kylie on the lips.

There’s no one more she loved kissing than her husband of three amazingly sweet years. Though sometimes it was weird for her.

She remembers when they were much younger and kissing like this gave her anxiety. Where she felt tortured being treated like a girl. How when Nix would touch Lore’s breast she hated herself for being a woman and was depressed she wasn’t a man, like Nix. She would sometimes picture being the man and even though it wasn’t true, thinking that way helped her cope…

If she didn’t think like a man she may have killed herself. Because every time she had to look at her naked body, not matching how she felt on the inside, she desired death opposed to the living hell she was in… Two things kept her going in the Sanctuary… Her friendship with Nix and the chance for I.D. Synthesis.

“I love you,” Kylie said when they paused for air and she kissed him back.

Kissing Jon now made her feel every bit a woman. She felt a subtle power in being a woman- a life giver because only woman can bear and deliver children. As a woman she found peace in following Jon’s lead. She looked to him to be her guiding light and when Jon was weary and when Jon needed help, in those times she felt called to be his comfort and to be his support. Every day, she got up, she would spend time with God in her secret place, in her mind as she pretended to do her morning yoga, but then the rest of her day was spent making sure Jon got what he needed, and every need she had Jon did his best to meet it. Yes, they both failed everyday to be everything for one another, and they didn’t need each other, but they both chose to need each other.

Jon gently settled away from sucking Kylie’s face and laid on his side, holding up his head his hand on bended elbow. He lied there in his night tee and bed shorts like a total king and Kylie wanted more… if she wasn’t the size of an elephant… it was more work at this stage of pregnancy to get laid than it was worth… in her opinion… but not all women are like Kylie.

“Tomorrow, the Panel requested to see my latest Philosophy in pamphlet form… isn’t that cool?”

“No!” Kylie panicked. That meant he had to share his sources and all of it came from the Bible, using a portion is okay, but using all of it isn’t…

“Relax… whatever will be will be…”

Another topic she wanted to argue about with Jon. He could at least postpone to do something that could kill him until after the baby was born… but the Kylie thought what if one of the Philosopher’s needed to be reminded of the truth before their last breath…

She thought about the sacrifices both Gwendolyn and Murphy made for her.

GWENIE THE DEARLY BELOVED

‘I am grieved that my daughter will forever be known for supporting an ideology that spread bigotry, hatred, homophobia, and down-right judgmental thoughts and attitudes… but that doesn’t change the fact she was my daughter, dearly beloved. She was the wife of my brilliant apprentice I am honored to call son. Her laugh, her smile, her zeal of life will never be forgotten. She will forever be treasure in my heart. Her mother’s heart. Her brother’s heart. Gwendolyn Celeste Angelcrest Fenix aka Gwenie– is her own paradise fashioned by the delusion built on her faulty belief systems– and knowing she now rejoined with the deity that surrounds us, that is in us all and in all things, gives me peace of mind.’ Silas said at her for Gwenie’s eulogy.

Jon cried heavy tears the entire time. Kylie held his hand trying to be a comfort but knew she wasn’t. Gwenie was his wife for two years and he loved her deeeply. Jaya sat on the other side of Jon, rubbing his back in a circular motion.

Kylie’s mind was plagued with guilt for betraying Gwenie like Judas did to Jesus.

A few weeks before Gwenie was arrested at Taylor’s first birthday, at Garrison’s and Bailey’s home… Kylie was summoned to report to her Sanctuary for a spontaneous evaluation. At her second to last evaluation Kylie requested an extension to be an egg donor and surrogate for Bailey and Garrison. Bailey transitioned from a male to a female but still couldn’t have children. The Society agreed to stop her IDS, allow her to fulfill her duty to her family for however long it took and six months after giving birth should resume her IDS for six more months and then transition into a male like she originally desired.

Six months after giving birth, Kylie wasn’t sure about becoming male. Something about giving birth didn’t make her hate being a woman anymore.

In the last month of pregnancy, she lived with Garrison and Bailey, and one weekend they went of town didn’t time alone before becoming parents. Gwenie came over to stay with Kylie because Jon had a ton of work and he needed solace.

One night for dinner, Gwenie dragged Kylie to the Public Sector or the Sailor’s Barge… They had bomb fish and chips and then they stayed until the club hours and went to the basement and Kylie broke out crying when she was welcomed a small group of fellow believers. She no longer had to keep her faith in her mind. She could freely talk about God. She could pray out loud. For the first time, she sang a worship song about the second coming of the Lord… she didn’t want to leave.

Since that night and after giving birth, Kylie went to the basement of the Sailor’s Barge as often as she could. She took more copies of scripture than anyone else, but she never shared them. She saved them to make her own copy of the Bible.

On the day she was summoned to the Sanctuary, they had pictures of her reading a paper booklet tied together with yarn in a makeshift spin. They searched the purse she had with her and found it that booklet… as a makeshift Bible… when they asked where she got it she didn’t want to give up the Sailor’s Barge Basement… She gave up Gwenie instead, after all… she was the one who had access to a Bible and it was in her hand writing. As an offspring from the Private Level, she was one of the few people in the world who could write by hand… everyone else in the Public typed on devices or spoke into devices to create text messages and to write epapers for school.

They asked her right then and there if she believed she wanted to say yes, but she said no. When they asked why she read the pages she claimed she was curious. They asked why didn’t she report Gwenie and offer the book as evidence willingly, she honestly said she wanted to protect her best friend’s wife. Then they asked her why she wanted to be a woman after giving birth.

Kylie answered, ‘Having a child made me feel powerful… I don’t want to give that up… I want more children and if I must sacrifice my desire to be a man for that, then I can live with myself.’

New medical reports at this time shared the alarming rate of infertility. Shocking discoveries that people healthy to reproduce where giving up their ability to reproducing by becoming the opposite gender. And though some female to male people could bear child, it violated the Society’s Social Codes, so they’re started sterilizing all transgender people to make it equal across the board. If the world’s birth rate remained low, there would be no one to replace the world’s current population in the next 100 years.

Simply because Kylie proved to give a healthy offspring, she was spared punishment for breaking the Society’s number one Social Code – worshipping the One True God.

Kylie told herself Gwenie would get a slap on the wrist for being the Chief Philosopher’s Daughter and the Granddaughter of the Chief Policymaker, but it was because of her they decided to televise the stoning of One True God Followers. The Panel chose stoning as the delivery for death to honor their belief in an ancient horrid religion.

Due to the rise in believers, the Panel discussed bringing crucifixion back to scare people out of taking the risk of even thinking of believing.

Anyone who didn’t watch the stoning was arrested and stoned after Gwenie. Everyone was warned beforehand. Kylie sat in Silas’s TV Room, next to Jon, holding his hand, and she watched Gwenie get stoned by the armored lawenforcers. She stood for as along as she could, she only cried when it was unbearable. And when she couldn’t stand, she hoisted herself up on her knees, and in her final breaths on the ground, she cried the name of the Savior again and again until a stone  hit in between the eyes and caved her head in.

Jon and Kylie held each other balling together. He grieved from loss and Kylie wept from overbearing loss. She wished for death. In that moment, she wanted to stand up and say she believed, but Jon did something weird… He kissed her on the lips and then he whispered in her ear. ‘I need you… don’t leave me…’

They didn’t go on a date until two years, forty-two days, and nine hours after Gwenie’s death, but by then Jesus made it clear like Peter, Kylie was forgiven.

The day after her 24th birthday, she became Kylie Taylor Fenix… and without hearing the truth five and half years prior… she wouldn’t be a woman… and she would be on track to hell in the next life living this life as a man.

OUTSIDE THE LOUNGE

Kyl had been tormented for six months. Going through hormone treatments, to harvest eggs, and then having to handle failed implantation after failed implantation… Kyl loved his sister Bailey, but he couldn’t handle putting his dream of becoming a man for real on hold.

To blow off steam, and to relax, AND to FIND someone to HOOK up with to really let go off ALL the CRAP he FELT… he went to the Lounge. Though Kyl fished to take a pretty lady home, no one bit the bait. So Kyl got trashed. Drunker than he ever got before.

Leaving the lounge, he stumbled and nearly fell face first into the sidewalk. He caught himself on the post of a street lamp. A man met him there on that corner and helped hold him up. He looked like an old and gray Nix. And even though, him and Nix were friends again, things weren’t the same between them, and Kyl missed what he and Nix had in the Sanctuary.

‘Excuse me, have you ever heard the Gospel?’ The older man asked.

After giving some speech about Jesus, death, and resurrection and being born-again, and going to heaven instead of hell, the man asked, “Do you believe in the Gospel, Kylie?”

Suddenly, he was tackled by three armored officers. He fought back but the beat him until he fell limp unconscious. Kyl was so freaked out and confused by everything he passed out.

He woke up the next day in his bed. The officers must have brought him home.

Three weeks later, Kyl had a dream of a glamorous place. The streets were pure gold, so pure it was see-thru. There was endless light all around her and total peace. She say this man with holes in his hands and where a white robe. He was bearded and she knew who he was… the man who was God who died on a cross for her sins.

“I love you Kylie.”

Abruptly, she woke up and instantly believed the Gospel was true. She left like she needed to look in her back pants pocket and she pulled out a little piece of paper that had written on it, “God sent his only begotten Son for the salvation of the world. For whosoever believes in the Son should have eternal life…” John 3:16. The old man must have slipped it in her pocket somehow. Deep in her heart she believed in Jesus and she felt free. She no longer wanted to be Kyl. She wanted to be Kylie like her parents named her.

KYL LORE

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Three days after commencement, Kyl finally got leave. He got little panicked trying to leave the Sanctuary the first day and he feels bad that he stood Nix up. But when he was walking down the hall the first, a panic hit him heavy. Bailey always visited him growing up in the Sanctuary, would if his parents wouldn’t show up for him, and he would be all alone like Bailey was after her commencement.

For three days, he rested in a blue light room to release. He talked about his fears with a counselor. He did a lot of meditation asking spirits to guide him to peace.

He cut his hair into the male style he wanted and he selected faux eye-glasses to look smart. Chicks dig nerdy guys.

On his second attempt to leave the Sanctuary, he could feel another panic attack coming, but he pressed through fearing life in the Sanctuary more than the unknown that awaited him.

Bailey and Garrison came to pick him and took him to the Private Level to their house, though he was assigned a nice apartment on the edge of the Public Level. That’s when Bailey told Kyl about their parents. They were famous entertainers who took their lives in a double suicide when Kyl was 6 and Bailey was 12. They watched a marathon of movies their parents starred into together… they were the Society’s hottest actors and hottest celebrity couple.

Entertainers may live in the Private Level, but they only have the rights of Public Level Members. Their child must be raised in Sanctuaries but do get to return to their entertainer parents during IDS.

Kyl was never that into movie so he never realized who his parents were, but watching the movie where their parents fell in love on set, she remembered one visit from them in the Sanctuary.

LORE

Sage Lore was six years old. Hirs (here) caretaker took hirs to the Visitor’s Hall to see hirs parents. Sie (zee) was so excited! Lore’s Alma (mother) was pencil thin and looked like a walking corpse and Lore’s Animo (father) was big and bulky like a comic book superhero. Their teeth blindingly white, their skin seemingly perfect, and their clothes super pressed and fresh looking.

Lore sat in between them on a bench to a long table. All three of them used the table top like a back rest.

They spent a long time giving Lore kisses and telling sie they loved hirs. Hirs Animo sat hirs on the lap. Lore faced inward looking at hirs Animo’s face while hirs hair was braided by hirs Alma.

The time came for them to leave and hirs Animo set Lore on the ground on hirs feet. They both hugged Lore at the same time and whispered in hirs ear, ‘Believe when you hear the Gospel. Jesus loves you.’

Six people wearing clunky black outfits and black face glassy covers came and surrounded Lore’s parents. The people in black showed Mr. and Mrs. Taylor out. Lore got to visit with Bailey the next week, even though older kids did not hang out with younger ones.

Over time, Lore realized sie would never see hirs parents again, but sie knew sie would always have Nix.


Author’s Note

You may have realized everyone who got saved in this story was connected to believer in their family before them. I’m not saying only the relatives of believers get saved, but I do know God is faithful to answer prayer. If fellow believers are anything like me, I pray for my family who don’t know God personally, to know Him and I thank God for the salvation and I trust God will give them chance after chance until they die to know God.

Martyrdom turned out to be a huge theme I didn’t expect to hit on until I wrote Murphy’s section. Then this theme took over.

I know I personally don’t reflect on the fact that I could die one day for my faith in Jesus. Not that I think anyone aspires to be a martyr, but can you say you truly believe in something if you’re not willing to die for what you believe in?

This concludes I.D. Synthesis. This was originally a novel length idea that I compressed into a four part series.

I’m sure there are so many questions! Look out for some videos explaining the things not resolved in this series. Please, drop questions in the comments below or on any parts of the story and I’ll do my best to address them in my videos or by responding to your comment. Thank you for taking this journey with me and I hope you come along for the next one. Bring some friends too! Spread the word about this weird story you read online and you made you think a lot!!! Say what you want how you want to say it, I simply ask you be kind.

Thank you,

Much Love,

Bri,

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NIX

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The 4th Commencement of Collective 85 finally arrived. Nix and Lore anticipated this day for eons.

Early in the morning, when they were supposed to be meditating, the two were making plans when they returned home to their families. At mid-day, during their lunch break, they would discuss what they imagined living outside the Sanctuary and amongst the Society.

Lore would loudly express zirs (his/her) lude sexual desires with anyone zie (he/she)  could imagine. Feeling slightly bad, Lore would apologize to Nix, claiming zie wasn’t a bad sex partner, but made it clear finding partners by choice and not assignment would be a welcomed changed. Nix would always pretend to agree even though zie loved Lore very much and couldn’t imagine being with anyone else, sexually.

In the evening, just after dinner, during their evening run and sometimes bike ride, they would talk about what type of identity they wanted for themselves.

In the Sanctuary, everything is gender neutral. The clothing, the names, the pronouns, the titles, the décor, and identity is viewed collectively not individually. In the past, children were free to choose gender at the age 4 or 5, and it worked for a while. Or so the society at the time thought… But that generation, the Generation of Theybies, were the most clinically depressed, most suicidal, heavily drug addicted, cruelest generation to walk the earth in the history of all histories.

After the Age of Chaos, and the Era of Peace dawned, the Society was restricted. It is the Society’s philosophy all are free to become who they desire to be, but a system was established to ensure the well-being of everyone.

Society was divided into three levels: Private>>>Public>>>Protected. Private consists of the Society’s leaders, healers, philosophers, policymakers, business owners, and taskmasters, and their offspring. The Public made up every adult (and children up to the age of 3) not in a profession reserved for the Private Level. The Protected are the offspring of the Public, reared from age 3 to age 16 in Sanctuaries.

At age 16, after commencement in the month of their birth, the Protected become Synthesizers, placed in the Private Level or the Public Level based on occupation placement, and undergo ID Synthesis: the Process of Gender and Sexual Orientation Selection.

Research has shown, to live a productive life, each person needs a settled sense of who they are and how they identify. Failing to solidify this identity early on, could lead to a mid-life crisis, failure to succeed professionally and personally increases the risk to be a danger to self and to others due to more mental health issues and destructive behaviors.

Synthesizers are within the age bracket of 16 to 18, unless they have extensions to complete their I.D.S. Every 3 months, they meet with their Evaluator, meeting at the Sanctuary where they were raised, and receive consultation during their journey to become who they choose to be. Not everyone completes ID Synthesis within two years. Every applicant can get up to four extensions, one year each, but if they fail to complete ID Synthesis in year six, it is ruled they must remain gender neutral and stay as a Protected member of the Society. They become caretakers to the next generation of Protected children.

Lore jokes sie would go mad reverting back to the cage of the Sanctuary after tasting the freedom of the Public. Lore most likely would just miss hooking up freely. Protected adults abstain from sexual activity, or get assigned as sex partners when a month has an uneven amount of collective members.

Nix and Lore didn’t explore their sexual feelings together until a few months ago. Up until then they flew solo in that department because Lore would cry every time they tried. That’s when Nix would be the dominate one, but after Caretaker Everett assessed Lore needed to be the dominate one to be comfortable, it’s been easier to be together. Lore still doesn’t enjoy it as much as Nix, which is odd, because Lore talks about sex all the time.

The reason Sanctuaries assign sex partners at age 13 is to reduce the risk of spreading sexually transmitted infections. Having one partner greatly decreases those chances. Also, no one expects kids to practice safe sex when they are overwhelmed by flooding hormones. Videos are provided when sex partners get bored of each other.

Though Nix was glad to walk across this stage on the 30th of April, sie realized unless Lore wanted to, sie will never kiss Lore again. Nix will never snuggle the night away with Lore’s body against hirs. As the Sanctuary Chancellor raises Nix’s right hand high, the Collective of 85, Months 5 thru 12, cheered in the auditorium. A portrait of Nix appeared on the holoscreen behind sie and the Chancellor. Then sie bowed to thank the Chancellor for approval, pivoted smoothly as practiced and walked off the stage.

Next was Lore. Nix stood offstage in Lore’s sight. Shining the biggest smile of encouragement Nix could offer Lore, such a gesture appeared to give Lore some peace as sie graced the platform. A portrait of Lore laughing flashed on the holoscreen as the Chancellor raised hirs hand and the crowd cheered. After Lore bowed to the leader of the Sanctuary gratefully, Lore darted offstage and leaped into Nix’s arms, and unexpectedly kisses Nix with plenty of tongue.

The moment literally stole Nix’s breath, but also captivated hirs heart. Sie thought last night was their last moment of intimacy. Sneaking out of Nix’s embrace, Lore patted Nix on the shoulder and said, “Don’t ever expect that to happen again.”

“One can dream, right?” Nix raised a brow playfully.

Lore pushed Nix to move and barked, “Only in your dreams from now on!”

Then they were directed to the waiting room of the discharge ward. One by one, everyone was called by their date of birth, surname, time of birth, and Sanctuary name. The Sanctuary name for Nix was Blue Nix and Lore was Sage Lore.

Nix rested hirs head on Lore’s shoulder, enjoying the final sands of the hour glass with Lore. Lore rested hirs face upon Nix’s thick, blond hair. They needed no words. They simply enjoyed one another’s company even though they were not alone. Other 4s of Collective 85 anxiously awaited to be evaluated, to determine how they would each begin ID Synthesis.

“Promise me we’ll be in each others lives forever…” Nix stated demanding agreement from Lore.

“Only if you promise to love me for me and not as you see me…” Lore answered honestly.

“I already love you for you.” Nix said not understanding what Lore meant.

Evaluator Dayln, in a pristine white jumper, steps into the archway that leads to the evaluation room. “4/20/2085, Fenix, 7:07 pm, Blue Nix aka Nix.”

Nix jolted to sit up straight and even though time passed slowly, being called upon felt too soon. Sie took Lore by the hand and stared deep into hirs eyes, “Tomorrow night, don’t forget to meet at the steps of town hall.”

“I won’t forget.” Lore promised. “Midnight at town hall,” Lore smiled to reassure Nix.

Evaluator Dayln called for Nix again to hurry hirself along. Nix lets go of Lore’s hand then hurried over to Evaluator Dayln. Nix wonders how Evaluator Dayln would want to ID oneself amongst the Society.

Evaluator Dayln appeared feminine having a noticeably sized bosom Nix found hirself staring at, wondering what they looked like without being covered. When Evaluator Dayln cleared hirs throat, Nix snapped out of the realm of imagination and focused on reality.

Sitting in a white-walled room, with a random large window in it. A long silver table sat in the middle of the room with two silver square chairs. Each positioned across from each other.

Nix got directed to sit across from the window, while Evaluator Dayln sat with hirs back to the glass.

The questioning began slowly and then picked up. Nix sense of time still remained at a snail rate. Sie answered everything honestly though. Then the evaluation shifted when Evaluator Dayln gave an analysis based on Nix’s responses.

“Would it be accurate to say you feel male in gender and heterosexual in sexual orientation?” Evaluator Dayln asked with a stone solid face. Hirs hands clasped together by hirs fingers on top of the table. Nix wanted to ask hirs if sie felt female in gender and heterosexual in sexual orientation, but Nix knew that would be wrong.

Staring into Evaluator Dayln’s wide, brown eyes Nix answered, “Yes, I would say that I feel male and that I’m a heterosexual.”

“What religion do you best identify with?”

“Monotheistic… Or maybe… the Universe and we are one with it…. I’m not sure really.”

“Are you saying you are agnostic?”

“No,” Nix shook hirs head. “I just feel like we couldn’t all be here by accident. Someone or something had to make the big bang happen or put the dust particles in the sea or use the stardust to make us… Or maybe we just come from the earth, the dirt… However we got here I don’t know… I just want to know the One responsible for putting us here. I feel like it will give me meaning to my life.”

“How do you identify religiously?”

“Spiritual…” Nix grunted unsatisfied with hirs own answer.

“What first name have you selected for yourself?”

“My birth name, Jon… J-O-N, Jon.”

“And will you keep your Sanctuary last name to forge your own path or will you keep your Heredity last name?”

“Heredity last name, please… Fenix. I’m Jon Fenix.”

“You will be missed Blue Nix.” Evaluator Dayln cleared hirs throat. “Do you desire to begin your ID Synthesis as Jon Fenix, a caucasian heterosexual male, age 16, who is spiritual?”

“Yes, I do.”

JON

“Then congratulations Jon, you’re officially a Synthesizer.” Evaluator Dayln stood up, holding out hirs dark brown hand, hirs skin almost seemed black, and hirs short black hair appeared to look like wool. Jon wondered if hirs hair felt scratchy like wool, or if it was soft.

Evaluator Dayln escorted him out of the room and down the hall to the Releasing Area divided into three sections: Clothing Selection, Occupation Assignment, and Society Etiquette.

In the Clothing Selection Section, which was just a wall of clothes on a rack, there were loud colors to choose from. Anything and everything to choose from, but gray and black, which was all Jon wanted to wear. He selected a white t-shirt, some blue rough-feeling pants, brown, clunky boots that sort of look orange. He picked four more outfits of the same thing. The clerk told him he could pick out different things, but that was all he wanted to wear. The clerk advised him to pick a jacket or something to wear over his t-shirts for nighttime, when it got cooler. He picked out a checkered jacket with red and black squares the clerk called plaid.

In the Occupation Assignment Section, he stood before a counter with a glass wall between him and the clerk on the other side of the counter. Sie typed away on hirs holokeys, looking up in the system what \Jon tested into for work. Though he couldn’t seen hirs holoscreen, he knew sie wasn’t staring at space as hirs eyes dart side to side.

Without saying anything, the clerk walked away. Jon called out to hirs wanting to know what was going on, but he got no answer back. Before he could grow bored waiting, the clerk was back and sie told him to stick his right hand through the slit. Seconds later, the wall below the counter opened up with space big enough to fit his hand inside. A little weary, he sticks his hand through, and the clerk took a little black gun-like device, pressed against the skin in between his thumb and his pointer finger and a slight pinch inflicted his skin where the gun touched his hand. The clerk told him to remove his hand. As he did, the clerk gave him details about his occupation.

“Your employment is classified. You will find out more details tomorrow. A vehicle will arrive at your parents house to pick you up at 7 am. If anyone asks you what your job is say you are a janitor for the Law House in the Private Sector. Good-day.”

Jon rubbed his hand where the gun pinched him. He was amazed how there was no blood even though he knew he just got chipped. Chips were vital to Society members. All your points got downloaded onto the chip, and you needed points to buy everything. Chips were programmed to houses, giving you access in and out freely. Depending on where you worked, determined which areas you have access to enter. When you went to the doctor, they scanned your chip, and your whole medical history would pop up, along with a diagnostics of what was currently happening in your body.

Years ago, a chip was considered an invasion of someone’s personal space. But after the Age of Chaos, the Society agreed the chip was best. Jon heard that when you’re thinking suicidal thoughts, it alerts emergency services and a team comes to rescue you. This feature can be turned off Public and Private members of the Society, but Synthesizers have no choice. The feature is kept on during the most trying time of their lives.

In the Society Etiquette Section, Jon watched a short video how to be politically correct and non-offensive to fellow members. In the past, Pre-Age-of-Chaos and Post-Digital-Age, first world civilizations used non-offensive gender neutral terms like they, theirs, them, themselves, one, oneself, etc. However, for anyone who identified as female or male, they found it depressing to not be acknowledged as they chose to identify. Therefore, the Society decided using gender specific pronouns was okay, and in fact encouraged. Before you could call anyone by she or he appropriate pronouns, one had to find how they identified by asking upon introduction, “How do you identify?” Until you learn if someone is a he or a she, you still refer to them as a they or a sie. Anyone who identified as non-binary was rare, because non-binary people usually were employed by Sanctuaries. All Sanctuary Employees live on campuses.

Jon was given a black (a color he liked) duffle bag to put his new clothes in. Inside the duffle bag was a clear plastic bag with a stuffed fox animal- a child’s toy. A blue blanket for an infant that had his name “Jon” etched into the fabric in the corner.  And a blue and purple sippy cup. His parents  must of dropped him off to the Sanctuary with those things.

Next, he was escorted down a long hallway by two guards. Some new Synthesizers get anxiety about leaving the Sanctuary after commencement and try to break back inside. They’re given 72 hours and three more attempts to leave. If they fail the third time, they are forever classified as Protected and undergo training immediately to be employed at a Sanctuary.

Jon didn’t want to go back. He was a little nervous about leaving, but that was mainly because he wasn’t sure if he would ever see Lore again, and everything within him longed to see Lore again.

BEAR, WOLF, & JON

The bright light of the outdoors made Jon squint his eyes until they adjusted. He heard a large crowd cheering. All the parents, and friends and family (of the parents of 4/85), watched the commencement from outside the Sanctuary. Now they wait for their child to be released. The parents were called up to the gate when their child was about to exit, so they could meet face to face.

It’s not like parents never see their children. Parents can visit as often as they want during visiting hours, and Jon’s parents came every week, at least twice, sometimes thrice.  He couldn’t call them mom and dad though, and he didn’t like calling them by their names. So he called his mom Bear, because she was protective like a mama bear, and he called his dad Wolf, because he was so loyal to his mom.

Jaya—Bear—Mom held her arms wide open and called out, “Blue!” as Jon stepped through open gate. He rushed to swoop him in her arms as she embraced him. Murphy—Wolf—Dad joined in making it a group hug affair.

Growing up, Jon wished he looked more like his mom and not his dad. She had beautiful caramel skin, jet black hair, and big, black eyes. His dad had pale white skin, narrow blue eyes, and blondish brown hair. Jaya’s great grandparents were both Asian Indian. Her grandfather was Asian Indian, and her father was half-Asian Indian and half-white. Her mother was part black and mostly white.

As they all came out of their hug feeling warm and fuzzy, Jon corrected Jaya about his name, “Please, call me Jon.”

Excited that he chose his birth name. Jaya stretched upward on her tippy toes to kiss him on each cheek while Murphy slapped him on the back.

The rest of the day went great. They showed him where town hall was. They had dinner at Jaya’s and Murphy’s favorite restaurant. Then they went home and showed Jon his room. The walls were dark gray. The bedding was light gray and his furniture was black. He loved it.

They all sat in the living room watching home movies of them as family when Jon was a toddler. Murphy would go into detail narrating each clip. Jaya cried a lot. Any question Jon had, they answered. It felt so great to be home and wonderful to be with them.

Even though he didn’t need it, they both tucked him into bed. Jaya sat at the foot of the bed while his dad leaned against the post of the doorway.  Jaya pulled his covers up over his chest to ensure he would stay warm.

“Where do they have you working?” Murphy asked crossing his arms over his chest.

“Um, as a Janitor for the Law House.”

“For Town Hall you mean?” Jaya wondered thinking her son is mistaken.

“No,” Jon said firmly, “A Janitor for the Law House.”

The Town Hall was for every day affairs for the Local Public within the Society for New Haven. The Law House was for the entirety of the Society across the world, located in the Private Sector of New Haven.

Jaya looked at Murphy and they shared a long stare. As if they could talk to each other in the silence through their facial expressions. Jaya broke the stare when she rose up and leaned over to kiss Jon on the forehead.

“This will be the only night I tuck you in.”

“Why?” Jon jokingly whined.

She rustled her pointed nose with Jon’s similar nose and they both laughed under their breath. “Goodnight,” she said standing up all the way.

“Goodnight mom.”

She got teary-eyed and she held her hands over her heart, “I love to hear you call me that.” She wiped her tears with her pointer finger and then she left the room, patting Murphy on the shoulder as she walked out.

Murphy went over to Jon and kissed him on the forehead. “It is very good to have you home son, I love you.”

“You and mom don’t believe me about my occupation, do you?”

“You say you’re a Janitor at the Law House, that’s what we proudly tell the neighbors. Now goodnight.”

“I love you too, dad. Goodnight.”

Murphy told the lights to turn off and they did making everything go black. Jon laid there in bed staring at the ceiling. At night was when he pondered the most if there was a God.

In the Sanctuary, everyone is taught is that everyone is part of the collective consciousness and that god comes from within. That there are spirit guides that can come and help people. All a person has to do is mediate properly and master yoga. To Jon, none of that information seemed right.

During free time, Jon was allowed to study different religions none of them seemed right. Plus, none of them were the religions practiced in the past. The Philosophers got together and designed religions that would keep peace amongst the Society. There’s either Monotheism, Pantheism, or Collectivism. Monotheism branches out into two belief systems: Universalism, where the Universe is god, and Theism, where some higher power is in control. Pantheism has two branches as well, Gnosticism, where the flesh is bad and the spirit is good, and multiple gods hide their path of truth in symbols, signs, and various literature. And then Paganism, where people can practice dark or light magic to speak to the spirits the roam the earth and communicate to the different gods. And Collectivism was taught in Sanctuaries, in the past it was New Agism or Metaphysical Practices.

The Philosophers took the best out of all the world’s religions and combined new books to help explore and navigate the ideologies and truths of these new religions. There are three options if you choose not to believe in any of the six choices: None (believe in nothing but humanity and science), Agnostic, or Spiritual.

Jon felt like there was another way to believe and he was going to find out what that way of believing was… He fell asleep thinking about what another God out there may be like.


Note from the Author

Some of the content of this story may be disturbing for some of my blog followers. That’s okay, hopefully, you know me well enough to know what I’m up to here. If you’re new to the blog, feel free to check out my other posts to get a sense of who I am. And if you don’t like what you read on those other posts, hopefully, that won’t stop you from reading this story if you find it interesting.

Thanks for stoping by and joining the journey!

Much love,

Bri

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Tucker brings the last of my things into the tiny, fully furnished one bedroom apartment and sets the box of dishes Cory gave me on the two person kitchen table. Milo continues his nap in his carrier that I placed in the middle of the sitting room, by the coffee table.

“I don’t understand why this is necessary…” I state.

“Look at the bright side, you’re a Beta now… Working in product development for PlumTree… You’ve been released of High School classes. This is a sweet deal. When the new housing is finished, you’ll get a bigger place. You’ve achieved every teenager’s dream. You get to be a BIG PERSON.” Tucker chuckles.

“But I’m not comfortable with anyone taking care of Milo but me.”

“Oh relax, there’s a daycare at the office and you can check on him as often as you need.”

Rex knocks on the open door as he enters in without asking.

“Miss Elle, mom wants to know if you want come back to our house for dinner or will you be okay for the evening?”

“She’ll stay.” Tucker answers for me.

“Grandpa, I asked her… not you…” Rex retorts.

“Ah… Milo and I will join you, just let me make some new bottles for Milo.”

“Okay, we’ll wait for you downstairs.” Rex smiles like a dork, super stoked I accepted his invite.

Cory set all of Milo’s supplies on the kitchen counter. I go over there and look for the open canister of formula on the gray countertop. The entire decorum of the apartment are shades of gray. Light gray carpet through most of the place, an almost white tile in the bathroom and the kitchen. Dark gray appliances, sofa, recliner, coffee table, cabinets, tub, bed, entertainment center, dresser, and wardrobe. The sinks are silver. Then every other surface and the walls a normal gray. The ceiling a light gray.

I’m allowed to repaint and decorate however I want, but then I have to put everything back to the way I found it. What a hassle. I think I’ll just let this dreary gray grow on me.

“You stay away from my grandson…” Tucker says. He clarifies what he means as I shake formula powder and water into a milk-like substance in two bottles simultaneously. “Rex is not gonna be my first grandkid to make me a great-granddad.”

I giggle. It’s funny how he’s worried about a virgin ruining his clearly mutually virginal grandson.

“Don’t worry grandpa, Rex isn’t my type.”

Legal age of consent for intercourse is 15 in the DCA. If a couple are expecting, they don’t need parent permission to marry if they’re under 18.

In the RA, age of consent remains at 18. If you’re under 25, you need a “blessing” from both sets of guardians to marry. Usually, teen parents place their child in adoption because they don’t have the means to care for the infant. No one can get employment without a college degree. Abortion is a felony for the mother and the abortionist, and if the father knew about it and didn’t notify the authorities, he’d charged with a misdemeanor…

I guess mom found the perfect place to hide Milo.

Tucker checks to make sure the apartment is secure and then picks up Milo in his carrier to help me down to Cory’s SUV.

The apartment door automatically swings shut after we both step out. The apartment A.I.- Roogle, says goodbye in a pleasant, calm male voice.

In the ride back to Tucker’s neighborhood, Cory makes small talk.

“We’re gonna miss having you next door.” She says, looking at me through the review mirror.

“I’ll miss it too… I love you guys…” I say honestly.

I only read in mom’s journal what Paxton, Cory, Tucker, Uncle Houston, and dad were like. But even though Paxton and Cory will older and wiser, their charm and joyous spirit was the same.


Standing, Paxton holds out his wine glass to make a toast. The short man’s black full beard had the two gray streaks at the corners of his lips like white fangs.

“I’m so happy, that- that Elle here is gonna come into the office and use her genie mind to like make more new awesome tech for the company… For the WORLD! I’m ecstatic that Quora and Walker are here- back with fam will on break from college. AND next week- it is the anniversary of when Cory agreed to go out with me -like a lifetime ago- a long time ago- cause we’re old…” He lifts his glass high and we join him in the gesture, “Let’s toast, to a great year ahead life just getting better!!!”

As we clang our glasses up against one another, the lights go out, rushing steps close in on us, and before my eyes can adjust to the dark to defend myself, a needle pricks my arm as a bag is placed over my head.