That was it. Mina threw the phone across the room. It was always the same when she got a phone call; ringing, hellos, then bad news. Now she decided it was over. No more phone. What was it good for after all?
Sighing, she wiped her brow. This time their words had been really violent. They had been clearer than ever: one more mistake and it was over.
There would not be any more mistakes.
Ignoring the shards of plastic down the wall on which she had thrown the phone, she promptly got a bag out of one of her too many cupboards and filled it with what she thought the most important things around. Her diaries.
Screw the beautiful diva clothes and the rich electronics. She had been living inside this golden cage for too long.
Checking the balance on her bank account from the computer screen above her bed – they had put some of those just in case, or so they said, although she knew very well the real purpose of their presence in this flat – she decided that it was well enough. Without giving it any second thought, she put the bag on her shoulder and opened the door.
The air outside smelt like freedom. It was time for the little nightingale to learn how to fly.
Mina had been walking for hours now – or it seemed like it. At no moment she had regretted her decision, still she was getting tired. But she couldn’t stop. She knew they already were after her. At the precise moment when she had opened the door, the alarms had probably been set off. The screens knew everything after all.
The bag on her shoulder was starting to get heavy. Years and years of keeping diaries had made it so her writings could be counted in thousands of pages. And no less in weight.
After leaving, she had been able to withdraw enough money so that she wouldn’t be traced through the use of her credit card, but this probably wasn’t enough. Still they knew, they had to know, they always knew everything, ever since they had locked her inside the golden cage they had been able to tell everything she did, calling her everytime she made mistakes.
The worse had been when she had started to keep the diaries. They couldn’t stand it that she could just put words on things this way. It was not her job, you see. Mina was the Voice, not the Writer, no matter how much she would have loved to trade places.
So she had hidden the diaries and kept them close to her at all times. This way they wouldn’t have it. After all, the screens didn’t like to approach the flesh.
And she had gone on filling them, no matter the cost. It was the only way for her to keep her sanity.
Still walking, Mina started to get lost in her own thoughts, not paying attention to the world around. A mistake: suddenly, a siren echoed through the buildings, making her jump and look around.
She had entered a security zone. The kind of place where, if you’re not made of wires and cables, you wouldn’t survive long.
Mina cursed. She had acted like a beginner. Everyone knew about these places, and now she had given them the best manner to find out where she was. And she had only been outside for a few hours!
Looking around, she heard the faint sound of electricity rushing to her before she even got to see the cables activate.
They were going to set her back to her place, to chain her even more, to electrify her enough so she would never be able to fill her diaries again – only to stand her role as the Voice. Making her forget about everything else.
Not this time.
Grabbing her bag as if her life was in there – that was the case, somehow, after all – she started to run to get outside the area as fast as possible. Maybe she could find a safer zone somewhere. There had to be a place free from the screens.
The cables behind her started to move, animated by sparks of electricity that would make her black out in the blink of an eye if they were to touch her.
They were fast, and Mina was tired. She knew that a moment would come when she would have to make a choice.
When Mina felt the air behind her crackling with energy, she understood that the moment had come. She was too slow and her bag was too heavy.
She threw a hand in the bag, grabbed the first diary that came and without a second thought, threw it to the wire machina behind her.
The wires stopped suddenly when the paper encountered their sparkling material, as if processing what was happening. There were lots of information in there and they had to find a way to decrypt the strange signs that filled the paper.
Mina had always been really proud of her handwriting, taught to her by a nurse reluctant to the new systems of writing, who wanted her little lady to become someone important. – Quite ironical that after that Mina was honoured with the title of the Voice, but they hadn’t known at that time, and her nurse was not alive anymore to learn about this. Her activities as a rebel to the new functions of the Society had finally let to her “disappearance”.
Feeling already lighter, Mina started running faster, taking profit from the time lost by the machina through processing the diary. The sirens were still running though and it didn’t take long for a new wire to arrive, as menacing as the previous one, if not more.
Mina didn’t care anymore. She had already done it once, now she could do it again. Another diary flew to the machina. Again it stopped, and Mina ran.
Where was the end of the area? How long had she been walking there without realizing her mistake? It seemed like there was no end.
Mina kept on running. The cables started to follow her again, plenty of them now, like electric tentacles meant to catch her and make her forget everything about freedom.
One by one, Mina sent the diaries that were left in her bag. After all, they were only memories and thoughts – these things she would keep inside her no matter what, as long as they didn’t catch her.
A spark of electricity ran through her ankle.
Mina shuddered. So that was it. Running her hand through the bag, she caught the final diary. The most recent one actually. This one was not complete, her final entry had been made only minutes before her phone had rung.
The wire at her ankle tightened its grasp.
But she was not getting back there.
This time, she didn’t throw the diary. She opened it and started reading out loud.
She was the Voice after all.
For a minute, the world seemed to stop. No more sparkles, no sirens, only the breath of flesh and the thoughts that were not allowed anymore.
And then it came alive. Out of her writings, a flash of light that started in her head then got amplified through the wire that was still holding her ankle.
Mina almost got blinded. But her eyes still worked enough to see the rift that seemed to appear through the light. Shards of a new world, maybe…
Mina held her hand to the rift. It was glowing.
She smiled. She knew it probably was an illusion. Surely the machine had already processed her writings, surely she would wake up in her flat again and start it all over again.
Struggling against the wire, Mina managed to free her ankle and headed to the rift.
It was time to go.