So, a lot has changed in my life since I last wrote in this blog. I have been to University and come out the other side for a start! I have decided what to do with my life and begun it, working in the Film and TV industry (it's not as glamorous as it sounds!). In between working in that freelance industry, I am focusing on establishing a portfolio and client base for illustration and graphic design work. While I throw myself into demanding and difficult creative industries, I cannot resist any outlet for creativity; and there's something really wonderful about communicating the invented worlds you imagine using only words to absorb readers. I have been reading Robert Jordan's wonderful 'Wheel of Time' series for a shameful three years now - my student life didn't leave as much spare time as one might imagine! The world is so encompassing, so vast, and the characters so real that it cannot fail to inspire - and so, as I am in between jobs at the moment, I figured why not give it a shot again.
So without further notice, this one's been floating around in my head for a while..
Liahm stood in the shadows, his cigarette, gripped between dirty fingers, adding a lazy trail of smoke to the grey mist surrounding him. The air was thick and smoggy, the orange glow from the sodium light orb barely pervading through to highlight his solitary figure. Liahm's fingers trembled as he pulled out his battered, standard issue cigarette case, to see sixteen of twenty four slots empty, he let out a faint curse and his sigh formed a cloud of white noise in the cold. He had broken curfew, that would cost him tokens, last week's token, paid in for cigarettes, should have lasted him two weeks, now it'd have to last another. HR already had him on watch for unruly behaviour - it was a wonder he'd been allowed out tonight at all. His family belonged to the Textile sector, the corporation wasn't soft and lax on rules like the Education sector, but they only voluntarily involved the agency from time to time. He would go unnoticed this time. As he left the alley, and walked through the mist, towards the main waterway, Liahm hummed to himself. The sound was eerie as it echoed through the narrow walkways and suspended tunnels of the towering worker's accommodation above. His family lived up on the nineteenth floor. They had progressed sixteen floors since his grandfathers time, finally leaving behind the shame of his great grandfather's transfer from the Steel sector. His mother had told him stories of it as a child, to scare him into good behaviour no doubt. They were tales of continued beatings and abuse, all for the incriminating X tattooed on his great grandfather's arm; even after a dedicated adulthood serving the textile sector. No-one had ever told him why his grandfather was transferred, usually when a deal was made for a labour swap, the sectors chose their least capable, or the trouble makers. His grandfather and father had coldly dedicated their lifetimes to loosing the black mark that haunted the family, resentfully blaming his great grandfather even after his death. Liahm scowled and kicked a stone, his family's mistakes had led to a childhood of pressure, a basic schooling - he was a bottom level export from the education sector, expected to follow his father in raising the family name further in the textile sector. His father dreamed of a minor management position, the small aspirations of a man who saw no further than the corporation that owned him. Liahm leaned over the railings, tossing the stub of his cig. into the slow moving waterway, watching it slowly sink beneath the sludge coloured algae, on its way Bio-fuel plant. He'd get a notice through for littering, everything was seen by invisible eyes at the agency. Surely that's mean more tokens were sinking out of his reach, as surely as the smoking stub. He cursed his own inability to conform, running a hand through his messy mop, nearly an inch longer than regulation. He turned and dragged his feet towards his home, a standard issue annex to a mid level family flat in tier H, ending another evening in a well practised routine of solitary loitering. Rather that than surrounding himself with those who could not see to question the injustice of their lives, and the tyranny of the world that oppressed them. Liahm spat his anger at the unforgiving ground and looked up to see a jet black van pull up opposite him. A distorted voice, deep and inhuman spoke from a mounted speaker on the van,
"Liahm Jon Eliott. Former employee of the Textile sector, you are in the custody of the Unemployment Agency, you are Unemployed until further notice. Come Quietly and do not break the Order."Liahm closed his eyes, time seemed as inexplicably frozen as his own body, unable to move from pure terror - he heard a distant crash as his cigarette case hit on the hard concrete pavement, fallen from his unaware hands. It jogged the immobilising shock from his mind. Unemployment.
Liahm turned and ran into the darkness of the approaching night, with one purpose only, to escape and never return.
So, let me know what you think, I'd love to hear from you,