First Page of CORRUPTED
The tracker in my forearm beeped at 3 a.m., yanking me from a peaceful sleep. I stared at it for a moment, wondering whether the GPS or microphone prompted the warning. When the words “…the gunpowder, treason, and plot…” blared fuzzily through the television, I concluded it was not a malfunctioning GPS and panicked, leaping from my broken-down couch to turn off the television.
How did it unmute?
I frantically searched for someone besides myself to blame. My gaze rested on the loathsome remote, which I had apparently fallen asleep on, forcing the volume to rocket out of control. I never watched television - interesting television - with the volume on. I chose to read subtitles, because any buzzword repeated too many times would undoubtedly trigger an inquiry and a Screener to monitor me for days, until The State realized I wasn’t a threat. Or worse, it could prompt a full-fledged investigation. If my house was raided, I would be dead without question.
Heavy knocking assaulted my door and my heart stopped. The oxygen fled the room in an instant. This was it. I was going to die. The Enforcers would come in, find my stash of contraband, then shoot me on the spot…if I was lucky. My heart pounded relentlessly against my ribcage. It felt like little razors lined the inside of my throat, drawing blood with every ragged breath. I shakily climbed the steps to the main level, covering the opening to my hidden room with a floor tile and a rug, in case the Enforcers at my door were less than thorough. The barrage on my front door continued, and I stopped for a moment at the entry, took a gasp of air, then opened it.