We didn’t want this. We did not choose this for ourselves. This was chosen for us. We were branded like cattle and sentenced to die. Not right away, mind you. But on the Fire Festival. Of next year, no less. How did this happen? It’s rather complicated. But, we will try our best.

For me, it started out as a slow day in the shop. I sat outside, looking at the street. Nothing special. It’s always the same. But today… Well… It’s almost hard to explain. It all happened so quickly. Okay… So, here goes.

A girl was crossing the street when she paused to dig in her purse. Fine enough. Only, a bus was rushing right to towards her. I panicked when I saw it. I tried to get the girl’s attention, but it was no use. She didn’t even look up at all. I looked at the bus again. Oh, this wasn’t good. I had to save her. I rushed forward to push the girl out of the way.

“Look out!!!” I yelled at her. The girl looked up when I said that. I made to her as the bus got closer…

Suddenly, I woke up in my bed. I looked all around me, confused. Was it all a dream? Am I dead? I instantly felt a sharp pain in my right shoulder. It felt as if something had been burned into my skin. I staggered all the way to the bathroom. I took off my shirt and looked in the mirror. My eyes widened in shock at what was burned into the back of my right shoulder. I had the number twenty-one branded deep into my skin. This was still fresh and glowing bright red. Even still, I heard the words echoing in my mind, “On the Fire Festival in 2011, you will die.” I froze up, startled. I looked all around me in the dark bathroom. I was still all alone. A short chill came over my body. What did that mean? Why was I to die on the Fire Festival? And how? It gets more complicated from there.

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