Standing in line with the other children, Dee clutched her stuffed bear and hid her face in its warm fur. Her other hand squeezed her mother’s fingers.
The Moderator blew smoke from its pit in the ground. Its blue metallic arm reached out, a shiny claw dangling over the crowd.
“What have you to surrender, little one?”
Dee hugged the bear close to her heart and stroked its softness. Tears flowed down her face. She brushed away the sting of their salty cowardice. Smiles from the yellow-robed adults nudged her feet closer to the Moderator.
She placed her bear on the pile next to a book of rhymes and a toy flyer. Panic welled inside her. She would never feel the bear’s comforting warmth again. The world looked wobbly. She wanted to throw up.
Her mother’s words returned as a soothing whisper. ‘Be brave. You’re of the Surrender Generation. You will be revered.’
Dee didn’t know what revered meant, only that her mother was proud of her for doing this.
Suddenly, Dee knew it wasn’t the touch of the bear she would miss, but her mother’s touch, her mother’s warmth.
But I will be revered.
She raised her arms up to the claw, ready for its cold embrace.
And that must be a good thing.
Now that Heidi Ruby Miller has graduated with a Master’s degree from Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction Program, she spends her time traveling, writing, and watching HBO – in that order. You can read her interviews with over 60 different authors at ambasadora.livejournal.com.