School

Kim isn’t very happy either.

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A few weeks ago, she got a letter in the mail offering her a scholarship to St. Jenny’s Girls Boarding School for her high grades. She took it.

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St. Jenny’s is very strict. She has to wear a uniform, even on Sundays.

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She has a roommate, Lisa Nunn. Lisa has never been hungry, never worried about her future.

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The cafeteria is enormous. Kim couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw it, just like so much of the school. People live here?

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But they do. And for better or for worse, Kim is one of them now.

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Smile

Kori only smiles in her sleep.

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During the day, she reads all the books she can get her hands on. She reads very fast.

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Sometimes she has nightmares.

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There’s a new test – the block test.

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Every day, she watches for weaknesses. Every day, she tries to find her way out.

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Someday, she will find her friends.

Alone

She’s alone now.

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The group is no more. It’s just Emma and the orphanage.

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Holly and Ivy got adopted. At the last minute, some woman swept in and got them both.

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It’s great. For them. They get to stay together.

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But who cares about Emma? Fifth wheel, odd one out.

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Nobody wants Emma.

Sisters

Two gone, three left. Holly and Ivy are starting to think that they’re going to be the only ones left.

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But even that is in doubt. A couple came by for once, and they only want one kid. One, of what must always be a pair.

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Is there anything they can do if their prospective parents don’t change their minds?

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Yes. Yes, there is.

Wishes

The girls, as it happens, are at an orphanage.

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They get to go to school now, which is a relief for them. Otherwise, there’d be no escaping Mrs. Bullard.

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Mrs. Bullard runs the orphanage. It’s just her and the girls there, and she hates children.

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They sleep on creaky beds in tiny rooms. It’s technically better than what they had, but they used to have freedom.

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The only way out would be adoption… and what are the chances of that?

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If there were any other way, you’d take it, wouldn’t you? Even if it meant breaking up the group.

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Then again, Kori’s gone. She was the leader, and what’s a group without a leader?

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This is Kim’s dilemma.

Memories

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Kori used to be happy. She had friends.

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They lived in a junkyard, scavenging for lost toys, selling them to a local fence in exchange for food.

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Holly, Emma, Ivy, Kim… Where are they now?

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They had found a dollhouse. A cheap toddler dollhouse, but a dollhouse nonetheless.

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They had played with it all day. It was the most fun any one of them had ever had in a long time.

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Yasmine showed up to take it, of course. That night they were sad, and the next morning Kori was in the lab.

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Meals appear, and Kori eats them. Workbooks appear, and Kori completes them.

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There’s a TV on the wall, broadcasting children’s programs and old movies. No news stations. Nothing recent.

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In the other cells, Kori can see other people. One man, one girl her age, and one empty cell.

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Who are they? What is this place?

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When she woke up, they shaved her head and took her picture. Her clothes were already gone.

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They do tests. Kori is very good at tests. They do the chess test, where they give her a chess puzzle and tell her to solve it.

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Then there’s the game test. You need two people for the game test. They play the game, and whoever wins passes the test. Kori doesn’t like to lose.

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The man gets different tests. Kori wonders if she will ever have to do those tests.

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Kori has learned from the girl that there are four people who work here- a scientist, a doctor, and two nurses. They make the food and hand out the books.

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Kori wonders if she will ever see her friends again.

Cemetary

I’ve already exhausted every resource at the library. I have to go further.

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What I’m doing is incredibly dangerous. I won’t be able to leave the house for a while.

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I’m doing it during the day. They’d be awake if I came at night.

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I’m afraid to leave her for so long, but she can take care of herself now.

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Besides, I need the book.

Where sims and sanity don't quite meet