The factionless lady walks up to me expectantly, her dirty, silver hair knots down to her shoulders. Her pale, wrinkled, blue eyes are distant; she’s looking towards me but not at me. Smiling, I hand over the bread that I made her. Clumsily, she grabs it out of my hand and I see the black tattoo of Dauntless under her wrist. “Thank you.” She says through a mouthful of food. I press my hands into the pockets of my long, grey dress. “You’re welcome.” I say. I want to ask her about Dauntless, about what it’s like to be free and reckless - but I am not Dauntless, I am Abnegation.
The choosing ceremony was a year ago, it is a day I will never forget. My hands shaking as I walked nervously up the steps, eyes on me as I stood between the glinting coals and the smooth grey pebbles. The tangible relief when my blood fell onto the cool stone and my parents small smiles. My father’s chin tilted up in the only way he could show pride. Lastly, my mother’s affectionate squeeze on the shoulder as I stand back in line with them. It feels like yesterday.
“Curious? Well, Dauntless isn’t exactly for the faint hearted.” She says settling on a bench near the wall. Without warning, she shoves her wrist in my face and I jerk back. Cackling, she speaks “See, expect the unexpected as my old man used to say. I must be off now.” She stands quicker than she looks like her age should allow and toddles away.
I wonder briefly what my life would have been like in Dauntless. I recoil from the thought almost immediately. Violent. That is the word my mother used to describe them. Selfish. My father had said. They are right, but I can’t help but wonder. Lost in thought, I wander away from the factionless compound. I think their way of life is beautiful. Living free, like birds. If only I could just spread my wings and fly away. I reprimand myself, selfish thinkers cause conflict.
Darkness creeps upon me like mist, slow and subtle. Until it was right in front of me I hadn’t even recognised the fence. The fence is the perimeter no one goes out and no one comes in. I stare through the wires. I am curious, but not curious enough. Ignoring my instincts, I shuffle closer it. There is no movement that I can see, only blackness and stillness. Silence, it is peaceful and eerie ant the same time. Feeling the breeze on my auburn hair, I lift my face and close my amber eyes to enjoy the sensation. This is as close to freedom as it gets.
“Well, what do we have here?” a deep voice asks. I start at the sound of the voice and open my eyes. “A Stiff out for a late night stroll.” His booming laughter fills the night. He isn’t much taller than me, his dark hair juts up from his forehead contrasting with his pale skin. Twisting around his arm is a flame and two studs sit in his left eyebrow. Dauntless.