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Misericordia

Misericordia

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Perfect

Perfect - Cecelia Ahern The perfect people, perfect only until they or people close to them become the Flawed.
The Flawed, the outcast and rightless, whose brands are seared into their skin by the Guild torturers.
'The Guild, the government-supported tribunal that puts people on trial for their unethical, immoral acts.'(c)

The rebellion is approaching...

Q:
He has fighting hands, big and thick like shovels, but then in contradiction to that, they’re nurturing hands, too. They’ve sewn and grown, from his own land, and held and protected his own daughter and grandchildren. These hands that could choke a man are the same hands that reared a woman, that have cultivated the land. Maybe the strongest fighters are the nurturers because they’re connected to something deep in their core, they’ve got something to fight for, they’ve got something worth saving.
(c)
Q:
There are some employers who treat Flawed like slaves. Long hours and on the minimum wage, if they’re lucky. Many Flawed are just happy to be employed and work for accommodation and food. The majority of Flawed are educated, upstanding citizens. They aren’t criminals; they haven’t carried out any illegal acts. They made moral or ethical decisions that were frowned upon by society and they were branded for it. An organized public-shaming, I suppose. The judges of the Guild like to call themselves the “Purveyors of Perfection.”
(c)
Q:
I’ve also learned that reporting people as Flawed to the Guild is a weapon that people use against one another. They wipe out the competition, leaving a space for themselves to step into, or they use it as a form of revenge. People abuse the system. The Guild is one gaping loophole for opportunists and hunters.
I broke a fundamental rule: Do not aid the Flawed. This act actually carries a prison sentence, but I was found Flawed instead. Before my trial, Crevan was trying to find a way to help me. The plan was that I was supposed to lie and say that I didn’t help the old man. But I couldn’t lie; I admitted the truth. I told them all that the Flawed man was a human being who needed and deserved to be helped. I humiliated Crevan, made a mockery of his court, or that’s how he saw it anyway.
As a result, I was seen to have lied to the Guild. I brought them on a journey of deceit, grabbed people’s attention, and then admitted the truth publicly. They had to make an example of me. I understand now that my brandings were really for misleading the Guild, for embarrassing them and causing people to question their validity.
(c)
Q:
One of the strengths of the Guild is that they feed the media. They work alongside each other, feeding each other, and the media feeds the people. We are told that the judges are right, the branded are wrong. The story is obscured, never fully heard, the voice of reason lost through the foghorn of a Whistleblower siren.
(c)
Q:
Before I make my way back to the others, I can’t help it—the strawberries are too tempting and, just for old time’s sake, for the memory of me and Juniper as children picking our own strawberries, I reach down into the bucket and place one in my mouth. I can smell its sweetness, and, as I’m used to happening this year, expect nothing more. But as I bite into it, my eyes pop open. My mouth doesn’t know what to do with the sensation.
I scream, a high-pitched shriek. The talking and laughter stop immediately. I run from the strawberry beds.
When I reach my family and friends, they’re all standing, watching out for me, alert, worried, ready to attack, looking for predators and intruders because we’ve had our fair share of them.
Carrick drops his shovel and marches away from the cooking pit that he’s working on with Granddad, Dad, and Adam, and hurries toward me, eyes black.
“What’s wrong?”
I drop the tin bucket of strawberries and run to him. I leap up and he catches me, my legs wrapped around his body, clinging to him, my hands on his stunned face.
I ignore the fact that everyone is looking, that Kelly is looking at us dreamily, that Juniper is whooping, that Dad is uncomfortable and Mom is laughing at him, that Ewan is pretending to vomit, that Raphael Angelo’s kids have replicated the very same move and are now swinging out of one another, making smoochy kissing sounds, that Mona, Lennox, Fergus, and Lorcan are cheering us on. Granddad cheers, which annoys my dad even more, and Pia Wang giggles, with her husband and two children beside her.
Or at least I pretend to ignore them, but I feel them with me, every single molecule of their energy, with happiness.
I gaze into Carrick’s eyes. Green as can be. I press my lips to his, and I finally taste his kiss.
(c)
Q:
THERE’S THE PERSON you think you should be and there’s the person you really are. I’m not sure who I should be, but I now know who I am.
And that, I say, is the perfect place to start again.
(c)