Sitting in my car, I could still hear the shouting of the crowd from at least a couple hundred feet away. I was scared out of my mind, but this was my only shot, and I had to follow through. I grabbed a bandana from the passenger seat and slid it over my face. I tightened it behind my head, and adjusted my nose so it sat on it properly. I sighed a hefty sigh, and touched the scars on my neck. If I wasn’t going to go now, I wasn’t going to go ever.
I pushed the car door open and stepped out. The noise increased drastically. I could hear chants of “unnatural” among other things. I’ve committed to this. I’m doing this. I’m not backing out.
I stepped toward the sound of the crowd. It was a short walk before I actually arrived there, and once I did the noise was practically unbearable. I should have brought ear plugs or something, I swear.
I stood and stared at the edge of the crowd for a long while. They shouted and waved signs that they held above their heads. I’ve committed. I’m going to follow through. Let’s just try and walk past these guys. I can get through this, and life will be better afterward.
I took a deep breath, puffed out my chest, then marched into the crowd. I gently pushed past some people, muttering “excuses me” and “pardon me” and kept moving forward. Most people didn’t actually bother to stop me, which was surprising. This was going to be a lot easier than I thought.
As my confidence was bolstered, I started to move a bit more brashly. I would actively push people aside so that I could keep moving. I didn’t bother with the polite phrases, and just kept moving forward. I was so close, I could almost taste it. I could get my scars removed. I just needed to keep moving.
However, as I got closer to the center of the protest, people wouldn’t move for me as freely as they did before. I was suddenly faced with more people standing in my way and refusing to budge. I had to actually shove them aside to keep moving.
I put my hand onto the shoulder of one person, ready to pull him back and out of my way. He turned around to face me. “Hey, pal, what’s the big idea?” He asked.
“I’m moving past.”
“The fuck you are!” He shouted at me.
He shoved back. I felt myself fall backwards, and into another body. I heard that body grunt on impact, turn around, and push me again. This time, I was able to stop myself before falling into anyone else.
Despite gaining my balance, the first man stepped towards me a swung a first. I tried to block it with my arm, so he just punched that instead of my face. Suddenly, my forearm felt numb.
He followed up with another fist, and I barely slid aside from that one. It grazed the side of my head. Trying not to get punched again, I took my numb arm and swung it toward the side of the man’s head. It hit him squarely. He staggered back, and I tried to take the chance to get away.
“There’s a fucking toy trying to run past!” I heard his voice scream. I kept moving away, and he was separated from me by a couple of bodies at least.
I pulled my hood up over my head. I hoped that it would help me avoid being recognised by anyone else. Yet, even after getting away from the scene, somebody else grabbed my shoulder to stop me.
“Why are you covering your face?” I heard a rough woman say. “Got somethin’ to hide?” This couldn’t end well.
“I’m trying to just walk through. Please let me be.”
“I think you’re hiding something, boy. Take it off!” She demanded.
“I have a right to privacy!” I shouted back. I tried to move past her again. I shouldn’t have come. This was a bad idea.
She grabbed me by my abdomen. “You aren’t going anywhere.” She tore away the fabric on my face. I gasped. She moved her face near my neck.
“Looky here!” She said. I looked around. Others were standing near us. They were all looking at us. “We’ve got ourselves a goddamn doll!”
The crowd roared. They were furious.
The woman was much stronger than I expected. Despite my attempt to struggle after having the bandana torn away, I couldn’t get away. I didn’t want to have to fight again. I didn’t think I had a choice.
She shoved me backward, and I was caught by other men standing in the circle. I was gripped tightly by the two of them and held in place.
“No,wait!” I shouted. It didn’t matter what I said; I was still punched in the face.
I was hit again, and again. My vision began to fade around the edges, and I could feel moisture on my face.
I was tossed to the ground, and people began to step on me, still shouting slurs and chanting “unnatural” at me. Everything was sore, but after a few more hits I just felt numb. I could hear cracks coming from myself, but they felt distant and unreal.
After some more of this, everyone walked away from me. I was still lying on the ground in the middle of a crowd, but no one was paying attention or bothering me.
I tried to reach my pocket, where my phone was. I couldn’t get myself to move my hands. They hurt when I tried. So I just lied there.
I wanted to get my scars removed for this exact reason. I was going to become a free man, because I wouldn’t be discriminated for being a clone.
Wait, what was the new term they came up with? Right, Biostruct. I was going to end my years of being perceived as a biostruct. No more time being called poppy, or doll, or anything like that. I was just going to be Lee, and that would be it.
I think I cried while I was lying there. I really couldn’t tell. It hurt to breath, so I couldn’t truly sob. I also couldn’t really tell if there were tears on my face.
As my vision got smaller and pools of blood widened in what little vision I had left, I gave up. I closed my eyes, and I gave up. The sound of the crowd screaming and shouting began to fade, and I could only hear my own thoughts. I only had a small circle of vision left, so I closed my eyes. At least, I hope I closed my eyes.
I wish I could have spoken one more time. I wanted my last words to be something profound. Although, I couldn’t think of anything really important to say.
Wait, I have something. I tried to whisper something, but I couldn’t get a sound out. I couldn’t even feel my body anymore. I had wanted to say I’m sorry for existing.