Aerin cannot take being confined any longer. Now seventeen-years-old, living within the crystallized dome matrix of New Zealand’s South Island, Aerin feels trapped within a horrible version of “The Wizard of Oz.”
Bookless, I trudged down my aunt and uncle’s driveway with journal in hand. The closer I got to the newly constructed barricade the more I wanted my freedom. Looking back several times toward the house, I waited for no movement in the windows. The dogs ate their dinner seemingly disinterested in my whereabouts. Slowly, I keyed in the combination to turn off the laser barriers, undid the heavy gate and tried to inch out of my relatives’ yard. Movement was suddenly restricted. My clothing was snagged on something. When I looked over my shoulder I discovered why I could not move. Scrum had his teeth locked onto the back of my baggy sweatshirt.
I whispered gruffly. “Scrum, let go!” I then popped him on the head with my journal. All Blacks had maneuvered himself in front of me, obstructing the exit. “All right, you two, back, back . . . yard, yard, go!” Reluctantly, both border collies let me pass but commenced barking.
Without looking back again I walked briskly down the rest of the driveway. I was free. Far above, the crystal peaks sparkled in the winter twilight. It was difficult for me to get a clear perspective of the skies. I squinted. Two seagulls flew about peering out the glass ceiling as well. Realizing I was outside my aunt and uncle’s fortress completely, I was much invigorated and burst into a freedom-motivated jog. Several times I glanced over my shoulder to ensure no one had followed. That is when I ran . . . ran like I never had before. With no previously planned destination in mind, I headed in the direction of the lookout, somewhere above Avoca and Kean points. The roads and skyways seemed empty, absent of crazed looters running amok. My pace quickened. Remembering my uncle’s words, I headed toward Scarborough in pursuit of the previously mentioned vent portal next to the beaches. Crazily, uncaringly, I sprinted, kilometer after kilometer.