Authors: Tina Chan
Tags: #thriller, #scifi, #adventure, #young adult, #science fiction, #ya, #dystopian, #ya fiction, #imperfect, #ya thriller, #ya scifi, #ya dystopian, #ya dystopia, #dystopain fiction, #imperfect by tina chan, #imperfect tina chan, #tina chan
This book is dedicated to my family and all
those wonderful supporters out there who helped made this
Copyright © 2013 by Tina Chan
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means –
electronic, mechanical, photographic (photocopying), recording, or
otherwise – without prior permission in writing from the
Printed in the United States of America
Cover design by Kit Foster.
For more information, coupons and sneak
Maria Shea?” asked a
doctor dressed in a crisp, mint colored
That’s me,” the woman
lying on the hospital bed replied.
Congratulations with your
newborn.” The doctor handed her a bundle of blanket with an infant
girl swaddled within.
Maria held her baby tenderly, dreading the
next words the doctor was going to say.
According to my notes,
this was an unplanned pregnancy. Am I correct?”
An officer will arrive in
an hour to collect this Accident. Would you like to hold onto your
newborn until collection time?”
No.” Maria’s heart broke
as she thrust the infant away from her. “Take the Accident out of
The doctor accepted the baby; he didn’t look
surprised by Maria’s request. It was better this way—less painful
for the mother to part with the child if they minimalized contact
Maria watched the doctor leave the room,
knowing she would never see that child again. Once the government
confiscated her, she was as good as dead to Maria.
5 Years Later
There was a sharp
on the door. Maria jumped to her feet
and hurriedly ushered the man outside into the house. The man held
a bundle in the crook of his arm. An Accident. Not the same one she
had given up five years ago. But it was still an Accident—a chance
for Maria to pacify her guilty conscience.
She never did fully escape the memory of
giving up that child. Without a word, the man handed the infant to
Maria. She gazed down at its tiny face, knowing this was her hope
to redeem herself. When she looked up again, the man was gone.
Her husband observed the baby from a
distance. “I can’t believe you agreed to take in this Accident.
It’s not just our necks we’re risking, but also our son’s.”
Maria held the Accident tight against her
chest. “The government isn’t going to find her. We have connections
that can help us conceal her from the government until she’s old
People wouldn’t notice if
an infant disappeared without a trace—that happened all the time.
But if a toddler was to vanish, people would start talking.
All I have to do is keep her safe for three
There’s a good reason why
Accidents are removed from society,” her husband said. “Imagine out
medical bills for this…child. We don’t know what type of health
issues she may develop—asthma, high blood pressure.” He muttered
some expletives under his breath, but promptly shut up when he
noticed his son crouching behind the sofa. His Perfect son.
“Jaiden, I see you.”
The little boy ran out and peered at the
Accident cradled in Maria’s arms. “Who is she?”
Your new sister,” Maria
Jaiden looked at his sister, round eyed and
excited. “Can I play with her? Can we go to the beach together?
Will we go to school together?”
Maria nodded. “Of course.”
Provided she doesn’t get
confiscated by the government,” her husband muttered darkly. “The
officials will discover us harboring this Accident
He was wrong.
[ Kristi ]
Kristi blinked the
sleepiness out of her eyes and pulled the blanket
over her. The sunlight still seeped through
though, rendering her efforts to sleep in futile. She rolled onto
her side and stared at the alarm clock glowing 9:42; she definitely
was not a morning person.
With a groan, she sat up, mumbling, “Any
time before ten in the morning is too early.” She still hadn’t
figured out how she survived school on a weekly basis.
Kristi slid down the banister of the spiral
staircase, something she hadn’t done in a while. She hopped down at
the base of the stairs, landing on the balls of her feet. The house
seemed quiet—too quiet.
Is everyone still
sleeping?” Kristi wandered into the empty kitchen. “And I
late sleeper,” Kristi said to herself. “Maria and Don are probably
sleeping in if they stayed up late doing work. But Jaiden should be
up already; he’s always awake before I am.”
Kristi always referred to her adoptive
parents as Maria and Don, never Mom and Dad; it wasn’t that she
purposely refused to call them Mom and Dad—it was just that they
weren’t very close. Jaiden, her brother, on the other hand, was
someone Kristi had known her entire life. She couldn’t imagine not
having him as a brother, whether he was related by blood or
Kristi’s eyes trailed from the fridge to the
kitchen island. “Oh, crap,” she said.
The electro-note left on the smart-glass
kitchen counter reminded her that Sunday Gathering was today at
nine o’clock. She scanned the note and then mentally smacked
herself on the forehead. The note read:
Don, Jaiden and I are volunteering at the
Sunday Gathering an hour early. Be sure to arrive on time.
Waffles are in the fridge.
Kristi snatched an energy bar from the
cabinets; there was no time for waffles. She cursed Glenn, the
Speaker’s son, for damaging her hydro-bike. Walking to the
Gathering Hall took at least ten minutes, a feat she could’ve
accomplished in five if she had her hydro-bike. Alas, her
hydro-bike was sitting at Mechanic Leo’s garage, waiting to be
Halfway out the front door, Kristi
face-palmed herself. She let out a sigh of exasperation and stormed
back up the stairs and to her room. She had forgotten her
windbreaker and walking in the drizzle without a jacket would be no
She accidentally kicked her wardrobe then
yanked up her throbbing foot. She blamed her birth parents for her
It’s their fault I’m not
perfect. Why couldn’t they have me be normal? Why couldn’t I be a
Perfect like everyone else?
she shouldn’t hold a grudge against them for something they didn’t
ask for, but sometimes being the only Accident in town really got
on her nerves.
In a world where all citizens were
genetically perfect, thanks to science, it’s hard not to feel like
a sore thumb when her DNA hadn’t been specialized. There are too
many things that could go wrong for a baby born without genetic
Take me for
I have so many allergies it would be pointless to
keep track of them. Oak. Dandelion. Birds. Peanuts.
Kristi never figured out why Don and Maria
adopted her in the first place. Who would want an infant with no
genetic modification when you could freaking customize your own
Want your kid to be a
girl? Gender specification costs only fifty points. Want your
daughter to have blonde hair? Twenty-five points. Want to give your
daughter green eyes? Another twenty-five points. Of course, basic
DNA alterations, such as allergy preventions were free; allergies
were a symptom Perfects never had to worry about. The result was a
So why didn’t I get my DNA
tweaked? Why am I even alive?
two questions that had haunted Kristi for as long as she could
It was unusual enough for an Accident like
Kristi to even be born, but for an Accident to survive past infancy
was unheard of. All Accidents, save Kristi, mysteriously disappear
within weeks of being born. After all, the government couldn’t have
a bunch of kids with bad genes running around and corrupting the
Perfect kids, could they? So it was indeed very unusual for Kristi
to be adopted into a wealthy family.
Her alarm clock blared,
announcing it was now 10:00.
Kristi scolded herself,
and get on the move.
threw on her jacket and hurtled out the front door.
The eerily empty streets beckoned her to run
faster; she already had two late marks for this month’s Sunday
Gathering attendance. Kristi was tempted to skip out on today’s
sermon; she loathed listening to yet another boring speech about
the boring community in the boring room.
A solar-compressor loomed ahead. She skidded
to a stop, pausing just long enough for her to dispose her energy
bar wrapper. At last, the Gathering Hall came into view. As quietly
as possible, she attempted to sneak into the room unnoticed.
Speaker Quincy was at the podium, towering
over the rest of the audience on the raised stage at the head of
the Gathering Hall. He droned on about something Kristi had
absolutely no interest in. Unfortunately, as passionate as Quincy
was about his speech, he noticed her as soon as she crept past the
Acting is one of the
greatest sins one can commit. In truth, acting is simply lying with
actions. When one does—
!” he suddenly barked
Half of the attendees jumped in
, why are you late for such an
important Gathering? I would expect a child of sixteen years to be
much more responsible.”
Speaker Quincy’s pug nose twitched with
resentment. He had gone through multiple surgeries in effort to
make his nose look like less of an eyesore. As far as Kristi could
tell, though, his efforts were in vain.
Not that I expect a child
with genetic disabilities to attend an intellectual meeting,”
Quincy said to himself, but loud enough for most of the attendees
Glenn snickered loudly. He was leaning
against the wall with his oh-so-perfect hair and his oh-so-perfect
eyes. The usual gaggle of lackeys was sprawled in the pews around
him. All of Glenn’s followers had three things in common: they were
rich, they were good-looking, and they were stupid.
Kristi slunk to an empty seat near the back
of the room and proceeded to sulk.
The Gathering Hall could easily seat five
hundred people, though only three quarters of the room was filled
today. The ceiling was three stories high and had a magnificent
mural of the Evolution of Science painted on it. Marble pews ran
down the hall; a plush, velvet carpet rested between them, snaking
its way to the head of the hall. It gave the room an intimidating
After making sure Kristi had been thoroughly
embarrassed, Quincy resumed back to his speech. “As I was saying
before, acting is a sneaky sin. Although we all know acting is
lying with actions, many of us unconsciously act all the time. Of
course when you act, you don’t do it with a malicious purpose;
perhaps you pretended to be happy when you received an unwanted
gift, or maybe you have acted excited about attending an event you
really weren’t enthusiastic about. Nevertheless, those are all
sins, no matter how small.”
Kristi assumed an
interested look, even though her mind was really wandering
Sorry, Quincy, for acting
interested during your speech about the sins of acting. But then
again, do you see me wearing a halo? I didn’t think so.
She chuckled at irony of the situation and
was shushed by the surrounding people who gave her distasteful
glances. Kristi slouched in her seat, not wanting to attract any
more attention. Life was harsh being different.
The small, glass bell
, signaling the end of Sunday
Gathering. Kristi hurried out the door. It was almost twelve
o’clock and the energy bar she ate for breakfast didn’t satisfy her
stomach’s need for long. To her annoyance, Glenn and his cronies
must have snuck out of the sermon early because they were waiting
for her by the entrance. It was common knowledge among the citizens
Kristi hated Sunday Gatherings; she was always the first person out
of those double doors that lead into the Gathering Hall.