Here it is...

Children of Oceania

My name is Amy Violet. The little girl who joined the Spies at the age of nine, and came top of my class in school. I was their newest hopeful. Their chosen candidate for inner party membership.
You might not even notice me at first: There, third desk from the front, second one in. I'm the girl with long black hair tied with red party ribbon. The one in a grey shirt and blue skirt, and a little red scarf around my neck. I take part in all the parades, I join in all the party news, I call for my Big Brother every time I see his face on our telescreen.

I felt peace and comfort whenever I thought of him. Happy we were free of those horrible old days before the party, when girls like me were forced to work in coal mines, or sold to a brothel for the Proles. I'd stand with my forearms crossed, singing his name over and over, letting my feelings and gratitude for The Party swell within me. I felt his love, his big brown eyes. Big Brother: My protector.

All the other girls in my class were curvier than me, and some had to wear a bra, which meant they began to attract attention from those whose thoughts strayed from party duty. I envied them at times. How they could walk in a room and pick out all the undesirables... Not me. I'm just plain Amy Violet, the shortest girl in class and the one nobody really sees. The one least likely to win Big Brother's tallest sister competition. Maybe that is why they chose me for the new school. I was to go there immediately, and I'd be taught everything about the party. Every truth. Every tiny detail. My dreams were finally coming true...

Everything changed when I went to one of those gatherings organised by the Junior Antisex League. Their words made so much sense to me. I could remain pure and clean for my Big Brother. I had been getting all these feelings and they worried me. They seemed to go against everything Big Brother taught me. The Antisex League showed me a way to keep them down. How little did I know what all this truly meant. That day changed my life forever.

I am Amy Violet; your Inner Party favourite who nearly joined Artsem, and here is my confession...

I sat on the backseat with two other children from different schools: Lucy Drummond aged eleven from Brentwood, and Callum Pees, aged twelve, from Cambridge. We sat in silence, rigid and upright, listening to parade music on the car radio. Lucy Drummond was small, like me, which gave me some comfort. She had below shoulder length blonde hair tied up in a braid. She was also a Spy. I could tell by the way she wore her red scarf and blue skirt. Only Spies wore our uniforms the way we did. Lucy was also the same age as me. I knew from the start we'd be good friends.

Callum though, there was something different about him. He looked more like a Prole factory worker than a future inner party member. He had really big arms and legs, a wide chest and a big round head, capped with a crop of light brown hair. I thought he looked old enough to be a Youth League leader. He wore a grey shirt and blue trousers, and he'd tied his red scarf with a plastic ring, making him look like one of those capitalists from the days before Big Brother gave us our freedom.

I looked out of the window while our driver navigated London's streets. On every corner I could see my Big Brother's face. His poster on the wall, telling me he was watching me. Making me feel safe. I could sleep knowing a big bad Eurasian wasn't going to come and take me away. Eurasia was the country we were at war with. They were the ones who fired rockets at us. Just two days ago, a Eurasian rocket had landed in a market in Southampton, killing twenty Proles and three Outer Party members. We had always been at war with Eurasia, ever since before I was born. I hate Eurasia more than I hate Goldstein. I wish they would all die.

Our driver turned off down a narrow side street lined with little Prole homes and roadside vendors serving plastic cups of beer to factory workers. I really felt repulsed by them. They lived in filth and looked like they hadn't bathed in months. All their buildings gave me the feeling I'd suffocate if I did not get out in time.

We passed a group of women arguing over a market stool selling potatoes. One of the women, large and middle aged, snatched a great big potato out of another woman's hand, and then accused the market vendor of favouritism.

"Only Proles and animals are free, eh." The driver spoke to lighten the mood.

"Yeah, and freedom is slavery." Callum mumbled.

Had anyone else heard him? Lucy and me exchanged an understanding nod. A look we spies share when we sense something wrong. We should keep our eye on Callum. He might be dangerous. Maybe that is why he looked so different. He might be a Eurasian spy. My Spy leader told me once Eurasians were recruiting children now. We needed to be on our guard. Lucy and me decided without talking: We would watch him, and when he tries to report to his Eurasian traitors, we will hand him in, along with his other Eurasian friends too.

We were taken to a tall glass building. The most beautiful building I had ever seen. I could even see my own reflection in the polished white tiled floor and columns. Offices and classrooms were divided by glass walls framed with aluminium. Moving stairways of glittering silver carried Inner Party members to the first floor. Glass lifts took us even higher...

Lucy nudged my arm and we stood together, all of us, in the middle of a giant hall. I could see our driver talking with another lady wearing the black overalls of the Inner Party. She had black hair tied in a ponytail, just like me, and she oozed with her duty to Big Brother.

I stood with the other children, and looked straight ahead towards our new teachers. Like we were all standing to attention, ready to march to war against Eurasia with a single voice... I wished I could go there with them now: our brave soldiers fighting on the fronts of Southern Africa and Malabar, directed by the towers of Minipax. I dreamed of finding those Eurasians who fired rockets at us, and punishing them for all the terrible things they'd done... The Party were my family, And Eurasia wanted to hurt them.

We all held our hand up, palm outwards, and I vowed I would protect my family no matter what.

I listened while the Inner Party lady spoke to us. Her voice was so strong, like she could destroy all of Eurasia by her words. I wanted to be like her. Powerful, strong, ready to defend my family. Her eyes swept over each of us and then she met mine... I thought I saw a smile curve on her lips... Something only meant for me. Like she knew me. I had been chosen.

"And after your first six months of study, you will all be assigned your ministries, where you will begin your training." She continued after speaking about what was expected of us now we had been chosen for Inner Party membership. When people reached the age of twelve, they were expected to go and work. I thought of the school I left behind, and how my former classmates would be joining the ranks of the Outer party, or find work in a factory, or join the Thought Police academy.

We formed an orderly line and walked towards a desk, where we each received a package.

"Amy Violet." I gave my name, and a man with silver hair ticked my name off a list. Another lady handed me my two books and a bundle wrapped with plastic: The dictionary of Newspeak; The History and Purpose of the Four Ministries with Newspeak footnotes; and something floppy and soft. I glanced my eyes downwards and nearly gasped: My black overalls, fresh and unworn, and tailor made to my size. I looked forward to wearing them. I was going to make my family proud.

We were taken to our dormitories. Lucy and me chose beds next to each other. Everything was so perfect. We each had our own bed with fresh and clean sheets, our own metal wardrobe and bedside table, and a small chest of draws where I could store my papers and folded clothes.

"We're all going to see the view of London from the top floor... You coming?" Lucy's voice was filled with excitement, "Julie says the view's doubleplusgood."

"Wait up." I called after her. I wanted to try on my overalls first. We were Inner Party members now. Or were going to be.

I tore open the plastic wrapping and slipped on my black overalls; feeling the soft cottony fabric against my skin. I felt stronger already. More than doubleplusgood inside. Tripleplusgood. No word, in old or Newspeak seemed to match. I just felt wonderfully at peace. Like I had come home.

Wearing our Inner Party overalls, Lucy and me beat all the other children to the glass lift, and pushed the button for the top floor. We saw the great hall shrink away below us. Floor after floor, each with walls of glass and aluminium, and white columns, rushed by, one after the other.

The lift stopped and we had to get out, and then catch another lift the rest of the way. I saw the Inner Party lady and our driver speaking with another man. They were drinking coffee, apart from the other man, who was sipping red wine from a crystal glass.

I waved at them. She smiled and called us over.

"Girls, I'd like you to meet O'brian. He's going to be one of your teachers. He recently retired from miniluv."

O'brian looked really old, like he'd seen so many things, and punished so many traitors. I read about him once. Twenty years ago he was really famous within the Inner party. He had found hundreds of traitors, and was always so kind and gentle with them. He tried to show them the truth: Big Brother was our protector... I could see in his eyes how he wanted to protect his family like I did. We did not have to say anything to each other. Our eyes locked, and we just knew.

"So, which ministry would you both like to work?" he asked. His face curved into such a warm smile, I felt like melting.

"Miniluv." Lucy replied immediately. O'brian nodded, smiling to himself, and then looked at me.

I thought hard. My biggest part wanted Minipax so I could defend Oceania against Eurasia. But I really liked them all.

"Wherever I can serve Big Brother to the best of my ability." I replied after a long pause.

O'brian placed his hand on my shoulder, giving me the feeling I had passed a secret test.

"You two should see the views from the top. They're more than tripleplusgood, if you know what I mean." he winked and I nodded, "Quadrupleplusgood."

"I look forward to your class." I said as we left for the lift which would take us the rest of the way.

From the top floor I could see all of London; the tenement sprawl of Proletariate neighbourhoods, shrouded with smog. Here and there towers of glass and white concrete shined with all their glory. Beyond, resting on each of the cardinal points around London, the four ministries graced the skyline. Minitrue, with her three-thousand floors and many more underground. Miniplenty, where we ensured everyone had enough to eat. The windowless towers of Miniluv, home of the Thought Police; and Minipax, where Big Brother directed our war against Eurasia. I felt like I was standing in the middle of a giant compass. Me, Amy Violet, Big Brother's little sister - protected by him always.

I woke up early for my first day of class, slipped into my black overalls and then sat on the end of my bed, browsing through my school timetable. Comrade O'brien was taking our first lesson, which I had been eagerly looking forward to. I knew there was a lot I could learn from him.

At quarter to nine, I left my dormitory with Lucy and we walked down a long white corridor to our class. I wanted to sit where O'brien could see me, and where I could hear and see everything. I pushed open the classroom door. O'brien was already there, sitting with his back to us, watching a large flat telescreen two meters wide. I had never seen one so big before.

We tiptoed inside because I wanted to surprise him. I wanted to let him know if ever a Eurasian spy was here, he could count on us to capture them.

Lucy dropped her books. O'brien swivelled round before either of us could react. I felt mad at Lucy for dropping them; like she did it on purpose. But then I saw why...

Callum... Callum Pees was there, sitting where I would have sat, watching telescreen with O'brien. I wanted to run over and vaporise him. He's a Eurasian spy. He has to be. Why was O'brien allowing him to sit in my seat? Now Callum had made everything dirty with his presence. I wanted to beat Callum to death with The Book so I could vaporise them both afterwards.

"Amy... I didn't hear you come in." O'brien spoke... He knew my name, and he did not hear me enter. I felt like melting.

"And, Lucy." he continued. "You girls know Callum."

Callum smirked at us. I had images involving Goldstein's book and Callum's head flushing through my mind. But Callum's a traitor. He wants to hurt my family - your family Comrade O'brien. Can't you see? I really wanted to cry out and and tell him. I wanted to tell him how Callum made me feel nervous and uneasy, and how I saw him talking through a mini-radio to his Eurasian friends, of how in the car he made a mockery of our treasured Ingsoc slogans. My hand itched to strike Callum's face, only I did not want to touch a filthy Eurasian spy.

"I always like to catch up on our war efforts before I start work." Comrade O'brien was looking at me.

"Have we captured India?" I asked, filled with hope. After India we can liberate Persia and Arabia.

"Almost." O'brien replied, smiling. "Our soldiers surround Calcutta. Our Eastasian allies have freed Kashmir and Bangladesh."

Oh... Wow.
.. I felt goosebumps rise on my skin. We were going to be victorious soon. My Big Brother was going to free Eurasia, and I would be by his side.

All the other children came in and we all found our seats. I sat at a desk next to Lucy where we could both keep on eye on Callum. We knew now how dangerous he was. He was spying on O'brien, and it was my duty to report him to my Party.

Comrade O'brien began class. I sat up, looking at him always. I saw his eyes glance towards mine every now and again. All the other girls in class were staring at him too, yet he only noticed me.

"How many of you are with the Spies... Over half of you I see." he said.

I looked at him, mesmerised. Like I was dreaming. His words just poured over me like I was eating all my chocolate ration in one go.

"And how many of you have caught traitors?" he asked.

I put my hand up, along with most of the class.

"They were arrested?"

I still held my hand up. So did everyone else.

"Our real enemies will not reveal themselves too easily." O'brien spoke. My heart sank. I always felt deep down I just knew who were traitors and who were not. I felt... doubleplusungood.

"We need to watch them and gain their trust." O'brien continued... My heart began to rise again. Just like me and Lucy were doing with Callum. Was he secretly trying to tell us something? Maybe he knew Callum was a spy already. Perhaps that's why O'brien let him watch telescreen with him...

"When they trust you, traitors will come to you and confess. Only then are they ready to face the truth."

I listened with awe. O'brien could make traitors come to him just by standing outside in the street. A gift every spy and Youth League member dreamed.

"I will show you how to make them believe you're their friend. They will loose their heart to you. Every unorthodox bone in their body will be streaming their confession to you..."

I felt so mesmerised. In the corner of my eye I saw Callum wince, like O'brien's words of truth hurt him. Only a traitor would be hurt by Ingsoc. I nodded to Lucy.

We would make Callum confess. Just like how O'brien showed us.

"So if you will all take out your touchpads." A different voice. She nudged me out of my glaze. O'brien's class had finished, and he nodded to me as he left. The Inner Party lady who spoke to us yesterday took our next class.

I was handed a small touch-screen pad - like a flat miniature telescreen as thick as cardboard - by a girl two years older than me. She had flame-red hair and curves in all the right places, and big silver eyes which screamed traitor. I hated her already.

I flicked on my touchpad, ready for my lesson on our history of Ingsoc. How people had struggled to be free in days before our revolution.

"And with the capitalists were priests, who always wore black with white collars. As you all know, priests liked to go to bed with children, and the worst of them all was The Pope. The Pope made everyone kiss his feet, and he not only went to bed with children, but drank their blood too."
"And then there were their lackeys." The lady continued. I still did not know her name.
"Lackeys were servants to priests and capitalists. Lackeys always did what capitalists and priests told them to do... Even if it meant hurting them and holding people back from realising their true path with Ingsoc."

Some of my classmates booed. Steven Stoner even rose from his seat, requesting the names and addresses of any surviving lackey so he could hunt them down himself.

I admired his love for my Big Brother. So did our Inner Party lady.
She smiled warmly at him. She told us not to worry: All the lackeys and priests were dead.

"The leader of the capitalists was The King. He took whatever girl he wanted, even if she did not want him. He would force himself on her, and if she refused him, or gave birth to a girl instead of a boy, he would ask his lackeys to cut her head off... He would then invite all his capitalist friends to watch him behead his wife, and afterwards they would cheer and drink beer."

"Like Proles do?" Jaydon raised his hand and asked.

"Yes, because Proles are animals. We are their protectors, even if they are not grateful for our protection."

I sat and listened to every word: which I felt was meant just for me. I felt secure, wrapped in the blankets of Ingsoc. I looked at my timetable and saw I had another class with O'brien tomorrow. I couldn't wait.
Supper consisted of our usual meat and potato servings, with green vegetables smothered with gravy. I picked up my tray, and lined up with the other children, shuffling along one at a time while the dinner lady gave us each our meal. I filled up a small glass with water and found a table with Steven, Jaydon and Mandy. Callum sat two tables in front of me, slightly apart from Chantelle and Julie.

"Like O'brien said, spies should come to us and confess." I spoke to Lucy. We were going to pretend to be his friend, and somehow we needed to gain his trust. I had the perfect idea.

Callum emptied his tray, stood and walked right past us. We pretended not to notice. Steven and Jaydon had started a debate on the best ways kill a Eurasian. Mandy took out her Newspeak dictionary to prepare for Comrade Lucas's Ingsoc communications class tomorrow. She looked up every now and again, deeply immersed in both her book and Steven and Jaydon's discussion.

"So, Amy, how would you kill a Eurasian?" Steven looked at me and asked.

I thought briefly: What would O'brien do?

"I would tell them to kill themselves." I said. Jaydon looked at me, awestruck, obviously wishing he thought of it himself, "After flushing their minds of unorthodox thought."

"I doublepluslike your idea Amy." I felt O'Brien's hand on my shoulder. "And we should do so because...?"

"Because, when traitors are executed, they will die in love with Big Brother... Their minds will finally be pure... Ingsoc is truth."

I wondered if I had just come up with a new party slogan. O'brien smiled.

"You would do well in Miniluv." He spoke softly, and then walked away. He sat on a higher table with my other teacher-comrades and poured himself a glass of red wine. His second for the evening. He looked over to me, nodding with a gesture which told me Callum was leaving the canteen.

"Me and Lucy are heading for the park. You three coming with?" I asked our table comrades.

Mandy shoved her Newspeak dictionary in her overalls pocket. She was slightly taller than me and had wide hips. I felt like a matchstick by comparison. We each tied our red spy-scarves round our waists while the boys took their trays to the dirty dish trolley.

We all made a long sweeping line, determined not to break rank no matter who got in our way. Our teachers said we can go out whenever we want for social activities. Our school building and new Ministry of Learning was on the edge of an Inner Party neighbourhood. The streets were clean, wide and lush. Tidy rows of houses with big glass windows, white stone columns and aluminium frames which caught the orange glare of sunset. Inner Party members smiled and greeted us as we passed, and we smiled and waved back at them.

"Great news, our troops have advanced on Calcutta's suburbs." Someone opened their door and told us.

I felt a rush of excitement. Steven and Jaydon both cheered. My Big Brother was going to free Calcutta. We would make all of India pure.

I saw Callum up ahead. Me and my comrades followed after him. We met Chantelle and Julie on the way to the park, and they joined us. Increasing our number to seven.

During the day, our park was used by smaller children who would play on swings, or use climbing frames as barracks and pretend to shoot Eurasians. When evening came, it was our turn. We would guard our Inner Party neighbourhood, and look out for anyone who was not supposed to be here; which meant anyone not wearing black overalls... We walked across freshly cut grass and I sat down on one of our swings, leaning slightly forward holding the chains. Lucy sat on a swing next to me. Our comrades found soft places on grass in front of us.

I looked around for Callum and saw him sitting alone on top of a climbing frame, committing ownself: the sure sign of a deviant. He looked like he was speaking into a concealed microphone. I gave Lucy my 'spies signal' and we decided to invite him over.

"You were with us in the car. Come and join us Comrade." I said to Callum.
Callum looked up, barely smiling, and stood. His face looked suspiciously pale.
"I saw you watching telescreen with O'brien this morning." I added, determined to get him to talk to me.

"Oh, we were just talking about family." Callum replied.

"Plusgood." said Lucy. "We are Inner Party."

A saw a flash of unease across Callum's face. His mind was not pure. His guilt screamed at me.

Then I heard Steven, Jaydon and Chantelle call out, alerting us. They were pointing at a small figure standing on the edge of our park. Two dark eyes shone from tufts of light hair, which hung loose over his dirty face. He looked like an animal. I could smell him from here.

"Prole..." Steven ran over to him, "Look, we've caught a Prole-kid spying on us."

We all ran over and stood round him in a circle. The Prole-boy was filthy dirty. His clothes were ragged and torn, and he stank like one of their toilets.

"Inner Party members only." Chantelle spat.

"Maybe he's a Eurasian spy." I said, catching Callum's sideways glance.

"I didn't mean to... I got lost... please let me go. I didn't mean it." The Prole-boy blubbed.

"Oh look, Prole-animal looks like he's going to cry... Can animals cry?" said Lucy.

Jaydon pushed him to the ground and began kicking him with Steven... I pressed his face in the ground with my foot until he cried out. I wanted to press harder, I wanted to crush this animal who dared enter our neighbourhood. Suddenly my foot refused to respond. My whole body felt weak... Without knowing why, I lifted my shoe from his face. Steven and Jaydon stopped kicking him. The Prole-boy struggled to his feet.

"We should chase him away... He's an animal, and we chase all animals away." I suggested, trying to make sense of this new feeling inside me.

"Yeah...." Callum clenched his fist, "We'll give you a two second head start. Then we will come after you, and if we catch you, I will do this again!"

I heard a crack. Blood gushed from the Prole's nose, dripping all over our freshly cut grass. He ran, sobbing.

"Hey, watch my Overalls with your filthy blood." Chantelle pushed the Prole-boy away from her. We chased him down the streets, calling out "Animal.." over again.

"Come here again and we'll send you to Miniluv." I yelled after him as we reached the edge of our neighbourhood. We laughed, watching him run away. All the Inner Party members came out of their houses to congratulate us. One lady gave me a big bar of chocolate as reward for protecting her home from thieving Proles.

We decided to head back to our dormitories. Callum joined Steven and Jaydon in a bout of Slogan chanting. Lucy and me linked arms with them. Chantelle, Mandy and Julie finished our line. We were one voice and one mind... My family: the Inner Party.
"Amy, wake up. Wake up Amy."

I felt Lucy's hand shake my foot, and then nudge me awake. I poked my head out from my blankets and gazed at her with blurred eyes.

"Rocket Bombs." I could hear her voice shaking. Why hadn't the air-raid sirens woken me? "Lots of them. Eurasians are attacking Airstrip One."

Flashes of white light bounced around the night sky. I could feel the ground trembling under my feet, and a burning smell filled the air outside.
People from our Inner Party neighbourhood ran for their bombshelters. Lucy and me were taken to an underground vault on the edge of our playing fields: A small dome-like structure covered with rocks, with a thick metal door one side.

I nearly slipped on the stone tiled floor, and descended a shaky metal staircase to our underground dormitory, which comprised of pull-down metal bunkbeds chained to the wall, with thin mattresses and a pillow. In the confusion I somehow bought my blankets, and was now thankful I remembered.

I heard rocket bombs falling. Rings of fire grew on distant fields. Soldiers came down to protect us. My Big Brother's brave men and women of Minipax.

One soldier drew my attention. He sat right near me with his big black sniper gun resting against his knee. A reddish glint came from the lens of his scope.

I looked at him for a while: his broad muscular shoulders and big arms, his dark eyes and angular features. I couldn't take my eyes off him. All the time I kept on wishing he'd just turn round and notice me. Just once, don't look straight ahead. Glance your eyes sideways. I'm sitting next to you. I'm here. I'm Amy Violet and I ...

I want to feel your arms around me, protecting me.

I shook myself out of it. My mind was being filled with all these new thoughts. Why was my chest tightening? Why did my knees feel weak? Only my Big Brother should make me feel this way; my desire to serve him and make my family proud.

"We will get those Eurasians soon Amy." Lucy's voice pulled me away from my unorthodox thoughts. For a moment I felt like I had committed ownself. despite being in a bombshelter with my friends.

"I know Lucy. I just want all Eurasians dead. I hate them." I answered, "They're worse than Proles. Not even animals. They're just like rats... Big Eurasian rats, and I am the cat." And we will catch them with our Minipax claws, and devour them with Ingsoc.

All Eurasians were rats, murdering stinking rats who seemed to exist only to bring terror and hurt my family. We heard about their despicable acts everyday, making me thankful Big Brother's here to protect me, watching over me always... One Eurasian even managed to cross the Channel by hang-glider. He landed in a school playground in Hastings and began firing his machine gun, killing all the children - children like me and my classmates. I remember watching the news come in on our telescreen. I wanted to cry when I saw all the blood and dead children, and the evil laughing eyes of the Eurasian murderer; even when our Thought Police executed him.

How could anyone betray my family for rats like that? I now knew where I could best serve my Big Brother: I needed to protect my family from all the Eurasian hang-gliders, rocket bombs and spies. I would join Minipax.

"Comrade Violet, we're having our meeting after class next Tuesday. You should come along." Chantelle shoved a glossy flyer in my hand.

"I'll be there." I replied, not even glancing down to read my invitation.

The rocket bombs stopped. One of my teacher-comrades flicked on our telescreen just in time. I saw London's burning streets encircled with rings of fire. The silvery vein of the River Thames. I heard a roar of jet engines fly overhead. We all cheered, watching our airforce fly out over the channel. Moments later, a wall of fire made the horizon freeze golden.

Minipax operatives uncovered rocket launchers in fields near the Eurasian town of Calais. Within seconds, our airforce reduced the area to a smouldering ruin littered with twisted metal and girders. Our testament to all who wish to harm my family.

I cheered with my Comrades, and looked across to see our Minipax soldiers leaving. I sensed a flash of disappointment when I saw him leaving with them, his sniper-gun hoisted over his shoulder. He momentarily glanced round and caught my eye. I felt my face glowing warm, so I smiled at him and then looked away ... anywhere ... down, towards the flyer Chantelle gave me earlier.

Junior Anti-Sex League, written with curvy red font. Meet outside Education Ministry, 1900hrs Tuesday.

At the bottom of Chantelle's flyer, I saw the blue-white logo of Artsem, and a picture of the men, women and children of Oceania marching together with one voice, free of unorthodox thought, liberating Eurasia.

I had been looking forward to our meeting all day. O'brien told me about the Junior Anti-Sex League after class. Not that I didn't know already; my Spies Leader mentioned them, and Chantelle hadn't stopped talking about Junior Anti-Sex League since the rocket bomb attack. I felt I had been specially selected by talking with O'brien. Like my Big Brother had chosen me for the plusgoodwise of Ingsoc.

When I asked O'brien if he had ever seen Artsem, he got really excited with telling me everything he knew. With Artsem we could choose and give birth to children while remaining pure for Big Brother. Only those devoted to Ingsoc would be able to seed children, which would ensure Party loyalty from birth.

While Proles de-evolved to lesser primitive animals, he went on, we would be Big Brother's chosen: his pure, his brothers and sisters bathed with his light, wrapped in his blankets of Ingsoc. He told me Artsem were also making it possible for the most loyal to be cloned. Inner Party members will be in Big Brother's service forever.

I thanked him and left our classroom for my dormitory. Ever since I saw the soldier, I had been getting strange thoughts and feelings, and even came close to committing thoughtcrime in class when I lost my concentration to duty. Part of me wondered if the soldier was in fact a Eurasian agent, secretly trying to break our will. Perhaps he carried a weapon which altered my mind. His presence gave me unorthodox feelings. I needed to be on my guard in case he tried it again.

I wanted to wear my hair loose today. I hadn't worn it down since I was nine. I brushed by black hair straight, parted slightly one side, and let it fall over my shoulders and down my back. I kept my hair out of my eyes with a small Ingsoc clip... My new look.

Chantelle greeted me and Lucy when we arrived. Callum was there standing with Jaydon and Steven. They had been getting along doublepluswell ever since Callum helped us protect our neighbourhood from that Prole. There was still something I did not trust with Callum. Lucy and me knew we had to be extra vigilant now in case he tried to lure Steven and Jaydon away from Big Brother. I wanted talk to Lucy about my experiences with the soldier, and how he had effected my thoughts, but decided it was too dangerous. I needed to find out more first - for my family's protection.

We were each handed a crimson sash, made from cloth similar to my red spies neckerchief, but longer. Lucy, Chantelle and me tied our sashes round our waist, where they joined our spies scarves. With my small frame and narrow hips, the ends of my sash brushed against my knees. I could see our reflections in the glass-windows of our Ministry of Education. Chantelle's body had begun to show signs of being curvy. She had golden blonde hair, longer than Lucy's, and as straight as mine. When Julie and Mandy joined us, I felt like the tiny little girl which no one noticed again. Even Lucy seemed to be growing taller than me now.

One of our teacher-comrades, Inner Party member Russell Jones, introduced the Anti-sex league speaker; Comrade Smith. I quickly took out my flyer, which was folded up in my overalls pocket, and saw her full name: Julia W. Smith.

She looked in her early twenties but could have been older. Age was becoming hard to tell with Party Members. Like the very concept was of little importance. I remembered something I read from my history book which capitalists used to celebrate. Once a year children were put on public display and made a mockery of, and forced to bow and curtsey to their capitalist elders. They would be forced to wear silly clothes so they looked like dolls. Girls always had to wear long puffy dresses, and boys had to wear a top hat. Part of their unorthodox ceremony involved blowing out candles, and they were never happy because they always wanted everything. Capitalist children would never know the comfort of Ingsoc and my Big Brother's protection.

I listened while Julia Smith told us about Junior Anti-Sex League, and our roles within her organisation. We would promote and encourage Party Members to enroll with Artsem; where we can bare pure Ingsoc children without our future Goodsex obligation. I was never really sure when our obligation was supposed to be performed. No one had ever spoken of it to me. Was it a class ritual? Were we selected by our chosen Party Member after an allocated time? I did not know.

With Junior Anti-Sex League I did not have to be concerned with any of that. I could join Minipax and make my family proud as I always dreamed.

"You will all be reaching the time when your bodies will be experiencing changes. You'll feel strange, you will have thoughts... You might even feel scared, like you've committed thoughtcrime." Julia Smith spoke with her loud, clear voice on stage.

My ears pricked. She understood and seemed to be looking right at me.

"Do not be afraid. We can help you embrace your fears. Help you deal with your changes, and when your time comes, you yourselves can enroll with Artsem."

I raised my hand, feeling like I was back in class. Julia smiled, looking at me, her face warm in the stagelight. "How do we enroll with Artsem?"

"You will be invited to join after a series of tests, which I am sure all of you will pass." she replied. "Anything else you want to ask me?" her eyes locked with mine, like everyone else had been vaporised leaving only us. I wanted to tell her my strange thoughts and feelings only my whole body froze. I needed to think...

"Are there more tests for the cloning program?" I said, swallowing down all my misplaced emotions.

"A few extra." she continued looking at me. "You would be invited to nurture one of our cloned embryos."

Mandy interrupted with a question of her own, breaking Julia Smith's stare away from me.
"You said we will be invited to join, but you want us to promote Artsem to our Outer Party members. Are we inviting them, and are Outer Party babies grown differently from Inner Party babies?"

"Yes, for both your questions."

While Julia continued answering Mandy's question, I saw a flash of crimson-pink in the corner of my eye and turned. I could see Teacher-Comrade O'brien talking to the soldier... My soldier who was sitting near me inside our bombshelter. He had his sniper-gun propped against his leg in his usual manner.

I closed my eyes hard, trying to block out those feelings welling inside me. I kept on wishing he'd look up and notice me. I found myself drinking from his strong arms and broad shoulders, his chocolate brown eyes, the way he wore his khaki jacket over his black top and camouflage pants. His Ingsoc logo lovingly sewn into the arm of his jacket.

Everyone applauded, indicating Julia W Smith had finished her presentation. I immediately returned to the gathering and clapped my hands with my classmates.

One by one we stepped up onto the stage to declare our commitment with the Junior Anti-Sex League and all they stood for. My turn came. I felt briefly self conscious when I signed my name. Julia smiled when she handed me my Artsem enrollment book, and endorsed my crimson sash with our logo.

I turned and saw O'brien nodding at me, telling me well done, I was going to perform a great service... And then, beside him I saw my soldier. I felt lightheaded, maybe from the stagelight, and reached the top of the stairs...

My crimson Junior Anti-Sex League sash wrapped itself round my knees and I tripped. I felt the air swooshing past my ears. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. I braced myself ready to hit the hard floor below, knowing how much it was going to hurt and closed my eyes.

Someone caught me. I opened my eyes and found myself staring into the face of the soldier. His arms around me, protecting me from the floor. I could feel his warm body against my overalls.... I felt like melting.

"You alright?" he asked.

My mind turned to mush. All I could do was nod and thank him. He helped me to my feet.

"You see O'brien, we've been saying the Anti-Sex League sashes are too long."

"We should reduce their length by one third of a meter." O'brien replied.

Lucy and Chantelle came to lead me back to our dormitory. We were going to the park to watch over our neighbourhood later.

"You take care of yourself...Comrade." he said to me.

"Amy..." I gave my name. "Amy Violet... What's your name comrade soldier?"

"Private Charlie Norton... See you around Amy Violet."

"See ya." I rejoined my friends, and together we left for the park.

They had me tied down. Robed figures stood round talking with deep whispering voices I couldn't understand.
"Be strong Amy. It will all be over soon." She whispered gently in my ear. Who are you? Your voice seemed so familiar.
One of the robed people walked towards me holding a big metal syringe. I realised I was crying and pleading with him to stop... I wanted to wriggle free but whenever I tried, my bonds just dug deeper into my skin, cutting into my arms and legs..
I looked down as he began injecting. I could feel a strange liquid pouring inside me. Filling me up. It was hurting so much.... I begged him over and over to please just stop. But he did not listen. My eyes stung with tears and they did not care. Where was my family? Where was my Big Brother to watch over and protect me?
The robed figure finished with his injection, and she began stroking my hair. Her voice telling me I had done well. The worse was over. I tried to look to where she was but couldn't see her.
Suddenly, I was aware of the liquid still moving inside me. My belly began to grow like a balloon until I couldn't see my feet and legs. I screamed for them to get it out. For the lady to do something... make it stop. Please, I don't want it inside me.
The robed man returned with a knife and cut me open. I heard a baby crying, and I was crying too, wanting to take my baby in my arms.
"A beautiful boy. You have done well Amy." I heard her voice speaking to me.
I looked at my baby and I saw his face was O'brien's.

I woke up screaming in a pitch dark dormitory. I could feel my legs and lower tummy covered in something runny. I reached down and immediately my hands were covered with dark liquid.

"Help... Help me." I cried out. I felt so scared the dream might have been real.

"Lights." Lucy's commanding voice made the dormitory lights flicker on. I looked down under my blankets and saw my legs and waist covered with blood.

"What's happening. What's wrong with me?" I cried, and then burst into tears. My blood was all over my pure white sheets and soaking into my blankets and my knee length nightie. My tears formed tiny pools which were quickly absorbed by my pillows. No one had ever seen me cry before. Lucy, Chantelle and the other girls gathered round me. I felt like a Prole.

"Ok everyone, back to your beds."

The nurse picked me up. I realised I was still sobbing and covered in blood from my waist down to my knees. She carried me in her arms and I cradled my head in her shoulder.

"Her cycle's began. She's entering Menarche." I heard my nurse say.

"And no one here educated these girls. No wonder she's so scared... Look at her."

I knew her voice from our Junior Anti-Sex League gathering. Julia W. Smith. She understood me. Was Big Brother punishing me for wanting to be close to Private Charlie Norton? What's my cycle?

I was carried into a shower were my nurse helped me out of my blood soaked nightie. Water poured over me while I sat with my knees to my chest, watching my blood pour down the drain hole.

"It's alright Amy... Here, you will find it helpful." Julia's hand poked through the shower curtain holding a bar of soap. The soap felt silky-soft and not like anything I had washed with before. I was soon covered with a lather of soft bubbly foam. My skin felt smooth and clean.

I felt comforted with Julia being there, and not like such a Prole-animal after all. I rinsed myself off and stepped out of my shower into a soft towel which I used to dry myself.

Julia handed me something thin and cushiony. I looked at her confused.

"It's a pad. Wear it under your underwear. You will find it helpful."

I took the pad and wore it as Julia instructed. She gave me a fresh, clean nightie - black this time - which hung to just above my knees. My hair was still damp from the shower.

"I was about your age when I had my first period." Julia's voice reached my ears, "You don't have to be afraid of it Amy. All girls experience the menstrual cycle. It's a sign you are becoming a woman."

"I felt like such a Prole." I sobbed. To my surprise, she held me, just allowing me to cry, letting me know everything was alright.
"This is normal. Not thoughtcrime?" I asked.

"The Junior Anti-Sex League is here especially for girls entering womanhood like you, Amy Violet. We can teach you how to manage your cycles, how to deal with all your emotions and thoughts. If you will allow us Amy. Will you let me help you?"

"Yes." I stopped crying, looked up at her and smiled. I felt better already.

"Anything you want to talk to me about?"

I told her everything. My confession to the Junior Anti-Sex League. I told her about Callum and how I thought he was a Eurasian spy. And then the soldier, and how he made me feel when he was near. I liked being near him. I wanted him to like me too.

"I understand Amy. We all have those feelings."

"So you are not going to hand me over to the Thought Police?"

"Why would I do that? You have not betrayed Ingsoc or Big Brother. In fact, Big Brother rejoices you are now entering womanhood. You are one step closer to your greatest service..."

"Well, I always wanted to join Minipax, or at least, hoped I'd one day be chosen to serve there."

"And so you shall, if you want it." Julia smiled.

"I'm glad you are here to tell me." I said, "Was it always like this? Did you have someone when you had your first cycle?"

"I had someone I could talk to, yes... A lady who I found out later was actually my birth mother."

"You knew your birth mother?" I felt shocked by her revelation. Party members rarely knew their birth parents. We began pre-school at aged three, main school by five, and then either work or further school when we reached the age of twelve - where we found our purpose within Ingsoc. All I ever knew was school and my family. I had my Big Brother and my other brothers and sisters of the Inner Party. Junior Anti-Sex League and Artsem were my mother. My teacher-comrades my father. To think otherwise wreaked of thoughtcrime.

Julia continued: "She even told me about my birth father: He was a great Outer Party war hero in the mid Nineteen Eighties - when I was born. He was a soldier, just like your soldier, and his code name on duty was Ogilvy... My mother added his real name to my name and I was even named after her."

"What's your full name?"

"Julia Winston-Smith." she said, "Daughter of Julia and Winston Smith, or Julia and Ogilvy if you prefer."

I found it funny she had a boy's middle name, but it seemed to suit her.

"Back then, the Junior Anti-Sex League tried to suppress our cycles, which as you can imagine didn't really work out. Too many girls were afraid and confused, and were lured away from Ingsoc by untamed hormones and emotions... Now we have forged a new and better code for ourselves. Instead of suppressing our cycles, we celebrate them, and share our thoughts and feelings with our fellow members. We help each other remain on our path of Ingsoc and purity. We are Big Brother's faithful chosen, as you are, Amy Violet: junior Inner Party member."

"I like that." She made sense to me.

"I'm assisting O'brien with his class tomorrow. See you there?"

"Totalwise." I grinned.

Julia Winston-Smith led me back to my dormitory, where my dorm-mates had remade my bed for me. My sheets and blankets were clean and fresh, and free of blood.

"We are your family, and families look after their own." she tucked me in and whispered.

My dormitory lights went out. I watched Julia Smith leave and, for a moment, just before I closed my eyes to go to sleep, I thought I heard her whisper; "Good night."

"Stand by for an important announcement."

We all sat up when we heard the lady inside our telescreen speak. I sat at my desk beside Lucy. Chantelle and Mandy were beside us in the next row. We were all looking forward; our eyes fixed on the telescreen while images came flooding in.

Julia Smith leaned against a table near me, casually passing me a smile, reminding me everything was going to be alright. My changes were normal. She was going to help me with my thoughts and emotions. Everyone within the Junior Anti-Sex league was.

I could see the back of O'brien's head while he leaned back in his swivel chair facing the telescreen. His fingers poised on the remote control. He watched cool and emotionless, with not even a fleeting change with his expression.

"News just in: Thanks to our Minipax operatives, our soldiers have now reached Calcutta's city center..."

I saw our soldiers marching through the streets of Calcutta, our flag of Ingsoc raised high over their heads. Callum, Steven and Jaydon cheered.
Our views flicked to a live newsfeed from the city center. Lucy placed her hand over her mouth. I felt ashamed of myself for wanting to turn away and not look at the attrocity we were seeing: Broken bodies of women and children littered blood-strewn streets. Almost every building seemed to be either on fire, or reduced to piles of bricks and shattered glass. We saw the decapitated body of one of our soldiers, frozen dead where he knelt, cradling the body of a little girl in his arms. Two small boys lay side by side with their throats cut. Everywhere was covered with blood and bits of body.

"Those Eurasian murdering animals." Jaydon stood and barked. I felt sure he'd have tossed his Newspeak dictionary at the telescreen had Callum not been there to stop him.

"We face a hollow victory in India today. Cowardly Eurasian soldiers fled, murdering the population indiscriminately in cold blood. Never will our wonderful people of Calcutta know Ingsoc and the protection Big Brother could have provided them."

"How could they do this... why?" I felt tears trickling down my face. Julia Smith handed me a tissue. "All those children. They could have been our comrades." Some of them might have even been part of my family.

"They boobytrapped the city center by planting bombs everywhere." A soldier spoke through the telescreen. I could see the terror in his eyes - and they looked bloodshot, like he had been crying. His voice sounded strange. "My entire platoon's down, suffering from the effects of mustard gas and chlorine inhalation... We may be still alive, but over one million people were not so fortunate."

An armoured vehicle pulled down a barricade sealing up the entrance to a building, revealing hundreds of bodies all huddled together inside. Their faces still held their screams, frozen in time, while others had blood over their hands from trying to claw their way out... Eurasians had trapped them inside and thrown in mustard gas grenades.

I thought about my soldier, Private Charlie Norton, and how he could be drafted to the front any moment. I wanted to cry whenever I thought of him out there... I closed my eyes to clear my mind. Had Charlie been there, that little girl might have been saved. He might have even discovered the boobytraps in time. Malabar and Calcutta neaded him... I imagined him leading his platoon, marching through India liberating village after village. He'd have children running up and thanking him, and they'd all be proud Spies and Youth League members, and then I'd be there with him. Giving him leads, telling him where our enemies were: Those cowardly Eurasians who hid in hospitals and schools, holding children to randsom, threatening to blow the place up if anyone told our noble soldiers where to find them.

"And now for other disturbing developments: Eurasian terrorists have destroyed a food and medicine convoy near the African Town of Mutare, murdering all who risked their lives to deliver supplies to the newly liberated city of Harare. Amongst the dead is young Inner Party member Louise Atkins, who fought bravely while on her internship with Miniplenty... Seventeen year old Louise Atkins from Epsom gave her life while defending her convoy from Eurasian aggression..."

Our telescreen switched to views of all those who had been murdered in the convoy, and all our brave soldiers who died protecting the people of Calcutta from Eurasia's black army. Sweet parade music was like honey to my ears. I felt tears welling again. Louise: she was so brave. They killed her for no reason other than wanting to help liberate people. She fought to the end, making four Eurasians unpersons before saving her last bullet for herself. She wasn't going to let them take her. She kept herself pure for Big Brother.

I hope if I'm ever in Louise's position, I'd be brave enough do the same.

I had felt confused over my feelings during class, and needed to speak with Julia Smith about them. I had seen the terrible things Eurasians did on telescreen before, but they had never made me want to cry, or made me actually feel sympathy for villages filled with Proles. Was there something wrong with me? Julia said it was alright for me to have feelings like mine, and that I was entering womanhood. But what if there was more? Even just the thoughts I still harboured for my soldier made me guilty of thoughtcrime.

Julia would be having coffee with O'brien and some of my Comrade teachers on the top floor, enjoying the sunset behind Miniluv. Already outside the sky had a tint of bronze flame, with crimson-pink clouds grazing the low smog which hung over the prole neighbourhoods. The long triangular shadow cast from the stepped pyramid of Miniluv swept finger-like across Western London, edging towards me like a giant arrow.
I saw Julia sitting at her table near her chosen window. Her face bathed with orange light, catching reddish highlights in her dark hair. O'brien sat opposite her, along with Comrade Russell and Helen: our Inner Party lady which greeted us when I first arrived.

"Hi Amy..." Julia looked over to me and smiled as I walked towards her, making feel relaxed.

"Can we talk?" I asked, not meaning to sound so regimental. My head was a slush of emotion.

"We can go somewhere quiet." Julia winked, and then turned to O'brien, "Junior Anti-Sex league stuff. Girl things."

O'brien nodded and took another sip of his freshly ground coffee - which he drank from a tall glass. I noticed his coffee had a creamy brown look. Fresh milk had been difficult to get in the last few days. He caught my gaze, and then shuffled forward, placing his glass of milky coffee on the table.

"Amy, would you like to try some. Coffee with milk is a whole new experience." he said to me. Before I even had time to respond he had filled a large cup with coffee and lashings of sugar and milk, which quickly developed a thick foamy head. He grated a small amount of chocolate and cocoa powder over the top before handing it to me.

I had never tasted anything like it before. My coffee was sweet and strong. I could feel every cell in my body waking up. My head didn't feel quite so slushy anymore.... Comrade O'brien and Julia were the best teachers ever.

"Shall we go to our quiet room?" Julia gestured for me to follow her for our chat. I nodded farewell to O'brien and my other teacher-comrades and followed.

Julia took me to a small room with a wide window-wall one side. I had clear view over the whole of London, looking east over the Thames towards Minipax and the estuary beyond. Smoke poured from prole refinery chimneys. A giant flame flickered like a candle in the distance.

"Have you ever had ice cream?" Julia asked. She placed a tray of brown flat cake on the table, along with a tub of something she called ice-cream... Chocolate flavoured. She scooped some of the ice cream out and placed it over her slice of flat-cake.

"I like to eat my brownies with a dollop of ice-cream." Julia said before taking a bite.

I copied her, and then tasted delicious creamy chocolate ice-cream, followed by the crunch of her chocolate brownie. Like velvet honeycomb in my mouth. Melting... Sending me to places which faded away before I could see them.

"I think I am a thoughtcriminal... I felt pity, I actually thought those India-Proles were worth feeling sorry for." I just put it all out for Julia to hear. I couldn't stand my emotions any more. I just wanted them gone.

Julia gazed at me hard, like she was searching inside of me, trying to figure something out.

"If you were a thoughtcriminal, I'd have handed you over long ago." she said. "You're not a thoughtcriminal Amy... You're sharing your concerns and thoughts with me, with your family. We will help you through your troubles... Big Brother is proud of you."

"Thanks." I smiled my reply, stuffing my face with ice-cream and chocolate brownies. Julie knew exactly what I needed, and what to say to make me feel good.

“Hate week's soon. Have you thought about what you want to do?” Julia asked. I had a feeling she was really just making conversation. Trying to make me feel alright about myself.

“Not really.” I answered truthfully, “Lucy and Chantelle have loads of ideas, but we've not decided.” I knew some of my classmates were going to make our traditional paper mache sculpture of Big Brother. It felt so pre-schoolish to me. Now Julia had asked, I wanted to do something special, but all I could think was chocolate ice-cream and brownies.

“Maybe you should make food.” Julia looked at me as I leaned forward, folding my arms on the table. I liked her idea. Hardly anyone bought snacks to our Hate Week gatherings. Even celebrating Hate Week felt strange to me now. In my old school we used to just shout at our telescreens, and all our teachers and the other grown ups would chant slogans, and we'd join in, and then raise our arms for Big Brother's song. We just hated... I hate Eurasians, I hate people who would betray my Big Brother. Everyone else seemed to just hate and not really know why. I had reasons. I loved my Big Brother, I had seen on our telescreens what Eurasians were doing, and how they murdered all those people in Calcutta. How Louise Atkins was murdered just for wanting to help liberate people in Africa and show them how beautiful Ingsoc can be. We should have been there to protect her. We should have been there to protect all of them.

And now I had more than hate and love within me: my hate for Eurasia, my love for Big Brother, and all these other feelings between. My chest still ached when I thought of my soldier, Private Charlie Norton. Just being near him made me feel glowy and doublepluswarm inside. When I heard certain music coming from our telescreen, I felt cold shivers and goosebumps, and sometimes I just wanted to sing our beautiful Ingsoc melodies. All my emotions made everything stronger. I hated because I had reasons to hate. I loved my Big Brother because he was always watching over me and protecting me, and I wanted to make him proud. I wanted to make all my family proud.

“Comrade Julia...” I took another bite of chocolate brownie, “Why is Hate Week called Hate Week? Do you know?”

“Because we can celebrate Big Brother's love and gather together with one voice.” Julia replied, “Amy, you will see we celebrate Hate Week differently from Outer Party members and Proles.”

“How do you mean?” I asked. My old school had been filled with mostly Outer Party hopefuls and Prole-kids. We could always tell who'd end up joining The Party, and who'd be a Prole just by the way they acted and the friends they had. Proles were always friends with other Proles. Outer Party with Outer Party... And then there was me, Amy Violet, who came top of the class in everything. I was the best Spy, the best Junior League member. I always looked up to my Big Brother, thankful he was there for me.

“Inner Party members get together and express whatever we're feeling. We learn to recognise and control our emotions. We are always there for each other. Within the Anti-sex league, we ensure we keep each other safe under Big Brother's protection - so we can be pure for him. I understand how you feel Amy... Your passions are one of the reasons you are here.”

“You mean that?” I looked at her across the table, our eyes locked. She always made sense to me. “I thought I was here because I always came top in everything.”

“We need people who are passionate about Ingsoc; not just obeying, but truly feeling how you feel... Outer Party members obey without question. Our emotions enable us to spot others who deviate from Ingsoc... True thought criminals...” she paused, shifting her subject a little, “You were a talented spy because you do not understand how anyone can turn against Big Brother and not feel protected by him. You want to wrap everyone with the comfort of Ingsoc.”

“Yes.. And I can't imagine being away from Big Brother and Ingsoc. Everything just seems so cold and empty. Ingsoc is like a blanket keeping me warm. I don't want to be out of my blanket.”

“So, if someone tries to take your blankets away, you get angry and want to fight them.”

“Yes... sort of I suppose.”

“Eurasians and traitors are like people who want to steal your blankets and leave you cold and alone, without Big Brother there to protect you. Your emotions ensure you are always within Ingsoc and under Big Brother's protection.”

I spooned another pile of ice-cream on top of my brownie and let the cold, velvet texture melt in my mouth. I loved chocolate. I loved my Big Brother. Julia and me were sisters of the Junior Anti-Sex League.

"I'd like to make food for our Hate Week." I had made up my mind.

Julia took out her notepad and jotted down a list of ingredients, which she handed me. Butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking soda, salt and lashings of chocolate. I was to mix all the ingredients together and make flat circles - or any shape I wanted, and then cook them for 10 minutes. Afterwards I could dip them in melted chocolate.

"Take this to Comrade-Teacher Helen so she can authorise your order from Miniplenty." Julia said after she gave me her list. "They're called chocolate biscuits... You will adore them... tripleplustastegood."

"Thank you..." I left our room feeling so much better for having spoken with Julie, and she had given me an idea for Hate Week.

"I look forward to trying some." Julia grinned as I left.

I walked back to where Comrades O'brien, Helen and Russell were enjoying their coffee, and gave Helen my list. She even phoned it through for me. Her authorisation code meant my ingredients would be hand delivered by special Party courrier.

I could smell my biscuits cooking already.
When my ingredients arrived, my Inner Party courrier even took them to the kitchen for me. Lucy and me watched his every move, never keeping him out of sight. He wore Outer Party blue overalls which meant he wasn't allowed anywhere else inside our building.

He nodded, and then never made eye contact again. He looked scared of me, and deep down, I suspected he was showing signs of thought crime. On his way out he looked at Chantelle funny. He turned away the moment Lucy and me noticed.

When he left, I called for Helen and O'brien using our kitchen speak-phone, and told them everything he had done.

"Well done Amy... We have a special room for thoughtcriminals like him. You will never have to be concerned again." O'brien made me feel glowy inside when he congratulated me. "Julia says you're making biscuits. We look forward to trying them later."

He ended our connection. I really hoped Julia was there. I thought I could hear her in the background talking with Comrade-teacher Helen. Something about Artsem in our New York sector of Navalstrip Three.

I invited Chantelle to help us make our biscuits, and soon we had covered the metal kitchen worktops with flour and sugar. We wore white aprons to keep our Inner Party overalls clean. Chantelle was really upset with how that thoughtcriminal had looked at her. She told us he made her feel uncomfortable, like she was out of her blankets. I remembered what Julia said. Seems like the courrier was a Eurasian spy too.

I told Chantelle how brave she was, and how Big Brother was proud of her for being so strong and keeping herself warm inside Ingsoc. She smiled and thanked us, and we each shared a piece of chocolate together.

We made our biscuits in the shape of our Ingsoc logo, and dunked each one in a bowl of melted chocolate, and then left them on a tray to set.
When our biscuits were ready, we carried the trays to the Main Hall, where we would be celebrating Hate Week. Everyone else had made sculptures, or had written new slogans. Mandy, Julie and Kate had written a song. Steven and Callum had organised a play which they called, "Ten ways to kill a Eurasian."

"Comrade Teacher Russell has started a who can write the best party slogan competition." Jaydon ran over to us with his eye on our biscuits.

"He said the winner will see their slogan added to the side of Minitrue."
I thought about our existing three: their big letters shining on the white stepped pyramid of Minitrue like a giant cake.

War is peace, because we always wanted peace, but Eurasians just wanted war with us.

Ignorance is Strength, because we were strong enough to ignore words of traitors. Like Chantelle, and how she was so strong for ignoring the way that thoughtcriminal was looking at her.

Freedom is Slavery; we had to protect our freedom like we had to protect our blankets. If I was a cat, Eurasians would be fleas trying to climb inside my fur and make me scratch. We had to be on our guard to be free of Eurasian thoughtcriminals just like a cat would be free of fleas.

I looked at our biscuits, and then remembered something I said to O'brien once.

I wrote Ingsoc is Truth, and signed my name before handing in my entry.
"Amy... you should see this." Chantelle called me and Lucy over to sit with her. Comrade-Teacher Helen flicked on a giant flat telescreen which filled one wall. I could feel the ground rumbling beneath my feet as the latest broadcasts came in.

"Something's happening with India." Chantelle's voice trembled.
I wanted to cry and thought of calling Julia Smith so I could talk with her. I felt so angry with Eurasia, they were attacking my family and I wanted them to leave us alone.

Everyone was here, even junior Inner Party members from the years above me. Me and my friends were still in our first year and I had never seen the others before. They all looked so much taller than me, and so much curvier too, which made me feel like I was the tiniest in the room again. I could shrink away and no one would notice me with my Ingsoc clip in my hair, and my scarlet sash dangling past my knee.

I could see Callum was watching one of the third year girls funny, just like how that Outer Party Eurasian traitor had been looking at Chantelle. She had her scarlet junior anti-sex league sash notted round her waist how me and Lucy wore ours. She had long black hair like me, only her hair was all bouncy and shiny. I hated her too.

"Tragic news from our brave soldiers on the Calcutta front."

We all froze, each of us, staring unblinking at the telescreen, which quickly shot to a small mountain village. Everything was on fire, making it difficult to see through all the smoke. Through a clearing I could see bodies of children and they were all strewn out everywhere. They were all part of the same class. They could have been part of my family.

"Betrayed... We have been betrayed." Footage of one of our soldiers weeping while she held a dead boy in her arms. "Eastasians have slaughtered everyone."

"And news just in concerning similar slaughters all over northern India. We have confirmed our deepest suspicions: Eastasia has been responsible for both the Calcutta and Himalayas massacres."

"I should have known with their Death Worship. Killing is all they know." Callum growled. I saw such fury in his eyes.

Now I understood. Eastasia was only pretending to be our friend so they could destroy my family. I hated them now... I hated them more than Eurasia because they had been killing people and made us believe Eurasians were doing it. They were the ones who had attacked our soldiers when we tried to liberate Calcutta. Their same rocket bombs which they used to kill all those children were being used against us. Eastasian spies were everywhere. They were amongst us, even now, plotting and threatening tiny Eurasian villages in Northern France so they could attack my family. Hiding their rocket bombs in people's homes, saying they would blow up their schools and hospitals if Eurasian families said no. I felt so ashamed. Like I couldn't get anything right.

I saw my big brother was smiling over me, saying everything would be ok plusgoodwise. He understood and felt betrayed too. Me and everyone else here now knew the truth.

We were at war with Eastasia. We had been at war with Eastasia all along.
"Comrade Amy Violet."

His stern voice called me and I stepped forward, standing straight looking into his eyes. Chantelle and Lucy were either side of me. I could hear the hum of our telescreen in the passing silence. My heart raced with excitement.

"When you first arrived within our school, I asked you a question, do you remember?" O'brien sounded different. He was strong and commanding like our telescreen newspeakers. I felt like he would send me to that special room if I answered any of his questions wrong.

"Yes Comrade-Teacher O'brien, you asked me which ministry I would like to work." I replied, remembering how Teacher Helen had introduced us, "You were sitting with Comrade-Teacher Helen and Comrade-Teacher Russell drinking coffee."

"To which you replied?"

"Wherever I can serve my Big Brother to the best of my ability."

O'brien's face softened slightly. I looked into his eyes while I held my emotions within me. Everything changed when we discovered we had always been at war with Eastasia. Their deathworshipping spies were everywhere, conspiring against my family, against my party and my sisters. They want to take Ingsoc away from me and harm my Big Brother - and I was going to stop them.

"Amy, you were the only one who answered with your reply. Your fellow brothers and sisters chose their ministries."

I saw Teachers Helen, Russell and Julia Smith seated on their platform behind him. Julia smiled her secret smile, letting me know everything was going to be alright.

"Congratulations Amy Violet. You have passed your first year!"

I felt I had done more than that. I had passed O'brien's secret test. I was top of my year. I was making my Big Brother proud.

O'brien signalled for everyone in my year to line up behind me.

"Now you are all entering your second year, you will each be placed within one of four classes, named after the ministry you will serve." O'brien's voice filled our hall. "You will become your ministries."

I walked onto the stage where all our teachers were seated and stood in front of them. Everyone was looking at me. I waited for them to assign me.

"Comrade Amy Violet of class Minipax. Please join your fellow classmates."

I felt doubleplusgood. Ingsoc's beautiful music tricked over our hallway. I stepped off the stage towards one of four coloured areas painted on the floor. I waited while everyone in my year was sorted into their classes. Lucy got Minitruth. Chantelle Miniplenty. We looked at each other from our areas. Lucy stood in the middle of a blue diamond, Chantelle in yellow. Callum looked pleased with himself towering over the rest of his Miniluv class in green. My scarlet Junior Anti Sex League sash brushed against red.

I had been assigned the ministry I always wanted and felt thoughtcrime within me. Lucy, Chantelle and me looked at each other one last time before we were ushered through different doors.