You are not Welcome


Brett Fyfe '25, Writer

Monday, February 18, 2045. 

Montgomery, Alabama. Just after noon, the final paper was signed, Alabama is now an independent country. The new leader, Hugo Johnson, has already written us new rules. There are 5 rules, maybe more will be added later, I don’t know. 

  1. Speech is not free. You will not speak against the government, anyone who does will be put to death.
  2. Any crime results in an automatic life sentence, the government will decide who will be put to death and who won’t.
  3. Elected military officials, chosen by me, Hugo Johnson, will be under constant supervision.
  4. No female is allowed out of the house without a male counterpart. 

And the worst rule.

  1. No family will have more than 2 children per household. Any extra children will be put to death.

I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Alana, I am 12 years old and the youngest child in my family. I am the 3rd child, making me the illegal child. I have 2 brothers, Chris and Anthony. They are 16 and 18 years old. I’ve lived my whole life in Alabama, on the same street, in the same house, in the same room; but now that’s all changing. 

My family was already preparing for this, so we came up with a plan. I hated the plan, I tried my hardest to keep my mind off it, to believe this wouldn’t happen. But here we are. The plan has 6 steps that only my family knows, but you will know too.

  1. Tell government officials that Alana has died
  2. Plan a funeral
  3. Give away or sell anything Alana no longer needs
  4. Move Alana into the attic
  5. Cover every window near Alana
  6. Make Alana live in complete secret

If there’s anything I want to tell you about this, it’s that I’m not excited. None of my friends are 3rd children like I am, they get to go on and live their normal lives. To say I’m jealous would be an understatement, to say I’m furious would be an understatement, to say I’m devastated would be an understatement. There is no word to describe how I’m feeling, except maybe dead

Tuesday, February 19, 2045. 

I was pronounced dead yesterday at 7:48 pm. We have started planning my funeral, and I’m beginning to sort through what I no longer want. My moving process has also begun, my whole family is spending the week at home “grieving.” But it’s really to move me to the attic. Yesterday I had to unfriend all my friends. I cried for hours. I hope they don’t notice that I unfriended them, that might make it look like I’m planning something. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2045.

I spent my first night in the attic last night. It’s freezing because the heat hasn’t been turned on yet. It’s supposed to get turned on tomorrow, but that means one more night in the cold. All my unneeded stuff also gets given away tomorrow; some of it isn’t unneeded, it would just look weird if we kept it. 

My brother Chris is really grieving now. His best friend was a 3rd child like me. Keyword, “was.” He was killed yesterday. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2045.

It’s been a little while since I last wrote, truth is,  I just didn’t want to. My whole family has gone back to school and work, so I’m just here alone all day. Well not really alone; my cat Jemma is here too, and she’s good company. My mom is a teacher at my old school, so every day she brings home some stuff for me to work on, being able to do school work makes the days a lot less boring. Most days I just go on my phone, watch what is still on TV, and do school work. Everything I eat either doesn’t have to be heated or was warmed up before my family left the house; we don’t want anyone to hear me cooking. During the day I do come downstairs, but I crawl most of the way until I’m in the covered living room and kitchen. I should also tell you that my heat has been turned on, so I’m no longer freezing up there. That’s about all for now, talk to you soon. 

Thursday, February 28, 2045

I’ve decided to write every other day because I really don’t have anything to write about. My life is living in the attic, doing some school, going on my phone, and watching tv. There’s not much more to it. 

Friday, March 8, 2045

I know I said I’d write every other day, but I decided to take a break from writing. It was another very uneventful 8 days. I did a lot of school work and taught myself how to do some algebra. Before I left school I was in the middle of writing a book so I decided to finish writing it, all that writing tired me out and I just didn’t want to write anymore. The past few days I’ve also been allowed into the family room after everyone came home; we’ve watched a few movies and even started a new TV show! It’s really nice to be able to spend time with my family again, I actually missed doing it. Well, that’s all I have to say, for now, talk soon!

Tuesday, March 12, 2045

I think I need to start being more careful. I’m scared someone saw me yesterday. Nothing has happened yet so I hope no one did but for now I’m not leaving the attic. Talk later.

“Wake up.” 

I open my eyes, “mom?” 


Dad never wakes me up, maybe mom’s not feeling well? “Dad?”


So who is it? Chris and Anthony never wake me up.

“Get up already!”

I jump awake, and there they are. 3 government officials. I glance at my clock, it’s already 10:45, everyone left hours ago. 

“Get up girl! You’re coming with us.”

I get up slowly as if to annoy them. I wonder what would happen if I said no, that’s when it happens. Everything goes dark.

I think I hear talking…

“She should be awake by now.” 

“Why is the girl still asleep!?”  

This voice sounds powerful, it’s booming, deep. It scares me awake. I open my eyes again, that’s one of the last things I remember doing.

“Girl, It’s been days since you last woke, get up.”
I do as he says, I’m scared of him. Then I look over, and I see mom, then dad, then Anthony, then Chris. 

“Why are they here?” 

I didn’t mean to say that out loud. 

“Quiet! You don’t get to ask questions.” 

I stop talking. They lead me to my family. I realize that they’re tied up, their hands behind them, their legs stretched out front. 


I do as they say, and quickly this time. They tie me up too. Mom nudges me, 

“I’m sorry.”

I tell her it’s ok, it’s not her fault, we all participated. 

2 more beings enter the room, they’re in all black, head to toe. Every inch of their body is covered, you can’t even see a hair. 

“Get up.”

The voice saying this is very monotone like there’s no sign of life. It continues with a set of tasks. 

“Stand. Follow me. Stop. Sit.” 

Every task is short, giving as little information as possible. We all do as it says. Abruptly all the people leave the room. Leaving my family and me alone. 

“We’ve been here since Tuesday.” Says Chris in an annoyed tone. Anthony chimes in, “It’s our own fault.” Dad chimes in, “We tried our hardest.” Those words hit me, did we really try our hardest? Did I really try my hardest? I didn’t let my thoughts escape, I can’t let them know that I wasn’t careful enough, that no one slipped up but me. 

Suddenly mom says something I never expected, “It’s better this way. I can’t imagine my life without all of you, and now… I won’t have to.” 

“Huh? What are you talking about? What do you mean you won’t have to?” 

“Oh, Alana…”

That’s all I heard dad say. Then mom started crying and Chris just looked down. I have no one to talk to but Anthony.

“Anthony, what’s wrong?” 

“Alana, we’ve been here for 5 days. We didn’t know where you were until today, we assumed you had already been killed. Then we were brought to a room and there you were, we decided not to tell you. But I guess we have to now…”

Mom cuts him off.

“Let me. Alana, we were captured the same day as you and brought here. We have already stood trial.”
Mom starts to choke up. I think I know what’s coming.

“We were all sentenced to death.” 

Just as mom finishes her sentence 5 people walk in.

“Christopher James Smith.”

“Steven Joseph Smith.”
“Anthony Jackson Smith.”

“Melissa Jane Smith.”

“Alana Jessica Smith.”
All of our names are called separately, each person calls one of us. The people come and untie us so we can follow them. We leave in the order our names were called, I know where we’re going, we’re going to the death room. As each person leaves I make sure to tell them something.

“Thank you for teaching me how to play softball Chris. I love you to the moon and back.”

“I can’t imagine my life without you dad. I love you 3000.”

“Anthony, thank you a million times for teaching me how to read. I love you always.”

Finally, it’s just mom and me. I give her the tightest hug I’ve ever given anyone.

“Thank you for being my favorite person and best friend mom. I’ll see you soon. I love you forever.”
Finally, it’s my turn.

“Come Alana.”
I get up and walk right behind them. I’m brought to a bright white room that has very little in it. I see a bed, an IV pole, and a medicine bag. 

“Get on the bed.”
I do that and get as comfortable as I can. I mean I’m about to die here, I should be as comfortable as possible. The person takes out a needle and draws the solution from the bag into it. This is it, this is my time on this Earth coming to a close.

“It will be quick and painless. Your family is one of the lucky ones, not getting killed by the electric chair.”
I find comfort in knowing that we are all dying the same way, painlessly. The person ties a tourniquet around my upper arm. I lay back and pretend I’m on a beach vacation with my whole family. I feel a quick pinch and know my time is almost over. I open my eyes for a quick second, then I close them to the sound of waves crashing against the sand. My last thought was “I can’t wait to see everyone again.”