C is for Clothing
Clothing is fairly uniform. Men and women can choose what types of clothes they would like to wear, but they mostly wear skirts, dresses, pants, and t-shirts. Since they never go outside, there’s no reason for outerwear, but sweaters and sweatshirts are available for those who tend to be colder. There are choices of colors, but to a limited degree.
The area where people can have personal expression is in jewelry and tattoos. Necklaces, earrings, and bracelets are popular. Piercings and tattoos are common. Many women have their nipples pierced, but nothing is forced on anyone. Every community has a tattoo parlor and piercing shop, and services are given for free. The best artists work there.
Above you see my description that I wrote based on the extensive questions in The A-Zs of Worldbuilding. Below, you can read an excerpt from Chapter 1 from my novel Exploration.
Remember this (and most) of my posts contain adult content!
Part 1: Meet Mara
Chapter 1: Mara’s Birthday
I stretched as I woke, my sore muscles protesting. I could feel my joints popping as my fingertips brushed against the wall at the head of my bed. I worked my tongue around my mouth. I was parched. Sitting up, I reached for the glass of water I left by my bed. I tried to remember why my alarm wasn’t going off. Usually, I didn’t wake up until the beep-beep-beep told me it was time. But there was no alarm. Was it a day off?
And then I remembered. It was my birthday.
Actually, it wasn’t really my birthday. But it was Matchmaking Day. For most people, it didn’t mean a whole lot, though there would be people moving residences today, and there would be a whole bunch of 22-year-olds who got their matches. But for me, just 18, it meant that I was considered a young adult now. My entire life was about to change. But, at least I didn’t have to move.
I swished the water around my mouth and slid my feet into the slide on shoes I liked to wear. I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts and was perfectly comfortable. I opened the door to the adjoining bathroom. I listened briefly to see if anyone else was in there, but I didn’t hear any noises.
The bathroom I shared with two other people only had one toilet, but it was in a stall, so it didn’t matter if I wandered in when someone else was in there. The shower was a similar setup, with a dressing area outside the shower for convenience. While I was in the bathroom stall, I heard someone else enter.
“Jean?” a voice called.
“No, it’s Mara.”
“Oh,” Carla replied. “Jean left her clothes in the washer. Again.”
I rolled my eyes, even though no one could see it, and then exited the stall. I glanced in the mirror as I washed my hands and saw that my ponytail had held up well to sleep. I smoothed back the flyaway auburn hair with my damp hands and then finished drying them on a towel on the wall.
“Do you need the washer, Carla?” I asked. “I can take Jean’s stuff out.”
“Oh, no, Mara, that’s okay. I’ll take care of it.”
I smiled as Jean banged through her door. Each of our rooms adjoined the bathroom suite through a different door.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Jean said as she rushed over to the washer. It was a great machine that washed and dried our clothes, and Jean had a habit of forgetting to get her clothes out of it when they were done.
“Relax, Jean,” I said. “It’s fine.”
She looked at me. “Are you sure, Mara?” I watched her tiny frame as she dug out her clothes. She looked frazzled, her curly red hair a bit of a mess.
“Yes,” I replied.
She looked at Carla.
“It’s fine, Jean,” Carla said, and she smiled. Carla looked very well put together for someone who had just rolled out of bed. But then again, she always did. She must not have moved in her sleep, because her long blonde hair always looked perfect.
Jean, Carla, and I had been pod-mates since our 16th year. We didn’t all have the same birthdays, obviously, but we were broken up into groups by year. In fact, nine other people lived on our floor who were all in the same age group we were. Other than our vastly different hair, we all looked like we could be sisters. We had the same non-exciting brown eyes, perky breasts, and enough curves to be comfortable. Jean was just a head shorter than Carla and me.
Jean quickly took her clothes out and put them in her basket. Carla put her clothes into the machine. “Do you have anything to wash?” she asked me.
“I’m good for now,” I said.
“Are you sure?” Carla asked. “Do you have your nice clothes ready for tonight?”
“Yes, yes,” I said. “I washed mine the last time I wore them.” I stuck my tongue out at Carla, and she laughed. Carla and Jean were both last-minute type people. I liked to have everything organized and precisely in its place. I rarely was running out of laundry and freaking out about it. I certainly always washed my nice clothes every time I wore them.
On an average day, we all wore basically the same thing. We could choose between a skirt, pants, shorts, or a dress, and then we had t-shirts in the short and long-sleeved variety. There were different colors, but that was about it. We never ventured out into the wasteland outside our building, so we did not need jackets or boots, but of course, we had sweaters, sweatshirts, and socks in case we got chilly inside.
But today was not an average day. Today, we were having our Matchmaking ceremony. Today I would be wearing something with an embroidered pattern on it. It wasn’t something we got to wear every day as they took a lot of time to make. Everyone in our building would assemble in our first-floor meeting room, and new couples and groups would be announced. I wouldn’t be getting matched yet. I had a few years before I would find out who my match was going to be. But I had to make the most important decision of my life. I had to pick a career.
I wasn’t locked into it yet, but if I picked well the first time, I would be able to focus my four years of training on that instead of jumping from job to job. But, there was nothing wrong with that either. I also would be given the opportunity to experiment with people of my age.
Experiment with what, you ask?
It was very likely that I would lose my virginity in the next 24-hours.
In 24 hours!? How in the world will that happen? And why?
Find out all that and in Exploration or come back tomorrow to learn more!