“What?” I fired back.
“Every last person on this island is a virgin,” she went on. “You have to be. It’s all so fucked up.”
I resisted the urge to question Gabby and let her tell the story that she clearly wanted to tell.
“This island was started by the government in the 70s. Back then, there was this cult, the Sistines, they lived up in the mountains a ways outside of Seattle. No one really knew that their beliefs were, but after the Manson Family thing happened in California, the state freaked out and sent a bunch of Marshals and cops up to their camp. The cops freaked out and burned down their camps, shot at a bunch of them and ended up killing about half of them. It turned out that the group was completely harmless. They were just hardcore Christians who were a little weird. The government didn’t want the public finding out that they basically slaughtered a bunch of Christians for no reason, so they took the ones that survived and told them they could live out here on this island and they would subsidize all of their living costs as long as the group remained silent on what happened. The town and everything was all already built for a nuclear power plant they were going to build here in the 50s, but cancelled. What they didn’t tell them was they abandoned the project because the island was mildly toxic because of a fuck up with the plant they tried to build. The government thought the toxicity would kill the group over time, but it didn’t, it just made them sterile.”
“This is the longest story a girl has ever told me to avoid giving it up to me. You could have just lied and said you are on your period,” I said with a laugh.
Gabby hit me as hard on my shoulder as a human being has ever hit me.
“Okay, okay, okay, shit,” I whined as my entire arm went numb.
“The Sistines freaked out when they realized that they were all sterile. There was something in their own little religion that said sex without intent to have children would make everyone in a group not be able to bear children, so they went berserk about having sex because they thought their sterilization was some punishment from their god or something. The little religion also said sex without intent to have children was punishable by death.”
“But we go to school with 40 kids, where the hell did they come from?” I interrupted her.
“About 20 years ago, they realized they were going to all eventually die off and the younger ones were getting depressed about never being able to have kids so they opened the academy. They would take in troubled, unwanted kids through the academy and they would stay there and basically become their children. Most of the kids come in a lot younger than me and you, so it isn’t as weird for them. I came in just a couple of years ago after getting kicked out of my school.”
“Okay, but why are we here then?”
“Temptation. We are the test to the other kids to make sure that they don’t give into their desires. They want us to tempt their teenagers, but I have no fucking interest in those baby Hueys. That why I was so drawn to you the second I saw you. I haven’t interacted with a real guy on a daily basis in years. But we still can’t go all the way.”
“Because they are watching us.”
My eyes drifted out to the darkness that haunted the windows that were on all sides of my little box of a cabin.
“One of the other girls at schools told me all of this and she told me that adults follow all of the kids everywhere they go at all time, no matter what. She told me that when they are little, they give the kids these books about a snake called Michelangelo that follows them wherever they are to make sure that they follow the principles of being Sistines. The book says that if they disobey the rules, the snake will sliver out of its hiding spot and eat them. She showed me the book for a second once in the bathroom before she got too scared and pulled it back away. There is no fucking snake though, it’s just the adults. Everywhere you go, they are around, if it doesn’t seem like it, they are off in the distance watching. They are out in the woods out these windows right now watching us.”
My eyes flew out into the darkness of the woods that were outside every window in my living box.
“Don’t even just worry about them watching you in-person either. They have cameras everywhere. They probably have a camera in this fucking thing. The only place they don’t put them are bathrooms. That’s why I pulled you into one the first time we met, that’s why I pulled that prank in the locker room. So they couldn’t see us.”