"Our heart beats only with their permission." For as long as she can remember, the bookworm Synecdoche Rochet, 23, has lived a simple life in Maharlika Nation—hiding in the grasses and grains of District G to avoid the terrifying power of the Embassy and its ruthless Ambassador. In a dystopian world that is controlled with surveillance, Synecdoche Rochet embarks on a mission to get back their rights on their district's valuable resources—the grains. When she discovered her intellectual ability, she found herself drawn to the charismatic Giovanni, the long-lost Ambassador's privileged son together with other intelligent students, Ulap, Token, and Keithwarth. They found themselves being the tributes on the 2nd Maharlika Spelling TwistBee—trapped in the Word Arena. An annually commemorated game where each district will represent one letter in the Alphabet, spell the given English words not verbally, but by beating other competitors who have letter tattoos on their arms. The rules are to Spell and beat them. Within the competitor's reach, the team-up of Synecdoche, Giovanni, Ulap, Token, and Keithwarth isn't a coincidence, it's a conspiracy. What if Synecdoche's age will be reversed? Will they use their intelligence for vengeance? Will they compel love and trust to survive the competition? Is their life the price or the prize? "Even the shortest word has the longest meaning."View More
Ulap is here!I don’t know what went through her mind and She came here. How did She find our house? I didn't tell her our house and actually, her entrance was quite horiffic. Her hair was a kind of rain slickened and bedraggled. I thought she was a ghost or a thief or a murderer. I do not know? She just enters without notice."What are you doing here?" I asked but she suddenly grabbed me by the shoulder. She was carrying a hat and handkerchief. She gripped it quite tightly and the water in his hand was dripping on my skin."Synecdoche, help me. These are Mama's handkerchief and Papa's hat. Help me, pleas! My parents are missing!" She suddenly cried and hugged me tightly. I can feel her sadness. It's too late before I could insist, my clothes are already dampened.Someone feels sad more than I feel tonight. It is despairing; devoid of hope. I am not the only one who's battling with my own life, as if an exclamation mark of my life has become a dot t
"Synecdoche, wake up. Wake up, hey." I heard a voice."What happened to you? Wake up," he added. He patted my back and my eyes opened. I saw him, his very pleasant face."What happened, Vani?" I asked, checking around to see where I was."What? I don't know? I just saw you here being stunned as if you're thrown for a loop. Where did you go? You look so skanky with your grimy clothes, and shabby hair. I've been looking for you for a while." I looked at his hands that are resting on my shoulders and I looked at my clothes. He's telling the truth. As if I was chased by a hippopotamus or a bull or any other wild animal here in the forest.I suddenly thought about what had happened to me. I look to the side and there's a well.The well.I immediately stood up and I looked inside the well. It is so dark below and I can see nothing but a fading brick. I think I fell here earlier and then the Manjies chased me. I can still hear their eer
"Are you okay, Expert?" A girl asked as we all walked towards the quadrangle because the Embassy was already here. What was the problem with this woman? Why does she call me an expert? I know it's weird that someone is having a conversation with me. I'm not prepared. I might be in a hot seat because of this age transition.I mean, my body was rejuvenated because of that synth-and-metal machine, but my memories were still here. Constant. I can still remember Padre, and the books and the dictionary, and how the Embassy takes a domineering control."My name is not expert. My name is Synecdoche Rochet," I muttered. Suddenly, some birds started to sit on both sides of her shoulders like she was the owner. The hums of the birds sound like they are not afraid of the branch when it breaks.She talked to the birds before she faced and complimented me, "Oh, what a nice name, Exp—I mean Synecdoche. Well, just look up, that's my name. Nice to meet you. Jus
Aside from the day I chased the piglet, I just got out of the house again. I think that the blue sky above appreciates my happiness today. I'm under this roof of blue sky, in a field of mid-day sunshine, surrounded by the scent of wet grass and the music of song birds and buzzing insects. I can see the ferocious monkey-eating eagle; bluish eyes, a large, sharp, curved beak, and a warlike headdress of spiky feathers, giving a striking appearance.Appearance.I looked 18, again and I will be studying in school.For the first time.I am excited. The farmers were excited.It is a new day. It is a new life.And maybe a new trouble.The wind blew our seal above the bamboo pole. I have always thought of the wind as so free, chaotic even, yet it has its path, even if there are infinite possible destinations. Its air has its passion, a drive that powers onwards, every direction an option.I went to any direction. But do I have an
Synecdoche's POV.Our hearts beat only with their permission. But at least, we have never known a world without them.I did not know that our nation was divided separately and alphabetically from A to Z—not until I read a dictionary, stopped on its page 143, saw an English word, and went outside to see if we have it."A single rice grain is equivalent to death because we are forbidden to eat even half of it, even if we are the ones who cultivate and harvest it. That's why, I don't want you to go out, Synecdoche. Soldiers—the Manjies, will attack you," Padre Oriel said, lighting up the candle near the altar.He's the one who fostered me since before. I want to thank him a million times for saving my life—several times as how often I recite, recall and reflect on those letters and definitions of the words in the dictionary; how often I look outside those windows."Can I be in a state of fear without being afraid of them?" I asked hi
Synecdoche's POV."The dictionary is simply our universe arranged in Alphabetical order. Let the letters let you, Synecdoche Rochet. Remember why you are here," Coach Medrano reminded me for the last time as he inserted the golden wheat leaves in my hair that symbolized our identity."Go. Grow. Glow," I said, clenching my fist, scrunching fingers like cannonballs. I know that there are hidden cameras inside here in Mahar's Launch Room."What do you mean?" Coach Medrano asked hat is off."The prize," I whispered. I wonder why he's with me right now. I wonder why the Embassy gave each tribute a chamber. I hope Ulap, Token, Keithwarth, and Vani will stick to our plan for the final stage of the competition. We haven't seen each other today but we're prepared to spell words. We're trained enough.I boldly faced my Coach and said, "I want that ruthless Ambassador Hugo Cassidy to go. I want our grainfield to grow back from being burned, I want
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