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The following excerpt from a dystopian novel is set in the future and is about a pupil sitting an important exam. Doing well would give him the chance to escape the underprivileged area he lives in: the Debtbelt.

I guess what I’m going to tell you is a kind of love story, tho’ if you met me face to face you’d never in a millions years take me for the romantic type. But when a girl like Tais comes into your life and turns it upside down, well, you’ve got to lay yourself out on the line because otherwise what are you … some kind of dead man walking? Least that’s the way I see it. But relax, I’m not going to give you my whole draggy backstory; me in nappies and all that Momma didn’t give me enough love and Daddy was a rolling stone crap. … that’s not where this is heading, no, not at all.

I suppose I’ve got to pick somewhere to begin, because y’know it’s not like all the madness sprang up out of nowhere, but looking back on it now, the exam hall was probably the first time the pressure blew the lid right off of me. So I’m going to start there. The final week of my college exams, in the area Test Hall, and it’s a quarter past three in booth C for Candidate Number 3017. Anthony, Griffin. Oh, and look I’m going to level with you, that’s not my real name. I picked it up online. But please don’t take it personal, I don’t mean to be rude or anything. I’m only faking up my name so it’s clean between us. So that I don’t know you and you don’t know me because it’s easier that way, easier to take, right?

And so there I am, plugged into the test frame, Biology: Paper 2 and in truth things ain’t going so great for me. In fact, I’m kind of a mess. Twenty minutes have jagged past since the test began and I haven’t even looked at the questions on the screen in front of me. Instead my eyes are blank – glued to the digital clock in the far right hand corner of the monitor like I’m some kind of zombie. But I’m no zombie. I’m a really smart guy. No really, I’m not bragging. I’m smart. Everybody says so. I’m up for a scholarship and everything.

And this exam is my big moment. It’s my way to blast clear of the Debtbelt for ever. But I’m not doing what I’m supposed to do. I’m not scribbling down all that knowledge that I’ve spent endless months and years cramming into my skull. No, I’m blowing my future, big style, as I sit, motionless and hypnotized by the row of dials nestling alongside the digital clock, each one reading a separate bit of me: my heart rate, blood sugar, adrenaline levels … and all of the read-outs pounding away in the red zones. I’m amazed the principal hasn’t called an ambulance; I mean why hook all of us up to this shit if he doesn’t mean to help us out when we fly off the scale?

And it’s like I’m magnetized to the zigs and the zags and the motion of the dials. I can feel my left hand trembling, gripped tight around the exam pad as sweat trickles all the way down my arm from my back. True, it’s a hot day and all, but I am way beyond hot. I’m oozing, slip-sliding sweat, a steady trickle dripping from my palms drumming out a staccato …
tunk tunk rhythm as it hits the pad; forming a dark stain that spreads across the cobalt-blue foam. I’ve got no focus, no mind, no breath.


Ich finde keine Stilmittel (rhetorische Mittel). Woher weiß ich, dass eine junge Person spricht und welche Sprache verwendet er hier? Also Umgangssprache oder Alltagssprache?

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