Home didn’t always look like this. Home used to feel and give off the warmth of a thousand suns that shined with enough brightness to make a person incapable of seeing their own two hands in front of them. I miss and long for the life that I used to live in a previous life and before it felt like my world had caved in upon itself and threw its occupants into a pitch of darkness that swelled around and swallowed us whole. We now see the world in black and white with not even a shred of bright light left to grasp onto and hold tight. Everything remains dull and dim with no true purpose for really existing.
I wonder how we arrived at this place and how we can live without happiness or sadness or any emotion at all. It is like we are mindless beings. Like a wooden puppet with its strings hanging from the sky and being pulled by God’s will. Or if there even is a God up there in this absolute travesty of a place. This place… I don’t even know how it was formed and who decided to take a pen with ink as dark as night and black out the sunny and bright Old World. The Old World was leagues better than what we have now. Or so, that is only what I have heard from past generations. It feels like I, and I alone, can hear the Whispers of the past and am left to suffer with them. For if even a syllable leaves my lips regarding what has long gone, I will be taken away and brought to a place from which I can never return. The Order has ensured that fact for when a single person falls out of line and out of the perfect state they are in and question the Authority, those who do so don’t usually return. It is unknown exactly what happens to them, but the Whispers have informed me it is nothing good.
But on to happier thoughts. Right now, the Whispers have taught me about colors. Colors. The stuff that used to make up the world. The bits and pieces of brilliant light that shone and gave life to the home in which we used to reside. Colors of many fashions and walks of life. I have learned of Colors of Blue which used to make up the sky the Whispers said. Blue is- difficult to describe. I can’t place my finger on exactly how to explain what I have been told. I cannot decipher on my own because it feels like the Whispers have swallowed up my brain and are constantly feeding it information just waiting for it to sink in. Though, everyday it feels like my mind is a sieve filled with Sand. Miniscule particles sifting through miniscule holes trying to find the token pieces that stick and do not pass through. The ones of importance however, get lost and get buried in the rest of Sand never to resurface. Knowledge that will never be retained. Knowledge that will never be shared. Knowledge that is lost to me and remains only with the Whispers.
I attempt to retain as much knowledge as I can, however, by writing in small books with a script so small, not even a mouse could read it. I wonder if mice have the ability to read… I remember the Whispers telling me many years ago about how past humans used to test on mice to determine how smart they really were. I remember being so fascinated with this seemingly trivial fact that would neither benefit nor help me in a future time. For Scientists of our time do not attempt any such experiments and do not question that which has already occurred and the creation or behaviors of the existing. It is difficult to sort out the facts that the Whispers tell me as they tell me in an order that I cannot decipher. Everyday I learn yet another fact that will hopefully help me escape from this darkness, but I do not know everything yet and so I must wait a bit longer till I learn all the Knowledge the Whispers spill like an eternal fountain forever flowing.
Good or Bad?
Good or bad? That is the question that must be answered as that is the question that the Whispers ask me on the daily, never ceasing or stopping to allow me peace of mind. It is like they think that my brain can take the constant flow of thoughts and I will be able to control them but that is false. It has come to the point where I am unsure what thoughts are mine, what thoughts are ones of the past, and what thoughts are directly from the Whispers. The Whisper’s thoughts are the strangest ones of all compared to all the rest. The thoughts from them are ones from a collective, a joint source, a shared brain. No individuality, just a group of voices chorusing together and slipping into my brain. Thousands of voices screaming and yelling at many pitches and tones.
Good or bad? Good or bad? Good or bad? Good or bad? It never stops. That is all I hear… never to catch a break from them. If I really try, I could try to answer the question and appease their thoughts but it’s never enough. I can’t even understand the question in the first place. Good or bad… good or bad what? To what are they enquiring? Good or bad society? Because in that case, it is morally grey as there is no direct answer. Society is like a chalkboard which starts as a rich black but then streaked with white to create a weird grey shade that fits nowhere on the spectrum. Originally, the society I once lived in was good and whole, but then came the Dark which corrupted us all on the inside and now we are neither good nor bad.
We are good in the instances regarding families as we still remain in our central family units with exactly one boy, two girls, a mom, and a dad. The genetic makeup that forms the family makes us identical. All family units are exactly the same with no changes unless there is a particular circumstance that requires a shift. But that rarely happens as most changes or differences between everyone is forbidden and could result in never seeing your family again.
We are bad in the instance that no one truly loves each other. Love is an almost trivial concept that is never mentioned. No one even understands exactly what love is, except for me. The Whispers have explained in great detail about it and how it has caused both great happiness and sadness and while it can also bring people together, it can also tear people apart. Love is being there for someone when they are in a time of great need and require a lending ear to whisper into and divulge all that is weighing on their shoulders. Love is sharing a burden and being able to survive something together. Love can be as simple as bringing some food to someone while they are working and are too busy to go get food themselves. Love is being able to cherish and care for someone so much that you would do anything for them because they are your other half.
The Whispers have explained to me about the ideas of Soulmates, but I am still skeptical about that thought. For instance, if Soulmates are real, then why do my parents not love one another in the way that Soulmates should? Why do they not eternally cherish each other and promise that they will be there for one another? Why is it that every little thing feels forced and out of place? And it is not just my family. I have observed others and they are all the same. Loveless creatures that exist but do not love. Maybe that is the answer to the question, good or bad? Because how can we be good when there is no love except for me and the Whispers? We are the only ones that unequivocally understand, so maybe we are the only good ones.
Lies in the Dark
Lies are an inevitable part of life. For they can so easily slip through one’s lips as a bar of soap slides away from one’s hand. It is forbidden to lie now though. The consequences are most severe and of the utmost cruelty, for lying is a capital crime that can not occur in today’s world. To ensure that no one lies, each of us are embedded with a microchip hidden behind our ears that delivers a fatal shock that kills us swiftly. It is painless as pain is something the Authority wishes to hide from us. The sharp and agonizing feeling that floods through us and causes us to collapse to the floor in pure torment begging for it to stop, pleading for our lives just for a moment of peace.
The Authority deems pain unnecessary and provides us with nothing good in life. So they removed it. They removed one of the few things that keeps us human, the things that allows for us to react and not become mindless beings whose sole purpose is just… to exist. They have taken that away from us without a second thought and I hate them for it. I absolutely despise them. They deserve nothing–absolutely nothing. They took away the one thing that maybe could have forced us to escape the hell of a world we find ourselves in…but now we can’t change. This is the world we live in, and now we must suffer through it with no hope of escape. Which is why I did the one thing I could so I can remain human and not give in and become whatever everyone else is. I removed my chip.
I removed the small microchip with the utmost scrutiny and prudence. It was the only way I could survive this life. It was not an easy endeavor I must say. I had no help in the matter and had to makeshift everything all by myself. Well, almost all by myself. The Whispers were there to help me, so I wasn’t entirely alone. But in the terms of tangible beings that I could hold in my arms, I was alone. Now, the process of removal was messy and took me many attempts of trial and error till I could officially extract the chip that would stop me from becoming truly alive.
The removal process first consisted in me finding the appropriate tools to use so that the incision would be quick and not result in me bleeding out on the floor and my family finding me dead on the ground by the time the sun had risen and filled the sky with grey light. The Whispers had put the imagery into my mind of a strange object they called a scalpel. Apparently, it was a very common tool used by surgeons of the past to cut into skin gently to prevent jagged tearing by use of a normal knife. So now, I needed to construct a makeshift scalpel strong enough to cut skin, but not too dangerous that would end me.
In our designated homes, we do not have any knives or needles or particularly sharp instruments. So I would have to sharpen and fashion the item myself. I decided that steel would be the way to go and scoured my house with the intention of finding something malleable enough to sharpen. Victory was mine when I came across the metal pipes under the sink. Perfect. No one looks under there, so no one would notice if I removed a bit of the lining covering the piping to sharpen it. After all, the pipes are just figureheads that do absolutely nothing for the water comes from a completely different location. The pipes are just there to make the home feel a bit more “real”. But there is nothing real about it. No one even knows where we obtain our water and food as it is just provided to us and no one questions it. No one questions the Authority.
After carefully removing two pieces of steel long enough, I began sharpening them against each other and prayed that they would become serrated enough to use. This endeavor took weeks and weeks of me scraping the pieces of metal together in the dim light of my room during the bleak hours of night and silently testing it against a variety of materials to test the sharpness. After much toil, my makeshift scalpel had reached the right sharpness and I was ready to remove the microchip. It was difficult to find a time when my family was not around, but after time I was able to plan a day and make the incision.
I felt no pain from slicing as the point of the chip was to eliminate pain in the first place. So, as soon as I removed the chip out from my skin and stitched the opening closed with a makeshift needle, a wave of pain and nausea washed over me and relief was imminent in my expression. I could feel pain. I was human. I was more so alive than every other soul in my society.
I wonder if I am the only one that questions where and how we get our food. I mean, I desperately hope and pray that others question it, but alas, that is most likely hopeful wishing on my part. Afterall, everyone else is essentially brainwashed to believe and remain blissfully oblivious to all the horrors of the world in which we reside. Even I am brainwashed. Yes I, the Listener of the Whispers, the “Chosen One”, the one meant to correct the world and bring it back to its former glory, am brainwashed. Well… brainwashed to an extent. Not brainwashed like everyone else who happily remains ignorant because they have no choice to not be. While me, little old me, am brainwashed by choice. I choose to leave myself in ignorance regarding certain topics pertaining to the Authority. Now you may be thinking, that doesn’t sound like me. For someone with such a hatred for the Authority, why would you purposefully leave yourself in ignorance?
If you did think that, then you are absolutely correct in your assumption. You see, I just lied to you. I have that ability now, remember? Of course I’m not brainwashed. What a silly and presumptuous thought. Me, brainwashed by the Authority. I am probably the only one who has become sentient and seen through the fog of ignorance. It’s difficult to describe exactly how the fog was created as very few people successfully manage to break through and live long enough to tell the others. In fact, I can only recall one person who successfully escaped. Lacey Graves. Born and raised in the dark and was a quiet, compliant sort of girl who always followed the rules and was considered the “poster child” by all the adults. I remember speaking to her on a few occasions pertaining to family gatherings and parties, though I never said more than a few words to her if I had the opportunity. I don’t like speaking very much. I’ve been told by my family that I do not speak in a manner that makes me agreeable to be around. But that doesn’t matter much as I prefer listening and observing anyways. The Whispers make it hard to focus at times, so I’m sure that I would not be the best conversation goer.
But Lacey was like a firework. Her appearance would light up the room and provide everyone a moment of peace from the dismal atmosphere of the gatherings. Even her smile would give everyone a small spark of happiness. It is funny that I knew so much about her even though I barely spoke to her in the moments where I was blessed to be in her presence. I could describe every little detail about her from memory. Her hair, her eyes, her smile, they all found themselves permanently imprinted into my brain and I could never get them out. I remember the way she would tie her long silky hair into braids that cascaded down her back like an everflowing waterfall. I remember her smile that stretched from ear to ear and never left her face when in the presence of people. But most clearly of all I remember her eyes. At the time, I was unable to see color and I am forever disappointed that I never could gaze into them for I knew that they would have been beautiful.
In the center was a circle of dark that contained swirls of light that intertwined together and spun around resembling radiant marbling. Surrounding the center were shiny flecks that I can now assume to be gold. Eyes made of gold. Only she, the perfect one, would contain eyes made of metal perfection and eloquence. Though her shiny eyes didn’t last long. For one unfortunate day, she fell into an almost hallucinogenic state that she could not escape from. We all heard her screams of terror of what was happening to her and she yelled terrible things at us, begging for us to listen and hear what she had to say.
For days the screaming lasted and didn’t cease. Till finally, Lacey uttered the terrible words. The words that must not be said in any circumstance or else death to the perpetrator. She began talking about the Old World and the Whispers. When I heard this, I was shocked because I had assumed that I was the sole being who was gifted with the knowledge of the past. But apparently during her ill state, she began hearing them and essentially went insane. She lost all sense of what was real and what wasn’t and she became an entirely different person. Her eyes lost their shiny, cheerful glow and were replaced by eyes of panic and terror. Eyes that had seen too much. Something that they shouldn’t have seen. So the Authority did what the Authority did best. They did away with her and erased all signs that she had ever existed. The rest of the citizens may not remember, but I do. I remember everything. I remember her screams as she was dragged away by her feet kicking and screaming into the Dark Room never to be seen again.
I remember her voice and how she cried thousands of tears that slipped down her face and fell to the ground and made imprints. But most of all, I remember when she called out to me and begged me to save her, her eyes pleading and glossy from tears… and I just stood there like a statue and watched her be tossed into the room where she would meet her end.
I hope that wherever she went and to whichever life she would be born into next, it would be better than this. And I wish that when she returns, I will be there to greet her with open arms and a heart full of love and the ability to see her in color and gaze into her crystalline eyes and feel truly at home.
Though our world has evolved into something that is effectively worse than the past, there have been some new creations that many people argue are the most wondrous things to occur in the history of the world. Now, of course I disagree with these sentiments as maybe I am a tad bit biased towards this, however I shall admit that these new inventions are something that could have never been created by geniuses of the past.
Facial and body modification was something that did exist, but definitely not to the extent of what is now. We now have the ability to alter the DNA and create what is essentially a mask. The mask acts as a thin layer of film that is surgically attached to the skin and over time, the enzymes in the film break down the original facial features and thus create a new face. The DNA is altered so the film does not become rejected by the body’s internal systems and not allow for the modifications to occur. It’s become so popular that most people in our society receive this surgery. In fact, if you do not receive any sort of modifications, you are considered a social pariah and not worth associating with.
It is considered a ceremonious occasion when you become of age to decide what your first modification will be. Though no one told me what it would be like as it is some great secret that you can only know when it is your time. At the exact moment I turned fourteen, which was at 10:37 pm, I was blindfolded and brought to a room shrouded in dark. They removed my blindfold and gave me a robe of black satin and black pants and told me to get dressed quickly and to be out of the room in exactly two minutes. At first I wanted to run, but the Whispers told me to wait and see what would happen and watch. After I was clothed, I exited the room and waited in front of a metal door. It looked to be made of pure steel and seemed very heavy, so I didn’t bother attempting to open it. Eventually when the two minutes had passed, the door opened with a soft creak and displayed a dark room that beckoned me in.
At first I was skeptical, but yet again, the Whispers screamed at me to go forward and see what was inside. And of course, I listened, hesitantly stepping into the room and when I was far enough in, the door slammed shut and I plummeted into pure darkness with no light except for one. The light was dim and small and seemed to get smaller as I walked forth but eventually I arrived at the source. It was a large mirror, about thirteen feet tall, and very wide. Its frame seemed to have been fashioned out of dark wood that was carved into intricate snakes that curled and intertwined amongst themselves and gave the appearance of movement. I swore I saw a snake’s tongue flicker, but before I could investigate closer, the script at the bottom of the mirror caught my eye. It read in fine text of cursive,
Beauty is few, imperfections are many
Find them all as there are plenty
Once the truth is found, press on the glass
And what is now will become the past
The script shone bright against the dark and shined right into my eyes causing me to look up and into the mirror. Once my eyes met the reflection, I was trapped. I couldn’t look away. All that was real was me and that mirror. Nothing else mattered. Just the reflection that mimicked all my movements. The small twitching in my hand, the shaking in my leg, the sweat on my brow. All of it was there in the reflection and wouldn’t disappear. And then, in less than a blink of an eye, everything changed. My reflection began to morph into something… that wasn’t me. I mean, it was me, but… it wasn’t. My eyes became sunken, my hair became thin and lifeless, my face became covered in red bumps, my skin was dry and ashy. Everything became flawed and nauseating. It was awful. I couldn’t look away because everywhere I looked there were mistakes that needed to be corrected. Needed to be fixed and altered.
I felt my hand inching towards the glass waiting to press into the glass and seal my fate until the mirror changed again. I became me again. But not me. A different version of me. Prettier, better, nicer. I felt lovely when looking into the reflection and seeing what could be me. What would be me if all I did was choose to change. My life would be better. I wouldn’t be what the reflection had shown me before… disfigured and warped. I would be myself but beautiful. Nothing would change except for the outer appearance. My inner self would remain the same and untouched… right? The doubt hit me like a bullet, instantaneous and world changing.
The Whispers told me to move my hand and I did. My hand moved from the center of the mirror to the edge and I felt along the edge till I found a snag. Grabbing onto it, I peeled off a thin layer of god knows what off from the mirror, and fell to the floor in absolute paralyzing horror. Behind the film, was a monstrosity. It was me. That was me. I was bleeding from my face and completely scarred. That same film was on my face and cutting into it, making marks that could never be erased. The film tears away at the skin underneath and reveals only flesh, destroying the person from the inside out. I could see the age in my face, wrinkles covering every inch and ripe with age. Though I can’t have been older than twenty, I looked eighty. I covered my face with my hands and held in my screams and tried to withhold my tears, but they wouldn’t stop falling. I couldn’t tear my eyes away. So I did the only thing I could. I punched the glass as hard as I could and proceeded to create a large crack down the center right through my reflection, shattering the image. As soon as it cracked, I ripped my eyes away and cradled my bleeding hand into my shirt and turned around. Once my back was fully turned away from the mirror, I ran. I ran and ran and ran till my feet were sore and my hands found their way to the metal door and threw it open and kept running till I was out of the facility and into the darkness of the night.
When I close my eyes to fall into a state of slumber, I dream. The dreams are not ordinary ones, but they feel like old memories. Glimpses into the past. Moments where I am not only existing as myself but as another. My soul but intertwined with another in a different form. In those moments I feel at peace, calm, and tranquil. The dreams can be as simple as sitting and watching the sunset, or waiting for the moon to rise, or watching the waves of the beach rush over each other in no obvious pattern and yet, I still try to find one.
In my dreams I am never alone. There is always a silhouette of a figure near me and we always enjoy eachothers company just for the few hours I remain unconscious. We lie in the grass together and I can feel their fingers against mine. Their hands are soft like butter with short small nails manicured cleanly. And they remain interlaced with mine and do not let go even for a moment. And in the little time we share, we remain together never saying a single word. Their silence is enough for me, and mine for them. We need not utter a phrase to provide comfort or amusement. Just to remain in each other’s company is enough. That’s all I need.
It’s all I’ll ever need in this eternal dreamscape. And as long as I continue dreaming, they will always be there and I won’t ever be in want of anything. I know I said before it’s difficult to believe in the idea of Soulmates, but in this life I am in. In this place which must be a past life of mine. And I am glimpsing into it in the moments in which I am at my calmest. The Whispers are silent when I sleep so I can have just a few fleeting moments of quiet. In this place, I am at home with my other. In this dream. She is mine and I am hers.
Sit with me on this grassy hill.
We can watch the clouds travel by
Hand in hand.
As the sun is partially hidden away.
Perfect weather for us to gaze upon the sky.
And notice all its beauties and secrets
We can watch the way the clouds change shape in a moment.
A blink of an eye.
We can watch the way the birds gracefully glide through them.
Moving with the wind.
Free from all restraint.
Just flying higher and higher into the heavens.
We can lie on our backs and let the blades of grass tickle our skin.
Our hair splayed out.
Our hands tightly intertwined.
Never letting go.
I would watch you and admire your beauty.
The way your remaining strands of hair lay across your face.
The way you smile and laugh every time you see a shape that is amusing to you.
We would just lie there in the sun.
Basking in its glow.
Safe from the world.
Safe from judgment.
Safe the eyes of the public.
We could just lie there.
For hours and hours.
Forever at peace.
One thought on “Authority”
Looking forward to seeing this become a novel.