Food was scarce, but then again I don't ever really remember it being abundant. So many things had changed since the war but I’m certain it was never like this. I shuffled down the dark streets trying to... to remember. It had been almost six months since my last shot, the shots which were now compulsory for all citizens of the New Republic. No one knows what they do but I’m convinced... convinced it's something to do with memory. No one and I mean no one can recall their last birthdays, or even who their friends are. We live our lives shuffling from homes to the factories, from the factories to homes. The word home... it used to mean something else I’m convinced. Now? Now it's just somewhere to collapse, different each night. The shots were supposed to be monthly but I had always been scared of needles, at least that instinct remained. I had run, but we were fed at the factories. Out of large troughs which I swear was never meant for us, never meant for humans. But we weren't humans any more really and if being human meant living like that then I didn't really want to be one.
I had eaten what I could but the hunger was paled in significance compared to the memories... oh god the memories... they were too much. Far more than I was used to and they came back in awkward chunks meaningless until more information arrived. My head felt like it was splitting from the pressure of jumbled names, words and recipes. I couldn't do it any more.... I hadn't eaten in days and I could barely walk by the time I entered the clinic. If I got the shot it would all go away. The cool metal was cold as it locked around my wrists. I looked up at the blank smiling face of the nurse who began to prep the needle. I thought hard trying to contain the roaring beasts that waged wars in my head. All telling me to run, thrash wildly and escape. One voice screamed louder though, begging them to stop and telling me this was the only way, I began to cry as the pain intensified along with the roars. A crowd in my head screamed over and over, begging to be free.
The needle went in, as the voices began to beg and cry. The very thoughts themselves fading and dying as the drug surged through my veins. “Nurse, what are those... those horrible voices?”
“Don't worry, they're gone now” she soothed as the cuffs snapped open.
“But what we...” I stuttered mid sentence. Whatever I was going to say disappeared from my mind as the drug took full effect. “I must go to work” I said my voice, monotone and dull.
“Of course you must” the nurse smiled even wider, her dead eyes meeting mine perfectly “and remember, only those liberated from choice are truly free”
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