Them

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


A short story of misery, loneliness and dystopia.

Submitted: October 29, 2017

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Submitted: October 29, 2017

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The neon lights blazed through her skull, dashing around her feeble body. The music was deafening, the traffic roaring and all the time she sat there, THEY were watching.

Maybe she drank too much, she thought as she rolled out of bed the next morning. There was a dull ache in her head as she rushed to get ready for work in a panicked frenzy. She dashed out of the door and all the while, THEY were watching.

How had it come to this? She wondered as she sat at her nondescript desk, in her nondescript chair, in her nondescript office. Hadn't she had dreams? Ambitions? Desires? At least something more than spreadsheets, sweat and cheap coffee. She hurriedly got back to work; it was dangerous to daydream for too long whilst THEY were watching.

If you trap a creature in a large enough cage, it will believe it is free, she mused as she brought the cup up to her lips. It was her fourth of the day, fifth maybe. She lost count sometimes. Small talk was easy, she thought as she discussed the weather and whatnots with an elder colleague. So why was it so much harder for her to form anything meaningful with anyone? The clock chimed and her lunch break was over. She must return to work, THEY were watching her.

She smiled as he passed her another cup of coffee. It was cheap muck to be sure, but everyone drank it. It did not pay to be non-conforming. Besides, one needed all the artificial energy they could get for all these bloody spreadsheets.

What was truly meant by freedom anyway? She pondered as she lay in her lukewarm bath that evening. As a collective, humanity had never been more free. The Empire was hopping from planet to planet, Science was advancing at a blistering pace. But then, then the individual. There were camera's on every street corner, in every public place. In fact, THEY may even have been watching her at that very second.

The death of the individual, was the rebirth of humanity. We can see this in the Ants, THEY said. A small and insignificant creature, but by surrendering individualism to their almighty Queen, they had become so much more powerful and so much stronger than any single Ant could dream of. It did not do to dwell on such thoughts. THEY would know.

She fantasised about the end sometimes. A blissful, peaceful existence that could be disturbed by absolutely nothing. THEY would have no hold on her there. And it was in that moment that she decided to do it. If it was her last damn freedom to decide when it ended then by God she would do it. She would show them the death of an individual.

Would they really care? Would anyone really care for that matter? She made spreadsheets for crying out loud, she was hardly important. Why did the Ants never overthrow their masters, the same as a Bee will never overthrow their Queen. They simply lacked the intelligence to know they were being oppressed. Maybe humans weren't so dissimilar to Ants after all. She laughed. THEY laughed too.

It was very easy to decide to do it, as you lie in your own home, alone enough with your own thoughts. It was quite different to muster up the courage as you sat there on the ledge, watching the city below. It was a quiet evening, the occasional car, a dog's bark and a light patter of rain collapsing from the sky. A raindrop, or it may have been a tear rolled down her cheek. How had it come to this? She edged a few inches nearer to the edge and all the while THEY were watching.

Was she the only one who cared? She muttered bitterly to herself. If everyone took up her position then they could hold THEM to ransom. Maybe everyone was too busy. Or maybe they simply did not care.

The cars were starting to build up on the road now, as more and more workers began to rush home. The roar of car engines did not help with the dull ache coursing around her head.

The tears began to flow freely now, in rivers down her cheekbones. They tasted slightly salty. She thought of her childhood, her mother, the open fields and THEM. Her father, her brother and THEM. THEM. THEM.

Her vision began to blur, her senses became numb. She drew breath. Inhaled, exhaled. Breathed in, breathed out. In, out. And with all the strength she could physically muster, she exercised her final freedom and flung herself into eternity.


© Copyright 2020 Daniel Simpson. All rights reserved.

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