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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a musically inspired piece about #2894 and their life in assimilation.
Gender, real name, locations and others are left up to the imagination of the reader.
Will undergo a third revision sometime this year.

Wake up, assimilate, work, rest, repeat. Our faces are not real, we are labeled instead of named. We wear the same clothes and we say the same things. We are one.

Testing has started.

My name is #2894. I wake up at exactly eight a.m. to a blinding ray of light to my eyes and a clean lavender scent. I secure the mask hiding my face to my head. The mask is a white matte color, on it painted a black smile and closed eyes. The darkness of the paint hides the holes that enable me to see. I fix my hair into a neat bun and I put on the white-brown dress shirt with matching khakis. I take my number tag off the dresser and pin it to my chest. I leave at exactly 8:30 a.m., where the bus has just arrived at the street corner. I get on as many others do, and watch as the identical houses speed by. Each and every tree is the same, oak, the dark green grass cut at exactly the same length, the color solid and unwavering.

I arrive at my stop at exactly 9:15 a.m., and walk out to see the familiar city setting. Identical just like the neighborhoods, the skyscrapers reach the blue-grey sky at the same height of 70 stories, with the same brown colors, holding the same sign, reading “Assimilation For All” with welcoming gray letters. I begin to walk away from the station to my respective work.

It’s like looking in the mirror, everybody I pass by looks like a copy of me, and I look like a copy of them.

Add variable.

There’s a gap in the sky scrapers, I look and see a man who isn’t one with us. His head is shaved, his mask cracked, revealing his ugly eye and the side of his face. His clothes are dirty and ripped. He holds an illegal bottle of alcohol. He glares at me, and I speed my pace to be as far away as possible from that unique disgrace.

I make it to work at 9:23 a.m., two minutes earlier than normal. I wait outside for that amount of time and walk into the workplace.

“Welcome, #2894, please sign in before you begin working,” the receptionist greets politely in her monotone voice, and I write my name in the 65th slot. I then walk to the elevator and go to the 45th floor. Rows and rows of desks and manila computers welcome me, and I sit at the desk with my number.

Add variable.

I do not leave until 10:25 p.m., three hours and twenty-five minutes late. The computers malfunctioned, the problem only on the 45th floor. We were instructed to wait until the problem was fixed, taking exactly three hours and ten minutes to solve the problem.

Everybody who worked on the floor with me left with me. We all walked in a neat rectangular crowd until our routes separated us. I’m alone now, walking down the dark street to my bus stop. I don’t know when the bus arrives anymore, because I usually board the bus at 8:10 p.m. There’s no movement except for the grey stars in the sky and me.

Add conflict.

I pass the gap from earlier, glad to see the unique man is gone. I see the bus stop in the distance, empty except for the light illuminating the bench. Loud, quick footsteps erupt behind me, and I look around to see that unique man right behind me. He takes my arm before I can react and throws me into the wall. Pain shoots through my head as I hear my mask crack and crumble. I try to get up, but the man grabs my hair and forces me down.

He lets go, and I stay on the ground. The mask around my face falls.

I’ve become unique.

The man standing over me sees the fallen mask. He grabs it before I can and smashes it on the ground, the shattering noise echoing off the buildings, loud enough to cause me to flinch. My heart seizes in my chest, a feeling I’ve never felt before rips through me. Something I’ve been told is called fear.

I get up while he stomps on the shards, and I run.

Add escape. Add variable.

A bus arrives just in time. I stumble on and watch as the man runs towards me. The bus doors close as he reaches his hand to grab me, getting his arm stuck as his grip catches nothing.

He forces himself through the door as the bus starts to move. I’m trapped, I can’t escape. The man grabs my head and forces me through the glass window. My vision dots black as I lose consciousness.

Results of Day 1: Complicated. Indecisive.

Notes: Continue testing next day cycle.

I wake at the taste of iron in my mouth. I lay on a reflective black surface. The man is directly in my vision. I try to get up to escape, but my knees won’t work. My face throbs with pain, I can feel shards of glass shift in the cuts they created. There’s a noise behind me.

I turn and see unmasked faces staring back at me. They all hold warm smiles, each one unique and different. They wear multi-colored clothing. A tan woman in blue approaches me and offers her hand.

I don’t understand, but she isn’t hostile like the unique man behind me, so I be polite and take her hand as she pulls me up. I will not let them think I’m a threat.

Test failed. Subject #2894 has failed to assimilate.

Midway through regaining my standing position, she disappears, and I’m caught off-balance, falling back to the ground. Everything turns white and disappears.

The man is still behind me, and I scramble up to see him fully assimilated. His once-shaved hair into a neat bun, clean white-brown clothes, an assimilated mask.

“What’s happening?” I say panicked.

“Your testing failed. You will be euthanized shortly.” A deep voice says form under the mask. I get up and plead, I plead for my life, I promise I can properly assimilate. The man covers his mask with one hand.

“I’m sorry, but you’re unique, and the show must go on without you.” I swear I hear a sniffling noise.

He disappears within the white, and I can feel myself getting dizzy. I’m going to die because I was confused and caught up in the moment. I can’t make mistakes like that in reality. It was so real, the simulation. I’ve failed assimilation. I’m a disgrace.

My knees are once again weak, I’m getting sleepy. I fall back to the floor.

I accept this death. I deserve to die. Pleading for my life was a disgrace to all.

The show must go on without me.

Submitted: January 05, 2019

© Copyright 2020 Jinx-the-Cursed-One. All rights reserved.

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