Forsooth

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A satyr from the future, Forsooth may not be as perfect as it may originally seem.

Submitted: October 27, 2011

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Submitted: October 27, 2011

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“Global warming, what is that?” Piper typed into her history computer program as she sat there in class and watched the screen to learn about past civilizations and faults of the olden days.

“Why, it was a horrible thing…I don’t really wish to convey the information to you…but basically, the world overheated causing a great disturbance in the natural system of how things worked,” Professor Gob, the computer program, answered with sound of distress in the animated voice.  “But the worst part is”-she gave a noticeable pause- “It was caused by humans.”

The whole class gasped with shock.  How could humans have the decency to do such a thing? Piper thought to herself. Were they really that cold? How was that even possible?  Suddenly Piper’s two best perfect friends, Bristle and Ralph, came over to her interrupting her thoughts.

“Aay, Piper, mi chica!” Ralph greeted Piper.  “Wassup!”

Piper, however, still looking dazed, did not respond in her normal enthusiastic way.  “Oh hey, Ralph, Bristle…hey, do any of you know about this whole global warming thing…?  Like have you two even heard of it before?”

“What?  Oh that!”  Bristle smiled.  “Nah, why?  You worried ‘bout it or somethin’?

“No…I just…” Piper was at a loss of words.  I’m not worried about it, am I?  I mean, nothing like this could ever happen again, not in this world, anyway… “Nevermind.”

“Yeah, okay Piper…”  Both of them looked slightly confused.  “Hey, don’t stress over it, ok?  If you want the information, just go look it up on the KEO (Knowledge of Everything Online).They can tell you anything you could possibly want to know about and more.”

This little reminder seemed to suddenly brighten Piper.  “Yeah, alright, do you two wanna come with me?” she asked.

“Seguro.”

“Sounds good to me.”

And so off they went to the KEO, a thing very similar to what we call the Internet, except for the fact that all the knowledge in the world was stored in there.  Anything you wanted to know you could simply look up, and have all your cravings fulfilled.  It didn’t matter how old you were, what race you were, or what religion, well, because there was no religion; but anybody in the whole world could use it.  The city of Forsooth believed that part of people’s problems were due to the fact that they just didn’t know, such as that argument you have with your teacher everyday on whether or not homework is actually effective, or that unnecessary bet that you lost with your friend causing you to lose all your money.  There is not a feeling worse in this world than unknowing, Forsooth thought, so in order to make a perfect place for perfect people, they needed to eliminate that.

While Piper and Bristle went off to look up information about Global Warming, something else was bothering Ralph.  He personally did not care about World Heating or whatever this thing was, but what he did care about was why he had to spend his next hour with Pete.  Ralph and Pete met on the KEO and used to be friends in Kindergarten, so they were signed to each other, but why did he have to continue seeing him?  Did it really matter if he and Pete ever spoke again?  I mean, common’, Ralph thought to himself, that was ten years ago!  There has to be logical reasoning for this…

As Ralph began researching the facts, all he found was what he had been taught his whole life.  And it made perfect sense to him:

The signing system is a system created to top jealousy (see pg. 41 for more information), a horrendous feeling that destroyed many early civilizations in the previous world.  People could be with whom they want, when the wish, and do as they pleased.  This caused much disruption.  Families were torn apart and long lasting friendships were commonly forgotten.

In order to demolish of this nasty habit, the signing system was started in the late 2030’s by Robert L. Furlough as one of Forsooth’s most basic rules and regulations.  The three general rules include:

If you meet a person, you must ‘sign’ to them.  This means seeing them, along with whomever else you are signed to, the same amount of time each month.

The only way to ‘unsign’ from a person is to put a request into the Common Box of Inadequacy.  The request remains anonymous until a similar request is received from the opposite person.  Each request is sufficient for 30 days, which then it is dismissed.

Lack of, or extra time with a certain person, is punishable.

The reasoning for this seemingly odd system is because as a society created for perfectionism, one of Forsooth’s many goals is to create little or no dispute between the common populations.It is still in effect today.

Ralph read and reread the article several times before calling on the help of his friends. 

“Hey Piper, Bristle, did you know you could unsign from a person?”
The two looked at each other and laughed.  “Ha, yeah, Ralph, everybody knows that!” Piper smirked.

 “Duh, didn’t you hear?  Tracy and Donald just recently unsigned from each other ‘cause they got in a dissensus or something,” Bristle said.  “I could go look that up too, but honestly, I don’t really care.” 

“Whoa, fascinante…”  Ralph stared off into space for a while lost in thought until he finally absorbed himself back into the computer screen.

“Well, Piper, I’m sorry, but I gotta go.  I have dinner duty tonight,” Bristle said.

“Oh really?”  Piper asked.  “What are they serving?”

“Ya know, I’m really not sure, but you can go check the menu posted in the on the KEO if you want.”

“Nah, that’s ok, I’m good.  I hope it’s something I like, I’m super hungry!”  Piper said.  “I didn’t like the meatloaf at lunch today.  You know I don’t eat anything ground.”

“Well, then you know you’ll love dinner!  The systems always make sure to make at least one meal everybody likes a day!”  Bristle called as she walked out the door.  “Well, I gotta go, see you tomorrow!  We have hours, right?”

“Yup!  See ya then!”

Ugg, I absolutely hate dinner duty!  Bristle thought to herself.  Why in the world do I have to waste my time here, to cook food that I don’t even get to eat? But then again, she thought, I only have to do it once a month.  Same as everyone else.  So I guess it’s ok, but still…

“Hey, Bristle!”  Jarred, a guy Bristle was signed to, called.

“Oh hey Jarred, how’s it goin’?”  She responded.

“Well, actually, not good,” he said.  “Not good at all.”  Jarred shook his head in a disapproving way.

“Uh, I’m sorry.  Why? What’s wrong?”

“It’s something Kathy told Sandy told Jacob told Peter told Lucy told Kathr-“ Jarred was cut off by Bristle’s short temper.

“Ok, Ok!  I get it!  What is up with you?!”

“Well, as I was saying, Kathrin told Cither told me”-Bristle rolled her eyes-“That you, my friend, have an allergy to paprika,” Jarred stated with a very annoyed look.

“Ok, so..?” Bristle responded.  But really, this was bad.  This was very bad.  You see, it was very uncommon in Forsooth for anybody to have any sort of allergy, because if you did, there always was some form of medication or even surgery to get rid of it.  Even if there wasn’t, there was a type of “Medication-Maker” that could take your blood sample and create one just for you.  It was a rare case when neither of the three options worked, and if they didn’t, it was considered a very big disgrace to Forsooth society.  It meant that something was wrong with you, which in a perfect world with perfect people, this was not good. 

But Jarred finished his statement.  “They also said that you had attempted to be treated six times and had tried forty-two different medications.”

Bristle was in complete shock.  She knew this was true.  “But why-how-how-what-…”

“Spit it out, little Miss Imperfect.”

“How did they find that out?”

“Ah-ha! So it is true!” Jarred spat in her face.  “But to answer your question, I was looking you up on the KEO to-well-“

Bristle raised her eyebrows at him  “Yes?”

“That’s not the point!  But anyway, long story short, I was looking you up and found out.  In case you have forgotten, everything is in there.  I can’t believe you would keep such a secret like that.  What a disgrace, you fifthly, rotten, little son of a-

“Jarred!” the chief cook called from across the room.  “You know very well that everybody, including you, has duty to treat everybody with respect.  You know what you have to do now.”

“Yes, Chief,” Jarred called back.  “Sorry.” 

He turned back to Bristle, who was more in shock than insulted.  But he said his lines anyway:

“Dear Bristle I am sorry with all my heart for this commotion I have caused to you  I firmly intend not to repeat the foul actions I have exhibited,” Jarred said without emotion.  “However, considering you’re not perfect, that means that I don’t have to treat you like one.  Therefore, I can call you all the things I want and it won’t matter.  You don’t belong here.”

“Um…”  Bristle said through her pinching throat.  “Yeah.  Okay, Jarred.  I guess I’ll see you around?”

“Yeah.  Whatever.  I hope not.”  And with that, he strutted off to continue preparing the food.

Bristle could not believe what had just happened.  She had just been severely injured (In Forsooth, mentally harming someone was punishable by law) and was pretty sure it wasn’t a dream.  She pinched herself to make sure.  Nope, that definitely wasn’t a dream.  But what if Jarred’s right?  What if I really am not perfect, so what if I really actually don’t belong here? She thought to herself.  What if I really am a disgrace to society? Then a thought occurred to Bristle.  Wait a sec… I’m not perfect… just because I’m allergic to peprica?  That doesn’t make any sense…I wonder why someone would put that on the KEO anyway… It’s kind of personal.  I wish I could talk to Piper.  But I don’t even have her until tomorrow evening, so I guess I’ll just have to wait…

 

Piper was still at the KEO  looking up the truth about Global Warming.  She would have to leave in less than 10 minutes to go home and wash up for community dinner.  This doesn’t make any sense…She thought to herself.  I mean, if the people knew they were hurting the environment, why couldn’t they stop?  Why would they want to do that…she trailed off, lost in her own thought.  Polar bears, she considered. I wonder why they didn’t find a way to tell the people something was going wrong…I don’t even know what a polar bear is….

Piper typed ‘Polar Bear’ into the search key.  As always, she was not disappointed with her results.  After all, the KEO tells you everything!

“Oh my gosh, they’re sooo cute!”  Piper exclaimed to herself.  “They’re like gaint fuzzy balls of fur that I could just-“  she stoped short.  She had suddenly come across a picture of a polar bear attacking a human.  There was blood and guts everywhere, and it’s paws were stained red with the man’s blood.

“Holy chowder.  That, for sure, is not good. Not good at all.  Wow.”  Piper was just stunned.  She had never really seen anything like this before, and wondered why someone would even put this horrible picture onto the KEO.

 “Oyy….”  Piper groaned.  “I think I’m gonna be sick….” And with that, she ran off to the bathroom clutching her stomache.

 

It was Ralph’s hour with Pete.  He was not having a good time by any means.

“So, Ralph, wanna play Duchess and Roses?  I got the whole new gaming control stick to go with it.”

“Nah, I grew out of that game ages ago.  Vamos a ir al parque.”

“Sorry, I don’t have a permission form to go there.  If I don’t register I’m there, this whole town will think I was wiped off the face of the earth at this certain place and time.  Let’s play Letters with Pals.”

“Nah, too nerdy for me.  Vamos a ir al parque.”  Ralph really wasn’t paying much attention to Pete, something that was against Forsooth’s rules for “The proper way to be with signeds”. 

“Um, ok, yeah, I’m not sure what ‘nerdy’ even means, but I’ll just look it up later.  So what do you wanna do?”

“No se…” Ralph dazed off.He was thinking about where to get a slip to unsign from Pete.

“Ya know, if you don’t start paying better attention to me, I’m gonna report you to the highs!”  Pete exclaimed.

“Alright, alright, chill, chico!”  Ralph said annoyed.  “We’ll play this word game or whatever you called it…”

Pete glared at Ralph.

“Sentimos, my friend.  I am sorry with all my heart-“

Pete was not amused.  “You know what!  You should be happy to have a friend like me!  One who actually has more than fifteen electronic games that are actually good!  I’m sitting here, offering them to you, but all you want to do is go to the park?!  Outside?!  Fresh air!?  That makes most people dizzy, Ralph, and you want to just stroll down there and do some ‘physical activity, I suppose, don’t you!”

“Well, yeah, that was the idea-“

“You know what?  Pete said.  “Skip it.”  And with that, he went off to watch TV by himself. 

 

Exactly three days after all the commotion had happened with Bristle, Piper, and Ralph, they finally had an hour together.  They were not at all happy with the way this ‘perfect world’ thing was going.

“Hey, you guys, I’m not liking this system one bit-“

“Yeah, that picture was revolting-“

“No me gusta vidoegames-“

“Jarred got too much information the other day-“

It went on like this for several minutes until the three finally realized that they were accomplishing nothing.  Finally, they each told their stories and all ended up completely flabbergasted about the whole thing.

“Man, no bueno…” Ralph said.  “We have got to make things derecho…”

“Yeah,” Bristle agreed.  “We have got to fix this thing.”

“Well, you know what we have to do, then.”  Piper said.  “We have to come up with a plan to either get out of here, or make Forsooth a better place…”

Suddenly, the computer spoke up.  It was a very rare thing, so all three of them stopped short and stood up to listen better.

  “Why, youngens, I couldn’t help overhearing you”-the three rolled their eyes.  Everybody knew how rude and inconsiderate it was to interrupt someone else’s hours, much less have eavesdropped on them.  Especially by a computer. “Well, I was just going to say, that if you don’t feel that Forsooth isn’t perfect, then, well, you need to get your knickers out of that wad.  Forsooth was created for perfection, and mind you, everybody is happy here except for you.”

Bristle, Piper, and Ralph exchanged confused glances.

“So if you feel that you don’t belong here, then nobody is holding you in,” the computer continued.  “In fact, we would think it is the best for the population if you get out.  Disturbance of peace and perfectness is not a likeable thing around here,” it looked at them one last time and settled back down.

“Uh, okay, so I guess that settles it then,” Piper said.  “We’ve got to get out of here.”

 

One month, three weeks, and forty-two hard days later, Piper, Bristle, and Ralph were standing in the girl’s restroom at school.  They had concocted a plan of escape and were ready to put it into action.

“Man, por que the girl’s bano?”  Ralph complained.  “We could have at least met in the hall…”

“Yeah, yeah, shut your mouth,” Bristle said, pulling an old map of Forsooth out of her pocket. “Now here’s how we’re going to do this…”

She showed them the map and reviewed the plan one last time.  “Okay?”

“Okay!”  Piper and Ralph responded. 

“One, two three-“

THE FORSOOTH TIMES

Nobody knows how it happened, but recently on the delightful day of April 26, 2111, the fire alarm in Forsooth High School went off unexpectedly.  Fire bots rushed to the scenes, ready to battle a raging, deadly fire.  They were in for a surprise, though.  When they arrived to the area, they found not only no fire, but a crazy mob of teenagers running madly around campus like confused water bugs on a murky pond.

“I just didn’t know what to do,” said Firefighter Gabe during a recent interview.  “I’m pretty sure not even the KOB would know this one.”

As it later turned out, Firefighter Gabe was correct.  No record of any sort was found containing information on what to do in this crazy situation.

As firefighters and local workers worked to calm the students, it seems as if three of these people have gone missing during the corruption, completely unnoticed.  And so the questions remain:

Did they pull the fire alarm?

Who are these people, and more importantly, where are they now?


© Copyright 2017 Kelsie . All rights reserved.

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