Same

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about a slightly dystopian, attempted utopian society.

Submitted: August 27, 2013

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Submitted: August 27, 2013

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Citizen looked on lifelessly as she drove Home from Work. Past all the other white Homes of other Citizens. Crossing other Streets all marked Street. One would think it'd be hard to find their own Home if all Streets were the same and the Homes on them just as monotonous. In reality, it didn't matter. No one had their own possessions. Everyone wore the same size clothes. No one provided for themselves. So you could be in a different Home every night and not know the difference. Citizen, knew where her own Home was. She always counted how many Streets before her own. Then she counted how many Homes down the Street before hers. City liked her own Home. She wasn't legally allowed to call it her own, and it was very uncommon to return to the same Home, but no one knew the difference. She was very different from most of the other Citizens. She could think on her own. She had feelings. She even had a name for herself: Audi. She had seen it scratched off the back of one of the white Cars, once. She liked that it was different; you could see where it came from. Of course, none of this was allowed. Audi just had to try to blend in. It wasn’t hard, when everyone was the same. She just wore the same dull expression as everyone else and pretended to head towards a random Home after a day at Work.
The sun was low in the sky, causing light to glint off all the white Cars. She really wish sunglasses were permitted to be worn. After 15 minutes in the Car, counting Streets and Homes, she pulled into her nondescript driveway. All the other Citizens on her Street pulled in at the exact same moment. They all opened their doors, swiveled in their seats to let their legs stretch out into the open, then stood. It seemed like a sad, dull dance of sorts. Then all the Car doors slammed shut simutaneously. The clunk noise rang out down the Street, reverberating off all the white, cube-shaped Homes. Watches beeped 6pm, and the Citizens proceeded into their respective Homes. Key in the door, turn to the left, tumblers fell into place, door opens. Another depressing dance. Front doors slammed shut, and the Citizens went on to recieve Nourishment. 
Everyone ate the same thing. A flavourless cube of necessary vitamins, minerals, and other things needed for life. It was found on the table once the Citizen got Home. Next to a glass of 8 Standard Volume Units of water. City consumed her Nourishment, then drank her water. She stood, vaguely hearing the same chair-scraping-noise from the other Homes on her Street. She then walked into her living room. Plopped onto the couch. Grabbed the remote. It was 6:15, time for the required 45 minutes of television. City didn't particularly like what was on; it was always the same 5 minute message on a single channel. But this gave her time to think. Think. She wondered if any other Citizens thought. It seemed unlikely. There was nothing to think about. Not really. Everyone woke up at the same time, ate the same thing, drove Cars to work, drove their Cars Home, ate the same thing yet again, watched the TV for the prescribed amount of time, then bathed and slept. Same routine. Same thing every day. Everything was the same.
City flipped the switch on her remote. The TV whined, then clicked to life. The 5 minute message was already started; City had turned her TV on late. She would be punished, but no one would ever be able to find her. That was one downfall of everything being the same. How do you locate someone when everyone lives at Home on Street in The Town? It gets worse, though. There were millions of Towns. All the same. 1,000 Standard Length Units by 1,000 Standard Lengths Units. All the Homes and Cars the same dull white. Even the Citizens were the same. 
Thousands of years ago, the Government had started a Eugenics program. Only those with suitable genes were allowed to procreate. Suitable meaning average. Not good. No one was allowed to be extraordinary. No one was allowed to be special. After enough generations, everyone was the same. The different humans had died out, and now everyone was the same. Dull, greyish skin. Stick-straight, shoulder length brown hair. Grey eyes. 5 Standard Length Units tall, 100 Standard Mass Units heavy. And once everyone was the same, they were placed in Towns. Homes. With their Cars, on Streets. And everything took care of itself. Because everything was the same. The Government seemed to disappear, but City knew it still existed. How else would she get her Nourishment? Or the pre-recorded, 5 minutes message on the TV?
The Government must still exist. And it was this thought that snapped her back to reality. The message seemed to be nearing the end. Or maybe it had already repeated. She really didn't care. Exhausted from thinking, though, she resorted to watching the message. Turning towards the TV she listened to the words that she knew by heart.

“-same. Thousands of years ago, the human race called for equality. So it was given to them. The human race has been brought to a state of equilibrium. Everyone is equal. We are all given the same chance to survive. We have equal rights. As it was stated by an ancient politicain, 'Equality...leads to liberty...' And so it has given to you. We are all equal in the eyes of the law, the land, and the Lord. You are all the same." 

City tuned out again. Thinking about how silly it was that humans from the Dark Era were quoted so often. The message repeated for the rest of the 45 minutes. After that was bathing. 
After disrobing, she pulled a lever underneath the shower head. It stuck down, then water poured out. She had exactly 5 minutes to shower, then the water would shut off for the night. 20 minutes after that, the lights. She tried to be in bed by that time. 8:00pm. Once the lights went out, the room went darker than the moods of her fellow Citizens. Then, after 9 hours of sleep, the day repeats.
It was the same thing. Every day. With the same people. Everywhere. Except for City. She thought. She felt. She was different. No one would have ever known had she not made that single mistake. Driving to Work the next morning, she ran a red light. No one ran red lights. It was nearly impossible. That would mean going faster than the limit. Or being distracted. Being rushed. No one was rushed. No one felt urgency. No one felt. But, as City did, she was distracted. And she ran the light. That was what started the Extermination.
Later that day, Citizens were questioned. The previously hidden Government was now making itself known. They had to find the free thinker. She was unequal. Their society, flawed. Being as everyone looked the same, talked the same, was the same, though, she was no where to be found. She was hiding in plain sight. Three days later, when City still remained hidden amongst her equals, the it started. It happened during the nights. Street by Street, each house was emptied. The grey, uniform bodies throw onto the lawns to be disposed of. The dull white houses, stained with blood. Soon enough, the entire population had been decimated. No citizens remained. Not one. And then, the Government began again. They made new Citizens and made them all equal. They had to have an equal society. Everyone had to be equal. Everyone had to be the same. 

*~*~*~*~*

Barry Goldwater: "Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism."


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