I was living in an authoritarian world where things were tightly controlled and sanctioned, and had an eerie feel of everything being fine... and most people seemed to think it was just that.
There were lots of little kids, and a fair few of us, I saw myself as a teenage boy who had a couple of friends I'd hang out with. We dressed in uniforms that were mostly white, and we looked very clean, our hair was very tidy.
It seemed that what we did most, was study and carry text books and write a lot.
A group of about twenty of us students sat on the roof of a low building, at wooden picnic chairs and sorted through our piles of books on the tables, everyone seemed to be smiling and generally happy.
The little ones walked around in groups, and they all played with a soft white rubber which was like marshmallow, for some it was a very high bouncing ball, and one girl had a balloon of an animal, it was solid, not filled with gas, and sort of looked Japanese... more of a soft shape than an animal.
The rubber stuff, whatever it was, was part of the problem.
I didn't like the kids being herded around like they were, they seemed ok, but there was something going on, and the rubber stuff... my friend bounced a small ball, and it ricoched past me, I scowled at him, I hated it, and he knew. Both He and the Girl who was with me had read something I'd written in my textbook, I'd seen it somewhere... I cannot remember what it said, but it was deadly secret, something that if they found out, would land us in very hot water. I guarded that book with my life... but I didn't know what the text meant, neither did my friends.
What I seem to remember was, was there was this man, who was dirty and living alone, had found something out and was living like a vagrant. He'd written this on a wall somewhere, I think it was some sort of warning.
I think I felt that there was some truth in what was said, I felt very disturbed.
For a moment I turned my eyes away from the table, and when I looked back, my book was missing... My heart raced... and I looked up to see a student on another table flipping through my pages.
I ran to him and grabbed him, we fought and... I killed him, just like that... which was obviously a bad move, but what could I do?
There were these two serious men in light grey uniforms, I was sitting in a white room, on a low bench beside the wall, with my head down... held down... near my knees, and as I was questioned, I felt a sharp point drilling into the top of my head.
"And what did you do? you killed him? what was in the book?"
I sobbed and said "He was a good boy"
"He was a good boy?" the man said angrily.
And then a plastic thread was pushed into the hole and it attached itself to part of my brain.
On the other end of the plastic line was a thin silver rod, I couldn't see it, but I knew, somehow, that's what it was.
I have a vague memory of being taken somewhere in a vehicle.
And I woke.
Southern Skywatch August, 2014 edition is now out!
23 hours ago