by Just Me
Just part of a story. I just like to write every now and then so please comment and rate.
Why were people so stupid? They never saw anything even if they did actually take the time to look and see what was right in front of them. They just went mindlessly on with their lives. Never caring that nothing was as it seemed and that if they looked, just right under the surface, they could see it. They could stop it. I saw it though.
Telling someone about what I saw though, that would be a death sentence. I had learned this the hard way, had been through so much loss. Just the thought made me ache inside but I quickly brought myself back to the present. I had to stay focused, had to start doing something about what I saw, what I see.
Betony sat up quickly in bed. She could hear the bell ring out loudly through the city. Time to get up, to face the day. The bell always rang with the rising of the sun, kind of like a rooster, or so she had been told. That creature, however, was foreign to her, as most were. Betony slowly stretched and rubbed her eyes before standing and going to her tiny porthole-like window. She new she didn't have much time but this, she told herself, was worth it. She could tell that it was going to be a beautiful day. Too bad she wouldn't be able to see it.
Pushing that out of her mind (it wouldn't help anything if that's what she thought about) she went to her closet. She was hit yet again by the monotony of it all. Each outfit was exactly the same color and she knew that everyone else in her age group would also open their closets to the same color. There were, however, different outfits for different ocassions but everyone else she saw would also have the same outfits for each ocassion. This used to bother her but now this thought was no longer prominent. Now the important thought was that this was good, would mean that no one would stand out.
With this thought she took out her everyday outfit, a pleated tan skirt (which was the color of everyone's slacks or skirt) and a button up blue blouse (which showed the color of her age group). There were multiple pleated tan skirts and blue shirts to account for the large amount of routine days that they went through. Today, she knew, would be a school day. They only happened about once every month but they were still required to wear their everyday outfit on these rare days. As she pulled on her clothes and buttoned up her shirt she could already hear footsteps outside her door. The fact that people were already headed toward the cafeteria made her dress much quicker before silently slipping through her door.
Betony fell right into step behind the first people that passed by her door. If someone had asked her, she might have been able to say their names but in reality she didn't actually know them that well. She really didn't know anyone that well. The lighting in the hallway was somewhat dim as if it meant for everyone to not see every detail of the path in front of them. The hallway it self was boring and somewhat cold. Grey walls and floors were made warmer only by the fact that the floor itself was carpet, short carpet, but carpet nonetheless. Betony walked this hallway everyday to get to the cafeteria which was exactly what she did that day.
The cafeteria was just a really big room (with the same cold lifeless grey on the walls) with a few benches arranged in a neat square in the middle of the room. If you were really lucky you could eat your meals on these benches that exactly matched the color of the walls. This was only if you got in line fast enough though. Betony could see that the benches were full already and a long time ago that would have made her mad. Now though, she could care less. Her ideal spot was at the edges of the crowd. Not off by herself where she would still attract attention, but at the edges where she could blend in and stay away from the ever present spotlight.
She was almost to the front of the line now. She grabbed one of the cold metal trays and walked up to one of the many perfect square holes in the wall. She placed her tray in the slot and touched her hand to the wall directly next to it. She could feel a slight warmth as the scanner passed over it and then heard a slight clank as a full plate of food hit the tray. An automated voice told her what to grab for a drink and some stats about her health. She never paid attention to that though. This system was one of the only things that worked this way. Everything else could be explained by a common citizen but this was different. No one knew how it worked and Betony knew that whoever ran the society wanted it that way. Whoever was in charge thought that nutrition was important and, thought Betony, that strong workers were important.
Betony slid to a corner just lonely enough to keep her out of the spotlight. No one even tried to talk to her as she passed anymore. They just continued talking to their own friends. This was good, she had known that they would learn eventually. She could eat without all the attention. The cafeteria was never too loud though. It was like everyone had made a pact that no one would talk louder than normal and you could only hear talking, no laughter. Maybe the odd giggle but mostly just talking. It all kind of made a hum that made it so that Betony couldn't pick out any specific conversations.
Today though, she could tell that their attention wasn't on her but it wasn't on themselves or their friends either. Their gaze was now on the front doors of the building, directly at the far end of the cafeteria. As she turned her gaze toward that area she could instantly see why everyone had turned their attention away from themselves. She could make out two gaurds and between them someone that she didn't recognize, someone that looked to be student age.
New students were rare in the middle of the year. Every year all the kids that are five are sent to a school. Their parents are never told which school but the kids stay there until it is deemed that they can become members of the society, usually by sixteen (she was fifteen and looking forward to getting out of the grey building). A new student means that either one school couldn't handle the student so they were transferred to let another school give it a shot, or they were found somewhere in society. Either way, whenever Betony saw one it reminded her that the system was flawed and, more importantly, some people were trying to escape it and even could escape it for a while. She was sure that more people saw the flaw too, but the system didn't want people to see this. The people that ran the society wanted them to think that the system was perfect and people saw this, so they rarely spoke up.
The person in between the gaurds was now being brought through the cafeteria, probably to Central. Everybody's gaze followed them. Now that the three were closer she could tell that the new student was male. He was taller than the gaurds so probably close to her age. His hair was shorter than most but she could still tell that it matched her light brown hair. Beyond that, she couldn't see much else; the first disadvantage, that she had noticed, to sitting in the shadows.
The sound of the bells brought her back to the food in front of her. She had been so distracted that she had barely touched her food. She couldn't let that happen again. Regardless, it was time to leave. Everyone got up and threw their plates in the dumpster-like container that sat where the drinks had been. As she threw her plate away, she noticed she wasn't the only one that had been distracted by the newcomer. She then quickly headed to the doors where everyone already knew where to stand in line to make it aphabetical, efficient.
Just as everyone had gotten in to line, it began to move. They moved out the doors (so she would be able to see the beautiful day outside after all) and quickly marched from one bridge to the next. Their society was built aboce the ground or water because they needed every bit of land that was left to grow enough food for everyone. This particular part of the society (although she had never been told exactly where it was) was built above the ground. She could see the food being grown but had never laid eyes upon the huge bodies of water that she had heard about at school. She had always wanted to see that though.
They continued to rush along the wooden bridges and the fast pace made it hard to enjoy what little time she had outdoors. She suspected that this was all part of the system too though. When you were still school age the outside world was foreign to you, probably to make it so that you wouldn't even try to escape and, if they did, it would make it hard to make it in the foreign outside world. At least she had been right about the nice day. She remembered times when they had rushed over the bridges in the pouring rain or even snow. Those days they didn't care that they were walking so fast.
They finally came upon the building they used for school. She never understood why it was separate from the residential building but, then again, she didn't understand half the things in the system. It was better to be quite though. The building was small. Just enough room for age group to gather inside. If they ever needed a bigger space, there was another building for that. The inside was much warmer than the residential building. The walls were a muted green and the floor was still a carpeted grey, much warmer than their building.
Each person filed quickly into the building and immediately lined up beside their chair. That was all they got, a chair. Sometimes books would be passed out but that was a rare treat. Mostly they just watched the big screen at the front of the room. This was another one of those things that the average person couldn't explain which made Betony think that education, although they weren't in school that often, was important to the society. As soon as everyone was beside a chair the first person sat down which acted as a que to everyone else who all sat down at the same time right after the first person. As soon as they sat down, the screen lit up and they began watching. The society was big on time management it seemed.
The video was boring. Sometimes they would get exciting videos but this was nothing. It was just some old guy sitting in front of the camera talking about how the society got food to everyone. It never once, however, mentioned how the hole in the wall and hand scanner worked. Telling them just enough and never everything was an ongoing trend.
-more to come, comment on what is here please. The first section is a different person from the second section by the way. Let me know what you think though please. Do you want more? What was good about it? What about the idea, the writing style? What is bad? Please be nice though. Nothing rude. Constructive criticism is always welcome though. I will try to email you back when I have time. If it takes a while it's not because I forgot about you, I will eventually get to it but I am in college so I'm always short on time. Please rate too though and send other people here because I would love to get lots of opinions and thoughts. Thanks!