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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2237821
Years ago the were only brick and mortar stores. People socialized by gathering together at each other's homes or at parks, restaurants, and other places. Those I was told, “are the good ole days”.

The good ole days are long gone now. Solitary most of the time we socialize via the internet. Everyone has electronics and everyone can work from home, take care of business in their PJs. The laws have been changed over the decades and we only know what the current laws are because to be unlawful is a crime against society.

On very rare occasions when small groups are allowed to gather which is for Christmas, New Year, and a new holiday requiring dedication, strength, and endurance we still keep our distance. Families rarely gather for activities. Being an island unto myself is normal. Homeschooling is practiced all year and there is rarely a break from studying the information provided on the internet.

Finding anything of interest is easy, Videos, games, email, social sites are all available all the time. Church is even available online. When I graduate I want to study college courses in computer technology.

I earned my degree in computer science and was about to make some significant positive changes when I discovered something disconcerting. On the surface the plans and programs were fantastic and something everyone was clamoring for because it solved a lot of issues.

Medical treatment, business affairs, commerce, financial fitness, health and beauty, transportation, and the list is almost never-ending means that people would be youthful and productive, have jobs as long as they wanted them, free energy, free transportation, their debt would be completely zeroed out because everyone would have enough currency to pay off their debts. It all was wonderful and something we all wanted.

I found that this was not exactly as it seemed. For everyone to have this wonderful lifestyle they would agree to participate in challenges by lot. Several participants would be chosen and then the events would begin the next day after the huge banquet and celebration. The networks that broadcast from their upclose andeducated,education, village,families,winners,prizes,games personal positions Give commentary of these events via the internet would show everyone what was happening.

The other requirement is having an injection of dye and another of a metal material. This has been presented as the miracle drug combination that will cure all ills. Kinda reminds me of the snake oil sold centuries ago in the old-time stories.

Everyone would have everything they needed. As long as they worked and complied with all laws and regulations they would be well taken care of for the rest of their lives. It really sounds good.

If you were against these ideals and were found out, then you would be sent to the education complex. Most people after spending several months getting educated in an intense manner were compliant and had no other troubles. The few who didn’t commit to this ideal were placed in labor camps and given the dirtiest and dangerous jobs.

The first day of the great events brought anticipation and excitement to everyone, except possibly me and few others who knew the truth. We stayed as far away from the gathering as possible without bringing attention to ourselves.

The challenge was an obstacle course, followed by a deprivation challenge timed to see who would break first, and then a battle between two teams. I remember reading about history when the gladiators were a sport for enjoyment.

In our village where the celebration was first focused on picking the participants several of my friends, were called. A few of them I didn’t know. Families cheered them on believing that the winners would receive marvelous prizes. Nobody has and suspicions about the full intent of these activities.

Some of the participants were elderly. A few were disabled, and a few were young children who were mentally deficient. It was a choice of anyone just to make things equal and prevent discrimination. The participants were gleaned from several villages which again prevented discrimination because we were socially divided according to race. Now we had a melting pot of a little ethnicity who believed they were going to gain great honor and winnings.

Bang, the competition began. everyone was glued to watching the frantic activity. Excitement ran unchecked through the audience. In a few hours, it was over.

Years have passed since I first witnessed the first event. We have peace and safety. We have everything we want. We do what we are told when we’re told, and the way we are told.

The big feast and events are as welcome as a football game, gymnastics, or any other sporting event. What we don’t welcome is our loved ones who never return from these games. The winner gets special compensation, then is later required to recruit new participants. After the net game that winner is never seen again. People are distracted by what they can get. They love the attention when they participate and especially when they win.

As for me, my turn may arrive any day. This I welcome for I would rather leave this world and be free than live a long life under the control of the few who dictate life to the many. Electronic advances come as a double sward.

885 words

Awarded 1000 gift points

PROMPT: The prompt for November is Social Media! Shared data and the ability to communicate with each other from our own homes has reshaped our world, for better and for worse. It's brought like minds together from across the globe, helped us make friends from our own homes, and put almost any kind of information possible at the touch of our fingers. A quick search can bring news from anywhere - or self-recorded videos about how to make an egg-free cake, win a computer game, or replace an engine part in an old mower - search engines may organize the network, but most of the content comes from us. But social media has a dark side too. It's been accused of exacerbating depression, spreading fear and anger, sharing misinformation, swaying political elections, or even coordinating revolutions. And how do you know that "person" you've been talking about isn't a paid operative, or that they're even human? Any story with communication across networks (by humans, aliens, or AIs) as a theme will be accepted - may this month's contest begin!

5284 characters, 885 words. Readability level: 11-12th grade student.
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