I was 12 when it happened, you know, when the world ended. Or began. I suppose it depends on how you look at it.
One moment we were herds shuffling down linoleum hallways between lockers and first crushes. We navigated the noise of life with all the certainty placed in the palms of our hands.
Then, without warning, no sirens or drills, it was dark. It was quiet.
We underestimated the background noise provided by the constant buzz to our lives back then. When it disappeared …
First it was the lights, cars, planes tumbling from the sky. It was our music, our chatter … our constant incessant updates.
Then it was our food, our water … It was an unraveling death sentence. A sickness seemingly innocent then all at once deadly.
Finally, they came. Rescue, freedom from the silence at last. We were promised a return to some kind of normalcy. Communities with restored power, communication, electricity … in a way.
“Don’t look back.” They heralded us towards golden futures without so much as a question, such as we were, the brainwashed masses.
Behind us the past glowed orange and red, lighting the skies with prophecies we were too far gone to read. They had to maintain control, we had to understand.
There was something, they said, something in our past that lead us down this path. We had to begin again, anew.
We blindly marched on towards unseen futures while our pasts smoldered.
Things are never as they seem.
Inside the walls there is a false sense of security, there is a life afflicted by noise. Those comforts we so long believed we couldn’t survive without are built into our very beings. We are tracked, hunted, all within the confines of a walled city.
There’s no need to read. No need to learn. Simply watch the bright colors, listen to their world turn. It rolls over us with propaganda hate and news that’s cut and paste.
I have no reason to believe I will live to pass this down. Resistance is a death sentence here but every night more sidle to our doors. Tears in their eyes with stories of families denied.
We exist in the shadows, under the cover of night and as I write our numbers grow.
To our soldiers, because that is what you are, no longer children, no longer drones.
Take peace in the silence. They fill our heads with noise. We gave them the blueprint long ago, all they needed was to refine it to an art.
The world still turns. The seasons change, flowers bloom, die then rise again. Keep a flower, illegal it may be, to remind you. There is so much more beyond what we’re allowed to see.
Help one another, we are your brothers and sisters. This resistance is your home. They are well versed, divide and conquer, they knew well.
Finally, everything from before is gone, so they say. Our stories still exist, we can write them down again. It may be by candle light under the cover of night. We have to hide but we don’t have to exist in this fluorescent darkness forever.