A Slice of DystopiasteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  2 years ago

The engine fired up right as the rifle report told him five more people he used to know were dead.

This is fine. Everything is fine.

Tom repeated his mantra silently as he pulled the shift lever down, forcing his old Toyota to lurch into drive.

This is fine. Everything is fine.

Caleb had been shot a week before, and he’d forced himself to watch that bloody spectacle. If he hadn’t - if he’d indicated at all to the mob that he wanted to vomit - they would have lined him up beside Caleb. If Tom had shown any trace of his disgust with the people he used to call friends...

But he’d handled it, right? It was fine. Just like today - the death squads had lined up political dissidents in front of what used to be a Kroger. He’d walked right past it and kept his head down. Made it all the way to his car and slid into the driver’s seat without missing a beat. Now all he needed to do was make it home.

The world didn’t seem so horrific and twisted in his apartment. Hell, he didn’t even have to pay rent anymore since the nationalists abolished rent. The food rations were strict, and he was hungry more often than not, but it was a small price to pay for peace, stability, and prosperity. That’s what he told himself, anyway. He wanted to believe it.

He let off the brakes to pull out of his parking space when flashing lights in the rearview mirror caught his eye. A state police vehicle swung around the corner opposite his end of the parking lot. His skin crawled as they pulled into the parking lot and right up behind him.

He ignored the beads of sweat clinging to his brow. He shut the engine off, and reached into the glove box. It was all he could do to push the button with the tremor in his fingers, but somehow he managed to grab all the documents he knew he needed. He’d checked them a dozen times at the municipal building last week; he knew he had what they’d ask for.

The rapping of gloved knuckles on the window made him jump, and he nearly dropped the stack of identification he’d carefully put together. “Roll down your window and present your identification.”

Tom gave several nods, trying to swallow down his terror as he grabbed the window handle and complied with the command. He didn’t recognize this state police officer. He wasn’t one of the local boys that had signed up when the Party had come to town or one of the older cops that had been merged into the state police from the sheriff’s department. Without a word, he handed over the small stack of papers to the officer, who took them without acknowledgment.

This is fine. Everything is fine.

“Thomas Casey, do you know why I’m here right now?” Tom tried to look the officer in the eye, but that dead stare they all had - the kind that killers and sociopaths had - made it impossible to keep eye contact for long.

“N-no.” He swallowed thickly, setting his hands on the steering wheel to keep them from trembling. He choked on the air in his chest.

“You took twice your ration in flour this week. Mind explaining why you feel you need more food than everyone else?”

“Oh no, no I didn’t mean to. I didn’t realize. What I mean is...” He stumbled over his words as the horrifying reality of his situation sank in. Panic robbed him of reason. Did he take twice his ration? The bag hadn’t felt heavier. He didn’t have two bags at home. Did he? “I-I didn’t. I know I didn’t. You can search my apartment. Please, it’s not far away.”

“That won’t be necessary, Citizen Casey. The Central Committee for General Provision doesn’t make mistakes. Step out of the car.”

His knuckles turned white as the door was opened from outside. Every fiber in his being screamed at him to run, to fight, to do something in the face of what was almost certainly the end of his life.

This is fine. Everything is fine.

Tom’s hands and legs moved in slow motion. This had to be a nightmare. This had to be happening to someone else, and any moment, he’d snap awake in his apartment, comfortable in his bed.

He didn’t say a word as another officer joined the first, turning him around and cuffing his hands behind his back. He kept his head down in compliance as they walked him to the wall. The five crumpled bodies slumped against it made it difficult to find a good spot to stand, and he nearly lost his balance on the blood-slicked concrete.

He tuned out the first officer reading the charge against him. The bits of brain matter and blood at his feet demanded his focus and turned the droning of the man’s mouth into a distant echo. He’d gone to school with all of the corpses lined up where he now stood. They were friends of his, or bullies, or passers-by that he recognized. Now all he saw were dull cow eyes, staring at him from the abyss beyond life. His heart hammered in his chest, robbing him of breath, but his knees locked, forcing him to stand upright.

“Do you understand the charge against you, and the sentence that is to be carried out?”

Tom snapped his gaze back to the officer who’d been talking. No words formed in his mouth, but the part of him that knew his body was about to join the corpses at his feet screamed at him, Do something! Do anything! It had to be a nightmare. None of this was real. Paralyzed by terror and uncertainty, he looked on as the state police officers walked behind the firing squad. He didn’t register the commands being issued to the riflemen.

This is fine. Everything is fine.

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Andrei Chira is an anarcho-capitalist, former 82nd Airborne paratrooper, vaper, and all-around cool guy. He's a father to one wonderful little girl named Kate, lives down in Alabama, and spends his time writing stories, posting to Steemit (not as much as he probably should), and cultivating the mental fortitude to make it through three years of law school.

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The agent trembled in fear.

"Please gentlemen, I didn't mean to falsely accuse that man. I swear I'm innocent. I'm just following orders."

The small band of free humans glanced at each other. They weren't obligated to do anything. They were just here to watch over the neighborhood from muggers and weirdos. They could choose life or death.

"Fine. Drop your gun, your badge, your uniform, and get a real job. We're tired of your ridiculous antics. Now get out of here."

The trembling officer quietly wet himself as he tore his clothes off, and became just another human.

"Th-thanks guys. Thanks for letting me live."

A free human sighed.

One of the free people reached down towards the discarded uniform, and pulled out a stack of documents. He took out a lighter, and burned them.

"Your new life begins now. You're one of us now. A free human."

And everything was fine.


Maybe one day :D

An amazing window into a negative utopia! I'm really reminded of 1984 and Farenheit 451 Well done! Your edits really make it run smoother as well. Cheers!


Thank you so much! You helped me a lot with this piece, as did Carol and Rhonda. You guys are amazing.


Rhonda and Carol are the heavyweights for sure!! They don't pull any punches but know what they are talking about. I love the Fiction Workshop!

The agent trembled in fear.

He had to follow orders. If he didn't, it'd be the firing squad. He shook his head and slapped his cheeks a few times, to try to get himself pumped up. He had to show "force and authority".

He pulled in behind the man he was scheduled to take down.

An extra ration of flour, said the computer device in his car.

The cop felt sick. This wasn't worth it. He wasn't really about to do this, was he? But he had to. It's the only way to feed his family. He couldn't just quit his job. He'd be seen as a traitor, and killed.

He said a prayer to whatever gods were still interested in the going-ons of humanity, and got out of his car, swiftly wiping a tear off his cheek.

Under his breath, he gave a quick sorry for what was about to happen.

Everything was fine.

This came out fantastic! So happy to have your talents in the Workshop!

This story gives me chills every time I read it. Very, VERY well done.

Great job with this. I didn't have chance to read it pre edit but it turned out wonderful, in a macabre way.

Congratulations! This story has been curated by The SFT. :-) A small SBD reward has been transferred to your wallet.


It has been added to the Thriller/Suspense/Mystery Reading Room at the SFT Library.


Man I'm in dreamland. Since fiction workshop, everything you guys touch turns to literary gold. Loving the story Andrei. Part 2?

Wow! Dark stuff! I love it!


Glad you enjoyed it! It was kind of a different thing for me than what I usually do, but I got the idea in my head and I wanted it to have an impact. Good to know that I accomplished my goal :D