Challenge #01472-D011: Lawful Suspicion

in fiction •  3 years ago 

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“I wanna leave without a trace cause I don’t wanna die in this place.” -- Song-Lyric-Prompts

The Night Guard who had found her outside, one second after curfew, nodded in understanding. For an instant, their eyes were human, before they remembered to be cold and cruel once more. "We have a duty to the citizens of Nova York, miss. Including the citizens who are breaking the law. Now we find it suspicious that you were cleaning up after yourself as you were running home. Care to explain?"

"It's illegal to litter. I'm in enough trouble, I don't want more. I'm not a bad egg, I promise. I just wanted to go home and rest for work..."

"Enough trouble, you say," said Goon #2. "And what sort of trouble might you be in already, then?"

Oh no. Oh no. They'd be looking up her records. There was no hiding it. "I got a reprimand for not spending my entertainment chits, only I like to go above cloud level and look at the stars, but they raised the prices for the elevator and it's another twenty to use the stairs, and saving up enough..."

"All right, all right. Don't need yer life's story," said Goon #1. "Hand over the trace."

She did. Goon #1 unraveled the crumpled paper and read it quietly. "This is a receipt for Astra Towers Express Elevator to and from the viewing platform."

"That's inducing despondency and depression, that is," said Goon #2. "Our glorious leader said that looking on the stars was setting our goals too far out of our reach."

"That he did, that he did," cooed Goon #1. "But he also did not ban it. Not yet, am I correct?"

That was her cue to lie. "Yes. Yes that's exactly right. I was watching Our Glorious Leader's broadcast on the way back down." When in reality, she was weeping into her hands as she heard the transmission on someone else's device. He had 'raised' the bread and onion ration to five percent less than what it used to be, and 'lowered' citizen taxes to five percent more. All for the glorious greatness of Nova York.

His solid gold statue of himself should be finished in two more years, he said. Just like he had said last year. And the year before that. And the year before that...

Her Gram used to say, Tuppence more and up goes the donkey. Or she did before Their Glorious Leader banned pensioners because of their drain on the economy, and Gram was taken away, somewhere, to be useful again. Those words floated into her head as she tried to remain calm and unafraid. And failed.

"Do you give us permission to search your premises," said Goon #2. If she gave it, they had license to trash her entire flat. If she refused, they would take everything she owned and put her in jail."

"Of course you may search," she intoned. "I have nothing to hide." And then it was her utmost effort as they tipped all her food rations out onto the floor, scattered her clothes, and ripped her bed. They would find nothing. She kept her secrets inside her heart, where they could never be found.

They read out her full name. "You are found guilty of loitering with intent, within five hundred yards of a residential complex, and beyond curfew. You are found guilty of spending in excess for frivolous activities. Anything you say will be used against you in the court of public ridicule. Do you have anything to say in your benefit?"

She thought about saying, "I like the stars, they give me hope." But that would not do. She just mutely shook her head and let them 'drop' her all the way down to the roundup van, where they locked her in with a number of other technical miscreants. One was four, and sobbing hysterically. One was so beaten that they were barely recognisable as human.

They would not have her words to use against her. Not now, not in the courtroom. Not for the rest of her life. She would remain silent for the rest of her conscious days.

Because the criminal sentence for a woman in Nova York was lobotomy and the rest of their lives as a Rut Slave.

All she could think of was her savings. She had been so close to buying a ticket out of this miserable place. So close, and yet so far. And now? All for nothing.

Just like everyone else who worked so hard and never reached their goal.

[AN: My usual prompts system is down for the count because server issues. Thanks for your patience with me]

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / sarah5]

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Tuppence is the British terms for two cents. To translate the phrase tuupenxe more and up goes the donkey. Two cents more and up goes the democracy. The two cents the political world sees is monetary and the two cents the citizens see is their opinion or voice. They pay their two cents worth for the donkey to go up but the leaders never receive their actual two cents in terms that lead to better life. It is a quest for this not to be evolution of our current society, right?! To share voices unheard to get the donkey up is what many do through social media. The mass media is headed to a way of political correctness that tones out voices portraying a slight different opinion than their "marketed target audience." Who is this audience other than their "ideal loyal customer." I have a writing prompts for you. Imagine waking up from a coma in a hospital were you were no longer called a patient but the term consumer was used, the care you received was based on the cost of doing business not your outcome as a patient, the normal systems and avenues to access resources had all changed massively and when you ask how long you were in a coma you find out that the coma didn't exist. That your family was changed, that the people you once loved were almost humanly at times but in certain flashes they resembled blood soaked monsters who feed on kindness and generosity, that a few good people in leadership positions try to fight the invasion, but the whole world is looking to you because you what? Woke up to a "new world order", that you were "immune to the inflected antidote", that you were the last "human" on earth, etc. where does she/he go from that point in their journey?

I like your chain of logic, there, my friend. The actual roots of "tuppence more" goes back to the travelling carnie days [quite a lot longer back than you might think] when travelling entertainers would load up one of their mules with all kinds of crap and have the strong man flexing and showing off nearby.

A barker would implore the crowd for "tuppence more" so the strong man would lift the donkey, burden and all. Of course, it was a scam. They always needed two more pennies, and the donkey never went up.

In parallel with how "trickle down" economics always needs more from the poor and middle class "for the benefit of all"...

And I will keep your prompt in mind if my forum continues to be naughty.

My mom had a friend once who was always trying to convince me to run off to the carnival or circus with her to make a living off our oddities. To this day when I see this lady she says you ready to join the carnie and I reply yes Judy let's go.