The Slave State Read Count : 14
Category : Books-Fiction
Sub Category : Drama
Kevin left his home, the skyscrapers are a cruel reminder what will happen if he isn't productive. The other farmers exit their homes. They live on a collective farm, each family has their own home, but still have little privacy. Each house only has one room, this is where he sleeps, eats his dinner, and keeps what little belongs Kevin has. The collective farm makes food for the city, which bakes their food. They promise to send them their scraps; however the city has never had a surplus. They have to live off of their surplus, and they have to give up half of it. Kevin walks down the dirt trail to get his breakfast. The other farmers walk beside him. "Hello Kevin." Someone says. "Hello Mike." I said. "You won't happen to have any other shoes, do you?" Mike asked. "Sorry, these are my only part." Kevin said. He wasn't lying, the city rarely gave them anything to raise their comfort. "Ok." Mike said. "The bottom of my shoes are falling off." I locked at his shoe, the back part flopped down as he walked. They then walked into the wooden center, they keep all their food their. Although the city barely helped them, and barely looked after them, they controlled their ratoins. Kevin then got into the line of farmers, he grabbed a tray to get his breakfast.
The line was slow, but as I got closer, it went quicker. Mike is next to me, we're shoulder to shoulder. I then made it to the first person, he gave me a buttered piece of bread. The next person put a bowl on my tray, and filled it with strawberries. I then got out of line, the next person is giving out oatmeal, which I can't stand. Kevin takes a seat at the wooden table, and takes a bite out of the bread. Mike then came over to his table. "Did you hear the news?" He asked. "No." I said. "Well it's not confirmed, but I hear we've made our first nuke." "Oh." Kevin said. We've been working on creating a nuclear arsenal, to defend ourselves from the world. "Hopefully it's true. Then we'll finally be safe." Mike said. The government says that we're the strongest nation in the world; however their's always an external threat, always the possibility of a massive invasion. "How long do you think it'll take to make you so shoes?" Kevin asked. He thought for a moment. "I didn't put in the order. I was really hoping you'd have some shoes." Mike said. "After breakfast put in the order." I said. "That probably costed you a month." I said. Their was always a long line for resources, when you put in your order, they put you in line. The only thing that doesn't have a year long line is food, and poster repairs. The master's posters must always be in the highest condition.
Kevin had finished his bread, and Mike was on in last bite. I grab a strawberry. "Their very close to letting us elect who whips us." Mike said. I paused for a moment. "Good." Kevin said. Jebediah was the guy who whipped us, they always promised that we would be able to chose who whipped us, but we never did. Whoever was the least productive was whipped, it was ment to motivate us to work harder. I grab strawberries left, and right. After I finished my meal, I went with the other farmers to work. Their were three groups, the farmers, the fishers, and the bird catchers. The farmers, and fishermen provide for both us, and the city; however the bird catchers provided for us alone. Their job is to catch Sparrow; however if they caught any other type of bird, it would be cooked too. We ate the cooked birds for lunch, and dinner, and if we didn't make enough of a surplus we had to ate the birds for breakfast too.
As Kevin prepares to start working he sees the trucks arrive, they'll take our harvest to the city. Kevin then starts his job. As he works in the field he sees Jebediah walk out of his house. Our house only have one room, and we don't even have our own bathrooms, but he has a house, he doesn't eat with us, he doesn't use the public bathroom, and his only job during the day is to crack his whip just incase someone is laying down in the field. Jebediah reports everything to the city, if anything noteworthy happens, the city will send it to the government, who will send in troops to make sure everything is alright. Troops inspected our houses every year. They had two jobs, to make sure we didn't steal any grain for ourselves, and to make sure their was no unreported damage don't to the master's poster. The soldiers have gorilla like faces, they're uniform is a solid green, and even though we have no wepons they wear green helmets on their heads. While our shoes are brown, their boots are a dark green. Their was never any unreported damage done to the posters, because if their was we would be sent to the city. When we reported damage it was fixed within the day; however if we reported a broken tool, they would send a new one in a month.
After an hour of working Kevin got up to use the bathroom. He was walking down the dirt path, I then looked at the bay. Fishermen populated the banks, and small wooden boats bobbed near the shore. Then a massive steel ship entered view. It had metal boxs on it, each a different color. I don't know wear it's going, or what on the ship, but I think it's carrying the surplus we were promised. I believed it was going to the outside world; however what would be the point, they have very little to give us. The ship went through the ocean, slowly moving farther away. The government doesn't admit they exist, and we aren't allowed to mention them. The government says that the world is hostile to us; however sometimes they'll say place are very friendly to us, but it doesn't matter because we weren't allowed to leave the state. The government claims their are thirteen other states; however we aren't allowed to go to them. I stopped looking at the water, and focused on going to the bathroom line. It was a short line going out the door, but it moved slow. The moment I finished I went back to the field.
After two hours we had finally made the amount necessary to feed the city. We have to turn in all our surplus, but they give us back our half, and if their is any surplus of food in the city it would be given to us. They keep promising the cities surplus, but all these promises are empty. "What do they do with the surplus?" Kevin asked himself. Nobody in the farm knows how things work in the city, they don't know if their is a market, a ration system, or something in between, all we truly know is they take our grain, and made bread for us. The strawberries also come from the city; however we don't know where the strawberries are made. We don't know if their farmed domestically, or if they were made by foreign lands. All we truly knew about is how to farm, the size of the country changes, the amount we made changes, and the world's size changes, but the farming system stays the same. The only other thing that doesn't change is the fact the city is worse then whatever happens here, the whippings are worse, the crime is worse, the hours are much longer, and harder.
A half hour later it was time for our lunch break. Jebediah left his spot to go back to his home. Kevin walked down the dirt path back to the wooden building. "Hello." Mike said. "Hello, Mike." I said. "Were you able to work in those shoes?" "Not really, but I managed." He said. "Did you place your order in?" I asked. "No." He said. "I think I'm just going to live with it." "Alright." I said. Their were three lines, before we were against the counter to be served, now we were heading to the counter. I grabbed my tray, and got in line. I could go in all three lines, if I want, to get a total of three Sparrows, but no more then three. The line was slow, but it went fast the closer I got. I only got one Sparrow, then sat down. Although Kevin had eaten it a thousand times, he still wasn't used to it, it felt unnatural to him, but everyone else ate it like it was just bread.
Kevin tried to bite the head off. Mike sat down. "Did you hear?" He asked. "Hear what?" I asked. "It's true, we have our first nuke." He said. "Oh." I said. We know very little about the world, they only talk about a certain country a day, then we're supposed to forget about it. I know about China, the other twelve states, Germany, Japan, America, and Africa. Most of our states border China. China is weird, they could invade at any moment, we're allies, and have the best relationship possible, one of our troops could kill an entire Chinese unit. None of these statements are lies, even though they contradict each other. "And because of our nuke Syria has came to negotiate a surrender." Mike said. "Wow." I said. "We've been bombing them for years, geuss a nuke got them to surrender." I paused for a moment. "I wonder if this nuke could help us expand the African Colony." "You're right." Mike said excitedly. The African Colony is always changing size, and shape. Some days it takes up a coastline, other days it's just dots on the map, once they claim to have taken all of Africa, that's the only reason I know the shape, and size of Africa. I know about the existence of Syria, but I only know we are bombing it, not why, or how far away it is. Some days they show us footage of the bombings; however I've never seen a map of Syria, or a map of any country near it.
I had eaten half of the Sparrow, and Mike was on his last bite. I dropped the birds body, and went down to the river to wash the taste out of my mouth. When I looked up I saw the massive steel ship coming back. It may have been a different ship, it's impossible to tell them apart from a distance. I imagined a hellish lifestyle on that boat, gears moving all around you, whips constantly cracking, I feel bad for those poor souls. If life in the city is worse, then life in on of those boats is a living hell. I quickly ran off, almost like the boat was going to take me, plus their was a fear of being the least productive.
After the nine hour work day, the trucks left. A whistle blew, this ment the farmers had to stop working. The fishermen, and bird catchers still had to work, to make our dinner. While farmers gave up half of their surplus for the city, the fishermen gave up all their fish, until the trucks left, then they had to catch us dinner. All of the birds caught went to us, if the fishermen failed to catch any fish, then we would only get brids for dinner, if they failed to catch any bird for dinner, then we would probably starve the next day. We were done with our work, we just finished farming, now we had to clean the barns, put the tools back, clean the tools, and then we were done. Kevin, and the other farmers made their way to the shed. Their weren't any livestock on this farm, just crops. Their are wild animals, but we keep traps around to catch them, if we catch them we eat them, but we haven't been catching any animals, other then birds.
It took an hour to do all our chores; however their was one last thing to do. Jebediah lit the torches, and hung the rope. Three people were going to be whipped, the least efficient farmer, the least efficient fisherman, and the least efficient bird catcher. He was dressed like a soldier without the helmet. The image of our red, and yellow flag was on his arms, just like every soldier. "Mike, Ben, Jeff!" He said, his voice was always stern. They stepped forward with little protest. As he tie their arms so they floated above the ground I began to miss the westerns. They were bigger then any animal I've ever seen, they were slow so we were rarely whipped, and Jebediah would group them up, and only focus on them. They would stay for a long time, but they always disappear. Now their were no westers. They're soldiers, the government says the reason is because we won the war with the west, but I've also noticed that those metal ships sail less frequently, I'd expect more metal ships if we're at peace. "This is for the master!" Jebediah yelled. "We are living the best life, we have it better then the city, better then the African Colony, better then the world, yet they choose to be lazy!" He then began to whip the three, each got five lashes. He would leave them their for half an hour, then we would be able to eat.
It was dark out, the bugs harassed Kevin, but he didn't go home, out of the fear of messing the dinner bell. The torches made sure if you looked in theor direction, they would catch your eye. The farm was big, but it wasn't big enough to avoid their site. Their was also this fear of standing somewhere to far from the torches. The fear a fox may take you away, the fear that the city may kidnap you, the fear you may fall into the ocean, their was even the fear that if you stood in place for to long hands would drag you into the ground. When the half hour was over they were untied, and the dinner bell was rung. We went to the center, their were four lines, three for Sparrows, and on for fishes.
I grabbed a tray, and a fish. Most people got the fish, and three Sparrows, but I didn't like Sparrows. I then took the tray home. When I opened the door I saw the inside my home. The paint was falling off, it's grey, the floor is wooden, it was extremely dark. The only light came from the window, and it was night. I know lights exist, because we have some in the public bathroom, but our house had no light. Even it the dark I could notice the shift from wall, to poster. While the wall's paint was old, and chipped, the poster seemed new. You could also notice the camera, it was black, and circular, the government could always watch us, even in the dark. Kevin sat on the bed, and ate the food. I could barely see the fish, but I still ate. After I finished the food, I put the tray back in the center of the farm. All we could do at night is sleep.
Kevin woke up early in the morning. He looked at his house. It looked abandoned, while the house seemed to age one hundred years each day, the poster seemed to be frozen in time, never moving past the first day, and the camera always seemed to age; however it aged like wine. The poster had a blue background, and the black outline of the leader's round body, the inside of the outline was red, and the black outline was infront of the yellow sun. Kevin left home, and repeated the same events as yesterday; however today he was whipped. Time is irrelevant, every day repeats itself, but at the same time it was extremely relevant, everyday the animal population shrunk, and their lives got shorter, but at the same time it didn't who died, because everyone is the same.
A week later Jebediah went into the center while we all ate lunch. "Attention." He demanded. He was dressed like us, brown shoes, and a brown baggy jumpsuit, with a rope at the waist creating a divide between his upper, and lower body. He never dressed like this, he usually wore blue jeans, and a white shirt. "The revolution celebration is coming up. So we must produce more so we can take the day off." He continued. This was our only day off, and it was the only day we were allowed to drink. The crowd cheered, I cheered with them, but I didn't choose to, it was more of a reflex. Although we had to work harder, the week before the celebration was always my favorite week, Jebediah dressed like us, his voice had soften, and the best part is they didn't beat the least productive, because we wanted the day off, so we were going to work harder naturally.
The day slowly arrived, Kevin got up early, and walked to the center. He heard laughter, a sound he had almost forgotten, their were three line, one for vodka, another for bread, and another for fish. The trucks weren't coming today, the city has all the food they need, their probably at home with their family drinking too. Men, and women were laughing, and drinking. Although most of the farm population was male, some people had a wife, but only a few had children. Most people lived alone. I got in line to get some bread, after that I would go get some vodka. When I got their they handed me two slices of buttered bread, and a bowl of strawberries. When I sat down I noticed Mike entering the center. He looked at me, then got into the breakfast line. Kevin took his first bite into the bread. It seemed better today. Mike soon joined him. "Happy Revolution Day." He said. "Happy Revolution Day." I replied. He clapped his hands, then rubbed them together. I took another bite of bread, then grabbed a strawberry. He then began to eat. "Life seems so much better today." He said while chewing. "I know." I said. "The air seems fresher, and my muscles feel better." I was talking about my back, long white lines covered all of our backs, but today why back didn't feel as tender.
After finishing my breakfast I went into line to get vodka. When I got infront of the line, they gave me a bottle of vodka, and an empty shot bottle. As soon as I finished drinking I would give them back the bottle, which they would refill for the next Revolution Day. Kevin, and Mike sat down. We both took a shot. "That's strong." Mike said. "Yeah." I said. You could here an instrumental version of the national anthem, this always happened, it's a whisper, and we don't know where it's coming from. Maybe it came from the earth itself. In the center of the wooden cafeteria, the chairs, and tables, we moved, people danced with that whisper being their only music. Jebediah then turned on a record player, playing the national anthem, the vocal version.
"Stalin blessed these lands." The chorus sang. "Stalin prepared these lands. Stalin made these lands." "The Soviets will protect us." The chorus continued. "We don't them; no! We are just fine on our own." The chorus repeated this. "Who are the Soviets?" Kevin asked himself. I then took my second shot. "And who's Stalin?" The banners lowered. Their was the Korea flag, China's flag, and Russias flag. The Korean flag stud out, while all of the flags were red, and yellow, it was blue, red, and white. Then their was our flag, it had a red background, and thirteen yellow stars, all going down the middle, the long way. The stars were small, but noticeable. I had three more shots before Jebediah stud on a table. "Syria has been taken to the negotiation table, and will soon be at peace." Everyone, including myself cheered, it was uncontrollable, nothing was truly controllable here. "Heil the master!" He said. Everyone poured a drink. "Heil master!" They said doing a salute, then we all took a shot.
After seven drink Kevin stumbled home. He was barely able to stay awake. When he walked into his home he saw the poster. The master reminded him of the westerners who used to live here. He saw how high the quality was on the poster, yet the paint on his wall was barely worth calling paint. He had drank enough liquid courage to rip the poster, it ripped in half, pulling off more paint. He then collapsed on his bed, laying on his stomach. This was a terrible idea, because the cameras saw it all, while most of the country was stuck in the 50s, all the cameras were modern, and the computers connected to them automatically noted this event.
When Kevin woke up he saw two soldiers standing near his bed, their gorilla like faces formed a smile, it didn't seem fake, it seemed like they were really happy. "Morning Kevin." The guard on the left said. "We know what you did." Kevin eyes darted to the poster. "I don't ha-" Kevin said as quickly as he could. "Save it for the city." The guard said. "Enjoy your half an hour." He then handed him a bucket. They all had half an hour off to get over their hang overs. Kevin threw up in the bucket, the stress was enough to get him to throw up, but alcohol did play a big role. Kevin ran out of his house with the bucket to the river, he heard the soldiers footsteps behind him, they kept at his speed. He washed his face as the massive steel ship passed by. Then he heard a sound he had only heard a few times before. It was a very loud sound, and would only come when those big metal things were in the sky, he hadn't heard on of those in years. Those things stop at the same time as the westerners, and when the ships slowed down their frequency. Kevin walked around looking at everything, the guards followed him, always smiling, until the half hour ended, the guards turned Kevin around, and punched him in the gut, they then dragged him into their white van to go to the city.