Robert Snider

United States

Book Nerd. Theatre Geek. Word Dork.


November 13, 2015

    A single bird crossed the bleak, grey sky, and squawked once, but immediately stopped, silenced by the invisible admonishments of its noiseless surroundings.
    A thouroughly typical man walked briskly through his industrialized environment, struggling to avoid eye contact with the People Who Do Not Have Homes, in the Non-Upper Class. He almost pitied them, with their purposefully little education, but he had been trained all of his life to Not Think about them. He was fortunate, and had been chosen to be educated enough to be able able to read most everything, except, of course, the Labels, whereas the people in the Non-Upper Class could only read enough to understand the numerous billboards designed and constructed by the Upper Physicians. The billboards were often written Plain-Speak- they were occasionally too simplistic for the man's taste, but he never complained, and had been drilled not to- and usually proclaimed statements like: The Upper Physicians will heal your Body and Soul!
    The man could have seen a few of the billboards if he hadn't been so single-minded in his task of ignoring the Non-Upper Class people. Most billboards were run down, but no one dared grafitti them, since damaging a billboard in any way would violate Law 736 in the Mid-Lower Crimes level.
    He finally reached his destination, a hulking scab on the body of the Metropolis, steel-gray and massive, the Pride and Joy of the Upper Physicians. While most of the of buildings in the Metropolis were neglected and ramshackle, the building, known simply as "The Hospital", was meticulously kept up, almost to an obsessive level. The man worked there as a Lower Physician, and was known to his Peers only as Dr. Johnson. His Peers had similarly dreary names, since names were considered status symbols, the more elaborate the better. And while Lower Physicians were farely well off, they did not rank high enough to gain less drab names. The only surnames that broke up the monotony belonged to the Upper and a few high-ranking Middle Physicians.
    As he walked in, he followed his usual pattern, the order imprinted permanently into his brain. He exchanged slight nods to his fellow colleagues, the designated greeting for Lower Physicians. He silently wandered over to his Mailbox, where he sifted through his numerous new Mail. Most of the new Mail he normally recieved was tedious General Notices about slight changes to the Labels. None of his fellow Lower Physicians ever read about the Labels, and neither did he. No one but the Upper Physicians had ever been taught how to read the Labels, and the Labels simply weren't interesting or necessary. Knowing the Labels wasn't required to do the more menial Physician work the Lower Physicians did, and the Labels weren't written in Plain-Speak, but in Upper Physician-Speak. Upper Physician-Speak was rarely taught to Lower Physicians like him, and it used so much challenging and seemingly encoded language that it was pointless for him to try to decode it. Although he knew that the Labels existed to inform the Upper Physicians about the Ingrediants in different Medicines, he still had a rare suspicion that they were used for different purposes as well, but of course he would never be able to scratch that itch.
    However, as he was still sorting through his new Mail, he broke his routine, a rare occurrance in his monotonous, ho-hum life. He came across an unfamiliar letter, written on stationery far too expensive to have come from a Lower Physician, which was who most of the sparse personal letters he received were written from. Feeling more distinct emotions than he probably had felt in the past two months combined, Dr. Johnson slowly, carefully, respectfully, sliced open the letter and removed it from the envelope.
A few seconds later, the letter slowly drifted to the floor, released by Dr. Johnson, like the lone bird, except falling. Dr. Johnson's heart started thumping louder and faster in his chest, and his breaths began coming quicker, almost like hyperventilation, except he still didn't dare make a sound. Instead, he stared intensely at the paper, and the nine words written on it, that were to be his death sentence, or, by some miracle, his salvation:
    We will meet with you soon.
        -The Upper Physicians
This is my first attempt to write anything dystopian, so please, feel free to be harsh and give me any tips necessary.


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