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Climate Change

by Chestersmummy 

Posted: 21 January 2017
Word Count: 824
Summary: I'm in with this. Found it quite a challenge!

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 Climate change
‘A thick blanket of snow covered the ground….’
Alisia stilled.  She tried to frown, then remembered she still had her skin protector on.   With an irritated sigh, she ripped it off.  Although she knew they were necessary, she hated wearing them - they made, even the most intelligent look bovine.   She spent a few luxurious seconds working the muscles of her face  before turning to the screen again.
turning the fields into a winter wonderland.’
The teacher’s creeping sense of unease deepened.   She’d asked her class of 7/8 year olds to write about their weekend.   True, she’d said they could describe something that really happened, or something ‘made up’ but she’d not expected this.  After all, she was three times this child’s age and she’d never seen snow and neither had her parents.  Her lips tightened, that was not the point.   Mentioning snow was tantamount to discussing the ‘old days’ and that was strictly forbidden by the Regime.   People had been disposed of for less.   It sounded severe but the Regime was right; after all, she had to admit that the boy’s sentence had awakened a vague longing inside her and could easily promote discontent in others.  Discontent was dangerous, that had been drummed into her during her indoctrination.  Discontent had led to the downfall of other regimes, with disastrous effects.   She glanced out of the window.  As usual, the never-changing expanse of bright blue sky was total, unbroken by even the smallest wisp of cloud.   At ground level, the dust stretching towards the horizon, had its own beauty, she supposed - at dusk, it reflected the setting sun and glowed blood red, but even so it would be nice if….  She snapped her mind closed, she was entering dangerous territory.   It was time to deal with the more immediate problem.
  She looked at the name at the top of the monitor, Alex Kapplin one of the brightest in her class.   Even so, his essay was surely about something that had been blocked for years before he’d been born.   He must have heard of it from somewhere; probably from his father who’d always made her feel uneasy.  His far-seeing deep blue eyes seemed to know things she didn’t, which was strange as being a Teacher, she knew more than most.   For instance, she was aware that, although it was the law that all over the age of six should have their memories wiped, with certain individuals breakthroughs occurred.  Alex’s father must be one such.   Degenerates they were called and if discovered, the Regime disposed of them without mercy.
Alisia’s fingers fluttered over the boy’s name and then pressed down decisively.  The screen rippled and the boy’s face appeared.   He had a smear of jam at the corner of his mouth and he looked surprised and she thought, apprehensive.
‘It’s about your essay, Alex.   Tell me, what made you write it?’
‘Don’t know Miss.’
‘But where did you get the idea from?’  Did you hear about it from someone else?’
‘No, Miss.  I just remembered it in the morning.’
 As he answered her questions she stared into his eyes.   They did not flicker, it was obvious he was telling the truth.
She switched off the screen and sat swivelling in her chair.   Clearly, the boy must have had a dream.   She sat, quite still, recalling the boy’s face, his eyes in particular, so much light and fire.    Her shoulders drooped, those eyes would be dimmed forever if the Regime were informed, but it was her duty.   When she first became a Teacher she had taken an oath to do all she could to protect the Regime.   After all, it was the Regime that provided for her and for all those who lived under the Dome.   All were protected.  All were gainfully employed.   All had plentiful food, gyms for exercising slack muscles, swimming pools, athletic tracks, football pitches, even a virtual adventure room where one could go to slay mythical creatures.   And if the Regime appeared harsh on occasions, deep down everyone knew it was for their own good.    Old people were an encumbrance, they were unproductive and took up valuable breathing space.     A switch inside Alisia’s head turned itself off.   Her thinking time had elapsed.
Her chair stopped swivelling as she sat upright.   After all, it wasn’t as if the child would be eradicated – just changed, that was all.   She turned to an array of instruments in front of her and began to key in a number and it was then that it happened.   Images began to flash before her eyes so quickly she could barely breathe.   Bursting like firecrackers before her were ragged clouds, seas of liquid gold, salmon pink sunsets, bolts of jagged lightening, curtains of rain, hailstones as big as marbles, trees swaying gently in the breeze.   All so strange, but so familiar somehow and so, so beautiful….. her fingers slackened and dropped from the keyboard.

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Comments by other Members

Bazz at 19:58 on 21 January 2017  Report this post
Hi Janet, fascinating world glimpsed here. Some really chilling touches, like teachers taking an oath to the regime, and how anything can be justified to protect it. Dark, sinister, and really well developed.

Loved this line

A switch inside Alisia’s head turned itself off.   Her thinking time had elapsed.


Chestersmummy at 20:29 on 21 January 2017  Report this post
Thanks Bazz.

BryanW at 11:56 on 22 January 2017  Report this post
Janet - I like the way you put in very human touches - important in sci-fi I think to help us identify with the situation - here the unflattering skin protector works as such. Through the main character you delve into what it is like to be indoctrinated - and there is at least optimism in that she has something there in the back of her mind. The dramatic breakthrough at the end - the images of the natural world as we know it works very well - though I can't quite work out whether the images are just in her mind and have been supressed or whether there was something coming through on the instrument panel.

Chestersmummy at 15:01 on 22 January 2017  Report this post
Hi Bryan, thanks for your comments.   I'm sorry if the ending wasn't clear.   The images at the end were supposed to be  examples of climate cliches buried deep within her subconscious and released by the trauma of her decision on whether or not to report the boy.  (Hope that's clear).



scriever at 18:39 on 22 January 2017  Report this post
Really scary story, Janet. Like the best sci-fi it's more about what's going on inside the characters' heads. I liked the ending, which I got after reading it through a second time. Wonder if she reported Alex in the end?

Chestersmummy at 19:16 on 22 January 2017  Report this post
No, she definitely didn't.  Not in my story anyway!

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