“Coming Mom.” It was the answer Regina wanted to hear, but she saw no evidence of her son’s appearance in the kitchen where he should have been ten minutes ago.
Michael entered the room in his blue coveralls. They matched his mother’s and father’s. In fact, they matched the residents of everyone in the city. The President and Congressmen had gotten tired of the school shootings stemming from jealousy and decided to get rid of it all together. They drew up the pattern and had one piece coveralls made for everyone in the country. Color was assigned by city. It was required attire and one had no choice about what to wear. At one time, it seemed like a good idea. It eliminated jealousy and the need to waste time in the morning deciding what to wear. It also made everyone equal. There was no long any rich or poor. It was just people in their blue coveralls or whatever color they were assigned.
“Look in the compartment and see what the cooks sent for your breakfast.” Regina told her son.
Michael went over to the wall of compartments. It looked like a wall of small cabinets stacked on top of each other. For each meal, the cooks decided what everyone in the city would eat. They would cook enough for each citizen and then deliver the meals. That saved the citizens time shopping and cooking. It also made sure that each citizen got the nutrition he or she needed. Furthermore no one ate more than their fair share. Obesity had been eradicated using this method. Diabetes and high blood pressure were considered extinct diseases.
After Michael ate his allotted banana and bowl of oatmeal, he gathered his books, shook hands with his mother, and rode his hover scooter to school. Kissing had been outlawed years ago when research showed that emotional ties made people weak and unable to use logic when making decisions. Michael longed for more affection from his mother. He didn’t know exactly what a kiss was, but he had read about it. His thoughts were that a mother and child ought to have more affection for each other than they did their neighbors.
His hover scooter was white with a blue stripe down the side, just like everyone else’s. A hover scooter was a machine that had a flat platform on which to stand, a steering post and handles to guide it. It rode on a stream of jet air. There were no trees left, so an alternative to tires had to be developed. The hover scooter was the answer.
Michael parked his hover scooter in his assigned parking place and went to his classroom. He opened his assigned computer and received his lessons for the day. Students were expected to complete the assignments on their own and then report for volunteer duty. They worked alongside the regular workers and received credit for volunteer hours which was applied to their education requirements. There were no grades in the educational system. There was a set of criteria to be achieved by each student no matter how long it took. Upon completion of the criteria, they were ‘graduated’ to the workforce. During the classroom time, students were not allowed to socialize. There was no talking in school.
Even though there was no human teacher in the room, there was a monitoring system observed by the principal. Students caught breaking the rules lost some of their credits, which lengthened the amount of time they remained in the educational system.
Michael completed his daily assignment and then went to his assigned volunteer duty. His duty was mixing concrete used in all building projects. He worked beside ol’ Jim. Michael thought Jim had been there since the year 2000. He knew that couldn’t be true, but sometimes Jim moved slow enough to be that old. Today was one of those days. Michael arrived to see steam coming from one the pumps. He ran to the pump and saw that Jim had closed the wrong valve. Instead of the concrete being pumped out to the site that needed it, it was going back against itself. The concrete under pressure was getting hotter and hotter. If Michael hadn’t come when he did, the entire plant could have blown up.
“Hey Jim. Didn’t you see the steam coming out of the pump?”
“Yeah. I was going to get it if you hadn’t stepped in and took over like you know everything. You know I hate that.”
“Jim, I don’t know everything and don’t want to get in the way of you doing your job. But if that pump gets too hot, it will blow up and you could be killed in the process.”
“Then there’d be one less mouth to feed. Wouldn’t that be horrible?” Jim said sarcastically.
“Jim, what’s gotten in to you lately? You don’t seem to be yourself.”
“I’ve been doing some reading and been pretty surprised at what I learned.”
“I learned there was a time when people made their own choices about what they wanted to do with their lives.”
“Are you sure about that? That sounds a little scary to me.”
“Well up until a hundred years ago, that’s exactly what they did. A man or woman could be anything they wanted to be, eat anything they wanted, and wear whatever clothes they wanted.”
“Really? What happened?”
“A lot of people became irresponsible with their decisions. Some chose to eat poorly. Some even chose not to work.”
“Not work? How did they get their supplies?” Michael asked, astounded at the information.
“They just stayed home and the government sent them money.”
“Well that doesn’t sound so bad.”
“Except the government didn’t give them enough to live on. They gave just enough to get by on. Even though everyone had choices, these people had fewer choices because they didn’t work.”
“So what happened?”
“The government decided to stop giving people the option of not working. That’s why everyone is assigned a job and gets their needs met by the government. In some ways this is a better system, but in others—I’m not so sure.”
“Which system would you rather live under?”
“I’m not sure. I see advantages and flaws in both systems. What do you think?”
What DO YOU think? Please leave me a comment. If you do not want it published, I will delete it after reading.