The Device This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

June 6, 2011
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I sat on my chair, thinking. Huh, one of the only things that’s not done for

me. I looked at the alarm clock; it was almost 10 o’clock. I sighed, waiting for the

automated 10 o’clock routine to go off as usual.

“Time to go to bed, Sarah!,” the contraption’s mechanical voice blurted out.

I stepped onto the moving disk, which carried me to my bathroom. I opened

my mouth, a hand stretched out from the outlet in the mirror. It came out with a

toothbrush with the perfect amount of toothpaste. It quickly brushed my teeth,

leaving them sparkling white, as always. The moving disk then moved to the

extension of the bathroom, which was made into a closet. It undressed and put on

my pajamas for me. Then the disk proceeded to go to my bedroom and halted near

my bed. I stepped off and lay down in bed. A mechanical hand reached out from the

ground and tucked me into bed.

“Nighty-night,” the mechanical voice said.

The lights turned off instantly. This was my favorite time of the day- the

time when the mechanical device wasn’t helping me with my every need. It was the

label them as “dumb,” when they’re so fortunate to be able to think clearly. They

don’t realize how precious thoughts are until you’re faced with a society quite like

mine—a society filled with quiet corruption, the aftermath of the quick and abrupt

advances of technology, like the device that assists me everyday.

I live in a society where parents don’t raise you; an automatic contraption

with no name takes care of you. Our government leaders ban families because

it “causes problems” and “human relationships are doomed from the start.” The

house raises me, feeds me, clothes me, teaches me, and obeys my every need. Great,

right? Not really. A foolish mistake in the computer school program gets you double

homework for a week. If you go outside past your allotted time, you’re administered

the horrible procedure of oxygen deprivation. And every child lives this way. The

elders have all been slaughtered one by one during the civil war. And my generation

will be killed too as soon as we reach the measly age of twenty-one. There’s only six

more years ‘til I die. The factor of fear is the part that the government leaders don’t

realize; they’re bathing in luxury thanks to their corrupt politics while we are in

silent exile.

I sighed. I knew the contraption was in a simulated sleep, so I got out my

family album from my bedside drawer and flipped through the pages. It must have

been 100 years ago, but I didn’t care. I envied my ancestors. I envied their smiles,

their happiness, the contentedness in their eyes, their freedom, their affection for

one another. I wish I could experience that feeling for once. But of course, I was

born in a generation where such things were banished for the prosperity of our

country. I wonder if our leaders realize that prosperity shouldn’t come at the cost

of the citizen’s lives. The citizens were silenced, and they had no say in how the

government worked. I guess you could classify it as a Totalitarian State Government,

but there was much more oppression here.

I wanted to escape. I was only fifteen but I knew I couldn’t live this way

forever. I looked outside at the deep woods that were on the outskirts of the town,

visible from where I was. Looking down at the album that lay in my lap, I started to

cry. I finally realized how miserable I was. I envy them. Oh, how I wanted to leave!

I had to find a way; I just had to. I couldn’t take the loneliness that was tearing me

apart. I reached inside my desk drawer. I found my lighter there. Instantly, an idea

popped into my head.

I would burn the house down. And before the device had time to report the

authorities, I would escape to the dense forest near the house. From there, I would

escape to a neighboring county where it was different, how my ancestors lived. I

gathered a small package including a decent amount of food and water, and the

photo album. I tip-toed out of bed, heading towards the room where the stand-by

electric generator was located. I needed something flammable. Luckily, there was

a huge plastic bottle full of diesel. I took it out and started to generously smear it

across all of the curtains.

Quickly, I ignited the diesel with my lighter. The curtains burst into flames,

the fire alarm went off. I knew I only had a few minutes to escape. I sighed and

sprinted towards the forest, turning back to see what I would remember most of

living in this country. I turned away, walking into the forest, hoping for a better
future.





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