New Heights

February 2, 2018
By Noah Phillips BRONZE, New York, New York
Noah Phillips BRONZE, New York, New York
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I will blink once at the sign of the new light.  Blink twice at the sensation of my muscle stiffness.  Blink three times at the futility of my struggling efforts.  Frozen and exposed, immobile, yet at peace; that’s how I’ll be.  If I die at this foreseen moment, my God will hear no complaints. The view of landscape awes me on the monitor every time I see another sentencing. And now, my own. While my head will not be able to cork in a given direction, my eyes can shift sideways to take it all in.  Glossy mountains and glistening sunlight abound. 

When you see me in the center of that gorgeous landscape, you expect me to escape and ignorantly stumble, eventually to fall. You won’t be upset if I prevail, as you will feign surprise and appear as in a stupor.  I can’t have another option-- besides the aforementioned-- other than to wait.  The surrounding cubicle undoubtedly will contain chemical alterations for theatrical sake.  To see the majestic smoke clear with my face emerging; it’s truly demoralizing to see what the world wants done to a man for a sin.  So much recognition and so much fame but what did this fame bring me?  Outcast status, at the time to be shamed with every other word that comes out of your mouth; the days following to be forgotten, the next public enemy ripped to shreds by you and the rest of the Community.

Alas the solid ice block in which I am cryo-constrained will melt into its natural liquid state from the intense spotlight above. Muscles too stiff to move, air so thin; a breath is all that I could need.  Soon an operator will alter the humidity to a bearable point in anticipation of the drama.  Of course, the viewers need extravagant conditions. So I begin to stretch my aching muscles as oxygen enters my cranium. As a former fervent and complying member of society,  I know all too well what may come at me in this moment, just as I know what will be expected of me as it has been for hundreds before me.  A flailing motion to show my distress, then a stumble or two coupled with a slow and vulnerable fall down an unforgiving abyss and drenched in my sorrows.

But now that I am dubbed a sinner and publicly disgraced by the community, I will attempt the opposite. As my muscles unfreeze and grow limber under the heat, I shall squat slowly and cast darting glances over the edge.  Despite my readiness to leave this world, I will hold still.  A final act of defiance against their totalitarian, dystopian governance.  So I wait, let the viewers grow gnawingly bored and annoyed, let the ratings slip just enough to have the operators skip a heartbeat.  Then when my testament to freedom--true freedom, not the advertised Freedom--stretches long enough, I determinedly will brace myself for the fall and impact.  With a short skip over the edge and a salute to those before me, I shall drop speedily and faster still. A sharp jab may penetrate my lung and blood,  pouring as I fall in response.

Falling and flailing, I must think of the martyrs who preceded me and those who will inevitably come after.  None of us have ever nor will ever sway individuals’ alignment with the Leaders.  But this is not what we fight for; rather, we seek the emancipation of openly condemning you and all that you stand for.  I amsure that if they were around, my heroic predecessors would all avow the vindicating liberation felt in being relieved of your wrath.  But I am here now.  I tell you that if you have any contrition regarding your ethical sins in the name of their policies, join me in this frightful, joyful release.  Have no fear of ramifications for death, for death will be the most soothing of sensations.

Celebration jets should circle overhead with their smoke tails ready to ignite the parties that will follow later on that night.  I pay no heed; rather, I might flip myself over and stare embracingly at the fast-approaching ground and my certain death.  My plump arms shall outstretch as I welcome my fate, loudspeakers booming as operators deliberately lift the sound barrier from my enclosed chamber so that the last words I hear are propaganda. I turn myself again. The blood trail from my wound I hope forms a neat spiral, a pattern which I imagine being magnified in high-quality for all to enjoy voyeuristically on their monitors.

And I surely make contact with a mighty thud.  Blood will cover my face, but I know that I will be already passed. My corpse will be shown statewide on the largest of  monitors. Don’t shed a false tear for I know you are their biggest supporter.  Even before you are mine, even after the rapport we had that I must have conjured in my head.  My dear, if only you understood their lies. What they did to me.  How they did it. My death became an inevitable consequence, a punishment that feels to me like a blessing.  Goodbye, my dear.  Know that I have come and gone with purpose and conscience and heart.

The author's comments:

This piece is largely based upon the genre of dystopian novels (i.e. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and 1984 by George Orwell). I have recently finished reading both of the aforementioned novels and found the concept of dystopia to be fascinating. This piece portrays a society in which the ideals of freedom and liberty currently afforded to us all are revoked by the ruling power. I hope this piece will remind us all of the importance of our right to free speech and the necessity of opposing views in a functional society.

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