Belborough is the town that I’m extremely lucky to live in. Everyone is perfect in every single way, not only the people who live in the town, but also the town itself is perfect. The citizens of Belborough have no birth defects, serious illnesses, learning disabilities, and no extra limbs, etc. I know that some people say “nothing is perfect” but I like to believe that our town is. An example of this perfection is that we recycle. There isn’t a speck of garbage on our beautiful streets. Our town is located on the coast, and has the best leader we could ever wish for named Vincent Lewis. When I say leader, I mean dictator, but in our town, we like to stray from this word because it leads to biases. By saying “dictator”, people will automatically think that our dictator only cares about power and is ignorant and evil. However, our leader is the opposite. He is the nicest person I have ever met and is the sole reason why our town is the way it is. I thank him everyday for this.
My name is Jacob, Jacob Johnson. I am a proud citizen of Belborough, the proudest citizen I would like to think. Nobody loves our town more than I do. Most people don’t get along with their siblings but I’m so lucky to get along with my six year old sister… even though I’m 18. The day my parents told me I was going to have a sister was the happiest day of my life. My sister and I love each other and are very close, never in my life would I want to hurt her. When I was young, I used to dream of having a sibling. I carried around a doll and called it my sister. I was ten at the time, so everyone referred to me as “gay” for owning a doll. My parents didn’t like this because there are no gay people allowed in our town. They took the doll away from me immediately. Then when I was fifteen years old, they still had the fear that I was gay, so they practically forced me to date a girl in my class named, Anna. There is nothing wrong with Anna, she is kind and absolutely stunning. It's just that I think she likes me more than I like her and I think that is unfair. My parents would kill me if I broke up with her, so we have been dating for 3 years now. You still might be wondering if I am gay or not and honestly I don’t know. I find that society puts too much pressure on a person to decide. Even if I was gay, I wouldn’t tell a soul or else terrible things would happen to me and my family would probably never talk to me again. I wouldn’t want this because one of my biggest fears is letting them down. Our leader says that gay people are against God’s wishes so there shall not be gay citizens of a town that is extremely religious. Citizens of our town trust everything that our leader says; it is almost like we are under a spell. Especially when our leader gives speeches like he is going to do in a couple days.
Everyday is the same in this town. I wake up, eat breakfast, go to school, return home, go to my daily tennis lesson, do homework, eat dinner, read or watch television and then I go to bed. I also try to go for a walk everyday because it gives me joy. When I feel the wind in my face, my feet moving step by step on the ground, I feel like I don’t have a care in the world. Every bad thought I have drifts away and it gives me a time to think and observe the beautiful nature around me. One morning, I decided to go for a walk. I love going for walks in the morning because I get to see the rays of sunlight rising over the horizon and no one is awake yet. The thing is that in order to do this, I have to tiptoe down the stairs, only making the tiniest knock against our hardwood floor. Then I put on my shoes and leave making sure that I close the door so lightly that it only makes the tightest squeak.
Today I felt adventurous, so I decided to go off the normal walking path I usually take and go into the forest. The forest was so beautiful. Sunlight shimmered through the tall trees and birds were chirping so happily. There were a variety of flowers, all shapes and colors, and so I placed my hand on a beautiful red rose that was more vibrant than all the others. I looked at my watch and realized that I had been walking for almost an hour now, I totally lost track of time. In that moment, I realized that I had to turn back, but there was one slight problem. I didn’t know which way to turn. I was lost. I couldn’t believe it. I guess that my adventurous feelings must have got the best of me. I decided that I would just start walking around. I walked for hours and hours but still couldn’t find my home. All I could think about is what my family would be feeling right now. I knew that they would probably be worried sick and disappointed that I am missing church, I never miss church. The only thing that kept me going is the smell of the fresh air and flowers that smelled better than the finest perfume money can buy.
As I walked on and on, my ears caught a sound of voices. This was strange because I didn’t think that I was anywhere close to being back to town. My eyes lit up and the corners of my mouth moved upwards. I looked at my feet, they started moving faster and faster. The sound seemed to be coming nearer and nearer. I kept running. I ran until the voices were so loud that it was almost like they were shouting. I jumped over a rock and climbed through a bush and what I saw wasn’t our town. It was something quite peculiar. My jaw dropped and I was completely speechless out of shock. I saw a castle, a beautiful castle, made of the finest stone. The castle had vines hanging down with beautiful red flowers growing off of the vines. What was a bit strange about this castle was that there was a huge electric fence surrounding it. It reminded me of high tech prison fence. Although, how would I know what a real prison fence looked like because in our town there is no need for a prison, considering the fact that everyone does what they are supposed to do. I have only read of one. I couldn’t help but move closer and closer, I had an appetite for knowledge. I kept walking until I was basically at the fence.
Looking in through the fence I saw many weird things. I saw a man and another man kissing which I knew was strictly disapproved of in Belborough. Clearly, I wasn’t in Belborough anymore. I also saw a boy with an extra toe; I thought I was dreaming. I even pinched myself but nothing worked because this was actually happening in real life. A little girl came to the fence. She didn’t look or talk like me. She talked with a lisp. Her eyes were almond shaped and slanted upwards. She had small ears and a big neck. She didn't have much of a nose bridge and had a low muscle tone. She seemed about my sister’s age. The gears in my brain were spinning faster than ever before. A million thoughts came to mind. Why does this castle seem like a prison? What are these people doing here? The girl and I were just looking at each other for a while. I could tell that she was confused because the wrinkles in her face popped out and she was scratching her head. I don’t know why she was confused because I don’t look like an alien; whereas she does. Suddenly words came out of her mouth.
She said with a lisp, “Wh-who are you”?.
“Um uh. I’m Jacob. From Belborough, the town a few miles back. Who are you?”
“I’m Alice. I’m from here. I mean I guess I’m from here because I can’t go out.”
“Why?” I said very shocked.
“I don’t really know. I have a disease called Down Syndrome. At least that is what I've been told and because of it, they won’t let me out. They won’t let any of the other people in here out either.”
I was just completely shocked, I tried to get words to come out of my mouth but instead, only air came out. When I finally did speak, I said, “Surely our leader, Vincent Lewis wouldn’t let this-”
She interrupted me and said, “We’re different, everyone who lives here. B-b-but we have one thing in common. He’s the man who put us here.”
At that moment I felt as if my whole life had been a lie. I thought our leader was a fair and good man but he is the opposite. He is a dictator. A cruel, evil dictator who locked all these people away, like they weren’t even humans at all.
I said to Alice, “I have to go…. but I promise I’ll come back and let you out of here.”
She smiled and said, “Okay.”
I started walking back. While I was trying to find my way back home, thoughts kept rushing into my mind. What if my little sister was different like Alice? She would have been taken away and put in that place against her will. It was too scary to think about, so I had to stop myself.
I kept walking. Suddenly, everything looked familiar. I realized that I was close to home. I saw the variety of flowers in all shapes and colors. I saw the tall trees and birds that were chirping so happily. I started knowing where I was going and before I knew it was at my doorstep shaking with fear. Then, I saw my parents with disappointed, happy, and worried looks on their faces all at the same time.
“Jacob. You missed Church. Where have you been?” My father asked angrily.
My mother added “We were worried sick.”
I said “I went for my morning walk but went off track and was lost for a while but I found my way back.”
My mom said, “This better not happen again.”
My father nodded his head and agreed.
I knew I was going to have to disobey my parents if I was going to help the people who were locked up because of their differences and I had a plan in mind. Tomorrow was the day when our leader- I mean dictator, was going to give a speech, like he does every month. I knew that I had to do something to try to overthrow him and expose him for all of the awful things he has done. I decided I was going to go to bed early because I knew that tomorrow was going to be a very enormous day.
I woke up ready to overthrow Vincent Lewis. I was so angry just thinking about him, I tried to blow off some steam but nothing worked. I just squeezed my hand into a fist to hold in my uncontrollable anger. My family and I went to the place where he was going to give his speech and that's when my plan begun. I was to sneak backstage with a gun in hand.
In the middle of Vincent's speech, I went on stage, and pulled the trigger. There Vincent laid. Dead. In that moment, I felt guilty and I froze. Everyone in the audience was shocked. My family was the most shocked of them all. They just stood and stared at me. Everyone was confused about why I, of all people, would shoot Vincent Louis. I heard the murmurs.
“Why would he do this?”
“He is crazy.”
“Is he gonna shoot us next?”
Everyone was asking the same questions in their minds. I didn’t have time to further explain myself to them, so I ran and kept running until I was at the castle. I dug a hole under the electric fence, so I could climb under. I sprinted past all the people inside who looked confused but hopeful. That was when I saw a sign for the control room. I hurried in and turned off the electric fence and opened the locked doors. Everyone was able to escape. It was chaos but I was happy because I let everyone free. Alice appeared with a huge smile on her face within the huge crowd of people running free.
She ran up to me and said, “Thank you” and gave me a hug. That made me feel no guilt for doing what I did.