Read This Instead Of Studying For Your Finals

Read This Instead Of Studying For Your Finals

Just a little story for your study break

I SCUFFLED ACROSS the road towards my fate. Whether or not I would be persecuted for my actions remained to be seen. There were no cars entering my city, and for good reason.

Once you got in, you couldn’t get out.

It was right smack-dab in the thick of the night; no one would venture out unless they had somewhere to be. The dangers of being caught were not too high. I was completely alone. No cars hurriedly departed from the city either; they were too smart for that. Anyone who tried to leave would be imprisoned. No one dared take that chance. I had tried on too many occasions, I recalled, looking back on the path from which I came. I managed to cross a brook, pass through an aristocrat’s perfectly landscaped back lawn, and over the only highway in Barrens, my home city, all without being caught.

Barrens was anything but what its name sounded like. Since the old days, the small village had flourished and grown into a very sophisticated and orderly civilization. The city was pristine; citizens managed to get along well with one another or not at all; there was no crime. It was the perfect vision of a utopian society. At least, that was what the brainwashed locals thought. I was a local, born Barren and bred Barren, but I wasn’t blind to their schemes. The city board was up to something. Had been for at least thirty-three years, perhaps longer, but that was all the memory stored up in my family.

I lived with my great grandmother, who, up until recently, lived a perfectly normal life. She told me stories of the olden days, before we were forced to wear masks straight out of the womb. How life wasn’t always this way; people didn’t always live in fear, or so she said. When the board found out she was putting these so-called “lies” in my head, they locked my poor Grandma Harmony away in an insane asylum known as The Edgar Allen Poe Home for the Deranged, what others in school referred to as the Wasteland. No one knew exactly what happened to the patients in the hospital but it was common knowledge that whoever went in was changed forever. Every case was different, however. One girl in my seventh-grade class told us that her mother was committed into the asylum and when she came to visit her, after just one week of treatment, her mother had no idea who this girl was. Others said they replaced the patients’ brains with chicken brains, but we were children when we spread those rumors, none of us ever thought we would be put in there or someone we loved. I didn’t know it then but it would soon become more relevant to my own life than I realized.

That was the reason for my excursion this evening. I needed to plead for my grandmother’s safe return one more time. The past attempts failed miserably. Neither jury nor board of executives would listen to a seventeen-year-old girl who hadn’t even gotten her “new face” yet – what the superiors called the one act of kindness towards us undesirables was giving them a new face. As long as I was trapped behind my mask, I would not be heard. I was tipped by a friend at school that the “privileged” were having a party in Madame Budrow’s, one of the board members, exquisite mansion. Only those without masks were invited, as were all social events.

There was a share few of us – the ones forced to wear masks to guard our supposed hideous faces – a race, if you will, of people with some phenotypic gene that was passed down hereditarily giving us grotesque, shockingly repulsive appearances; a race that was cut off from the rest of the divine society. The unmasked individuals got better jobs, were respected, and had more liberties than the masked folk, my people. No one questioned it. We weren’t supposed to question anything the superiors did. People accepted it long ago. We weren’t to be associated with, according to the law, the one Madame Budrow helped to establish. But I just had to get in. All of the board members would be in attendance; surely one of them would listen to my plea.

I slid along the brick side of the Budrow Manor. My head circled around as I checked the perimeter. No sign of anyone anywhere. I let out a sigh of relief. That meant a: no one would see me sneaking around, and b: no one would be getting arrested tonight. All the masked citizens had a curfew. Anyone caught out of bed after nine o’clock was to be severely punished. Jail had been abolished many years before my birth. Now, the punishment was much worse; it lengthened the amount of time one of my people were to wear our masks, which – I was sure – were far more gruesome than our actual facades. But how was I to know? I had never seen my true face before.

Two superiors climbed up the majestic stone steps and rang the Budrow doorbell. I examined them closely. I never understood what was so great about them. The woman was thin; she had curves in all the right places. Her hair was a reddish gold that stretched down to her backside in long, straight locks without any stray hairs, kinks, or imperfections in sight. Her skin was flawless, reflecting a soft, golden tan that glowed under the porch’s chandelier light. The man, however, had light blonde hair that feathered out perfectly – none like any boy’s I had ever seen. All the masked boys I knew had tousled, wild hair that hardly ever stayed in place. The next thing I knew, the large doors opened, the guests faces lit up, and they glided with effortless grace of a superior inside.

The time was now.

I hurried around the corner and up the steps. I squeezed behind the couple through the doorway. The grand hall was extravagant. Dozens of superiors lined the marbled floors. A classical string quartet’s music echoed throughout the room. The unmasked people were laughing and dancing without a care in the world, just the way they handled everything. I instantly felt all eyes on me, when in reality no one was giving me a second thought.

That is, until one of the Budrow’s security guards noticed my presence. I watched him start over to me. My eyes widened underneath my mask and I ducked out the door. I ran as fast as I could, careful not to step on any of the superior’s lawns or any sidewalk triggers that would alert the authorities that an undesirable was out of bed. The sprinklers on what I was sure to be the Ysons’ lawn switched on, barely pelting me with stinging water droplets. I dashed out of the superiors’ secluded subdivision and came upon the undesirable neighborhood.

It was like stepping back in time. The flawless paved walkways turned into dusty roads leading to rows of shack-like houses all scrunched together on the left and right sides of the strip. The cameras watching the every movement of the citizens disappeared with the modernized look. Here in the Plum Downs, we could be ourselves. We still could not remove our masks – they were specially ‘glued’ onto our skin – but we could live what would be seemingly normal lives. Not a soul roamed the street, and only three shacks had lights on. On the left side of the street, I noticed my lowly shack’s yellow lights were flickering on and off.

That was my signal.

Popular Right Now

Poetry On Odyssey: Self Love

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball

Self-love is the best kind of love

for you are yours

before anyone else

Nourish your mind

and feed your soul

thrive off the energy

the universe has to offer.

Always remember the

purpose and importance

you have in this world

and all the beautiful things

you have to offer.

Cover Image Credit: Aziz Acharki

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Why I Love Scary Movies

Everyone has a favorite movie genre, mine just happens to be the scary ones.

Movies are some of the greatest pieces of art in our modern day and age.

They can evoke all kinds of emotions, come in a ridiculous number of genres, and are just a damn good time. For me, no movies will ever match the experience of watching good horror movies. Sure, there are a ton of movies that I like watching more than horror movies. I would never go so far as to say that a horror movie was in my top 5, top ten, even top 20 movies of all time..but let me tell ya, something about the atmosphere and experience when watching horror movies just hits the spot with me.

The best way to watch a horror movie, as we all should know, is in a theater. The atmosphere is unmatched by any at-home viewing experience. The knowledge that you and many others are all sitting in the dark, waiting with baited breath for the next scare is electrifying.The size of the screen and the way-too-high volume mixed with the sound of people around you screaming at every jump scare is just incredible. But, for me, it goes beyond just that.

A lot of what makes scary movies so much fun for me is that incredible, heart-pounding, fight-or-flight adrenaline rush that I get almost every time I watch one. Don't get me wrong, I get scared very easily. I jump and hold my breath and hide just like everyone else, but something about that terror-high just makes it all worthwhile. Maybe I'm just an adrenaline junkie, but nothing gets the heart pumping quite like a nice little bit of fear. Hell, I'm terrified of clowns and I went to see Stephen King's IT by myself! I thought that maybe it'd help cure my fear of clowns, but no, its still just as bad as its ever been.

Watching scary movies with your significant other is also always a bonus. One of the best ways to score brownie points with them is to hold on to them while they're scared and put up with their antics after the movie as well. And don't be afraid to show a little fear around them too. Acting like a big bad tough guy is overrated, they'll appreciate it way more if you show a little humanity and emotion and get spooked just like everyone else.

Horror Movies for the win.

Cover Image Credit: werner22brigitte

Related Content

Facebook Comments