by Zackery Humphreys
Hundreds of years into the future, mankind has gone under ground to relocate to the beautiful city of Epsilon. Epsilon is run by a strong, secretive government that keeps its citizens in check by subtle manipulation and strict schedules. No one questions its authority and no one is unhappy. ALN-896, an average man who is just trying to live a normal life, begins to have dreams; something strange and rare in Epsilon. In his dreams, he meets a man named Harry and everything is fine- until Harry dies. When ALN-896 wakes up, he shrugs it off as if nothing has happened. It was only a dream. But then the next day, he is suddenly arrested and sent to prison for killing Harry, whom ALN-896 assumed was just a figment of his imagination. Now inside prison, ALN-896 begins to learn about everything the government of Epsilon has been doing and he plans on escaping. Not only from prison, but from Epsilon. This one decision turns him against everything he has ever known and forces him to face against centuries of lies. To escape means to live. But what will it cost?
A black-and-white tie...----
Thoughts froze within his mind. Spit bubbled through his pursed lips.
ALN-896 finally managed to pull away from the exposed wire. He fell to the ground and wiped away the spit dribbling down his cheek. His heart raced, and sweat poured down his body.
That was the most painful sensation he had ever experienced.
I never should have grabbed that wire...
ALN-896 stood up slowly and looked around. No one saw what had just happened. He was alone on the desolate stretch of Simov Street.
Fortunately, I did not get hurt.
Instead of continuing, he decided to get back into his car and let a nice cup of tea calm him.
From the center console of the car, green tea was automatically dispensed into a cup. He let the liquid slide down his throat, easing every muscle that had tensed. He melted into his plush seat as he let his mind come to a halt. Then the silence was interrupted by a robotic voice. “ALN- 896, your vitals are irregular. Is everything all right?”
“Everything is fine. I went to inspect one of the house's trashcans as I was instructed to, but I noticed an exposed wire on the ground. I went to cover it back up when it...”
ALN-896 wasn't quite sure what had actually happened when he touched the wire. He hadn’t been electrocuted, but something strange had occurred. The only thing he could get out of the experience was that he had seen a black-and-white tie floating in the darkness behind his closed eyelids. Nothing surrounded it, but he knew it had been attached to a body. One he hadn’t been able see, but one he knew existed somewhere within the black.
“When it...,” ALN-896 stumbled. “When it shocked me,” he lied.
“Your job still needs to be completed. You still need to inspect the trashcans for Monday's workday. After your tea, you need to continue.”
“Yes, I understand.”
Zackery Alexander Humphreys is a Novelist, Actor and Poet who occasionally dabbles in Screen Writing and Play Writing.