Monday, August 1, 2011

The Colony

The Colony

As I entered slumber and felt the last remains of the day slip away I traveled to another part of the galaxy and awoke inside a man much like me on a planet much like ours.

Colonized thousands of year before my arrival, the colony resembled our planet in most every way.

But…there was simplicity to the society, a trust in fellow, and a beauty you would have to drive far to witness on our own great organic spaceship.

And yet, there were metropolitan holes, the number of which would compliment our own patches of rustic beauty.

All of this I sensed right away, like entering a movie and being able to distinguish the mood from the outset, if created by a superior director.

This colony had a superior director.

A group of men and women called, simply The Council ran the world and dictated the rules of society and the happy colony followed in step, as happy people not accustomed to unhappiness will do.

But I also sensed a great secret. Something of a dread that reflected the general happiness like an object and shadow.

As weeks went by I became accustomed to my new body and the world I lived, and yet the dread never left me.

As time went on, I learned of the rules of the society and some of them didn’t fit well with my own understanding of how a good society works.

For instance, there was a curfew at sundown that was strictly enforced. I say enforced only in a loose sense as no one dared to break it and, therefore, no one enforced it. And any chance to was quickly diminished by the prescribed dose of what I could feel to be large amounts of sedative.

And there were two other cracks in the fa├žade: an absolute horror of touching the ground and a pilgrimage at the age of forty to some unknown other colony on another world.

Let me explain, the ground wasn’t verboten; it was only the natural ground. Inhabitants were made to walk, commute, and travel only by sidewalks, roads, bridges, etc.

The pilgrimage struck me as odd as the men and women leaving would leave behind all friends and family (strict breeding laws left all their children at the age of twenty) and this was all accepted as providence.

As time went on the dread and the longing for my own world and the next day to meet me drove me to break a law and I found what I had dreaded for so long.

As the sun went down, I left my wife and children sleeping and ventured out into the night.

Upon leaving the home, I heard the most awesome crackling noise and looked around to find the entire plain in front of home moving.

Thinking the sedative had worn off, I walked down the path and across a bridge.

Half way across the bridge the most terrible feeling of a stick running up and down my leg jarred me and had only a moment to look over the bridge and find a very large insect, the size of a hyena, trundling under the bridge.

I turned and broke into a sprint back to the home.

The moving around me began to get frenzied and realized in horror that the insects were everywhere.

I opened the unlocked door (no one locked their door) and lie awake inside my dream, inside the colony trying to find a way back to my home.

The next day I attended a ward meeting and explained what I had saw.

My story was accepted with large smiles and dismissal.

That night, the feeling of claustrophobia and horror left me as I took the strong sedative and dosed off.

The next morning I decided to take my wife’s pills. Then I ventured into the neighborhood and entered homes and explained that I was here by The Council to take their drugs too.

By the end of the day I had the majority of the neighborhood’s drugs, with not one complaint from the neighbors.

Then the sun down.

Terrific screams filled the neighborhood as people looked from their windows, in their insomnia, at the moving ground.

The bugs seemed to only come out at night.

Having been satisfied with my wholesale awakening of the neighborhood, I took a sedative, also giving one to my wife and went to bed.

“It got her.” It was my neighbor. It was early morning and I had awaken to the pounding on the door.

“What got who?” I asked groggily.

“A bug got my daughter.” She left the sidewalk and went on the…the…ground. She was digging when a black head came from inside the hole and…

The people began to add up at my door and their stories varied in degrees of god awful, and I soon began to loathe my decision to free them.

On the other hand, it explained the other rule and I fixed my mind in figuring out what the last rule of pilgrimage meant.

I gave the neighbors their drugs back, but some refused and every day after they would show up on my doorstep and preach to the others about the lies of the government and my sainthood for saving them.

With my ego stroked thoroughly, and a happy diversion from the guilt of being remarkably close to the mass homicide of the neighborhood, I vowed to my followers to get to the bottom of the pilgrimage.

By the end of the week we had banded together and followed a pilgrimage up a large hill and as the smiling 40 year olds were thrown into a pit of bugs for the rent on the land, I thought back to my own world and woke up sweating.

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