The present future – a short story

The rocking at first was gentle. It only sent me deeper and deeper into sleep. Then the motion grew aggressive. Finally, I opened my eyes. The wall sought out the point of focus of my eyes and formed the image of a clock there. It was a clock with numbers. I never learnt how to read clock hands. No one expected me to. The world around us changed to our level of perception. Everyone grew up as the birthing tubes made them.
The clock said ten. Reading my mind, the player put out some music. It was soothing. The walls knew what I wanted. The walls always knew my tastes. It was all in the system, desires, thoughts, actions – all appended, calibrated and fine-tuned. It was a super-efficient system that thought for you. Instructions on what I had to do would play in my mind. There was no need to think, no wasting of time. The system thought for me. Life in the thirty-first century was easy.

Memoirs of a failed escape attempt

I tried to squeeze through the gap as the gates closed. But the attendants were quicker and grabbed me. I was trapped. I cried, begged but no one seemed to care. I looked around me and found that I was not the only one trying to escape. Others were crying their guts out, but no one seemed to care.
At a distance, I saw a black shape floating towards me. It was covered from head to toe in black but had a white circle around the face. As it came near me, I realized that it was a woman.
She came near and grabbed my hand. I tried to pull free, but her grip was firm.
“Come now, don’t try to resist. Today is your first day in kindergarten and marks the beginning of a new chapter in your life. Proper education and guidance will turn all of you into fine young citizens! ” She said as she dragged me yelling and screaming behind her.

A new student – a short story

“Now repeat after me, A for Apple, ” said the teacher. The children repeated after him. Some were half asleep, others not exactly sure why they were parroting whatever their teacher said. The teacher’s eyes swept across his students. He had already checked the roll call for the day. All the students were present. Thirty students in a class. Six benches in all, each with five students.
“B for ball,” he said, and this time his students needed no prompting. As he walked to the back of the class, his eyes gazed at the fields at a distance. For a second. he remembered his childhood. He remembered how he had worked in the paddy fields during the day. He had completed his education by attending night school.
As he reached closer to the window, he said,” C for ?” He looked all around, but not a single child in the class responded.
“Cat. ” he heard a faint voice from outside the class. Surprised, he poked his head outside the window. He saw the school bus driver seated below his window, legs folded, a notebook in his lap and writing the alphabets.
“What are you doing there?” said the teacher.
The driver got up and apologized.
“I wanted to learn how to read and write.”
“What for?” said the teacher,” You already have a job.”
“Some of the traffic signs are in English….”
The teacher thought about it and then said.
“Ok, join the class. Sit on the last bench. I do not want you obstructing the view of the children.”
The driver smiled.
The teacher continued,” This does not mean you get to skip your day job. and you will also have to appear for the exams.”
The bus driver came in and occupied the last seat in the class. The children began laughing as they saw the tall bus driver adjust himself on the bench. He joined them in the laughter.
“D for ?” the teacher continued.