By Rebecca Braun.
The teacher, Mr. Phate, droned on about ancient human remains found on planet earth in a place called Florida around 2015, and my eyelids began to flutter from boredom and lack of sleep. My head began nodding forward, then back against the leather collar around my neck. A sudden flash of pain surged through my body up to my brain, and I was jolted back to an upright position in my chair, my eyes facing forward looking into the eyes of Mr. Phate.
The teacher gave me a sadistic grin as he flipped a switch on the control board on his desk. My body convulsed, and my eyeballs felt as if they were popping out of my skull.
“Just a reminder, Mr. Pawn, to stay alert and take notes on the lecture today.”
“Yes, sir,” I replied. Mr. Phate continued his lengthy speech.
In the back of the room, Hyper Harold began clicking his nails on the top of his desk and hitting the underside of the desk with his knees, lifting the desk off the floor and letting it fall loudly on the tile. I could hear the plastic tubes of his Ritalin methamphetamine IV drip slapping against his body. Mr. Phate flipped a switch on the control board, and Harold gurgled as he foamed slightly at the mouth. The noise stopped.
“Our planet’s history is similar to earth, but our societal laws differ greatly. History of bones, religions, and cultures has taught us there is no humane way to control humans or animals. We truly believe in “survival of the fittest”, and those who rebel, break our laws, or want to act as individuals against the survival of the group will be punished or killed,” said Mr. Phate. “You will quickly learn to adapt and conform, or your fate will be dismal. It is best you learn this early in life. This will ensure your productivity for our society to thrive and grow stronger. Waste of anything, especially time and money, is forbidden.”
“But, Mr Phate, don’t we need some creativity and personal dreams to improve our technology and give us some pleasure?” asked Wise Wendy, two seats to my right.
“Who filled your head with such nonsense?” he angrily replied. A circular hologram was spun toward Wendy, as Mr. Phate flipped another switch. It had the face of a demon, and it floated in front of her spewing vomit in her face. Wendy took a tissue from her pocket and wiped away the chunks of barf clinging to her cheeks. She continued on, as if the hologram wasn’t there.
“Intelligent life requires imagination and free thinking to invent new ideas for the future, wouldn’t you agree?” The demon hologram began circling her head and spewing more vomit all over her desk and clothes. “How can we survive without love and individual differences that set us apart from the crowd? How can we turn our backs on beauty and wonder?”
“Shut up, Wendy. You know what will happen,” whispered the girl next to her.
The hologram was spinning out of control, and Mr. Phate stood up in a fit of rage. He slammed his fist on a large red button on the control panel. There was a sound like a cannon shot, and Wendy’s head was blown off her body.
Everyone in the classroom sat up straight in their chairs. The air was thick with silent energy. Three custodians appeared and quickly cleaned up the mess, carrying Wendy’s headless body out of the room.
“Does anyone else have anything more to add to this conversation?” asked Mr. Phate. No one answered. “Now, let’s move on to the glorious fallacy of God in our culture.”
My thoughts turned to earth, and the fate of an extinct humanity. The leather collar around my neck was suffocating me, and I desperately needed a drink of water. I swallowed hard and returned my attention to the teacher. These were lessons I needed to learn.
Rebecca Braun grew up in Minnesota and now resides in St. Paul, with her loyal border collie, May. They enjoy long walks and snowshoeing in the winter. Becky believes her writing inspiration comes through walking a spiritual path and being open to the universe. In her first life, she taught music for more than twenty years. Now, she is pursuing her second life and passion, writing. Visit her at www.facebook.com/aeternalumen.