L.O.G.I.C.

Reality is perfect.

The Citadel is the ideal world. With the five values being soul way of life, supplied to the people through compulsory vaccination and then the ultimate procedure, society runs smoothly and efficiently. The government claim it is the way forward and in this perfect, logical society everyone agrees. That's only logical. On the eve of her sixteenth bithday, Avilon awaits the ultimate procedure, but she's different and she knows it. Soon she discovers why she is set apart from others and what she alone must do to overcome this sinister world.
/for the hidden power competition :) any constructive criticism is welcome please!/

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There is a tall mirror at the end of the hall in my house. It stands alone, the only object on that wall, throwing back the sight of our pokey, whitewash living space. I like to sit opposite it and watch. Observe my family in the clear reflection, as they stride purposefully from room to room, never detecting my presence. Why would they? I’m wasting time; being idle. It’s illogical.

My mother flits efficiently around the house, her model mind and focused train of thoughts directing her in daily life. Nothing distracts or hinders her perfect performance as she completes her tasks in a methodical manner. Something that is the way of society now.

When they pass me, I savour the thrill of being undetected, even though I sit in plain sight. But it’s not plain if L.O.G.I.C. doesn’t tell you to look there. So they don’t look; because that’s how the world works. Everyone follows certain rules in life, no one can go against them and there are no exceptions. Therefore there is no need to look if it’s not:

L – Logical

O – keeping the Order

G – having Goodwill

I – being Intelligent

C – being Candid

No exceptions. So, in this perfect reality, I shouldn’t be able to sit there and do nothing; I shouldn’t be able to avoid peoples’ senses; I shouldn’t be able to dodge the rules. But I do. Am I an exception?

No – just a malfunction.

After I’m sure that they are all engrossed in their current tasks, I rise and tip-toe furtively towards the mirror. Whilst dodging the dangerous creaking areas of the floor, I study myself as I approach. Meeting my reflected self, we stand eye to eye. I frown a little. The girl in the mirror has a roundish, face and tan skin, but not from the sun. Her raven black hair his pulled back into a severe pony-tail, hanging straight and limp to her hips. Wide, almond shaped eyes of a dull grey, stare curiously at me as her spare upper lip and fuller bottom lip deepen the frown. She’s slight, small and what you might call half “Asian.” But Asia disappeared long ago, with many other ancient lands. Or so we are often informed.

The girl in the mirror is sixteen tomorrow, but – infuriatingly – still looks like a child.

“Avilon,” I hear my name. My mother is calling me in her unassuming, but direct and purpose filled, voice that highlights how focused and consistent she is. The same cannot be said for me.

“Avilon, come and help with dinner,” she tells me and emerges into the hallway. I didn’t expect this and, alarmed, I spring away from the mirror. But it’s too late. She saw me doing what I shouldn’t. Fleetingly, a look of fear scampers across her face before a stern, controlled expression takes its place. She’s smaller than me, my mother, but her eyes are a sharp, stony and piercing grey when she angry. She seems angry now.

I slink towards her with pleading eyes, “I – ,” she cuts me off with a decisive motion of her delicate hand.

“Mirrors are not for egotistical admiration, Avilon,” she chides, though she knows I don’t stand before the glass to admire my scant beauty. To look for any satisfying features on my person would be like looking for a non-existent needle in an eternity of haystacks. Practically impossible.  But plain is fine – if you don’t want to be noticed.

Rigidly, I stand straighter and stride away from the glass, imitating their sound purpose and confidence as I enter the kitchen to chop vegetables like my mind sees that as priority.

*****

Finishing dinner, the full weight and importance of tomorrow suddenly crushes me, causing me to stumble as I clear the table. Plates tumble from my grasp. The floor appears to meet them half way. My father’s, mother’s and brother’s heads whips away from the news being broadcasted on the wall tablet at the sound ceramic smashing into hundreds of worthless shards. They pale chips scatter across the tiles, some hitting my shoed feet. I stare at the destruction.

With the whine of a chair against the floor, my mother rises, rushing to clear my mess.

“Lucky you were wearing shoes,” she mumbles, sweeping around me as I stand uselessly. Cautiously I look up, but instantly regret it. My father looks at me with deep concern etched into his lined face. I started those lines, long ago, when it first became apparent that the five values had no sway on me. He knows there no such thing as “luck”, just me illogically keeping shoes on. Furthermore, he and my brother, Robin, just watched as I hesitated to clean up my mess or help my mother. What could be stranger?

As if snapping out of a trance, I dive to the floor and scramble to help my mother.  But she has already swept the white splinters into a dust pan, and only smiles tightly at me before tossing them in the rubbish shoot.

“Time for bed, I think,” my father states in a conclusive tone – the subject is not up for debate. Robin jumps athletically from his chair and starts towards his room without hesitation. I hurriedly scamper after him, glad to be relieved from the ice cold of the kitchen, hearing the door shut behind me. I pause. The opaque door blocks my view, but I instantly hear the start of a hushed, serious conversation. Then, nothing in the world could stop me from carefully placing my ear against the door; whatever clandestine discussion being held in that room could not be forfeited.

My parents’ voices are muffled but I can still hear roughly what they say.

“…It’s tomorrow, you realise?” my father’s voice rings with ominous gravity.

“Of course I realise, Alan,” my mother whispers back, “but what can we do?” What can they do? What are they talking about?

My mother continues, “You know it will have no effect on her, the boosters never did and you know what they’ll do!” What will who do? I know that “her” is me. Questions ricochet around my skull until my head feels as though it may fracture in multiple places.

It’s true – the boosters never worked. For our society to function, through the five values, people have to be directed. No one’s born perfect. So throughout childhood, the government slowly implants the values into our heads. Method: vaccination. On the years of a child’s second, sixth, tenth and fourteenth birthdays, they receive a series of five vaccines evenly spaced during that year. Each of these vaccines is one of the five values, going in order of course. These stimulate and enhance the brain, teaching and moulding it into the ideal mind. Finally, at sixteen, the child – hopefully less of a child now – undergoes the ultimate procedure, in which their mind becomes completely and utterly focused. They follow L.O.G.I.C. And nothing else.

However I was never changed by the vaccines. They did nothing to stem my strange habits and dissimilar mind. Tomorrow my ultimate procedure will take place.

The conversation carries on…

“We cannot be certain they will take that course of action.” My father tells my mother, but I can taste the pungent disbelief in his own word from here. What is that“course of action”?

“Oh, Alan, let’s not fool around,” her voice has become breathy and high, “it’s only correct to do so, it is not logical or intelligent or good or ... to do otherwise.” I feel sick. Sick to my core and my head is too full of endless possibilities. I don’t belong.

 I lean against the metal door, desperate for support.

There is a significant silence. I know I should walk away, because there are some things that it is better not to know. If I needed to be hearing the conversation, I would be in that room with them. But I can’t leave. As the silence continues, I can’t seem to take a breath.

“If the ultimate procedure results in termination, we must accept it,” my father’s voice does not stumble as he says these words. Termination. The sinister word clouds my vision and constricts my throat. Termination. The end has never been clearer. Termination. In the ideal society malfunctions must be dealt with.

From inside kitchen I hear the choked sob of my mother and suddenly I’m gasping for air. Frantically, I back away from the door, not wanting to waste another second. I turn and flee from the fear that tries to paralyze me. I have to get away. But I can’t… Blundering into the hall I’m met by the girl in the mirror. She’s going to be terminated, for something she can’t control. How many others, I wonder, have also and will also have their life line severed. Is there anyone else?

She looks scared, fragile and pathetic. Trembling, with wide, frightened eyes. It’s her fault – I hate her.

Suddenly, she’s the enemy and I charge towards her. Simultaneously, she races towards me in a blind fury. Now she looks strong, ferocious and absolutely crazy.

When we collide the world gives way and the “perfect” reality shatters around us.

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