Perfectxia

What if our obsession with perfection became a disease? Priss Krien lives in a dystopian world where society is infected by a mental disease that makes everyone obsessed with being perfect - only she's not. One of the methods society uses is to embody one person as the ‘ideal’ citizen. However, when the original ‘ideal’ dies, what will become of this world striving so badly for perfection? And how will Priss realise the dark secrets of the disease?

[you can read this thing on wattpad, where I update frequently.]

www.wattpad.com/story/5190572-perfectxia-watty-awards-2013


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1. Perfectxia

PROLOGUE

Ideal

/īˈdē(ə)ʟ/

Adjective

Satisfying one's concept of what is perfect.

Noun (Revised)

A person who is the brief guideline of how a citizen should be like in society.

-          From the 3000th edition of the oxford dictionary

▧▧▧

When my mother gasps, there’s just something about her eyes that sparks that sinking, drowning feeling in me.

“What’s wrong with you?” my grandmother is the first to respond, sounding a little rude even if she never means it – it’s like second nature to her, and all of us have gotten used to her constant snappy remarks. I mean, she’s grandma, after all.

I swear that that split second of dead, frozen silence is probably the worst part of my day. And when my mother finally replies, it’s like the world has stopped spinning.

“She’s dead.”

Those two words. Two syllables. A bigger-than-life devastation. I don’t even bother thinking before I speak now.

“Dead?” I blurt out, unable to comprehend. It’s definitely not true. But no one answers me, because the air in our house is tense now.

My father doesn’t comment on our conversation. Instead, he strides over to the television and switches it on sturdily, but even I can sense his usual robustness wavering. In fact, I don’t think it’s because he doesn’t want to comment on what we are talking about. It’s because he has nothing to say.

All four of us immediately shift over to the couch in front of the television and set ourselves down on it. That’s when I notice how shaky my mother is, her face paler than chalk as we barely scrape through the antagonising wait for the news channel to switch on.

And when the lights flicker on, I don’t know what to expect.

Aria Bez, the famous, bespectacled, black-haired beauty (also known as the news reporter), sits tightly on her chair in the bright newsroom. But it’s not that. It’s her face scares me because it’s a morbid mixture of shock and stress. Kind of like when you’re being pelted with rocks and set on fire at the same time.

When she finally speaks, it takes me by surprise.

“Dear citizens, the news has just broken. Salenne Rillen, our beloved ‘ideal’, has passed away at the tender age of twenty-six. Tributes to her have been pouring in, as dedicated fans from all around the nation mourn her sudden, shocking death that no one could have anticipated.”

I’m pretty damn sure than news reporters are supposed to sound perfect and monotone, and Aria usually does a good job with that. However, it seems like today is sort of like one of her exceptions.

Before anyone can react, the footage transitions into a dark, cryptic video of a murky, brown slab in some desolate, muddy field. What hits me is the amount of red blood splattered everywhere, looking like someone has split ten cans of scarlet pain all over the ground.

And the other thing that hits me is that it’s not paint. It’s blood.

Right at that moment, I make out the figure. I finally make out the blonde, pretty ideal. Or her body, at least, sprawled on the ground in a foetal position.

Oh bloody fudge. I turn away from the sight as soon as I begin to understand what’s going on, and it’s not just me who’s irked.

“No no no no no…” my mother begins to mutter to herself in denial. But she can’t live in denial forever. One day the truth will catch up with you.

She gets up abruptly, jolting right out of her seat and standing frigid as she grasps the window sill for support. I watch as she breathes in slowly, trying to calm herself down.  

I’m certain my grandma mumbles something to herself at the time. Something that sounds oddly like a string of profanities. Well, maybe I’m just hearing things. Grandma will always be this mysterious woman, anyway.

And my father? He just seems blank as a sheet of paper. Totally unreadable.

Then, my eyes get drawn to the clip of bloody Salenne on the television again like iron to a magnet. But no, I have to stop watching it. It’s disgusting. Revolting. Wrong. She’s honestly gone, and I’ve got to stop looking back.

Dead. The one word that means the end.

Dead. The one word that can put a stop to everything.

Dead. Also, the one word that can change everything.

Do I feel sad? It’s a good question to ask myself. Of course I feel sad – it’s an automatic human reaction. But sad enough? Erm, I don’t know. I’m more shaken and rocked, like I’ve been slammed by a brick wall.

And in that moment, a shudder creeps down my back like a spider scurrying down a wall.

▧▧▧

I walk upstairs alone, switching on the lights of each room as I pass, my fingers fumbling in the dark for the switch because I’m scared of walking in the dark – at least for tonight. I still can't connect the words. Damn damn damn. I feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin at the sound of almost anything.

Dead.

Six feet under.

Gone.

Then, underneath my bed, I hear the tape recording that we have to play at night sometimes in order to get a subliminally positive outlook in life – or at least that’s what the government says so.

“Perfection is the best thing humankind can achieve.”

“Perfection is the best thing humankind can achieve.”

“Perfection is the best thing humankind can achieve.”

We’ve got the listen to every single rule the government sets, don’t we?

It repeats again and again, and is already burned into the back of my consciousness because of the number of times I have heard it. Seriously. Living with a tape recording every night probably isn’t good for me mental health, and tonight something in me just wants to take it out from under the bed and crush it to smithereens. My mood isn’t being very tame.

For some reason, the night seems darker than usual, owls hooting a medley of haunting tunes as they hide themselves in the windswept trees. As I prop my elbows up onto the window frame, I watch as the night progresses, and the lights of the houses turning off. One. By. One.

And occasionally, I am almost certain that I hear a sob.

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