The Slates

A distopian Futuristic novel about a world where overpopulation and pollution are critical and the government rule all. Can a small group of Slates, young boys and girls undergoing rigorous state education, discover the true agenda? My first novel of magnitude so be kind :)

N.B. this is a first draft and once the story is complete I am going to revise, edit and complete the book so please ignore any pesky typos, awkward English or minor plot holes. thanks :)


3. Test Three begins

    I was alone for the first time since I’d heard her voice, in that very first room. Finally I could think. What was all this? The Slates, Works, state education; the tests and the obscure descriptions; all the questions unanswered. My head was full of emptiness, yet I can only use  the word full to describe it. I thought over all she’d said, repeating all the words in my head. I concluded this white world was an entrance to a place full of people and noise and life. The woman was the gateway, all I was currently in transition. In transition. From one to another. From empty to full. What is full like? It was to be where I lived for the rest of my life - she talked of become a Work as a state for life. The thought scared me. Once I passed into life, the quiet white would go - to be used for another being who’d just became, I assumed. Humans. Slates and Works both, beings of my kind to be with me forever, like a finger or a foot. I chuckled to myself and the lonely sound reverberated around the empty room. The image of all humans as digits on a hand, things that are used purely for the good of the owner. I know it's not my hand but whose hand? Is there a hand? Again I chuckled. I’m going mad quietly to myself, I thought.

    Test one had been finding the walls and clothing myself. I hadn’t known that was a test. What if I’m currently in test 3 and I don’t know it? What is a test and what isn’t? I desperately wanted answered, but all this thinking had made me feel like I had when I was first crawling on the floor: completely drained of strength and energy, but this time it was my mind giving in, not my body. I slept. A dream came, of the world of life. It was loud and explosive yet vibrate and joyous. I felt happy as I observed the scene and overwhelmed at the same time. As I woke I paused a moment to try recollect all I could about the scene, but all that came was flurries of light and noise and smells, darting across my senses. I should my head and focused on the room around me. White walls greeted me as usual, but luckily the searing brightness was turned off. I looking down to my bed and body. All in check. Then I noticed a second pile of clothes neatly placed at the bottom of the bed, by my feet. They were a similar grey colour to my current ones, but the trousers were made of a harder, coarser material and the t-shirt had a square badge over the left breast, which was coloured pure white. At the same time I became aware of a shower head on the far wall. I paused a moment: it had not been there just seconds ago. I realised the meaning of the new clothes and the shower. I hopped off the bed and stripped myself naked. I suddenly felt very self aware and scanned the room for any cameras that might’ve appeared since I last checked the walls. Seeing nothing, I walked over the the shower. The moment I stepped under the head water started falling from it. It came down onto my head, running down my arms, chest, legs. The feeling was very pleasant, like a continual warm tingle all over my skin, so I stood still for a while. Then I remembered the purpose of the falling water and started to wash myself with the soap which had appeared beside me; I was becoming used to this phenomenon. Finally satisfied with my cleanliness I stepped from under the shower, which immediately stopped, and dried myself of the white towel I found on the floor in front of me. I walked over to the bed, feeling infinitely better and cleaner, and dressed myself with the new clothes. I realised that all this could be test 3 and I thought what I could do to increase my score, if I had one. I decided to fold the towel and my old clothes, which I found to smell rather worse the I remembered, and neatly made the bed. I sat down once more, since I found the position the most optimal for being still, and thought. I’d never made a bed before nor cleaned myself, yet I knew how to do so perfectly, without a thought. I pondered this a moment and then remembered something she’d said to me during test two, about some basic skills which were instilled in me during my becoming. Maybe all these functions sat alongside speech and arithmetic in this category. This made sense to me and I smiled, glad to have that questioned answered. What next, I thought?

    Just at this moment, as if brought on by the thought, the woman entered the room via the door I’d used to get into this room. ‘You have successfully passed test two. Test three will commence soon. You have been deemed ready for the beginning of your education. You will be transported to the nearest center: Slate Compound 4. The badge you now wear represents your level. White is level 0. More will be explained when you arrive. Please step through the door.’ I looked behind me and watched a door materialise out of the wall and open by itself. Through it was my first glimpse of the outside world. I gasped at the noises and the colours that affronted me. I heard the low grumble of an engine and saw a smaller room facing me. It had rough dirty black edges and low wooden benches. In seemed to be placed on top of the vehicle. ‘Enter. Test three has begun.’ I looked into her eyes. Empty.

    ‘When does test three end?’ I asked.

    ‘Death.’ She turned and walked through the door into the test two room. I turned and stepped into the van. Through the gateway. Into the real world. Test three.

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