Monday, July 10, 2017

2071

1984 Revisited, Part One

Chapter One: Colorful Hate Hillary Rallies 

Winona Smith completed her assignment of deleting words Brother President had said in a speech March 25 and rewriting them to coincide with events that took place on March 26 from her home / office desk. She hit send and the revised speech went out and replaced all versions of the previous speech on websites all over the globe, then she unplugged her machine and joined the crowd outside. 

Most residents of her block were women who worked for the Brotherhood. Employed as "Independents" they worked from home and the Brotherhood benefited from less vehicles on the highways, and little need of daycare centers. To avoid mental health problems caused by isolation, Brother President arranged daily Hate Hillary Rallies in each quadrant of the city for the Independents.

Now Winona slipped down the stairs not touching the railings, which were disgusting and covered in years of grime and dust, so she could go out into the hazy sun and join her fellow Independents. Together they almost march in lockstep to the music on street speakers that is so loud, they do not even try to talk to each other, to a storefront on the corner,

Inside what was once a cafe, Winona found a seat between two neighbors who she recognized from seeing them in Hate Hillary Rallies the past several months but she did not know their names or on what projects they worked. As the monitors around the colorful room lit up with Brother President with his family and their colorful smiling faces, the women first gasped in awe at the Sisters and Wives and their beautiful dresses. 

Then the crowd started to chant. “Hillary hate Hillary hate Hillary hate Hillary hate Hillary hate Hillary hate.”

Winona had long ago stopped asking and wondering who Hillary was, or why they gathered here every day to share their hatred of her. She just knew that after each Hate Hillary Rally, she'd return home rejuvenated and energized enough to perform at her job for several more hours.

*


Colorful

That word comes up often when Winona Smith finds time to work on one of her own writing projects after finishing her job rewriting Brother President’s speeches after they've been published, to make them coincide with actual events.

When she first took over her mother’s Rewriting contract as an Independent, Winona used the free time to try to capture what her mother had told her about life in the years before the Brotherhood, the twenty teens, when the First President Brother and the Takeover began.

That's when Winona first experienced the Zap Ray, which when her mother first told her about it, Winona was sure her mom was insane.

Soon after her mother’s death, or “removal” as the Brotherhood calls it, Winona sat at the laptop computer device that was now hers, and hit the keyboard faster than she’d ever typed before, as stories her mother had once told her flowed from her fingers onto the screen. Just as she was writing the most evocative descriptions of a park nearby where there used to be live music concerts, the Zap Ray came into her laptop- indeed it caused an electrical charge to enter her fingers from the keyboard that went up her arm all the way to her shoulders.

And everything she’d written about the park and the concert was erased from the laptop. She looked into the control panel for previous versions, and everything, all versions of the story she had been writing had just disappeared.

Winona remembered a time her mother tried to describe the Zap Ray and how once it had deleted a file she’d been writing about Winona’s father. That day at the laptop, her mother had let out a sharp cry, and then had to soak her right arm in warm cloths and wrap it in a homemade arm brace for several weeks afterwards, claiming the Zap Ray had caused electrical damage to her arm, almost crippling it.

Winona had laughed at her mother and rolled her eyes sharing the story with her teenage friends who all agreed Winona’s mother was one of the craziest one.

Now bk of the same Zap Ray, Winona had an electric charge pain all through her arms that could only be relieved by wrapping it in warm cloths or making a homemade brace for it.

\Winona was not surprised by the Zap Ray though, as she had grown up under the power of the Brotherhood. She wrapped her arm in a torn pillowcase, and continued to work at rewriting Brother President’s speeches and other news stories after they’d been printed, to coincide with events that took place after their publication.

*

It seemed to be a reasonable job, it was what her mother had done from this very home / office for nearly forty years, and now it was Winona’s job. The pay was enough for her to have just a little bit more money to spend than the Socials who lived nearby who did not have jobs, just a monthly Social check that paid their rent and food bills, and little more.

Winona could buy new clothes, the Socials all shopped in second hand stores. Winona's home / office had decorative items, she played music disks and movie downloads, while the Socials seemed to spend all their time outside on the stoops drinking bitter ale and shouting.

Winona's job as an Independent put her a class above the Socials, so for that she was grateful.

Still, she did try to find copies of the file she’d written about her mother’s memories on all the devices she’d sent it to, but the Zap Ray had found it and deleted every trace of it.

No matter, Winona thought, it’s easier, and even more fun, to write about Daughter President Ileana’s dresses.

*

She would like to be able print the stories out after she writes them but there is no paper to be found anywhere in her quadrant. Or ink for that matter. She still has a printer that her mother had left in the Home / Office before she passed, and apparently back then people had a lot more choices. But today there is only the Internationalnet and that is monitored and controlled by Brother President and his family.

*

When Winona uses her personal time to write glowing descriptions of the First Family and their beautiful furniture and clothing, the Zap Ray never destroys those files. So in order to be able to write anything at all, Winona started a new project writing nothing but glowing descriptions of Brother President and his family.

And they are so colorful.

And musical

She started her first freelance story like this:

"Wherever Brother President and his Beautiful Family appear, there is music in the air, a scent of flowers everywhere, and colors colors colors."


And that first post went Viral!  

*

(more to come)

*
By Kay Ebeling

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