Chapter 1: The New Agenda Arrives
“The edge of a storm brings strong winds.”
~ Clara the Wise
On Day 1 of the New Agenda, thinking was banned. The edict came down from Central, along with official wishes for the Great Leader’s continued good health, since this was also his birthday.
Of course, no one paid much attention to it. There was always a new edict or new agenda of some sort or another being announced. And we, the humble Patrons, just ignored or found ways around them.
This one was just so particularly ridiculous, not even the Local Leader took it seriously. Still, she did pay it official lip service at her Talk of the Day by praising its timeliness.
“Thought has become so tiresome,” she chanted, and gestured for us to join in.
We did. But we also moved on with our lives, chalking this up to one more thing that would fade as new edicts arrived.
But then the messages began to appear on our house screens:
“Thinking is no longer our chosen pathway. This will bring us greater glory.”
“Catch yourself thinking? Instead take up drinking!”
“Don’t think about not thinking. Just don’t think.”
I guess I owe you a bit of history. The first thing Central banned was tea. Oolong. Green. My own favorite Earl Grey. All banned. And then toilet paper had to go. (Yes, that was how the edict read.)
After that, came the banning of turtle wax, of all things. Strangely enough, it soon became one of the most sought-after black market items.
The joke was that Great Leader only owned volume T of some ancient encyclopedia. Or that he was writing it. We told a lot of only-funny-to-us jokes back then, feeling fairly safe that joking was ok since it starts with a “j”.
We eventually found out that Central was the source of the black market, and this turned out to be just another way to sneak tax increases by us.
But this thinking thing felt different. The messages were coming more often.
“Thou shalt not think. Your brain was created for better things.”
“Thinking is the dark path to all unhappiness.”
“No thought. No pain.”
“Think you’re not thinking? Think again!”
This was not the way things usually went. And there certainly couldn’t be a black market in thought.
We all suspected something bigger was coming. But we never dreamed what Great Leader actually was planning.
NOTE: Just a work in process that I felt like posting. I have more chapters, but published this part only to motivate myself to work on it again. By the time I’m done, most of this first chapter will probably be gone. Although it was fun to write. 🙂