Megan sat still in bed. Waiting for the television to come on and the shades to draw up. Casting light of the morning sunshine into the room. Tired from the exhausting day before she laid there for a bit. She shouldn’t have decided to go with a few friends to a small but revolutionary bar. The one that you’d have to pay tons of money to get into. But she didn’t care she had a lead, she needed a story, the story had cost her a total of six hundred happiness points to get in and eight hundred happiness points on three rounds of shots. The whole debacle made her lose a lot of happiness points, but she was able to catch a lead on a story that would maybe get her a promotion. She didn’t know if it didn’t but this huge hangover better had been worth it. But she still waited. Today was like everyday. Everyone in her apartment unit waited for the same television broadcast station in their rooms to go from stand by to on as the shades to go up. They would receive their morning happiness points based on how quickly and how agile they would be when they got up. And how energetic and happy they were when they did. She always made a point to keep her muscles still, she knew it didn’t count. But they were always watching always scanning the room for negative energies that would lead to negative currency on her paycheck. In order to live happily you must start the day happily. That was the motto in the city of Happopalis. The capital city of Happy where the Smize Man resided. The Smize man was their president, the happiest individual who walked this earth. Many had not met him as many had not seen him. He often hid behind a paper bag on his face with a smile on it when he appeared in public announcements. So no one knew who the Smize man really was, only the legend behind his reign as president of Happopalis. Otherwise he was non existent a myth, whose presence was reminiscent of Jesus Christ. Whose power was wielded like that of a God. Whatever he wanted happened. It was the very thing that she sworn she’d unbunk the mystery of, because she was always curious by nature. As a journalist that was her main motive exposing or seeing if the Smize man was really real. That was her objective. Was the Smize Man really real? Did he know everything that was going on. But the only way she could do that was with currency.
And in this city, happiness points was currency. And money was happiness right? Every smile counted. Megan exercised the muscles on her face only. That was her morning ritual, to have her face muscles stretched so when she was in exercise group on live television her face would have the biggest smile. Slowly she would wait there for a bit, and then work her way to stretch her arm muscles, she wanted to be ahead of the game. And waking up on camera with a big smile every day was her game plan to get promoted from news journalist at the Happopalis Times to the entertainment of Broadcast journalism. No more being in a single apartment complex unit with blue collar workers. Yes, she wanted to live the life as a true journalist, the one with a name on a television and could be recognizable on the streets. Plus, she’d finally would have the chance to dye her hair blonde instead of the brunette color it was now.
She was born with blue eyes and brown hair, looked mousey with her tiny petite figure. She wasn’t a glamazon, but she was the height of an average ballet dancer, from what her parents had told her long ago. Just like the ones when Paris, France was even a country. But that was 300 years ago, and she could only confirm from her great great great grandfather that her roots had been from France at one point. Before the war, before the Novel Coronavirus. Before the Smize Man. She could hear the television cuing up. Ready for the morning broadcast news and morning exercise. She stretched her hands and legs so they could get ready for the morning greeting. Just before the television clicked on she sat up and made her bed. Like the Smize Man always said, the early bird catches the worm.
Eight Am, The television turned on with a chime and a click drew the shades up. With the morning sunshine pouring in Megan could hardly remember a day when it was raining. A blond haired man and blonde haired woman appeared on screen in a news reporter setting.
“This is Happiness TV Broadcasting live with your morning news.”
The morning news cuts to a feed of the morning weatherman.
The only person allowed to have black or brunette hair was the weather man or woman. Jake Fellows, the morning weather man greeted them sitting down.
He spoke in a low and soothing morning voice with a quiet smile. As if to pry the eyes open of the newborn babies that had just been born, or stop the elderly from drinking their morning coffee and just listen to the sounds of birds chirping.
“Good Morning blank" the television put the name of the person who the apartment unit was occupied with.
“I am Jake Fellows, your news weatherman. Today we are experiencing light clouds. So be prepared for an extra bright day of sun. Don’t forget that SPF, Sunglasses, and those who don’t want to catch a tan today, and a hat” Jake Fellows gets up from his chair and proceeds to a diagram of Happopolis, the last city on earth.
“And to catch up with the expansion of the city of Happopalis , new city limits are in effect. Meaning that there will be more sunshine and less rain for those on the outskirts of the small city of Smile.” The screen went to a diagram of the city pointing where rain always on the outskirts of Smile, where the end of Happopalis city limits were scarce. It was a rural place, she could never imagined working or living there. She heard that happiness points were in low supply and that everyday there was twice the number of euthanasia and suicides in the area than in the city of Happy. Just about every day five out of ten people died. It was normal in its least, she always woke up to someone no longer being there or simply disappearing. Then replaced with someone else. It’s just the way things were.
“Thank you Jake” says the blond man.
Jakes quiet smile widens. “No, thank you, and to all of Happopalis a very Happy Wednesday"
The television screen cuts back to the blond haired man and woman.
“And back to the news report this is Chet Beckham”
. And I’m Silvia Letterman. And a very happy good morning to you all this is your eight am wake up call"
“Thanks for tuning in.”
“Seems to be a very good rest of the week headed for us. Always glad to see those ratings go up for all citizens in the morning. Due to waking up and being well happy" Chet said with a chuckle.
“Yes it’s always a pleasure and joy” Silvia Letterman, whose smile that you didn’t think can get any bigger got wider.
“And today’s news report comes from the Smize Man himself, as always. Sunny sunshine, our ratings have come to be the happiest so far" Chet chuckled as her looked at Silvia, who smiled again.
“Yes, that’s right. The Smize Man himself has a message for us, this morning. Do great, be great, and feel great.”
Megan smiled in awe. Those were the people who’s job she envied. It was said that the top broadcasts news journalists and celebrities met the Smize Man. But there was a sure mystery of how that went about. Only the top of the top had exclusive interviews with the Smize Man himself.
“And we now we go live to Martha in our live gym studio” said Chet Beckham.
“Hi welcome and a very good morning to you all!” Said a very eager and cheerful woman styled in the same blonde long haired ponytail style in workout yoga clothes. “ I’m Martha, I am your morning joggersciser and were going to have some fun and be energetic with. A little morning Stretch and Cardio! Now I know this is new routine for some people. But don’t worry, we have training guides on your daily screens to help you out. First we are all going to stretch up and breathe. Megan put on a big smile on her face and stretched. “Good job Mr. Xavier. Good man.” Martha said as she looked around the screen for people who needed help. “Oh looks like we’ve got a sleeper inner” Martha said from viewing the monitor. The small side screens on the side of the television monitor showed each and every person on the unit for the morning exercise Some were slower than others but Mr. Grover by far was the slowest tenant on the unit. “Let’s just wait a few moments for people to finish waking up and get warmed up shall we? Here we go, why don’t everyone stretch their legs freestyle and I’ll help those who are takin a bit longer shall we?” The camera zoomed in to the people who needed help while everyone else continued to stretch.
Megan started to rest retch her legs and pump up her heels of her feet. If they were going to do squats then she might as well pump herself up. Again she stretched her face muscles into the biggest smile she could do. Because they were always watching. She could feel a laser beam in the room from the television set. And the currency bar on the top of the screen that was set to midway went up ten points. She could hear some claps coming from the television audio system. Yes, she thought. That was the highest she got in the mornings for just smiling.
It was followed with as ding and Martha looked up with a surprised smile. Martha looked at the screen and clapped. “ Oh! And an extra happiness points for you Megan Knightley. Nice smile!” She went on, everybody seemed to be up and ready to do the workout.
“Ok we are going to do some pumping up squats. And a one two and a one two.
Everyone together now. That’s great where’s that smile, Mr. Grover? Now hands in the air, let’s get those heart beats thumping.”
“Remember you’re doing this because it’s the morning, you feel great, you do great, you be great. Just like the Smize Man says. Come on keep it pumping,” she says with a bright smile, “Ok now lunges, Ok this is a little tricky if you don’t have the room stay in one spot. If you do have room, I want you to do walking lunges ok? Ok. Let’s do it. One, two, three! Awesome sauce!
“Ok, Mr. Grover!” Martha said television zooming into the room. “Please get up, we can do this its simple"
Mr. Grover struggled to get up from his bed. Moaning all the way. Martha looked like she was growing uneasy, as she tried to encourage him to get up. You could see that the happiness points from his video com were going down as the session went on. You could see that Martha made a cut sign in the background to whoever’s her producers were. They most likely in turn were calling page masters to our apartment units.
Martha runs back on to the camera screen with an uneasy smile that quickly widens into her regular smile. You couldn’t tell if she was distressed because it happened so fast in a blink of an eye.“Ok, um, that’s our morning workout. Goodbye for now! And Happy Smize Day!”
The television turns black and clicks off. Leaving Megan with her thoughts and her sweaty pajamas. It was warm in the room but not too warm where she’d pass out. But just enough where she could feel her labored breathing from the morning workout. She thought about Mr. Grover and his struggle to keep up with the routine. There was always someone in the building that couldn’t keep up. That was because it was mostly senior citizens that lived here as well. But she knew that something was going to happen to him. She lied on her bed for just a bit soaking up the sun that poured through the window. It was harder for her to understand it all the time. The Smize Man, the way that things worked around here. She had always found herself questioning why there were people who simply disappeared after taking the happiness pill. Wouldn’t that make them happier. Surely it would’ve. But then again at the same time she didn’t question the Smize Man, this was her life, she wanted to be a broadcast news journalist because they knew all. They were, how should she put it, the center for censorship and quality control. Everything that went about, the news journalist knew even if they were right lipped about it. But even some got to close to the truth and disappeared.
Megan drew herself a shower, her clothes laid out from the night before by the healthcare workers who monitored the unit. She went her brown hair under the automatic hot shower. She didn’t need to worry about shampoo or soap. Those were provided in the shower. A long time ago the Smize Man had created a way for the citizens to have a soap water solution whose nano technology activated in the shower. First she was sprayed down with the solution and then hot water. It was the first ever brilliant thing she found as a child. The water turned soapy automatically. Even the old shavers she heard about in the past was non existent . Replaced by the nano water that automatically knew where hair was on the body and removed it. And she loved it. She didn’t have to worry about anything here except of course her living situation and getting more Happiness points. She got out of the shower and put on her clothes provided to her which was a pressed white blazer with her clip on press release card and black skirt and pumps. Her wet hair wasn’t wet at all when she came out of the shower, the nano technology automatically straightened it in the thirty minutes she went in. All she had to do was brush it and put on her airbrushed makeup spray. That was a light foundation with blush lip and eyeshadow all in one. The need for makeup had passed 5 years ago. It was a pity because she enjoyed putting it on and going to shops and buying makeup. But with her new residence m she found that this place had everything she ever needed to be happy. Besides her years at Happy University.
She went down for breakfast. Men in all white suits passed by her with a stretcher that had straps on it. They took the elevator up to level, 2 of the apartment complex where Mr. Grover, the elderly man who lived next to her, who couldn’t keep up with the exercises because he was sick. Mr. Grover had been living on the last leg of things, each week he’d was unable to keep his happiness points to a tee. And if you went far below a sector for this apartment complex, then that was grounds for eviction or even worse get taken by the page masters because you’d been deemed as a potential obsolete and had to be transferred to take the happiness pill. Megan cringed with a happy face as she walked away. She saw another person on the elevator, with a medical bag. It was worse than she imagined. An euthanasia. That’s was probably the only option the page master gave Mr. Grover. To think she always meant to go over for that cup of tea he had always offered her. Alas, it was never meant to be.
She walked past the hallway, it was always in front of the long line to the dining hall. It was a damp and bitter place if you did not notice the bright wallpaper and the happy faces that were always on people’s faces. Megan greeted strangers as she walked up to the medical room to pick up her morning breakfast pill. A pill that the Smize company had created that had saved everyone from starving three hundred years ago with the Coronavirus quaratine. And it did wonders for her body type, keeping it petite and small so all she had to was get in line for coffee and be out on her way to work.