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By Demosthenes All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Scifi


"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

No one knows who said that. How ironic. Nowadays, this statement is our philosophy, our religion, and yet we don't even know who thought of it.  I never did understand that; I never will. 

They taught us in Courses that beauty was once firm, coveted, and utterly fake, like a porcelain doll; it was a toxic poison that could make a person into a physical daydream, but at the end of the day, they were all but hollow inside. They've written it into the Texts many times, and we've been forced to read it over and over again since the age of four, when we first enrolled in the Courses. For a society that so blatantly opposes the concept of beauty, we sure are obsessed with it.

It's because of the pill.

Shaped like a small cube, it's as white as creme and smells of mints. Once a year, on our birthdays, each citizen must report to his or her local Dispenser and pick up his or her dosage. Taking the medication is simple enough: put it on your tongue, close your mouth, let it dissolve. The nurses must supervise each citizen during this process. The effect of the pill, however, is not quite so simple. 

As the chemicals in the pill quickly transmit themselves through the fluids of our bodies, they begin to change the way we perceive the world around us. We no longer see people as they physically are - instead, their appearance is a reflection of how we feel about their personality. If someone finds a person kind and sweet, they will perceive them as beautiful. If someone finds a person cruel and inhumane, they will perceive them as horribly ugly. Although the system seems just, it has its downsides - the biggest being that we have no idea what we actually look like.

Black. This is what I wake up to every morning.
White. This is what I wear every day.Brown. This is the color of my coffee, steaming from underneath my fingertips as I grasp the handle of my clay mug."Mom, pass me the bacon."Looking up from her Newsbook, her bright grey eyes pierce into mine like daggers. "Of course, dear." She extends her long pale arm and pushes a clay plate of sizzling bacon across the table. She smiles warmly, and her eyes glisten from underneath the Dullers, which are essentially contacts everyone is required to wear. They're exactly as they sound, for they're used to rid our eyes of the twinkle that produces a reflective surface.My world is opaque - it always has been, and I'm not expecting it to change. Looks are dangerous, so we must ignore them. There can be no reflections. It is because of this that I wake up to complete darkness, that I wear pure white fiber clothes, and that I drink thick, oily brown coffee. Everything is designed so that there are no remnants of our true selves, like fragments of broken glass.
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