Sunday, 21 December 2014


There I was, just standing there, when what I wanted to do was forbidden. The warnings had come slowly over the past few months. We stood waiting in line for the edicts. Each citizen received a different act, in an envelope. Nobody was allowed to share what they were banned from doing. Execution awaited those who decided to share the personal laws.

Rumours had circulated about those choosing to break protocol, although nothing had been proven. Some claimed to have seen things, but they were soon silenced.

"You could make a living doing that kind of thing."

I suppose I could, but I had never thought about it, until then.

Nobody had attempted to set up a denial service before. A dedicated centre where you could break the law safely, as though in a confessional booth. The hair on my arms bristled as I walked to the specified meeting point, and I tried to slow my breathing. The scan would pick up any new thoughts. Sedition was only punishable when acted on. The mere thought wasn't enough to secure a conviction.

It was the thing she did to the brakes on the Honda that set it all off. The Director's motorbike. At night, she'd taken my tools, and kissed me and told me things were going to change. The following morning, she'd dumped the tools in the river and watched them flow out to the bay.

She told me all this at sunset, after we'd watched the Director crash into the city wall, and seen his jacket burn. By nightfall we were out of the city, and the laws didn't matter to us any more. They wouldn't miss us.

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