Speculative Suspense Fiction

“They are always watching, always prying and there’s nowhere to hide.” Enid exclaimed. She and Tom were at their day job in the city. They spent every day carefully assessing the situation in the city. There had been a change in governance and the new government had been out to get anyone who was still affiliated to the old government.

Every day, they watched their steps and every move, the train they rode, the café’s they visited, the calls they made and even the hospitals they sought treatment, nowhere was safe. Enid was particularly a target because her father had been front runner in the previous government and now her last name ‘Sarcadi’ became a liability. Every place she went to, everybody recognized the name ‘sarcadi’ and immediately aligned her with the previous government. This had been the order of the day for the two. They had become paranoid about the possibility of having their every move watched.

That evening Enid was meeting up with her two close friends Tate and Shawn. Fearing exposure, she wore a black hoodie and draped her hair in front of her face and covered her eyes with dark shades. She walked to the café timidly and sat next to her friends who could barely recognize her because of all her attempts to appear incognito. They had coffee and cake at the café while she informed her friends she might need to stay undercover for a while because they were watching her. Tate exclaimed, ‘who is watching you, Enid? why are you acting like you are queen Elizabeth or something?’. Shawn maffled something under his breath suggesting being in agreement with Tate. Enid sensed the judgement around her, and her paranoia came rushing back and she rose from the table and dashed out of the café. Tate and Shawn looked at each other and shrugged. Tate exclaimed ‘that’s it! she’s officially lost her mind.’ 

On her way out, she bumped into Tom. Her eyes lit up in relief and she just plunged Tom into a bear hug and held him tightly while she sobbed and croaked ‘when does it end? Am sick of living this way’. “Bad day?” Tom asked, Enid just simply nodded as she was too choked up to even get two words out of her lips. “let’s get out of here sweet pea,” he said. They walked away while holding on to each other like their lives depended on it. There was a hill in the outskirts that the two loved to visit often. The only place they felt safe because it was outside the normal coverage area and was off the grid. They went there and just sat in silence with their thoughts. I reckon they felt trapped and out of air. Enid’s eyes had barely cleared out after her morning coffee date with her friends. The sun began to set and as much as it was beautiful to look at, it was bittersweet because it meant they had to drive back to the city and deal with the prying eyes. They drove back to the city and immediately they crossed the bridge that separated the outskirts and the city, their anxiety came rushing back and like a deep disease so did their sadness. Enid jumped out of the car and walked the sidewalk headed to her apartment when she saw it! the rotating camera and this time around it was too late for her to hide her face, the camera had caught footage of her clear as day. She had an internal panic and run back to Tom’s car and instantly whispered ‘they saw me, am dead’, Tom’s eyes bulged, and his face turned pale. ‘We need to get out of this city, this very minute.’ He drove like a maniac in an attempt to flee the city before they could get to them. This proved futile however because with every turn they took, they began to notice all the spots with surveillance. The cameras were literally everywhere, they could no longer hide or run. What were they to do, surrender and die? The situation was dire but so was their bravado. Enid then looked Tom dead in the eyes and said, ‘we fight, that’s how we get out of this.’ ‘Are you crazy?’ Tom asked. There’re hundreds of them and we are just the two of us. It’s a losing battle. Enid then said ‘well, we lose while battling then.’, She grabbed a baseball bat from the car and began to smash the cameras down the street. She turned into the next street and screamed at one of the cameras, ‘Am not afraid! Come get me.’ And then proceeded to smash it and yell in rage. Tom watched in disbelief, he then jumped out of his car and grabbed a bat as well and joined in the smashing. Street by street they smashed the surveillance. On lookers looked in dismay but something shifted, they were no longer afraid and so they too grabbed whatever they could and joined in the smashing. Turns out it wasn’t only Enid and Tom being watched, the new government placed tabs on any persons they thought would be a liability or trouble for them. Everyone was being watched and scanned and they had all known it but chose to ignore it because they had been gripped by fear.

It wasn’t long before a societal uprising ensued. The government was forced to take down the surveillance they had placed. The coast was clear, the society was free! No more watchers, threats or anxiety. Enid and Tom looked at each other and smiled in relief, Enid expressed, ‘it's over Tom, we did it! we defeated the oppressor we are free now we can live.

Enid and Tom spent the rest of their young lives visiting all the cafes they could, taking all the train rides they could and most importantly all these moments were spent with each other. Enid looked out her window and saw a smashed camera dangling from the roof of a building and she thought to herself, ‘a revolution, a new life’. 

January 24, 2023 08:44

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