Black Mystery Science Fiction


 Wake up at seven o’clock.  A quarter of an hour to take a shower and clean yourself: brush your teeth, and take your prescribed medicines. Then ten minutes for the breakfast of cornflakes, milk, and orange juice. Afterward, George had to take the lift, since it was forbidden to walk down the stairs, go down the garage, and get into his car to reach his workplace. Where it was forbidden to arrive one minute late. In the world in which he lived everything was organized, established minute by minute for him as for the all that lives in it. Every autonomous, free decision was not only forbidden but also made impossible by the conditioning system to which all of them had been subjected. That was a world regulated from the millimeter, to the second. Disobedience didn’t exist and even could not exist. All of them were conditioned, and programmed and they had forgotten not only free action but even the words freedom and free. It seemed that the conditioning system to which they had been subjected had had complete success. The inhabitants of NORMALLAND no longer even felt the desire to act free and independently. They were stuck like little, insignificant wheels into a mechanism that regulated them, that established ( fixed) their action to the smallest detail. Such as always opening the door with the right hand, and always driving at no more than 40 kilometers per hour.

Were the people of NORMALLAND happy? They even forgot to ask it. Were they unhappy? Ah, it should never have happened that they asked this question. They were ( had been) programmed not to make it. After all, most of them were people who, before living in that world, had had adventurous, even tormented lives, and even had made risky choices. And who had found calm and peace in Normalland. Even what is peace they did not ask. They breathed calmly, and quietly.

One might say that their every breath, and also heartbeat was programmed.

The same was true for George who got up every morning ready to set out following step by

step what the Normalland system had established for him.

But one morning after getting up and taking a shower he felt that something new, unexpected was making its way into him. It was not so much a movement of rebellion as instead of boredom, impatience. He thought back to the recurring dream he had for some time. He found himself locked in a cage like the animals at the zoo. He tried to get out but, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t break the bars. Then, suddenly, he found a key in his hands and he knew that with that key he would be able to open the cage. And that moment, when he thought he was about to open the cage and get out, he woke up.

But yes, George said to himself, he was fed up with the usual things, with the usual faces. And even with the usual breakfast! He suddenly decided he wouldn’t go to work, not caring at all what could happen. Then he had breakfast in a bar with coffee and apple pie. Then he took a long walk and at noon he went to lunch in an excellent restaurant. He ate appetizing and succulent courses (dishes) instead of the usual overcooked rice and the usual slice of meat from the company canteen. He tasted lasagne, stuffed hare and eggplant with cheese, and Mount Blanc as dessert! He felt fulfilled, even happy. Since the words happiness, to be happy had regained meaning for him.

After lunch, he went to the cinema. He saw a science fiction in which androids took the place of humans who were suppressed because they were unproductive, now outdated for the needs of the ultra-modern society. After the cinema, he walked for a long time through the city and also crossed ( met) his work colleagues, even his office manager, but none of them made a sign of recognizing him, indeed they didn’t even seem to see him as if he had become invisible.

Toward evening when he was walking in the park he happened to overhear a strange conversation. “ We have to get rid of him” A woman who looked like Louise, his ex-wife, said to a man sitting by side her on a bench.  “ Oh, but we already took him out, only that he doesn’t know it yet” The man, who looked like his office manager said. Those words: BUT WE ALREADY TOOK HIM OUT, ONLY THAT HE DOESN’T KNOW IT YET, they gave him a shiver. It seemed to him, indeed he had the feeling that those two strangers were talking of him. But were they really two strangers or were they Louise and Mr. Green, his office chief? George was unable to hear the continuation of the conversation because the two, who kept talking, lowered their voices and he did not want to risk being seen by approaching. But come on, he had taken a day off ( from) the iron, relentless system that regulated him as clockwork, and nothing catastrophic had happened. Indeed nothing had happened, and this seemed strange to him. So now perhaps he thought those two were talking about him because he was beginning to have a certain fear for the consequences of his infraction of the pre-established rules.

But come on, it was time to go back home. He would have decided the next day whether to resume his usual, regulated life or not….Maybe he could decide, why not? To take back his freedom and to leave Normalland forever.

When he was in front of his house he saw that the lights inside it ( the house) were on. What strange…Had he left them on since the morning? But he began to worry when he could not open the door with his key. Looking at the lighted windows he glimpsed, behind the curtains, A FIGURE. Oh God, the thieves had broken into his house! He pounded on the door as he yelled:

“ Help! Help! THIEVES!” The neighbors came running and looked at him as if they did not know him. Some of them said: “This one is gone mad!”, and even: “ But what does this guy want?”

Then one of the neighbors knocked on the door delicately, calling: “ Mr. Brown, please, explain the situation to this one” The door opened and a young, tall, well-built man appeared in. He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt. “ What are you doing in my house?” George shouted furiously,

punching the young man who didn’t get upset and, pushing him away with a decisive gesture, said: “ You’re wrong George. This is my home. Ah, your workplace is now mine too. Since you have been overthrown” Mr. Brown spoke quite calmly. The neighbors cheered. “ What did you think? That it was you who decided that you would not go to work today and you would not follow the established rules? Ah, we were the ones who decided it because there is no longer place for you among us” The neighbors cheered again. George looked around in fright at the faces of his neighbors who laughed, sneered, and seemed to be having a great time.

“ But okay, if there was no room for me among you I will leave Normalland. That’s exactly what I want to do. So I will finally regain my freedom. “ George said proudly. The neighbors, who surrounded him, laughed more loudly and cheered.

“ Ah, George,” Mr. Brown said quietly” This is also impossible. Don’t you know the rules of Normalland? No one can leave our world alive.”   “ Do you mean you’re going to kill me?” George asked. “ Oh, no! You’re already dead, George!” the young man said and waved his hands toward him as if he were spraying water at him. George’s body shriveled, lost thickness, and fell to the ground as an empty sack.


May 10, 2023 12:59

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03:24 Feb 01, 2024

I really REALLY like this story how short and bitter it was the leaving of questions to interpretation and all in between but of this is fine with you i have a question about your work 1 is the town you established take place in our world or a future dystopia 2 is there any thing outside Normalland 3 has anyone else tried to exit/enter


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Tommy Goround
14:11 May 17, 2023

So much of this I like. The ending was caught in the middle, with the ex-spiuse. The zoo reference was spot on. You might change Normal to some foreign word that means"zoo". This way the obvious is not so obvious. The pacing was very good. I worried that you would give us the false narrator and have the alarm wake the protagonist... But you did not cheapen the story. Good. So: loses life , job and flat by not going to work? Good. You left random questions: why was boss not at work? You included the commuters shine: coffee. Like a cof...


Mara Masolini
06:19 May 18, 2023

THANK YOU TOMMY for your appreciation, for your suggestions, and for your questions which I will try to answer 1) about his boss: George isn't sure if it's really him ...it might be but it might as well might as well not be 2) is George, who is dead, free? Eh, it's difficult for me to answer... From a certain point of view, he now is free because his life and also his body have flown away leaving only the shell, but from another point of view he is not free because even his death was been decided by the regime to which he is subjected


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