2 Bad Pages a Day
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2 Bad Pages a Day

Against The Tide

#2badpagesaday (10)

Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash

The paper crackled as he unfolded it.

He took his time. Overwhelmed by curiosity, tempered with caution. Safe in Apartment 13/113. Safe? Unobserved, apparently. That was the promise.

But those words echo in his ears. “We’re watching you, Tide”.

A prickle of tension. A rustling as fear flows into clumsy fingers. Unfolding the thin paper; typewritten words showing through. Tension. The brightness of the Receiver is dimmed, the Announcements that followed the Spokesman’s theatrics long since over. The messages, intended to steer Citizens’ thoughts for days ahead now faded into the banality of over-repeated tropes. Tide hadn’t been listening anyway. The pronouncements of the Committee held no sway over the unexpected clarity of his thinking.

The central light hovers over the table he sits at.

Self-consciously, he has moved his chair, squeezing himself into the tight space between the edge of the table and the wall upon which the Receiver hung. He is hunched over, his broad shoulders separating the paper from — from what?

His mind was alert, suspicious. “We’re watching you, Tide.”

Better safe than sorry {I sound like my Granny, thought Tide … remembering}

The paper sat in front of him, folded in half, the words upside down, as-yet indecipherable.

Questions nagging at his sharpening thoughts. Why him? Who are they?

{Well, thought Tide, there are no answers in an endless series of questions asked of himself.}

If all we know is the world presented to us,

Power rests with the architects of that world.

In that world, there is no alternative.

History is written by the victors.

History is rewritten by the victors.

What if there was another history?

What if there was once another world?

Imagine if we could remember a past

when people’s voices were heard;

when choices could be made and there was

freedom to live in accordance with them.

We remember.

Tide sat for a long while just staring at the words.


Reading … and re-reading.

Understanding but not comprehending.


Again …

… and again.

Memories jostling.

There’s no good that comes from remembrance.

But, what if there is?

What if Remembrance is good? Tide’s thoughts race.

History rewritten. By the victors. Who are the winners? Who are the ‘architects of the world’ in which we live?

Suddenly breathless, Tide steadies himself, aware that it is almost time for lights out. Soon Building 13 will be plunged into darkness. The Citizen occupants will lie down, minds at ease, brains befuddled, their world shaped by routine, Announcements, and tight control exerted by the Committee.

Tide will lie down, his mind alive with possibilities, thoughts clarifying, knowing that he must plunge himself once more into the routines, even as the controlling ties that bind him are loosening.



A dystopian imagining of a time in the near future; a time when Citizens are slaves to shadow’y figures who control the resources, the levers of power, and the narrative. Slowly, the seeds of dissension are sown as people are called to change. It is in their Nature.

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