Prompt for August 7, 2014: The Reminder


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The blaring, resounding tone of the alarm jolted him from his sweet dream of her face. He snatched the device off his nightstand, swiping and entering the code quickly so as not to be even more offended by the interruption. It seemed that he always had the best dreams right before it was time for Remembrance.

He rolled out of bed, slipping out of his stained bed shirt as he did so. He moved towards the South facing window and unrolled the course hemp matt and knelt in front of the greasy pane of glass, the faintest light from the rising sun struggling to pierce through.

He picked up the whip. The cold leather was shiny from the oils of his fingers. He waited.

The gong sounded throughout the city signaling the commencement of the daily Pledge of Neoallegiance. He struck his back, reining in the pain with a bite to his lip. He waited.

The second gong. Another strike.

Third. Strike.

Fourth. Strike.

Fifth. Strike. Groan.

The anthem began to play over the large speakers standing tall at every street corner. The notes were supposed to inspire patriotism, loyalty, regret. For him, however, only anger and pain were felt.

And defeat.

Ten years had passed since the war. Ten years since the government destroyed the “rebels,” silencing what they assumed to be the only resistance to their harsh laws. A decade without her. He longed for a day when the pain of the whip on his back was more substantial than what memories of the distant past brought him.


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