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Cover

Design and Art: Eve Penfold www.evepenford.com

Concept Development: Elliot FoxPrince

Editing

Kathryn Golding




Chapter One



Everything is dry in the People’s Republic, even when it rains. The People are slaves to production, they eat it, they sleep with it, production reigns supreme. Everything is done with the utmost efficiency, the straight line is our God. Nothing bubbles or gurgles or giggles or explodes here. Everything that is not production is reduced to its barest minimum. Communication is an act of the unnecessary and so it has been boiled down to curt nods, a slight lift of an eyebrow, a flick of a finger. These dehydrated movements are such subtle indicators of more expansive expressions that half the time I can only imagine what people are talking about. I never got the hang of pretending I knew what was going on and sometimes I wonder if everyone is just playing along to some ridiculous game. Perhaps no one in the People’s Republic ever knows exactly what anyone else is saying. It seems we have rendered communication pointless.

Inside me there is a spring that bubbles up, it is poison and it will get me killed. It seems I am simply not like anyone else, I am not a producer. I spend my days languishing at home trying not to be seen by anyone- especially not by my father. Extended military service failed to ‘motivate me sufficiently to be anything other than a burden on the People’. That’s what the letter to my father said. He recited it to me as he beat me with a machine belt. I expect I was lucky not to be shot or sent to the Wastelands again. No matter how hard I try I just cannot muster the requisite energy to reduce myself suitably. Sometimes the feeling just fills me up like I am going to burst.

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