Island: A Riotous Civility

Island: A Riotous Civility

Status: Finished

Genre: Thrillers

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Thrillers

Summary

Don't shit your pants.

Summary

Don't shit your pants.

Content

Submitted: September 08, 2012

A A A | A A A

Content

Submitted: September 08, 2012

A A A

A A A


 

It started as a test.  An experiment.  Even I didn’t know it would work out in the end.

Hundreds of eager-eyed faces shifted their bodies side to side as they stood in line on the thin dusty sand, some with shoes, others in sandals.  The water was breaking just far enough out so that it would surround the shoes of those in the back.  The vessels that had carried these people here were still anchored far out where the waves of the beach start forming.  And the congregation waited patiently for the officials to check them off the list before they could pass.

Subsidized by the U.N., this was a project to test a new set of governmental ideals.  We called it democratic socialism.  Now, what comes to mind when you see that word is an 18’x25’ Red Flag and some apprehension towards communist ideals.  But believe me, this was completely different.

I mean, they must have believed it had promise to succeed, otherwise they wouldn’t have shelled out for the idea in the first place.  We all were attracted to challenging common knowledge and our goal was to use the island to see how our theories would play out.  If we succeeded, other countries would use our methods too.  It was a long shot, but it was possible.

Those gathered were from a randomized sample of people from all over the world who had volunteered for this experiment.  They had filled out forms of agreement and in those forms they listed their skills, strengths, and weaknesses.  We had devised a plan to utilize the skills of every individual to promote efficient reaping of natural resources and thus, a healthy island economy. 

You might think: why would these people want to work?  Well, there was no question about motivation.  These were the self-motivated already, we just gave them the instructions and they picked up the tasks with ease.

A couple of weeks later, the plan was in full effect.  The people lived in spacious 2400 square-foot houses—each painted eggshell color, a nice neutral, clean color that goes well with any roof tile—each with a luscious green lawn in the front and plenty of room in the backyard.  We also lived in such accommodations.  It was all built in a clearing apart from the jungle-like landscape of the rest of the island (the clearing cleared out by those skilled in lumberjacking).

We had our fishermen, fruit pickers, clothesmakers etc.  Everyone had a job to do.  And as far as industry went, we believed it best for all the products to go directly to us so we could ration goods to the families according to household size.  Even all of us on the board abided by our amounts.  With continued support from the U.N., we had more and more factories set up, even electricity in houses and every other building.  The electricity had to be rationed too, of course.  Rationing was very tedious and a lot of calculations went in to it, yet we managed.  There was no currency, no trading.

For the young children, schools were set up so they could be taught a specific set of skills so one day when they were able, they could contribute to society just like their parents did.  The school was divided into sectors where each taught a different trade; the teachers were just those who were retired but had a talent in that subject area even before they lived on the island.  We made sure the island’s future was in good hands.

People did the same work Monday through Friday.  Everyone ate the same thing, or rather, some variation of the same meal.  And we had no visitors, no influx of immigrants; the only increase in the population was from progeny.  And believe me, that didn’t happen as fast as it should have.

The island grew technologically at a decent rate and was soon almost as technologically advanced as the countries who funded this project.  We had telephone communication, Internet, cars, roads for the cars, even a ferry that could transport people off the island, though no one ever used it.

People on the island were happy.  They were pretty friendly too.  You’d hear things such as “Hello,” “good morning” matched with a toothy smile when people passed by each other.  The conversations would be about the slowly rising population and the weekly fluctuations of rations, which were horrible to listen to.  Every now and then the people organized sports games in which many people participated.  I still remember my first intra-island soccer game.  Only, we called it football.  There was not much to it and the games were low-scoring.  I stopped playing because I couldn’t do it with the same plays, the same tricks, and always the same people.

Sometimes there were dances, but most nights, I felt a déjà vu feeling since the D.J.’s played the same songs in a loop.  It could be a totally different night, but it was always the same music.  The local bar was a place for people to chat, where the men of the island gathered after a long hard day of work.  The people generally controlled their consumption well, yet there were always the ones who felt the need to indulge more than they could handle, yet no fights ever broke out.  I wished there had been fights; I would have joined in.  All in all, life was too civil and there were little disputes.

We were the governing group and we knew that what we said was law.  And the people accepted the fact that authority was left to a higher power.Yet, just to take extra precautions, we had our identities kept secret, which left us a margin of comfort knowing that people saw us as regular citizens of the island.

We weren’t a greedy group.  We were fair in devising laws and our main purpose was to achieve success in this plan.  We weren’t power hungry either.  If it had been up to me, I would have bolted from my post, leaving it to some other sorry soul who would soon realize that Hobbes was right.

The people had phones in their houses and telephone wires were being set up around the island to progress communication.  They could call the outside world and talk to relatives and friends, yet talking with them did not bring feelings of longing and no one really wanted to leave the island, which I guess meant we were doing a good job.
 

***

 “Settle down, everyone!  Settle down!  I call this meeting to action on Thursday, ten-thirty.”

That night the bar was a musky place with all the men shuffling in and around the tables after a long days work.  The air was thicker and hotter towards the ceiling so the taller people had to sit to avoid passing out from lack of oxygen.  It wasn’t so much that the bar was small, but that it had tripled the occupancy capacity. 

The men had been gathered to meet about the suspected corruption of the board of directors.  They were confused at first, sensing no injustice, but I intended to show them the light.

“I want to bring to attention the horrid events that I have witnessed on this island.  You have been cheated!  Since the island started, I have discovered the countless riches those in power hoard.  Their houses are stocked full of goods.  You may be satisfied with the daily rations and the ridiculous amount of work, but I can’t stand to see you all get a penny’s worth for the labor you all do.

The room was silent at first, and then questions began to arise.  The rumble of how do you knows? and why should we listen to you? filled the bar and the volume gradually increased until I raised my arm high pulled the trigger of my pistol.  Dead silence followed and the last few shock waves of the blast were heard across the room.  They all looked at me.

“Haven’t seen one of these, huh.  Well, the big boys have hundreds of them in storage just outside community limits.”

To prove to them I knew, I led them to where we kept the guns.  It was a slow trek since the way was unpaved.  People were constantly tripping over the vines and the roots and getting cuts on their faces from the razorblade leaves.

 

Well, me ransacked the place and cleaned all of the equipment out.  All the shelves stocked fully with AK’s and pistols were completely raped of all weapons.  In the next minute, the stock was completely empty, with everyone carrying at least one firearm.  We then paced back to the community.

Starting our entry, we had a couple of guys fire off some rounds.  With the pat pat pat in the middle of the night, people opened their doors abruptly only to see a mass of almost guerillas coming for all.  The ones close enough saw their pupils shrink to a needle point as their faces drained southward of blood.  This was our time.  We opened fire.

Some of them fought back, yet it was nothing compared to our horsepower.  We had the guns and the numbers.  In about twenty minutes, everything was up in flames.  I stood by and watched as the commotion killed the brave and surrendered the weak.  Half the people lay eagle-sprawled along the sidewalks and doorways.  The ground seeped red and dirtied our shoes as we marched forth.

***

I woke up feeling the cool of the morning upon my pillows.  I stretched my legs outward and still could not feel the edges of my bed.  The sunlight was seeping in through the thin cracks of my thick curtains and I slowly reached for the phone.  I then pressed the pound button and was instantly connected with the butler.  I told him to send up some breakfast to eat for I was hungry and today would be a busy day.

When I wish, I have one of the servants drive me down into the area to observe and watch the laborers at work.  They all do a very good job, and I know they are on their best behavior when they see my black Rolls Royce Phantom come over the hill.  No one ever questions me.  In the end, their fate is in my hands.  I guess things turned out just the way I liked.

 


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