A perfect utopia. A euphoric embrace of time where you could simply follow the path set out for you, or endlessly repeat the cycle of nightmares that may continuously deem to haunt you.

They want to break you. Tear you apart.

They want to gnaw at your flesh, consume the waking dreams you want control of just so long as they have absolute autonomy over your every action— over your whole life. 

You know what you are doing feels wrong, it feels dirty. Your hands shake the hands of those with pearly white smiles. Your eyes crease at the strangers who you grew up knowing as family. You wake up each morning in a cold sweat— feeling your every move being watched.

Months? Years? How long has it been since you have felt this way? Are you real? Are your parents real? You want to claw your eyes out, clench your knuckles so tight that they turn white. Yet, whatever you try to do, your fingers do not move an inch. You feel that splitting migraine echo deep in the crack of your throbbing skull. Your brain is taunting you— calling you an utter waste of space, a travesty to society. 

You want to cry.

God, you want to cry. 

Every echoed voice in your skull wants to break free— wants to wake up every deprived cell in your decaying body. You force yourself to gain back the strength that was lost in you— too late, though.

Your neck aches with an excruciating burn. Your fingers convulse maniacally, breath shallow and eyes rolling back. Is this what death feels like? Deep down, however, you knew it yourself that you could never die. You would NEVER be able to pass if not for them. 

Darkness overcomes your senses, the thud of your falling to the ground serving as the only imperfect perfection in your hauntingly perfect life.

When did things go bad? When did sublimity become a walking nightmare? When did utter loss of autonomy result in the husk of what a human used to be? Emotions too unstable to control— switched off with the click of a switch; with the insertion of a chip.


You… you are different. The totalitarianism that surrounds you— you are not affected by it now.



You are a nobody. You are just a normal person.

Insecurities cloud your mind after years of brain fog silencing your every will and thoughts. You are you again… who are you again?

You do not know. Perhaps you will never know. But right now, the gripping pain of a particle glitch in the flesh of your neck leaves you wanting to pick at the healed scar; scratch it open so that it bleeds a tantalising hue of crimson. Your body is yours.

“Sweetheart! Your father and I are headin’ over to a diner. Wanna come?” your mother(?) calls for you right outside the blank space of your bedroom. With trembling hands, you pull the skin knitted to the chip; crushing it between your delicate and bloodied fingers. Picking up the pace, there you saw her, standing outside your bedroom door with an uncanny smile etched on her face. Was she smiling? Was she forcing a smile? You could not tell— especially when your attention is focused elsewhere on the blood dripping down the expanse of your neck. They cannot know. Nobody can know that you have your mind back to yourself. 

Words simply fail you, a choked sob escaping your lips. Perhaps it is best to continue conversations nonverbally for the time being— at least until you can catch your bearings straight.  

You wish you could destroy everything. Your whole childhood… stolen. Your life, all dictated. 

Time felt like a blur as you moved with the flow. But, you hated it. Hated it all. Was your mother truly your mother? Your father? Was he the man who always loved you no matter what growing— or was he just another husk for the government to control and ensure their absolute regime?

 “Are you okay?”

“Something is wrong with you…”

Everyone has something to say about how weirdly you have been acting. They all ask and question you. If only they knew that every single word they utter is of meticulous consideration. That everything said and done is only allowed because the chips allow them to. Nothing more, nothing less. 

Wherever you look is artificial beauty. Stalls open with jokes of street food— people out wearing their high-fashioned cosmetics whether it be a new bionic eye, hand— hell, even simply tattoos and piercings. But no. You were smart enough to know that anything people did was pre-determined.

No. You will make your own destiny.

Your own path. 

You thought it would be simple to pretend that everything was fine— that everything could go back to the way it was before you knew. However, that was far from the case. 

Months would pass and you could feel your body start to deteriorate. Your mother would get worried sick for you, always visiting your bedroom to check up on you. Yet, no matter how much you did not want to believe it, you could sense that eerie glint of someone hiding behind her eyes and watching your every move. You couldn’t run.

You tried.

You ran away from home one night, hearing the wails of police cars tracking rogue civilians. Were you one of them? Perhaps. But even so, even despite your legs burning and aching to stop— you ran for your life. The breeze caressed your skin, nightmares encompassing your vision as much as you tried to believe that something was out there for you.

A utopia.

Your steps falter, however. At the end of the road is a vast sea. A sea that, rather than threatening you of its dangers, instead beckons you closer like a slithering siren. You would have run. You did not want to care about drowning. Even that would have been a better fate than having to deal with puppets being run by the government.

You just wanted to… stop it all. But you couldn’t.

You were a person of few words even when you were still under control. Now? Still the same you.

Pathetic, truly. You trudged back home, blissfully unaware of the civilians who watched you with a smile on their lips. Did they like not knowing? Did they enjoy being controlled? Obviously, no one enjoyed it. But they never tried even once to break from the barriers that chained them from being themselves. 

Your shoes scrapped against the pavement as the wailing of sirens grew closer. Were you finally caught? Have you finally been caught? 
No.Of course not.

Ever since that day, you stopped eating. You stopped drinking. Everything you thought you loved— you simply stopped. Thoughts swim in your head of all the times you have tried to force reason into your head. Yet, nothing worked.

Despite everything, you still ended up becoming the husk of a person that could have been. A person who had every right to a future if it had not been stripped away at the moment of birth.

This is no utopia. It is a nightmarish cycle with no way out.

Written By: Lavanya
Edited By: Merissa

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