Flash Friday Fiction: Ignorance Is Strength

Riot Police. CC2.0 photo by Thomas Hawk.
Riot Police. CC2.0 photo by Thomas Hawk.

Ignorance is Strength – 215 words

“Persistence is futile,” you say.

I laugh. You always get it wrong. “That’s not how it—“

“Persistence is futile,” you interrupt, brows furrowing as your mouth turns down.

I go back to scrubbing the pan. No sense arguing.

“Big Mother is watching,” you say.

I heave a sigh. “Brother. It’s Brother.”

“I’ve got my thigh on you.”

Now I know you have to be kidding. But my guffaws are met with stony silence, your black eyes beading into mine.

I raise up my red, raw hands in surrender.

You nod, and return to cleaning the counters.

I look out the window, watching them march by, all black and white and shouting orders.

A small boy darts out in the middle of them, laughing as his panicked mother lunges after.

They tread on him with no second thoughts, and soon red joins the monochrome color scheme.

I want to cry out, but noise brings notice, and that’s the last thing we want.

I look back at you. You watch me with a steady gaze, a slight nod indicating you, too, saw the horror that just occurred. One of many. An average day.

We duck our heads. Focus on our work.

“Live long and whisper,” you say.

Prosper, my mind corrects, but I don’t bother saying it.

Here were this week’s rules for Flash Friday Fiction:

Using George Orwell’s 1984 (in which a historian secretly rebels against the oppressive government he works for) as novel inspiration, craft a story of 200-225 words, using two of the following story elements:

* Conflict: man vs society (government)
Character: historian
Theme(s): Censorship and/or totalitarianism
Setting: dystopia (near-future society ruled by an evil, oppressive government)

I chose everything except the historian. What do you think of my mini-tale? I’d love to hear from you in the comments! And if you march on over to Flash Friday Fiction, you may read the other weekly offerings, or perhaps contribute your own.