What

What

A Chapter by Hannah Rose
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Third chapter to Harper’s City of Silence

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In her city silence was sanity
In her city communication was minimal
In her city noise was maddening
In her city it’s effect was not subliminal

The silent city consists of tenant buildings, schools, and factories. Each factory had a kitchen. Workers of these kitchens were given set ingredients each day to prepare a meal for the factory workers, however, what they did with these ingredients was completely up to them, and it was each citizens job to except the food given to them, without complaint.

The citizens only enjoyed one meal a day, and the meal was considered of high importance to all in the silent city. An excessive amount of thought and preparation went into each meal.

In school, students are taught about how, in the old days, meals had often been used as gateways to "conversation", a type of interaction between humans that included sound, and thus incited issues. The cities founder however, a heavy set man, insisted that pleasant food was important to keeping up the moral of society. He instituted the decree that "a meal must be so delicious, it engrosses its consumer too much to allow any human interaction to take their attention."

The meal the pencil factory workers would be enjoying today, was a hearty helping of steak with a mash potato side, and a mix of green veggies.

Factory workers sat with their co-workers in the same order they did their work. 27698 could not help, but think about Progress doing the unthinkable. Listening. He seemed so accustomed to it. And how come Prune wasn't as astonished as she was? Was this a common thing to do in the pencil factory?

27698 noticed Progress's lack of attention to his food which increased her nervousness. He continuously looked up and around the lunch room, an action that was frowned upon during 27698's time in school. What was he thinking? Prune continued to show a lack of interest in Progress's actions, and once 27698 realized how much attention she was paying to something other than her food, she quickly felt a twinge of guilt, and directed her focus back onto the delicious meal in front of her, but her mind quickly slipped into a long train of thought about her soundless society.

She was reminded of a great time of tragedy in her cities history. The world of technology had broken down, and humanity was forced to communicate through sounds. Three standards where developed to prevent another tragedy if technology ever broke down again.

1. Humanity could not forget how to live without technology.
2. Humanity could not forget how to communicate through body language.
3. Humanity could not forget how to create pencils and paper.

The third standard was due to pencils and paper being the tools for soundless, complex communication. For this reason, the act of writing was no longer exclusive to using pens, and the creating of pencils would not be designated to machines, but the hands of individual pencil makers.

Pencil makers sacrificed their own peace for the good of society. They allowed their lives to be touched occasionally by sound. Perhaps Progress was an unfortunate result of this sacrifice.

Finally able to give herself some peace on Progress's unfortunate state, 27698 was able to bring her mind back to pencil carving. She had to up her game if she wished to maintain her position.

With renewed confidence, 27698 returned to the work room with the rest of the pencil carvers. She found she kept up better with her colleagues than before.

Assembly line 1 was still the last to finish, but by the time the light turned red, signaling the end of the work day, Harper only had one more pencil to carve.



© 2018 Hannah Rose



Author's Note

Hannah Rose
I’m aware of grammatical errors, but still welcome corrections!

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Added on January 3, 2018
Last Updated on January 3, 2018


Author

Hannah Rose
Hannah Rose

TN



About
I am 20, a barista, and a student. I plan on teaching English as a second language in a foreign country after graduating college, and I love to write. I am also a Christian and hope to use my writing .. more..

Writing