Birthday

Here’s a very rare venture into dystopian fiction:

Birthday

The shadows of the headstones creep across the ground as the sun sets and I pull my jacket tighter against the evening chill.

It’s my birthday tomorrow. That birthday.

We don’t celebrate birthdays the way we used to. When I was young we had birthday parties, a cake with candles to blow out, joyful friends singing your name and clapping, faces smiling, happy. That all ended by the time I reached, what, sixty? Twenty years ago. Fucking revolution.

The others will be at the house now. Bert and Emily and Joe. That’s all. It’s enough, though. I told everyone I didn’t want them here when it was time but I knew those three wouldn’t listen. They’re good friends from the old days.

I’d once hoped to be buried here in this cemetery, the old-fashioned way. It’s so pretty with the wild flowers and the ancient oaks. A lovely place for that eternal sleep. The headstones are interesting: They all died at different ages. That’s how it used to be, pre-revolution. Now we have CoMo.

I get it. I really do. How can you provide health care, pensions, housing, food and water if people are dying untidily at all ages, some getting to a hundred or more? Controlled Mortality. I get it. The Revolutionary Council wants a tidy, controlled society. No surprises. Eighty years is enough they decided after takeover. That was when we had the cull. When my parents went. That was tough to take, I must say.

Things are going well now, apparently, so RevCo are putting it up another two years starting next year. Just my luck, eh?

Oh well, best stop these silly thoughts, wander back to the house and get cracking with the last supper. They’re coming for me at midnight.

Happy fucking birthday.

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