We will be known as the pristine generation. Long forgotten are the Traditionalists, the Baby Boomers and Gen X. Gone are the Millenials, Technophiles and Greens. Now the Pure Generation who are part of the “final solution” to better the world.
Everyone knows technology failed us. My grandparents learnt about WWI and WWII, but today’s children are educated about the horrible incident that killed thousands. Shortly after the explosions, the global clean saw an improvement of the natural environment. Trees were planted in every space that wasn’t occupied by concrete rubble. Balconies, rooftops and pot plants became laden with trees, bushes and grasses. The natural environment was the best it ever had been, but the cultural environment was a mess. Someone would step up and restore this unpleasant and dangerous shambles.
I remember that day, not just because it was June the 22nd, my sweet sixteen, but as the day the troops flooded the streets. The invasion. I remember peeling back the paper from presents, hearing ricochetting gunshots and distressing screams breaking the airwaves. I looked at my mum, wide-eyed and questioning.
“Get down, Pandora, get behind the bed,” she drew the curtains and turned off the music.
“Whats happening? I’m so scared,” Pixie, my longtime friend said.
I peeped between the folds where the new purple curtains closed together, to where my street spread into the distance. I could see grey army trucks from the war and Perfect People walking up to each house. They would bang on the front door, forcing it open if there was no response. Every few houses they would pull someone out. I was a boss problem solver and a pattern flashed before my eyes. Blonde, Ginger, Ginger, Ginger, Blonde, Blonde and Ginger. Hair colour. Why were certain hair colours being extracted? They were marched to the army truck and pushed inside. “Bang” the door opened, we didn’t even hear a knock.
The Perfect yelled, “I need everyone in the house to move into the living room, now!”
We hurried, sensing the urgency in her voice. What was happening? I avoided her piercing gaze as she scanned the room, searching, examining. Searching for someone or something. Obviously, the Perfect couldn’t find what she was looking for under our roof and just like that, “poof,” she was gone and the tension in the room evaporated.
I can’t work out if it was a coincidence that the first invasion was on June 22 2141, 200 years after Hitler’s first invasion on June 22 1942. This is the kind of thing that swirls through my mind as I stroll down the street, Pixie plodding by my side. We always ponder about the future, reminisce about the past and gossip the drama in our perfect lives.
“Did you overhear what they said about Phantom?!”
“Yeah, she had been dying her hair black and the Perfect Police caught her.”
They arrived at her house yesterday morning, broke down the door and raided it after suspicions had been made. They found that she had been buying hair dye from the Purple Market so they wouldn’t take her away from her twin.
This was now the norm. We would go to the school and people had vanished. We try not to think about it anymore. We have been instructed to think about the future and how perfect it will be. My mind often wanders to the first raid and that evening on the news when the newly elected President explained everything.
“We must remove people who bring shame to the country, people who aren’t pure, people who are imposters. Think about the future, imagine. Imagine waking up and looking at your perfect face in the mirror. Imagine going to work or school and seeing nothing but perfection.”
I didn’t get it. How did he plan on this being successful? What would happen to what he called the “monsters” or the “imposters”? It didn’t take me long to realise. Our freshly designed newspads and T.Vs were flashing recent stories every minute. All the billboards on the way to school were blaring the news. There were film clips of people walking down the grey prison halls collecting purple pills. We saw the people in robes being forced to swallow while the T.V presenter explained they would no longer act like normal humans, but robotic assistants for Perfect People.
Exactly at 5 pm, there was the sound of an engine idling outside the house. There was a knock on our door. My heart starts to race, “they are here for me, no not yet, surely not” I think. Mum hurries to the door and opens it to a Perfect standing there looking like perfection with her flawless skin and deep, moody brown eyes. She pushes a tall, skinny ginger woman in a purple tunic through the door. Her hair looks limp and the bags below her vacant eyes, make her appear older than she probably is. I avoid eye contact, pretending to be studying. Between my pulsating heart and the words pouring through my head, I hear the Perfect speak, sounding like honey.
“This is Pollyanna, your assistant, you must feed her 3 meals a day and supervise her while she swallows her pills.”
Mum didn’t ask any questions, she just nodded and looked shocked while I averted my gaze, puzzled and scared.
The Perfect handed mum a pile of papers, “This is all you need to know. It contains her instructions and daily routine. Please contact us if you have a problem with Pollyanna, but you won’t as she has been trained well.”
And as quick as they had entered, they were gone and could be seen pulling into the neighbour’s driveway.
Later, I wonder, “how long will it take, when will they realise?” I look at myself in the mirror for a minute or two as I brush my perfectly white teeth, tie my mouse brown hair into a ponytail. I wash my face and slip the perfect brown contacts onto my blue eyes before hopping into bed.