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Utopian England

In modern England, things are about to change. Now the populace of the country has been led into a Utopian society, with the charismatic Alex Newburn as its figurehead. This is the story of Stan, who has just been ‘welcomed’ to this new Utopia, but feels lost and confused in a completely unrecognizable England.

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Utopian England

It all came as a shock at first for me. If having armed police burst into my room in the middle of the night wasn’t bad enough – they deported me back to England. There was no explanation from the American government, nor any sort of trial. I was just deported without question, without reason, without justification.
  To be honest, at that point, I didn’t really want to return to England. At least, not after everything I had seen in the news over the past year and a half. You know, they’ve renamed Britain now? Now it goes by the name of New Great Voraptious – Utopia of Man, or something like that.
  Except, from what I had heard; it was nothing like a utopia. Apparently, there were massed deportations over the last six or so months. Women, children, men – both the criminal and law-abiding – all had been deported in their thousands. A lot were sent back to their home countries, but for others, Britain was their home. Huge immigration camps had popped up all over Western Europe, in France, Germany, and Spain – anywhere that would accept the huge crowds.
  Yet there I was being imported by force. For what? So that they could just deport me again? Or for something else entirely – something that I may not like?
  I’d just got off the plane, only to be grabbed by the authorities. They said that I was to be quarantined to ensure I didn’t bring foreign contaminants.
  Thank god when I was finally out of quarantine. They kept me practically locked up for days in a crappy little cell with barely enough food. Every morning, I was strip-washed and searched, along with a dozen or so others who were ‘lucky’ enough to be imported.
  It was like they were terrified that we would bring in a super virus that could destroy all of Britain. There were injections – dozens of supposed vaccinations every day – as well. At one point, I’m sure I overheard one of them mentioning a steroid in our injection.
  No matter how much we complained, it was still the same rough treatment and soaking everyday. By the fifth day, we were worried that we might get addicted to the stuff they were giving us.
  In actual fact, the fifth day was our last day in confinement. We were cast out into the bright sunlight of the parking lot, where we stood dazed and confused. I had no idea what to do next and I was too afraid to go back for help.
  The sun sure was hot upon my face and especially my eyes. But when I finally adjusted, the view before me was so beautiful. It truly was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Compared to this, I felt like I’d lived the rest of my life in blindness.
  The sky looked so sparkling, blue with giant, fluffy clouds – not one of which looked even slightly out of place. The streets and buildings were all painted in a perfectly clean, pristine white that reflected the light like a beautiful mirror of stone.
  Every grass verge was covered in flowers of every colour, amongst which ran cute little animals. The buildings themselves were home to many flowers and some even had clear water streaming down the sides like a wall of liquid, creating a rippling light effect for everyone to enjoy.
  There was so much technology around here as well. My god, I’m sure that I saw a robot scooting around somewhere. It was only small though, so I can’t really say what it looks like. I saw it a couple of times though, mowing through the flower beds and grabbing any animal too slow or too dopey to run away.
  Surprisingly, it began to comb and wash the animals before almost blowing them away with a hairdryer arm. The very last act it committed was to inject some vaccinations, put it down and pat it. The little creatures ran off, all fluffy and looking adorable.
  I began to walk into the town that surrounded the car park, a little flustered by all these new sights. I began to make my way down what I think was a high street. Every single building looked like the one which I had just left. It was so eerily clean and bright and the streams of water coursing down the walls glimmered so brightly.
  The streets were crowded, not only with people cheerily going about their business – chatting with people they passed – but also with a wide range of robots and animals. There was a marvellous, broad stag – several tiny cleaning robots working to scrub and clean it’s vast fur coated back.
  It was so calm and relaxed in its surroundings that it didn’t mind when a little kid tugged at its fur roughly. Funnily enough, the child’s mother actually apologized to the huge animal and gave it something from her bag to eat.
  That’s when I realized that the people were just as gorgeous as the streets that they walked along. It really did make me feel small and inferior. There wasn’t a single wrinkle amongst them as far as I could tell. Nor was anyone too fat, too thin or otherwise generally unhealthy.
  I saw a couple of armed police striding towards me in a fancy blue uniform. I began to panic at first, thinking they were coming for me.  As they passed by – I had obviously been staring – they simply nodded, “Good morning, sir.”
  That suddenly made me realise just how out of place I really was here. I felt like a man wearing jeans and a t-shirt at a royal party, where everyone else wore full dress. I felt like a peasant amongst a flock of swans. Everyone was so happy here and they all had a place to be and a life to live.
  I didn’t recognise anyone or anywhere and yet only two years had passed since I lived somewhere near here. I’ll be honest, I was feeling afraid and alone and the world spun around me so vigorously.
  Just as suddenly as it had happened, everything stopped. People seemed to move past so slow and their voices deepened and slurred. There was a cool breeze that swept over me. I honestly thought I was having a fit, the way everything had changed.
  In their slow state of motion, people began to turn and look concernedly at me as I began gasping for breath. I think I was having a panic attack and that idea itself began to panic me further.
  There were suddenly a pair of hands on my shoulder and I could hear a girl’s voice. “Just take some nice, deep, calm breaths and to try to control it.”
  I turned, gasping to see who she was. In an instant, I felt calm as I saw for the first time her beauty in the sunlight. My breathing began to ebb to normality and my heart pounded away faster than ever.
  “Are you okay now?” she asked thoughtfully.
  “Yes, thank you,” I replied, a little shy and embarrassed.
  “I haven’t seen you around before. Are you new here?”
  “Yeah, I just got imported from America. How did you know?” I wheezed curiously, still a little out of breath.
  “Well, I know everyone in town. Everyone knows each other here, you will too, I’m sure, in time,” she explained.” Imported, huh? You must be special.”
  “How so?”
  “Well, after the deportations, there wasn’t a whole lot of people left who fit the ‘perfect’ criteria. So, Alex Newburn – our new leader – had a lot of British citizens brought back from abroad. The fact that you’re here is proof that you’re special,” she finished.
  “How the heck am I special?”
  “Well, for a start, not many people in your confusing situation would say, ‘what the heck?’ when stronger words would be expected. Besides you seem like a nice enough guy,” she continued. “And that’s all you really need to be here… My name is Katherine by the way.”
  “I’m Stan, and I’m kind of lost. I don’t suppose you could help me out could you?” I felt a little guilty to ask a complete stranger to give up their own time to help me, but I didn’t really have a choice.
  “Of course I will help. I was only doing some shopping anyway.” I only just noticed as she said it, the two large cloth bags at her feet. She had obviously been busy, based on how many things each bag held. “Now, you’re new, so I guess you need a place to live?”
  I nodded quietly. “That’s no problem,” she said, “you can stay at my place. It’s like a public garden with housing around it. Everyone practically lives in each other’s houses there. It’s lovely; I think you’ll like it”
  She began to pick up her bags, but like a gentleman, I offered to carry them for her. Truth be told, I felt like I’d fallen under a spell the moment I first laid eyes on her. For the first time in my life, that thing about jumping off a bridge because ‘they told you to’, didn’t seem quite so absurd at that moment onwards.
  We began to walk and talk – her leading the way to the ‘Shared Living Apartment’ that she spoke so fondly of. The roads were still of people and animals and tiny robots, some of which, Katherine happily introduced me to.
  We eventually reached the apartment block. Through the archway we walked to gaze upon a vast garden, decorated with plants, flowers, trees, ponds and even a swimming pool. All around the site was a wall of houses with doors and windows all facing towards the garden.
  Katherine showed me to an empty house – just recently vacated, she said. It was a lot larger than I expected. It had a kitchen, bedroom, lounge, two bathrooms (one ensuite) and several walk-in wardrobes. Everything was immaculately clean and tidy, that I was astounded.
  The bed was just so inviting to my weary body that I simply couldn’t resist the need to fall onto it. I wasn’t disappointed by the cool, soft, relaxing comfort.
  “I don’t deserve all this,” I honestly admitted to Katherine. “Somebody else should stay here.”
  “Of course you deserve to stay here,” Katherine replied.
  I sat up straight suddenly with a serious expression upon my face. Katherine obviously noticed and sat beside me. “What’s wrong?” she asked quietly.
  “Why am I here, Katherine?” I asked, “What makes me so much more special than all those people who were deported? Why am I here, in a utopia and yet still feel so afraid and alone?”
  “Do you want to know why I think you’re here?” Katherine asked.
  “Yes.”
  “I’ve been talking to you for several hours now”, she said. “Admittedly, I don’t know you that well, but I think you’re nice enough. You seem want to better yourself and most importantly, you believe that others should be given what you really do deserve. If you’re not a selfless person, then you are at least a modest one.”
  Hearing her say that made me begin to feel that maybe I have always been underestimating myself. I mean, I have always been a little lacking in confidence but from that point on, I felt like I was brimming with it.
  “Thank you, Katherine, for all your help today.” I said, barely able to contain my exhaustion a minute longer.
  She stood up and began to walk to the door. “It was no trouble. In fact, it was fun… Anyway, I’ll leave you to get some sleep.” She opened the door and began to leave – but not before sticking her head back in for a second. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” she smiled, before finally leaving.
  “I’m looking forward to it already,” I muttered to myself and I really did mean it.
  I undressed and got into the comfy bed. As I began to drift off to sleep, all the anxiety and stress about being in a new place was gone. Instead, I was looking forward to all the new and exciting things I would try. All the nice new people that I would meet.
  Most of all, though, as I finally fell asleep, I looked forward to seeing Katherine’s beautiful smile again in the morning.

Comments:

1 Howard | on 14 May 2009

this is superbly written. I would be very interested in Reading the rest of this.

2 lozz berry | on 17 May 2009

im enjoying it ill read the next half in the morning

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