Writing Challenge: The Demons Of Dystopia…
“Eager souls, mystics and revolutionaries, may propose to refashion the world in accordance with their dreams; but evil remains, and so long as it lurks in the secret places of the heart, utopia is only the shadow of a dream.” Nathaniel Hawthorne
Synopsis: A young museum curator lapses into a coma after a horrific accident. 100 years later, Maya wakes up to a changed world – Dystopia. Dystopia is a world characterized by human carnage, oppression, squalor, disease, mounting misery, water shortages and overcrowding. A meteor crash in 2101 decimated the earth and unleashed 7 demons who battle for control of the continents. Earth is now dominated and ruled by the seven deadly sins embodied in the giant demons; each demon is the manifested form of one of the deadly sins. Maya has been assigned to Group Pride ruled by Lucifer and must learn to find her way in a new world order.
Each of us arrived on earth by agreement. We also agreed to a departure time, which, as earthly time goes, is short… But, from time to time, a few souls fall through the gap, straddling two worlds; the earthly world, and the spirit world which is separated from earth by a thin veil. Behind the thin, opaque veil, effused with shimmering crystal light, is the realm of divine spirit; some would reference it as the ancestral abode or the doorstep to heaven.
On January 12, 2013, Maya Stroll, 35, museum curator, tall, pretty with emerald colored eyes and long, jet black hair, and of Mediterranean extraction, stepped out the front door of her Park slope brownstone. It was a cold, gray, dreary day; perfect for staying indoors unless one had no choice in the matter. Distracted by the loud noise of the construction site across the street, Maya didn’t see the black sedan, a gypsy cab, hurtling in her direction. “Those bastards never take a day off; they must be running a racket!” she muttered under her breath as she stepped off the curb, eager to get to her beige mini cooper across the street and head for work. Seconds before the gypsy cab hit her, Maya looked up, braced herself, “Oh God!”
The gypsy cab driver, Salim Hayes, lost control of his car when the brakes failed and watched in horror as the 2.25 ton car slammed into Maya. Salim remembered the look of sickened horror on her face as the impact of 4,500Ibs of metal against flesh ripped a huge gash in her left thigh, snapped her left fibula in half and tossed her 50 feet in the air before flinging her like a rag doll against the concrete wall of the construction site where part of her scalp was torn off. The cab slammed into two parked cars before coming to rest halfway up the hood of a minivan; leaving a trail of glass and twisted metal everywhere. Salim passed out. Maya lost consciousness.
“Because power corrupts, society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.” John Adams
“Oh my God, Oh God! Call 911” someone yelled. A few site crew members ran to check on Salim. Fortunately, he had a concussion and some bruises but would recover. The site foreman and another worker, a structural engineer, grabbed a hand towel and a jacket and ran to assist Maya. They covered Maya’s bleeding leg with her fibula bones exposed. “She’s dead.” The foreman said solemnly as the distant sirens drew closer and closer. The first ambulance stopped right in front of Maya’s home and the first responders jumped into action.
“Come, come, she’s over here!” The engineer shouted. The responder moved quickly to help Maya. Minutes later, a second Ambulance arrived to help Salim. On the way to St Bart’s Hospital, Maya went into cardiac arrest twice. The doctors did everything to save her. Maya soon lapsed into a coma leaving behind a chaotic world in deep economic recession, wars raging, food and water shortages, and growing concerns about the environment.
100 Years Hence: Cut to Dystopia
100 years later, it’s 2113, Maya stirs, slowly coming out of her coma. Attached to tubes and machines, she tries to move an arm but can’t. The machines come to life printing data and announcing, seemingly to no one in particular, Pride- Maya SSS754449 is awake. Pride- Maya SSS754449 is awake. Soon, her room is teeming with medical staff checking her vitals and gathering more data. Maya is identified as Pride- Maya SSS754449 for a reason. She is in Deadly Sins Dystopia; specifically in Lucifer’s territory.
After the last meteor attack on earth in 2101, seven giant demons rose from the dust, each representing one of the seven deadly sins. They battled each other for territories and, soon, divvied up the earth into seven barren hellholes, dominating all remaining life forms. The Seven Deadly sins and corresponding giant demons are: Lucifer: pride, Mammon: greed , Asmodeus: lust, Leviathan: envy, Beelzebub: gluttony, Amon: wrath and Belphegor: sloth.
Over the next twelve weeks, Maya comes in and out of consciousness. She is monitored and encouraged to respond to music, words, and touch. Speech and physical therapists are on board. Specialists run tests and stop by to update her chart. At first, she is confused, unable to say more than one word. The bright fluorescent lights burn her eyes and the face of medical staff are unfamiliar, but something within drives her; an inner resolve goads her on. Her recovery is gradual, slow, as is expected with her type of injury. In week 12, as Maya opens and closes her eyes, she notices how brightly lit her room is, and how grey and wet it looks outside her window. For a moment, she wonders, “Where am I? What’s going on?” Then Maya remembers she’s in a hospital; her treatment and therapy are going well. More below!
“Although images of perfection in people’s personal lives can cause unhappiness, images of perfect societies, utopian images, can cause monstrous evil. In fact, forcefully changing society to conform to societal images was the greatest cause of evil in the twentieth century.” Dennis Prager
Maya still forgets things but she is progressing well. Looking outside at the grey sky and adjourning grey buildings, she wonders why everything is so devoid of color; so lifeless. She wants to go outside and see but, she is immediately drawn to the sound of footsteps approaching her room. Soon the door opens and a familiar face peaks in; it’s one of the attending physicians, Dr. Festus. Maya recognizes him but doesn’t recall his name. Dr Festus was Maya’s childhood physician. He’s a kind man and always gave Maya and the other kids treats in his office. How could he still be here? Dr Festus walks in with a nurse and they start dismantling the tubes and attachments.
Dr Festus: Good morning Maya! Do you recognize me?
Maya: Nodding her head, mumbles “Yes!”
Dr F: I’m Dr. Festus. Your childhood physician… How are you feeling today?
Maya: I’m Okay…? Yes, I know you… she coughs.
Dr Festus: We’ve been monitoring you closely and noticed a huge positive change in your reflex and responses last night. We’re going to take you upstairs for a new battery of tests. I know you have lots of questions, so I’ll share again what has transpired with you.
Maya: “Yes! Please tell me.” She says in a soft voice… Nodding head again, as memories slowly flood in.
Dr F: In 2013, about 100 years ago, you had a terrible accident and went into a coma. You suffered serious head trauma, (a subdural hematoma and avulsion to the scalp), a broken fibula, a huge gash to your left thigh and lacerations on your right arm and leg. We are lucky to have you back and alive. I’m impressed your speech therapy is going well and you’re now able to talk a little bit more.
Maya: hem mm … Am I okay? And mama and papa?
Dr F: You will be… ok. A few years after your accident, a new life extending treatment came on the market. I took it and so did many others until governments, realizing the implications, started seizing and destroying the treatment. Your parents’ refused to indulge and lived out their natural lives.
Maya: In a halting voice, asks softly, “Did they miss me?
Dr F: Of course they did. Very much … they spent many hours in the hospital with you too. After they passed away, the state took on your care and I made sure you got all you needed.
Maya: And the world outside? Why so grey?
Dr F: Well things were improving all around until the meteor hit in 2101. It triggered a seismic shift, massive fires, cracks in the earth’s core, and the release of the seven monsters. They battled each other for territory and soon partitioned the earth into 7 kingdoms. Wherever you live, you are under the rule of one of these demons. Yours and ours is Pride – Lucifer. The demon expects full attention and routinely throws people who disobey him into an open fire. He is surrounded by sycophants doing his dirty work. People of faith have gone underground. Others stay home a lot to avoid exposure and if you stay under the radar, you will thrive.
Maya: Why so grey outside?
Dr F: Mostly pollution from the open fire pits and accumulated gases from the aftermath of the meteor hit. But before the catastrophe, man stopped tilling the earth to conserve and protect our diminished global water supply. Food is now created in duplication pods. You punch in a bunch of codes and everything you want, from organic to junk food, is created in the pods. Water is rationed as it’s always in short supply. You’re resilient and will find a way.
The information swirled around in Maya’s head. She was flabbergasted and couldn’t believe what she was hearing. What had she come back to? Will she make it or become another poor soul headed for Lucifer’s fire pit? Things were tough when she checked out in 2013. But this was a nightmare; sheer hell. Yet, she kept hearing the echo of Dr F’s words in her head… “You’re resilient and will find a way.”
Maya: Dr F, I hope I find a way…
Maya closed her eyes and wished it would all go away…
This post was inspired by the Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge Prompt: Weekly Writing Challenge: Dystopia! (The Musical) Write a short story or piece of descriptive faux-journalism describing your personal idea of a dystopia — a dark future when everything you hold dear is on the chopping block. You’re hit by a car tomorrow and, just like in the movies, they put you on ice and wait for medical science to make it possible to revive you at some point in the future. And revive you they do, some 20, 50, or 100 years later (any later than that is just cheating). Lo and behold you’ve woken up into your personal nightmare vision of the future. Tell us what it looks like.
*Please bear with me as I’m finally beginning to catch up on your blogs and commenting… I’m back on track; albeit at a slow pace. Thank you all for your patience!
Positive Motivation Tip: This is a fictional piece and while it is dark, real life can be darker… Embrace the light. Namaste.
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