an excerpt of a short story by Mya, a student at The Baltimore City High School
“I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.”
— Whitney Houston (Greatest Love of All)
It all started in the year 2030 when the founder, Mya Smith, first heard this quote which made Perropilis possible. When Smith heard this quote, she was deeply touched by the true words of the song and and made a highly persuasive speech to convince people that the children truly are the future and must be taught in a way that helps them realize this. Smith’s plan was to make children be able to run the country and take on the traditional societal roles of adults while the current adults would step down from their positions and move to the opposite side of the country. Of course, people were hesitant at first so they wanted to see proof that this master plan would work. Luckily, Smith was ready for the skeptics and she told everyone to give her just two years and a month to prove herself. Sure enough, in two years and a month Mya Smith had the country running like a well-oiled machine which convinced everyone that she knew exactly what she was doing. So the adults were assisted in moving all the way across the country to a fresh land renamed Straconolis, starting their new lives without having to worry about their children, since they were now able to take care of themselves. The adults would also get a large shipment of supplies delivered to them twice a year or whenever they needed something. In Perropilis, the children would get taught things from sewing and home economics to running a business. In other words, they wouldn’t have to waste time on learning arithmetic and other purposeless subjects that children back in the 2010’s had to learn. So as you can tell, everyone was satisfied…. for the time being.
Keith Nichols was always a curious fellow. When he was going to school, he would always ask his professors difficult questions they didn’t know how to answer.
“What’s it like in Straconolis?” he would ask, in the middle of a lecture. The professor and the students would be irritated when he asked these pointless questions and always got dirty looks from everyone in the class. Just to keep him quiet the professor played a short video (for the third time that week), showing the happy faces living their lives with an enthusiastic narrator explaining that Straconolis is a place where adults go to live the rest of their lives in peace and happiness. And that with the generous donations from Perropilis, their lives are made even more wonderful with things from the latest fashion trends to the best foods from all around the world. To end the video, the narrator thanked the “wise and wonderful Mya Smith”. The screen faded to black and the professor continued with the lecture. For some reason that video always seemed too good to be true.
To this day, at the age of 20, Keith still wonders about what’s really going on in Stracononlis. Sometimes questions like that are what keeps him awake at night. Pretty soon, he thought, that question will be answered since it’s almost my time to go. The way our world is now, 21 is considered too old and on the day of my 21st birthday I’ll be shipped off to the Land of the Doomed.
The Land of the Doomed is what Keith always called Straconolis because he’s never been there and whoever goes there never returns. He just assumed that everyone who went there died within a few years. Keith wasn’t sure how to feel about being sent to Straconolis since he’s never been there and he was always taught that it was such a wonderful place. But he could never shake the thought that everything in society is not as it seems.
When Keith finally gets out of bed, he pours himself a large bowl of cereal and says, “power,” to turn on the television. On the television, there was a news reporter saying that crime is at the lowest it’s ever been in years.
“Statistics show that crime rates have been on a continuous decrease since our new government was formed,” said the prepubescent reporter. “Children and teenagers are now a lot less stressed and more successful without the distraction of police cars racing down streets–”. Keith changed the channel to a cooking show and started to watch. After a while, Keith got bored and realized that he only had 20 minutes to get to his job on time. He finished his cereal in record time and ran into his shower chamber and pressed a button that said “in a hurry.” This made the shower wash and dress him in less than five minutes. When he was finished, he grabbed the things he needed and ran out of the door of his house.
“So tell me what’s troubling you, Melanie,” Keith said to his client. He works as a therapist at a lower level college for young children that are not yet preteens. Since these children are still young and don’t know how to manage all of their work, they often need professional help.
For the rest of the story, please contact Mya at myafacey123 at gmail.com.
Mya is a senior at The Baltimore City College High School located in Baltimore City, Maryland. She says, “This short story was an assignment for my English class and when my teacher graded it, she said that it was great and recommended that I submit it to your website. Now before you read it, I must say that it is 15 pages long (double-spaced) but it is worth your time to read. Even if my story doesn’t get published on your website, it would be an honor for you to at least read through it and perhaps tell me what you think. Enjoy!”