The Silent Express – Zaza Asatiani 21′

As super-thin electric doors moved apart, a wave of homogenous mass flooded a huge auditorium, which was filled up with stained sunlight coming through translucent walls of the room. In pairs of two, expressionless persons wearing a black formal attire positioned themselves across mirror-surfaced floor replicating every movement accompanied by the sense-debilitating muteness inside the room. Fittingly, the barely alive eyes could only convey artificial excitement—even if natural, they still had to behave decently no matter that there was no one observing but their reflections. In minutes, a very tall and unsettlingly lean woman shrugged in an oversized purple costume seemingly mimicking a particularly patchy shape of her shaved head appeared out of nowhere to occupy a red podium in the front part of the auditorium.

‘Hail the New Order!’ She cried out as if her whole existence depended on it.

‘Hail! Hail! Hail!’ Declared the spiritless crowd back to her.

‘My sincerest congratulations to yous on making it to this point,’ the woman resumed in a lower but still commanding voice, ‘Your class-generation is indeed special. Out of two hundred of yous, only eight degenerate individuals had to be discarded to join the antiquated. This is an all-time record for our institution-home. BRAVO!’

– Welcome to the Institution-Home XXI. From now on, you’re a full family member of the Class-Generation CLI. As you know, you’ll spend a mere short ten years of your projected two hundred year-long lives here. Our pioneer institution will assist you in becoming an adequately beneficial person for the entire society. Let me kindly remind you, it’s in your best interest to keep up with the pace here; otherwise, you’ll be cast out to join the antiquated.

‘You should also celebrate being members of the honorary Class-Generation CL because, as you should very well know, your class-generation marks the 150th anniversary of the New Order, which just cannot wait any longer to get substantiated by yous, the new faces that will continue our progress.’

– The old order, may it rest under dirty pipes for good, was a form of upbringing that consisted of discrete family units. The antiquated, those damned souls, still follow it. Ugh, nauseous, indeed! Children then were born to or sometimes adopted by parents they did not choose and like school teachers practically never were qualified enough to raise them into beneficial citizens. That’s why they often abused kids both verbally and physically and forced them to wear synthetic clothes. As a result, kids did not know what to do but pursue activities meaningless for the societal welfare.

‘Today, yous will officially graduate from this institution-home, ready to be sent out to job-places desperately needing yous. But fear not! As you know, yous are already equipped with every single ability and skill necessary to strive in the providential world outside these time-honored walls.’

– Inside this institution you’ll have a real family that’ll prepare you for a stable adulthood. Here’re no parents to punish you for wrong reasons; instead you’ll be assigned a supervisor-parent with whom you’ll communicate daily via a secure online video-chat app. They’ll guide you stably through your student-childhood. The supervisor-parent will meet with you one-on-one twice a month to provide you with an adult bodily presence recommended in the early stages of human development for a sense of security or emotional comfort and training yous for sex, which everybody will start having after thirteen. Needless to say, you’ll have no siblings; siblings are a relic of the old, pervert times. After all, it’s such an unjustified waste of resources and so absolutely boring to allow only slightly different versions of the same blood and genes to coexist. Instead, other class-generation members will be your comrades and yous will wear the same clothes and eat the same food and possess the same technological devices, because the New Order, hailed it be, is truly for equals and the equality!

‘If yous be satisfactory workers, neither more nor less, yous will not have to worry about anything whatsoever. Yous will lead perfectly fulfilling lives as all your basic needs will be met promptly. Yet if yous shall fall short of your duties, yous will be deported to the Island of Purposeless to live there until some neglected tropical disease or cannibalistic deportees will kill yous. I have to mention this repulsive scenario only to emphasize that yous, my dear children, still have a choice to voluntarily join the antiquated before yous collect your diplomas—once you do, those old order freaks won’t accept yous, so in case you disappoint the New Order, yous will choose your doom to be executed on that island.’

– Your weekly schedule before you turn thirteen will contain three required cognates: a general qualitative subject, a general quantitative subject, and a general sports subject. You’ll have a mandatory full day break in the middle of every week, that is Thursday. When you turn thirteen, a specific practical work training will be added to your weekly schedule. You’ll also start having an hour-long sex session twice a month. All sessions will be closely monitored, and you’ll be matched with a different sex partner monthly.

‘That’s all I had to say in my last address to yous. May yous remain continuously well-functioning for the sake of reformed humanity!’

As the institution master finished her sweet blessing, the sixteen-year-old graduating folk swiftly abandoned the auditorium to complete the final duty under the institution: welcoming new five-year-old student-children. Up until that age, they were nurtured by special robots in a special habitat, their memories beginning to form the day they arrive at the institution-home.

– I explained basic basics to you, and you’ve no follow-up questions, I’d assume.

One of the graduating class members wrapped up the welcome and headed to the dorm to pack, leaving a fresh student-child behind.

Tomorrow, alongside his sibling-mates, he will board the silent express connecting their institution-home directly to the metropolis center. The practical society in which humans are viewed as disposable items susceptible to control is wholeheartedly waiting for them.

Jesus H. Christ, what an unsettling prologue! I’m sure the rest of the novella is as fucked up. Do they really wanna stage this? No, no, better count me out, bitches! We did have some other stupid plays, but this is too much, honestly. Yes, it’s 100% time to quit this shitty guild! Oh, in case you forgot, my much-troubled diary, that’s how I happened to be here in the first place:

Overwhelmed by the unbearable ambiguity of life’s prospects after high school graduation and believing now that I was finally eighteen I had to commit a true act of independence, one that would blatantly deviate from the status quo, I declared to my overparenting parents on the very second day of my prom that I had decided to take a gap year— leave home. I should stress that in a white-bright family of professors like mine not going directly to college after school is considered an avoidable disgrace and unequivocal failure, especially I was that kind of a perfect student destined for the Ivy League, which explains how hideously my parents’ faces got twisted because of this unpleasant surprise. Knowing my blood- deep obstinance, my parents spared me (or themselves) of arguments, though.

Looking neurotically for decent options, I was almost on the verge of a banal meltdown when Will, my best best friend, told me that—I miss him—last summer while camping in Alaska he attended a performance or two by a wandering troupe of teenagers. I inquired and decided to join. Despite my subjective disdain of groups, I was originally genuinely enjoying being in the guild; I felt in full command of myself––free, nourishing my vital calling of art, and in the service of kindness or humanity or whatever, you get the point. Plays were free in rural areas, that is kinda most of Alaska, which is not the best place to do theater in the first place. Soon I also realized that being a member of the troupe made me part of a certain subculture: several traditions we all had to follow, including gathering every night to watch horror movies—I wanted to sleep calmly, OK? Waking up early to run—I wanted to sleep more, OK? Always giving hugs during greetings, not using nicknames ever, gals wearing cheap hats and guys even cheaper sunglasses, etc. Basically, we were not only acting on stage, but also in real life. And now this damn new play. Enough is enough! Wait a sec, three months is actually more than enough, right?


Jack quickly stuffed his disorganized belongings in an overused back-pack and assured, emerged from his dirty, yellow tent. He had to take a local bus to the nearest airport.

“Hey, Jack! Where’re ya goin’?” It was Kathy, the girl he worshiped. “Wanna share a smoke, huh?”

“Sure.” Maybe this time it will lead to sex, he thought.

We all need unexpected diversions in our lives…