A dystopian thriller on Medium

The Birth of a Woman

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Everyone is in a line. We are put in perfect order, each woman mixed among the men and forced to stand straight for the ceremonial picking.

Each one of us has an abnormality, a piece of us that we need to work on to complete each other. It’s beautiful and brilliant yet frightening at the same time. We are forced to be put on trial once we are exposed. Once we are picked from among the litter. We are escorted through a tiny square, a crevice in the wall, men and woman among the masses akin to everyone else.

I wonder where I am. The presence of my being permeates through the tiny wall, as I squeeze myself through. I realize I am simply existing here. It is as if my spirit has left my physical body and as I follow the others I am escorted to another place, another realm beyond the scope of my existence.

At some point, we are separated. Men are filed into one area and women into another. I don’t understand how or when. I cannot comprehend why. But our emotions, our state of being is compartmentalized without us having a choice.

Then it was the controller against us. Their laughs rang out as I was dunked headfirst under fluid. I looked up and that was where I could see them, the controllers on a platform above us in the air. Rigid as a statue, they were dressed in identical uniforms. I could not make out their appearances as they were masked with authority.

I was there and I was representing the female. I pushed and I pulled. I fought and I fought. The test was overwhelming as the controller chose what to do to me. What I had no control over. I was to be used for their amusement, simply one among the other subjects. I did not enjoy their presence. A constant reminder of what I wasn’t or what I needed to become.

The other female subjects were pushed underwater but for some reason, they didn’t fight. Without even trying, the controllers had power over their female subjects. Why was that? Why was it that I continued to push and pull, that I fought and I fought against the controllers while everyone else was drowning? Was I somehow special? As I was thrown headfirst into the fluid, again and again, I realized everyone must be asleep. Dormant. I was the only one who was awake.

As I pushed the controller realized I was awoken. I was picked among the others and placed in a spot of pure adorement among the women. Their voices congratulating me bickering at me for who should have their pick of my share, to be the one to be my acquaintance first. But that was not what I wanted. I quickly pushed the crowd of adoring women out of the way.

I was then floating, transported to a place where there are only females like me staring in front of a large screen. The screen was alive, moving, and allowing us to experience everything about the birth of life. The birth of life was put in stages. I had somehow managed to pass the first stage. I was chosen to move forward. The women around me also were chosen, and one of the pathways that led to the final stage was to become a tree.

The other pathways put before us were not as nice and equally as terrifying. It made me realize that maybe the negative stages were what made us human. Maybe the drowning was not only a test of willpower but also a test of the mind to alert us of the abnormality among ourselves. We are reminded of the adrenaline and the fight or flight response that test our willingness to survive.

As I thought about the final stage warmness engulfed my entire being. A thick white fog overpowered my vision. I was going to become a tree and the thought was absolutely thrilling. But then when I was done with the illusion a sadness tugged at my heart.

The birth of life is a confusing and tear-jerking event but it is what carries us forward each and every day. Without life, there would be no death. Without happiness, there would be no negative side. The side that completed me was pain. But how can I experience pain when my body fought and fought against it? When my ultimate being was put on trial, the nature of my willpower strove me against experiencing the pain that completed me on the other side.

And what of the people who remained dormant? Would they ever know? As the multitude of questions engulfed my mind I found my existence slowly fleeting. My spirit had already passed, but I was left unresolved.

Thank you for reading! 😊

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Joelle Shusterman

Joelle Shusterman

• An aspiring novelist inspired by her father • Feel free to indulge in her writing!