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Grand Oblivion

An Agathokakological Tale of A Dystopian Existence

By Anna HarrisonPublished 3 years ago 8 min read
Grand Oblivion
Photo by bady abbas on Unsplash

"Virtue is the golden mean between two vices, the one of excess and the other of deficiency." Aristotle

I hear bass vibrations. "Five!" Heels hitting the marble surface. “Four!” Strobe lights glitching back and forth. “Three!” Incoherent screams. “Two!” Electric music “ONE!” Pale ale rushes down my throat. "DRINK, DRINK, DRINK!" they scream as a lady don with sequins yells, “Now eat!”. The bass grows louder. Suddenly, platters of prawns and cocktail sauce, sushi of all kinds, chocolate fountains, and macaroon towers appear. I fill my hands and mouth to the brim. The crowd around me fights to have it as they jump to the rhythm of that bass. The sauce is splashing over dresses and shoes. They eat, they dance, they brawl. I scream, "Turn up the bass!" The beat drops. Blackout.

I hear ringing. A faint ringing in my ears. “Gasp.” My consciousness slowly creeps back in. Despondency floods over me. My stomach twisted in knots, my head as heavy as cement, my body dry, drained, empty. “I need it. We all need it.” I open my eyes, pierced by daylight. The ringing in my ears is fading away like an alarm clock with a dying battery as though everything is about to go… silent. No...we don't go there. I panic. “Where is it?" I look around, “Where is it?!" I see it. The blue pill, next to my bedside table, ready to go. “No one ever misses their blue pill” I swallow and say, “This is how it is for us.” The ringing re-emerges, this time louder, with the hum of that bass beneath it. Seconds later, my body feels alive, perky, buzzing.

“WOO!”, I scream. My body fuelled by rhythm and hype. I dress, all glamour and silk. Makeup plastered all over my face. I move into the next room. People everywhere, covered in shiny, colorful clothes. Perfume pierces my nostrils. I see a mimosa fountain. A girl runs toward it shoving her face into the stream, yelling, “MIMOSA!" The bass grows louder. My energized body begins to sprint. I’m on the street. I look up to see those Billboards and TV Screens covering every inch as far as my eyes can see. My shoes hit the plastic surface beneath me. New, gigantic buildings. I crane my neck, darting back and forth at all the information as I rush into the nearby party house. I enter, the bass hits, a rave breaks out. Suddenly pills fall from the ceiling, the crowd rushes to devour them. There are those bass vibrations. People spill out onto the street and bounce down the lane to a large open space filled with TVs and clothes racks. More bass again. Everywhere, screens light up - Livestream - react - comment. I see flashing strobes and shiny objects. I grab a Red Bull and guzzle it fast. Bass vibrations again. Hours pass. The DJ, covered in glitter, drowns out all other sounds with his rhythm as the crowd goes rushing back to finish the rave. I move on with a small group. Back to the house, back for mimosas. Maybe; nobody speaks. Blackout.

Ringing. A faint ringing in my ears. It fades. "Gasp". My consciousness slowly creeps back in. Despondency floods over me. My stomach twisted in knots, my head as heavy as cement, my body dry, drained, and empty. “I need it, we all need it.” I open my eyes, pierced by daylight. The ringing in my ears is fading away like an alarm clock with a dying battery as though everything is about to go… silent. “Where is it?” I look around, “Where is it?!” I see it. The blue pill. I reach for it on my bedside table. “This is how it is for us.” BANG, CRASH. I scream. My window is in fragments, glass now sprayed across the floor. I get out of bed, staring out the broken frame, and see something strange. I freeze. A man is on the ground outside, wearing clothes so simple, plain. Jeans and a t-shirt? This man is looking straight at me, with a feeling in his eyes, too hard to detect. Anger? H-how? Maybe even a little bit of fear… “Amelia!” He yells. My face goes numb. How does he know my na..? Out of breath, he screams. “The… world! You must remember! This isn’t… real, these pills! They're suppressing”, he heaves, “rationality- thoughts”, he breathes, “humanity- brute nature! E-everyone is p-plagued, by obsession, adrenali…” He goes to continue, but those bass vibrations thud as he panics, darting around the corner. I try to yell out but choke on my disbelief, and now the man is gone.

The ringing in my ears is fading. My heartbeat, erratic. My face breaks out in cold sweats as my hands start to tremble. Who was that? What did he- say? My breathing begins to shorten. Suddenly I hear all faint noises around me. My lungs. The wind? My heartbeat, the clanking of glass cups next door. What is happening! I think as I drop to the floor next to my bed. My thoughts spiral. Anxiety, confusion, curiosity, or perhaps any feeling at all... I panic and reach for my blue pill until I notice an object sprawled on the floor amongst the broken glass. “W-what is that?” My trembling hand reaches out to grab what appears to be a piece of “Jewelry? It’s old.” I say calmly to myself as my fingers trace this heart-shaped necklace. My body shudders, disrupted by the chaos of the party next door, snapping me out of my pondering. I need my blue pill. Each vibration of that bass sends an uneasy shiver down my spine. I retreat under the silky sheets, to hide with this strange little necklace. I touch it with my finger. It opens. “Wait,” I say. “Is this a locket? What am I doing?! I should take my blue pill and…” But curiosity becomes me as I look inside to see a small black and white photograph of a lady I know not. “This is ridiculous”. I reach for the blue pill. I freeze. My heart leaps as my breath escapes me. “Wait. I know her. I know this lady.” Suddenly, my thoughts go from a muted bundle of confusion and curiosity to a roaring waterfall of memories and thoughts that hit my head so vividly I fall back onto my sheets. “I remember this woman, I remember her! My, - oh what is that again. A person who has m-meaning. A close person. From when I was y-younger... FAMILY!” Family. This woman is family. I hadn't thought of that word in years, decades. I hadn't thought at all in forever. “This woman was family to me. “My-” I stutter. “M-mother.” The thought of that word brought hazy pictures to my mind. Of a lane where green things that seemed to move and grow were scattered in all shapes and sizes, and the ground was not plastic, but rather, made of- d-dirt? A feeling of warmth came over me as I remember looking up to see a big light, so bright my eyes would melt, yet it made you feel warm. I see blurry pictures of people gathered together, not screaming, drinking, or raving, but dare I believe, being? Feeling? ….Talking? What does this mean! These thoughts are so foreign. I don’t understand. Who was that man who threw this to me! Why? Could this be real? Is this what people -humanity was once like? What happened to those people? What happened to these feelings? It’s all different now. We are all different now.

I think as I begin to fear, and yet my body begins to relax, and a vague sense of hope and wonder drifts through my thoughts. Suddenly I feel the air as it brushes up against my arms. I pause. Something so eerily unfamiliar is happening. Silence. My lungs move. Wait. I can hear my breath. In and out. In and out. What is happening? Why is it quiet? Suddenly I hear the bass vibrations again. My hands grow cold. I drop the locket. I panic, looking around. I reach to my bedside table and grab the blue pill. Thud, more bass outside my door. I creep over and open it just a tad. Peering out, I see the people partying, as usual, dressed in the finest clothes, drinks and banquets everywhere, as the hum of those bass vibrations fuels the rave. Take the blue pill, I say in my head, this is how it is now. A figure catches my eye. A woman. I look back at my hand “Take the blue pill already!” But I look at her again. She seems different. My heart stops. She looks- She’s... sh-she’s decayed- she’s dying! I notice for the first time that this woman is ill, decrepit, malnourished. Shocked, I look left where a man resembles the same. To the right. Identical. All of these people. They’re… dying. But how? My breath speeds up. From this, the-this lifestyle? B-but this is how it is…because this is good… Unsure, I look at my own hands and run to the mirror. I see my face. My jaw drops, my body frozen as though paralyzed. I’m, I’m frail. Falling apart. But how?! Running back to the door I look up once more. Wait. I see a man, who looks different, caught in the rave. He’s healthy, full, vibrant, and…. familiar? Could it be? Is this the man from the… window! He catches my eye. At that moment, I knew he was aware of the decay. He must have answers about this, the world, but… who is he? How does he know my name? Could he be- f-family? Why the locket? What am I to remember! His hands are over his ears as he struggles toward me. What is he trying to tell me! I look down at the pill ….maybe he doesn’t, want me to... I look back at him. His eyes are pleading as he’s caught in the rave, begging me to think, to feel, to remember. I look behind at the locket. Back at the man. Down at the pill. I freeze, my heart about to explode with fear. I don’t like this…I want… Suddenly the man screams, “SISTER LISTEN! These pills- the bass sounds! They’re suppressing your reason - your HUMANITY! They’re KILLING you! KILLING YOU ALL BY SELF-DESTRUCTION! Stop indulging! We are not on Earth! This is a concentration fac…” The bass vibrations surge. Before his sentence is complete, a feeling in me snaps as I yell, “Nobody ever misses their blue pill!” I swallow it. My body begins to shake with adrenaline. “This is how it is for us now.” I whisper as I run into the fountain of mimosas, devoid of all thoughts and feelings. I forget about that heart-shaped locket, the healthy man, the decay, or a world once lived, as those same bass vibrations roar above all consciousness.


“None can be free who is a slave to, and ruled by his passions." Pythagoras


Short Story

About the Creator

Anna Harrison

I love how writing can communicate all sorts of ideas to all sorts of people, connecting and enlightening the world. I studied Liberal Arts and love history, philosophy, and concepts. I'm also a self-proclaimed drama nerd and coffee snob.

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