In a Darkened Room

Play and all of its paraphernalia had been outlawed in 2056.

Now furtive groups huddled together in the dark and shared stories about stories. Tales of brightly coloured pictures in pages called books, tiny plastic bricks, stuffed animals-the kind you don’t hunt, clothes to wear on top of other clothes. Those who had nothing to say stared wide eyed as they struggled with the concept of the mythical objects.


Imagination was was an ability they were not expected to develop. From the time that they could walk they were removed from the adults and allocated to the probationary wing. They were given tasks to do and the older ones observed. The tasks varied in purpose and depending on the statistics at the end of the six months they would be funnelled off to different departments-military, agriculture, technology, administration. The ‘C’ word had been replaced by Citizen.


When neighbour turned on neighbour and bombs rained from the sky, politicians decided that childhood was overrated and resulted in higher death tolls and public condemnation. As country after country recognised the value in harvesting their citizens it took less time than expected for all to follow suit. Ironically the final blow to play was akin to the largest game of dominoes ever witnessed.

As I write this, play is seriously lacking in my day to day life. So much so that I have had to cut short my own creative time and leave the door ajar on this new world-in a sign of defiance I will return and nudge the door a little further, allowing individual citizens to introduce themselves and their journeys. Until then, back to work… 

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Amanda Bird

Amanda Bird

Amanda has always thought of herself as an armchair traveller, and since early childhood books and stories have provided the portal to other worlds. Her love of reading sparked a passion for writing and she has been writing stories since... a very long time ago! She now lives in Hove, and the view allows space for her imagination to roam.
Amanda Bird

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