(Part of a short story I am working on for a friend. This is just a rough draft that has yet to be edited, but please tell me what you think. I haven’t really come up with a title yet either )
In a time that no one remembers anymore, the Walls came. They were built high, thick and deep. It is impossible to scale them and if you somehow manage that you enter a no-man’s-land of sorts. It is a desolate area rigged with explosives and traps. The few people in the 500 years of its’ existence that have tried have never been heard from again. No one can dig under because they go too deep into the earth. They surround the whole country, land and sea borders both, as a reminder of the turbulent past.
Some say it was the best decision made by those leaders. We maintained an amiable relationship with the country to our borth and every once in a while we will trade with some island nation off in the east, but for the most part we turned in and ignored the collapsing world around us. It was a good thing too because our own country was about to implode in on itself. With no one else to take care of, money poured back into the economy and the standard of living rose. Strains of cancer were eradicated, droughts averted, technology advanced.
During all this, the entire population took a step back and looked at themselves and at the world they cut themselves off from. The conflicts, dissents, terrorism, coups, disease, suffering…it all boiled down to one thing they agreed: the freedom to voice opinion.
Unanimously it was decided to give that freedome up. They could still have what was deemed as “small opinions”; favorite colors, food preferences, jobs. Those types of opinions were decided to be safe. Opinions about politics, eceonomy and religiong though, those were the dangerous ones. Those were the opinions that almost destroyed the world because normal people decided to take matters into their own hands. Now, the government had complete and exclusive control over it.
In the beginning, a few people rebelled. They were quickly used as examples to the rest of the population and any other thought of rebellion flew from the minds of the populace. “Why should it matter anyways?” They asked each other. “Our government takes care of our interests now. Cancer is gone, education is a priority…people are happy now without thinking about these things.”
And so, for the last five hundred years the country prospered.