The Price On My Head

Hidden deep in the confines of my townhome basement, I sat at my desk and ran my fingertips along the bleached parchment paper, its rough texture smoothing out the knots of anxiety in the pit of my stomach.

It’s familiarity brought an overwhelming nostalgia that almost summoned a wave of tears from my body.

Albeit illegal, I relaxed knowing that my letters couldn’t be monitored.

My written thoughts were mine, at least for now.

I had paid a pretty penny on the red market for this piece of parchment. It’s hard to come by these days. Everything was digitized in the Newer World.

One year ago, all of the Older Worlds inhabitants transitioned to the Newer World. It was supposed to be a fresh start.

Instead we backtracked, and we lost more than we believe we would gain.

Our communication methods suffered the most.

We are only allowed to write on tablets here. It is the only way that the Newer Ministers can monitor us.

No written communication is safe.

Writing is no longer a byproduct of one’s own private thoughts and passions.

The Newer Ministers believed that in order to protect the Newer World from succumbing to chaos, they must intercept the written thoughts of its people.

I was an author back in the Older World. I wrote books that challenged society norms and addressed unpopular topics.

I was a revolutionist, a world changer, a creative.

And now I am nothing but a wild horse who has been broken and tamed.

I am a criminal now.

I hide in my basement buying parchment from fugitives and corrupt officials just to write my private thoughts.

Because to me, a former author, the feeling of the pen pressed against the surface of this page and the solace that comes with it is worth the price that they will put on my head when they find out.

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