Idea: In a totalitarian state, members of the public participate in a reality competition show where the winner gains food for their family etc. Inspired by ‘The Walk’ & ‘The Hunger Games’ The strongest member of each family feels obliged to compete in order to give their loved ones a better life. Instead, the show is used to find the strongest members of the public and enslave them, essentially it acts as recruitment for scientific experiments or whatever the government may require of the strongest peasants.
It was an uncomfortable day in September, a bead of sweat rolled down Adam Taylor’s forehead. His strong brow furrowed as he squinted at the harsh sunlight, a day on the rocks was never one without hard work but today Adam’s mind had wandered for hours, allowing him to slip into a trance. He watched the long rye grass ripple in the wind while on the other side of the tracks men toiled away, their hammers rocking back and worth. His work for the transport authority of New Foundland was somewhat tedious and completely without explanation, they had been constructing rail tracks for months without sufficient explanation as to why. This didn’t bother Adam as he had found himself consumed by thoughts of home, his vow to complete the test itched the back of his brain like a leech, sucking away his ability to focus on any other task.
One thing Adam was always able to concentrate on was the landscape, seeing the beauty in simple things could keep him entertained for hours. If truth be told he had desired assignment to the development of fine art but his broad shoulders lent themselves better to hard labour and this was a difficult perception to change. During the long summer afternoons, his mind wandered through the long grass, it floated down the crystal blue rivers and travelled hidden paths, all while his arms moved back and forth. Adam thought that the ability of his mind to travel was amazing and with the labour that consumed his hours being so repetitive, he allowed his mind to wander without restriction. His lack of communication never assisted in making friends but Adam didn’t care, he’d never been any good with people and starting now would be a mistake with the end of this unit so near, the excitement of returning home was palpable.
A loud whistle derailed Adam’s train of thought and he crashed back to reality. Mr Woods’ voice was Tannoyed across the rail tracks, travelling through the air with an uncomfortable crackle and hiss.
“Squad 32b, please report to your cabins immediately. You have been relieved.”
All of Adams comrades stood as if they were paralysed, the voice of God addressing them. Woods’ voice crackled out over the system once again.
“Comrades, this instruction is effective as of now, please make your way to the cabins.”
After this awkward and obviously unplanned second spurt on the PA system, the squad finally snapped out of their daze and began to walk very hastily towards a cluster of rugged wooden cabins; erected roughly two hundred metres down the tracks. An air of excitement was tangible with squad members chatting loudly and smiling from ear to ear, being relieved meant going home & seeing family, receiving a well-deserved break from the hard labour of the last 3 months. As the collective made their way across a field of rye grass Adam noticed the way his military issue boots blended into the foliage, he chuckled and thought to himself; I guess imitation is the strongest form of flattery. Adam’s hand wrapped around the rough handle to his cabin and stepped inside, it was musty with a hint of moisture in the air that lingered; seemingly never to dissipate. Six thick beams supported the triangular roof with one measly window at the southern and northern ends, these allowed the smallest possible amount of light into the room which was most likely responsible for the musty state. Despite the inadequacies of his cabin that had managed to annoy for the past few months Adam refused to let this dampen his mood, he was positively buzzing. Resting his head against the olive pillow Adam struggled with excitement as he attempted to get some well-needed sleep, drifting off eventually with a grin still plastered across his sunburnt face.