Say No, Maybe

100 words about a Brave New World
photo by Scott Dougall 

Nobody goes near her. She’s a desert island in a sea of commuters.

I admire her bravery. Standing in Government Square wearing that sign – if she’s not brave, she’s mad.

So it’s not I’m not sympathetic to her cause. I wouldn’t risk watching her otherwise. But while I admire her principles, the ways she behaves scares me. She follows her own mind rather than chemically induced, government-prescribed sedation. Why does she seem so unhappy and so angry?

I inspect the pill I didn’t swallow at breakfast and sigh. I hope for greater resolve at lunchtime. Or tomorrow. Or next week.


My contribution to Nortina’s Moral Mondays. I’ve been catching up with the latest series of the Beeb’s Dangerous Visions and I suppose Brave New World was on my mind.

19 thoughts on “Say No, Maybe

  1. It’s hard to go against the crowd. When everyone else seems to think one way, the lone dissenting voice can sound like madness. Great story, Sonya. Unfortunately, I think I’d be like your protagonist – sure the lady with the sign is probably right, but too scared to follow her lead.
    Thanks for the heads up on Dangerous Visions – I’ll have a listen while I’m making dinner! 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Lynn!
      DV season is great – I enjoyed the Kraken Wakes (first part, haven’t made my way through to the second one yet) and the first of the Dark Vignettes in particular.

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      1. The first Dark Vignette is the one I’m about to listen to – ‘dark’ sounding like the right word! Am tempted by the Kraken Wakes, but haven’t read it, even though I really like John Wyndham, so might see if I can read the book instead. 🙂

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        1. I haven’t read the book, either. They’ve updated it (iirc it was Val McDermid who wrote the script) – it almost sounds like a documentary. I think they recorded it with a live orchestra, too. It’s quite something.

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          1. Mmm. Tempted … Just listened to Blackout, the first DV vignette – no sleep for me tonight. Boy, that was disturbing. Love Nicola Walker anyway – great actress. Next time the Wifi goes down, i’ll be reaching for a kitchen knife!

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          2. Absolutely! It was terrifying 🙂 I had to distract myself for a while so I didn’t dwell too deeply on the possibilities. When everything goes Mad Max on our backsides


  2. Intriguing piece — if it’s so crazy to stand there with a sign, how bad it must be! Love a good dystopic vision.

    But I’m confused about one thing: if the narrator *didn’t* swallow her pill this morning, why is she wishing for resolve? Doesn’t refusing to take her sedative mean she already showed resolve? I think I’m missing something.

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  3. I’m not sure if you ever read the young adult book ‘The Giver,’ by Louis Lowry. It’s probably the first of the YA dystopian books. I read it when I was 8-years-old first time. It is interesting, in the book Jonus is 12 and has come of age to train for a career. He also experiences these things called ‘stirrings’ and they are all given pills to stop these stirrings. It reminds me of the pills your speaker didn’t take this morning. Jonus stops taking his too, both of them it seems would like to feel how they feel, lead there own life or at least aspire too.

    Great job Sonya!

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  4. This reminds me so much of Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Much Madness Is Divinest Sense.” The woman fighting for her cause seen as mad while the citizens taking government sanctioned mind-numbing pills are classified “normal.” Eerie how the world does that to us. Makes you wander if anyone’s ever truly “crazy”…


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