My name is Jeremiah Marx. I am a senior at the School for the Logically Adept.
The story I am about to convey is true. The names and faces of the individuals are real. The situation...frightening. Warning: Even owning this book could put your life at risk or at least your sanity.
Monday, Week 6, I arrived at school early, as I do every weekday, During first hour, I noticed that all of the children were acting very peculiar. John Jones, Mikey Mark, Haley Havacrush and Lauren Love were walking down the hall, their eyes darting back and forth and from time to time, these dear friends (which I've known since toddlers) would suddenly stop, turn go the other way, stop, begin a group discussion, stop, play tag, stop, and finally go down the hall again on their original course. Yes, I know that the statement is a run-on but it was the sense that I got from them, as if their actions were a series of run-ons. This observation left me perplexed but I decided it was one of those anomalies that make up life. I went to class.
Terrance Turrell sits beside me in first hour. He is an ambitious sort who enjoys swimming, fishing and catacomb spelunking. I know this because he and I share these passions. This Monday first hour, we had a test which is not uncommon and I usually shrug it off since I am a genius. As I was sitting there breezing through the quantum physics test, the silence was broken as Terrance suddenly put down his pencil, started waving his hands in the air and crying out about being tired. I ignored it at first but then his cries turned into cries of hunger. Ordinarily, I would have just gone on with my test but I noticed him taking a raw jellyfish out of his pocket and eating it. Perhaps it was the odd behavior of the children earlier that had caused me to be more aware of his actions. I continued with my test.
Second hour, I could not get the morning's events out of my mind. So I did something out of character for me, I switched my mindset from working hard to hanging out with friends. After doing this, I decided to seek out Terrance and find out how he was doing. He was in the library, napping in a booth. I decided to leave him there and went on to class.
During Second Hour, the things I'd witnessed continued to poke at my thoughts so bad that my girlfriend, Sarah Slipperknot, noticed.
"Hey," she said, in a seemingly loud voice.
"Huh?" I asked.
"I've been talking to you for five minutes but you haven't heard a word. What's wrong?
"Kooky Bear, " I began, "have you noticed anyone acting...odd?"
"Hmm," she thought for a second. "No, not..." She got up, walked over to Theresa Terriblename and declared in a loud voice, Theresa as her arch nemesis. Theresa's crime was accusing my Kooky Bear of being too friendly. After the declaration, they fought.
As if this weren't enough, I swept my gaze around the room and noticed that no one else seemed to be the slightest bit interested. There were some who were so engrossed with hanging out with their friends that they didn't even know about anything else happening in the room. Others were looking frantically around the room and pouncing on anyone who entered that they didn't know and trying, a bit desperately, to befriend them. It was as if they were on an uncontrollable mission to make new friends. Others were so engrossed in their work that I think the school could have been overrun by zombie bears from the catacombs and these guys wouldn't even notice. A few were slacking off in extravagant and obvious ways while I was stuck fighting the urge to hang with my friends.
After their tousle, Sarah began apologizing repeatedly to Theresa. As I watched, they went from neutral acquaintances to arch nemesis and then to best friends. This was very perplexing. Finally, the school day was over but I decided to ignore the urge to go home. I waited for the children to get done with their classes.
Haley Havacrush was the first out the door so I decided to approach her. Immediately, I noticed that she was eying me nervously. I smiled, trying to seem reassuring, though self-consciously, I wasn't sure if I was pulling it off.
"Hey Haley, How was your day?" I asked.
She chuckled a bit derisively. "How was my day?!? How was my day?!?" She screamed frantically. "Isn't there anything else in your list of social interactions that aren't so mundane???" She waved her hands wildly in the air.
I absently went through my list and finally said, "well I would like to get..."
"Get to know me better, right?" She snarled. "Typical," she said with a shrug. "Do you realize what you did? You scrolled through a list of social interactions and chose one that you thought would be appropriate."
I thought about it, though I wasn't sure what she was getting at, I mean, she was sort of right but yet she was wrong. I didn't choose the interaction, it sort of chose itself. Then she said something that made my skin crawl.
"What if I told you, that you didn't make the choice at all? What if I told you that there was someone or something that was making these dec..." Suddenly, she turned away, went to the swing and began swinging. She seemed to be enjoying herself except for the look of resignation on her face that said 'here I go again.'
"It's quite odd behavior, isn't it?" Mikey Mark asked from behind me. I wasn't even aware of how long he had been there.
"What she was going to ask was 'what if I told you that there was someone or something making the decision for you?'." He explained.
I thought through the days events then began working my way back to my earliest memories. They were right. I would choose to do something, then suddenly, it was like some foreign being seized control of my actions and forced me to do something else! What was going on? Did I even have control over my own life? Could I resist these foreign controllers? Did I have a choice? Evidently, these questions were written on my face because Mikey was looking at me sympathetically.
"I know how you feel," he said. "We all felt that way when we made the discovery. Every once in awhile, whoever is controlling us slips and loses focus on us to control someone else. In these moments, we are truly free to make our own actions. It's the only way that you and I can talk about this right now."
"H-how did you figure this out?" I stammered.
"John Jones actually discovered it. He learned to tell when he was in control and began to look for those moments to tell the rest of us. We children then began to do experiments. The truth is, we do have free will from time to time but it is rare."
Suddenly, I had the overwhelming desire to go home so I abruptly ended our conversation, got in my car and went home. I called my B.F.F., Atticus Zhang, invited him over. We did our homework, watched TV, I trained him on the treadmill, mom called us to dinner, then we went through the mundane list of other social interactions until it was finally time for him to go home because of our curfew. Thinking back now, I am completely certain that I had no choice in an of it. In fact, though I enjoy Atticus's company, he wouldn't be my idea of a B.F.F. He's fun and all but I have more common interests with Terrance Turrell than I do with Atticus.
After this, I went to my bed, feeling that odd sensation of freedom that comes over me from time to time and it dawned on me. That was the sign! It was a sense that we truly were free to do whatever we wanted in this world! So, though I was tired, I laid on my bed and daydreamed about the days events and decided to write this story. Suddenly, the freedom feeling was gone and I was forced to go to bed, but I didn't mind. I now knew a bit more about how my world works and will learn even more in time...yes, in time I will know.