The old man sat on his front porch, looking out at the endless field of houses. He watched the people wander about aimlessly. The women wore their mandatory grey gowns that came down to their ankles. The men wore their grey uniforms.
Only the men worked now. They would work in of the three Factories. The Oxygen Factory, where the essence of life was manufactured and released into the pollution free air.
Then, their was the Nourishment Factory, where they produced small bricks that contained everything the body needed.
Finally, there was the Population Plant, where children were grown in artificial wombs. Every ten years, these children, called Crops, were assigned to one of the many women for the five year long Nurturing. During the Nuturing, the Crops were trained in the ways of their new life.
After the Nuturing, the Crops were sent off to work in the Factories, assuming they were male.
The old man continued watching. He looked at the white faces that passed, and remembered that people of other colors were in the "Other Place." He remembered that this world was segregated. He could not, however, remember a time when he saw colored person.
He looked at the women. He noticed how they wore no make-up, how their bodies were shaped the same. He noticed how their faces, hair, and eyes all looked the same. He remembered that The Great and Mighty Leaders had wanted to destroy lust and jealousy, so they made the women the same. They made the men the same.
The old man noticed how men and women walked by one another, and didn't notice them. He remembered there was no need for love. Love created jealousy. Jealousy created hate. Hate created imperfection, and this was a perfect world.
The old man stood. He walked into his home. It looked the same as the others. It had one room. A sitting table was in the middle of the room, a single chair was with it. A bed sat in the corner.
The old man went over and opened a trap door. All the houses had them. They were used for storing the nourishment bricks, but the old man used it for something much, much different.
The old man reached into the small cavity and pulled out something that was thought to be extinct. A red rose. He would water it and set it out a few minutes a day so that it may live.
The old man sniffed the flower. Its sweet aroma danced in his nostrils, and he remembered, truly remembered.
He remembered a time when there were fields, not of houses, but of nature. A time when oxygen was made by the world and its beauty. He remembered the tast of food, both sweet and bitter. he remembered a time when cultures and races collided and combined. he remembered love and jealousy and hate. He remembered a time of families. He remembered the soft touch of a woman's lips. He remembered when the world was imperfect. When the world was alive.
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