the announcement

“This is not a test.” The blank screen flashed with turquoise, and the logo of the Ministry of Safety and Public Opinion Management revolved. I swallowed. “Uh-oh,” I turned to Maria, but she wasn’t in the living room anymore. My eyes went back to the teli. Something shattered into million china pieces in the kitchen.

The screen showed a speaker’s podium with multiple world flags in a semicircle around it. “Shortly, Prime Minister Holloway is going to make an announcement. All citizens turn your PED’s on.” The announcer said. My watch buzzed. I tapped it to turn the trackers on. From all electronic devices, the calm voice of the prime minister echoed. “Good evening, brave citizens of Monad. As of today, 10 am, we are at war. Bregna will burn in the fire of our bombs. It will be bathed in blood and become ash in the wind.”

Shit. Maria stood by my side. Her face shone pale and bright. It felt like scolding water on my skin. The picture on the screen toppled and glitched, the voice of Holloway pitched distorted into a buzz.

“Tak? What’s going on?” Her voice trembled. I just looked at her, my mind blank. I wanted to say something, but my mouth didn’t move. How was this possible?


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