The Experiences of a Young Heroine at Gateshead and Lowood in Bronte's Jane Eyre

The Experiences of a Young Heroine at Gateshead and Lowood in Bronte's Jane Eyre

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The Experiences of a Young Heroine at Gateshead and Lowood in Bronte's Jane Eyre

I don't know whether it's because I'm tired or if its because my life
is so pathetically dull but I can't make out what the overhead
speakers are blasting out. It's my morning wake up call, or not. Our
morning wake up call. We're all going to jump out of our beds whether
we like it or not. But it's not my wake up call. Instead it's a
warming 'contamination in classroom four'. After all these years I
still can't get used to that falsified, tuned-up voice. The re-created
polite, English man's voice from god knows when. Little - - - - - -,
can't come to terms with her way of life. Everyone's way of life. This
is a standard 'Retrieval & Suction'. An R&S. Let's just say that the
retrieval part has never been very successful. It just makes it sound
more humane. Humanity flew out the proverbial window when 'The State'
was built. I work, eat and sleep in The State where I was raised along
with everyone else in this complex. Except the Boss. Nobody wants to
think about where he was brought up. The State is made up of hundreds
of classrooms, all in a grid for easy access. I grew up with the other
girls in these living areas, holding between twenty to thirty
children. The girls in my classroom didn't know how to have a good
bitch. We didn't talk about what we had 'done' with boys. We never
talked about how annoying parents can be. Whatever they we're. We have
matrons now. They take care of us, physically at least. Too much
emotional vent is dangerous now, or so we're told. From the moment
we're born, drugs are ingested to suppress our immune responses.
Bacteria or whatever they feel necessary are slowly released into the
classrooms as we grow up. They give us injections to lower our
oestrogen or testosterone levels, you can probably imagine how the
original experiments went. This stops us 'acting up'.

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The creative
centres of our brains are suppressed with ultrasonic noise that is
constantly running throughout the complex, under our hearing range. So
everything is controlled until we leave, or until we become part of a
'Retrieval & Suction' situation. Crashing down the corridor I think
about how I ended up in this shitty job. I suppose I had no choice. It
was this or death. The beams of light surrounding the door of
classroom four are green. The suction button lit up red, the silencer
blue. This means they've been contaminated. I can't take my eyes of
the view-screen, searching for someone I can salvage from this. But
'it', whatever 'it' is, has gotten to them all. I can see the matron
fighting with the inner door. Screaming for her life in between each
bout. Reassuring the children that she'll get them out. She won't get
them out. Nobody ever does. The Boss sends a message to my receiver.
'You know what to do'. For a moment I fight with the thought of
opening the doors and letting them all run free. But that would be
crazy. They'd never escape alive and if they did, well what then? I
know the boss is watching but I need to close my eyes. Reaching out to
the panel that holds the buttons seems as long as it's taken me to get
to this point in my life. The key to a good 'Retrieval & Suction' is
to just forget. Forget that you're human. Forget that what's in there
is at least twenty-five innocent lives. Forget that you personally,
are going to kill every one of them. But I don't forget. Rather I
can't and instead I touch the panel blindly and with full knowledge of
my actions. In the next instant, all those children and their matron
are being 'removed' in a way that only the State populace can be. I
try to see through the hair hanging down over my eyes when I think
it's over. Just in time to see the matron still leaning against the
inner door. Slowly sliding down it with that look of absolute terror
that I just can't relate to. I keel over with the stinging in my
throat and try to close my eyes to the wet, multi-coloured mess that I
once called my dinner, piling up in front of me. I had the pleasure of
surveying the bloody remnants of the classroom. The green light on
blood red really does make the word 'waste' come to mind. I pull
myself up to stand again and bubble out 'we need a clean-up crew for
classroom four'. And I thought my job was bad.
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