Author : Katie Krantz
The woman and the school were equally sleek. Her hair and the metal exterior both shined: their luster was unnatural in the most pristine sense. Her heels clicked against the dark wood floors, and she gestured with her long, black nails to the various facets of the building, to classrooms, pods and such.
“With the integration of intravenous knowledge in our schools came with the alarming insight that youth these days just aren’t hungry for knowledge.” As she spoke, her matte lipstick began to crack, just hairline fractures that repaired themselves when she clacked her tombstone teeth back together for a moment, a second of silence.
“We attempted to rectify the issue by removing food from the lunchroom, and replacing it with a grey nutritional supplement. They didn’t seem to notice. In fact, we were getting higher ratings of satisfaction than before.” She laughed as though she were a genius. When her head shook, her hair stayed perfectly still atop it, perched like a bird. She clicked and clacked on towards the lunch room, where lines of grey-ish students shuffled towards grey lunches being distributed with the precision of a vaccine. As soon as we were close enough to notice the bags under their eyes, she whipped us away towards her state of the art library complex. It was the structure meant to hold up the cables that carried the school’s data.
“After the library had been completely covered in the fiber optic cables, we had to stop students from excavating books for fear they’d alter the structural integrity of the whole setup. We’re hoping the books will one day fossilize so that we can mine gilt-edged veins of ink-stone, perhaps to tile the bathrooms.” The cracks disappeared and reappeared. As she gestured to the slivers of pages coming out of the mass of cables, her silver bracelets became audible. Eventually, she herded the group of dazed parents towards the classrooms, and we shuffled along to halls where students studied.
She pushed open the door with a pale, bony hand, and the light from our side poured in, illuminating students slathered in dark brown. A puff of warm air breathed against our faces as we, the curious potential money-givers, peered in. As soon as everyone had their voyeuristic fill, she slammed the door shut and stood in front of it, facing us.
“We’ve had to preemptively erase all form of dress code to prevent conflict. Rather than uniform, the students slather themselves in mud. The heating bill has risen astronomically. It also seemed that the fluorescent lights were causing student depression, so we’ve swapped it for total darkness. Any questions?” The woman stared us down, daring us to challenge her with anything as obsolete as logic or concern. Next to me, my wife leaned in close to my ear.
“This seems perfect for Jeremy!”