Opposite the large oak desk laden with many chips of its stained wood, and opposed to the fat old man with an unkempt sometimes white beard, sat a wisp of an older lady.
To his eye, she was quite petite. So he was shocked at the power in her voice when she eventually spoke.
He, as always, was in charge, so he began,
“When you were younger, you were a dancer, maybe ballet. As I noted you glided from the door to your seated position. But, your hands confuse me. They are knarled and twisted like a bricklayer, might be! The story of your life is not complete for me. Help me understand.”
Did she smile? He was not sure. A slight lift of her white eyebrows preceded the thought.
“No. I was never a dancer and never ballet. My father might have wanted, or my mother those for me. But, I met one of your kind when I was quite young. Just like you, he measured me and judged me. He decided I was fit for nothing more than to draw portraits. An honor to “our” elites.”
She paused, took a breath while looking him squarely in the eyes.
“So, your predecessor removed me from my parents to a hidden place far away from them. There, since I had been judged, I was to be educated in chalk, charcoal, and eventually water and oil colors. I was taught landscapes, places, and faces. However, I had no real talent for lines or colors. So, after a few years, my judge decided to punish me at first slapping my knuckles with a wooden spoon, but later escalating to the wire.
I could indeed have had some talent for dance, not drawing. Certainly I could not paint after his foul spirit. But, I was given no choice. So, you see in my hands in my early years of growth disappointing that Elite.”
The fat old man stroked his beard, and listened closely, but held no pity or tears for the tale.
“Please, what happened later?” he asked to continue.
“I have never been sure of my age, but there was a point where he decided I was worth nothing more than to be a love slave. He forced himself upon me, then traded me with other Elites such as himself. A discrete operation took place. No children for me. My life was never my own for many years. Having failed at drawing, I found myself useful for one thing only, to be treated as nothing more than the pleasure of a rich man or woman. So, my body was used and discarded wantonly for our great State.”
Obviously, he enjoyed this part of the story, so he prompted again, “Yes, continue on! What happened next?”
“Of course I became common at some point, no longer a treat or a surprise. I am sure that my life drained my youthful looks away. At some point, “they” decided I could take care of someone’s important house and children. This was actually a good time in my life as I discovered children seemed to accept me as I was. A few seemed to love me. I tried not to love them, but several I did, knowing full well that “they” would eventually move me out of the house I worked in and away from my loves.”
He seemed impatient at this point, and said, “Yes, yes, I have heard it before. Move on!”
“I believe I spent time with a dozen families, stretched over some 50 years. Sometimes, I was treated well. Others, not so. So, here I sit, in front of you, older than my years, never doing what I wanted, wiping asses of others, and knowing you are my final Elite.
Perhaps, you will decide my life is over. Perhaps, you will decide I have nothing left to offer. Perhaps, you will give me peace, as I am tired and done with the life you Communists and the State have given me!”
The fat man rocked forward closer to her, now looking directly into her eyes.
“Oh, you think so do you? You think you can prod me and insult me to end your pain and sorrow? Well, killing you is not my job. My only job is to judge you, to see where you can provide some value for our wonderful State. Our world is built on equality, where all share, where each has a place in the machine. It sounds to me as if you have fit in quite well into our world. So, I can recommend to the executioner or whomever, what your next stage will be. But, one thing is clear, I will not recommend you are extinguished. Your pain will not end as long as you can help our State.”
She felt fear for the first time since coming into the room. Her determination leaked from her heart. Her hope fleed her body like a bird on the wind.
“No, I think you can still serve the State. Our youngest medical people need live bodies to experiment on. Yours would do nicely. They practice all kinds of surgeries and just like in real life if they do a good job, their patient survives. There you have hope and value. You know, surgery of the heart or liver perhaps? A fully trained medical staff is so important to the well being of our State.”
The old fat man seemed quite pleased with himself and his decision.
He pressed a button on his oak desk, and two young men in black attire came in.
“Take this one to section 8. Tell the foreman that she can begin immediately to serve our State in great honor.”
She sat there in total confusion, such that the two healthy men grabbed her by arms and legs and easily lifted her from the chair.
The vigor in her voice still existed, “You heartless bastard. Just kill me!”
But, the old man seated behind the desk just smiled.