John felt like his whole world was going to school. He remembered reading in novels provided by his literature class that civilization used to be more lenient, giving you the weekends off. Now you went to school every day, whether you were sick or not, didn’t matter. His literature teacher, Mr. Harrington, pointed out that those were works of fiction. But John could tell by the worried look in Mr. Harrington’s eyes that he was close to that all important nugget of truth.
“We have to get out of here,” Horace said as they were eating lunch one day. It was the only period where free speech still had a bit of wiggle room.
John stared out the window. His view was always filled with sand, sun, and ruined buildings. He always wanted to go exploring after school, but his parents wouldn’t let him. Society wouldn’t either.
“I say our best bet is to sneak out during a bathroom break,” Horace continued, giving his genetically enhanced mac and cheese a distasteful glance. “Once we’re home, we’re essentially in prison. We either break out in school or forget about it.”
“Yeah, I think you’re right,” John said. A sandstorm was in progress, obscuring his view of a destroyed world. He didn’t tell Horace that he was hesitant about the idea. What would they do after breaking out of school? Wander the wastes? Sure, every human was modified so they wouldn’t get radiation poisoning, but that would be the least of their problems. What about food? Water? Even then, John wasn’t looking forward to an existence of mind-numbing survival and little else.
A few days passed, and Horace messaged John after they had been off from school for a couple of hours.
“Are you going to study at some point?” his mother asked.
“Yes,” John said, a little exasperated. After the world ended, teenagers didn’t have freedom anymore.
He put on his shades on and crossed the road. The sun was unusually bright today, and his skin felt like it was burning.
Horace had another friend over, Billy. John never liked Billy. Dude was always a little asshole, destroying things when he thought no one was looking.
“I know you two don’t like each other,” Horace began, “but we’re going to have to work together if we’re going to get out of this fucking concentration camp.”
“I’m not sure about this, Horace. The fuck are we going to do once we’re in the outside world?” John asked.
“If what we’re in now passes for civilization, then civilization has brainwashed us into thinking there’s nothing worth fighting for beyond our little neighborhood and the school.”
John sighed. Horace always made the decisions, propelling them to greater heights of conflict with the authorities. One more instance of breaking the law, and he’d be kicked out of school. Then what?