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Burnt Moon

by Jude085


“It was the night when everything got changed, No one believed. It was like a haze which covered us all, but now the time has come”.

I work as a medical assistant at the state’s working camp. Every day, I have to attend hundreds of patient I don’t know how they got hurt. Even their wounds are fresh. I tried every medicine and cure, but it looks like someone keep scratching or hurting them. I was always curious to know what kind of work they do behind these walls. Once, I tried to enter into the working area but guards stopped. It is an exhausting job, the camp looks like an industrial camp with breeze of dust and loud noises of machines.

I’m from a wealthy upper state family, my great grandfather worked under the tsar and my father. Being under the secretariat of the tsar, it’s very dangerous job. My grandfather died in the same place, we never got the reason of his death. But my family assured to be in wellbeing and provided every amenity. That’s how my father also ended up working under the same position. I have always seen a fear on my father’s face. He never spoke much about it but we knew. He never wants me to work under the same condition, so he send me out states to study medical sciences. He always cared for me. He never wanted to talk about work. He always tried to send me away from me. I was brought up in out states and completed my higher education in out states. It was very hard for me to be away from my family, I just want to return to my family. So, I chose to be a medical assistant in upper state’s camps. First, my dad was upset, but now he just accepted it.

Now, I knew why he always wanted me to be away from upper states. It’s a place of fake lights and luxury. Our state established with the coming of great Tsar-I with the notion of brotherhood. But it never stands on its principle. The government is centered on a single-family. He took over the highest position and keep passing to his heirs. The people have suffered a lot, especially the lower state. The people of our state divide into region basis – upper state, outer state, and lower state. Upper state region have higher government officials and celebrities, the outer state has people which are instructed to cultivate raw material for manufacturing and industrial processes and lower state uphold the working class of industries and factories, all carrying out menial jobs.

This government reflects itself as democratic and stands for people. In all international forums, it reflects as a government for their people and it always cared for people. But everyone knows that it’s all fake and just build up fo international community. NO FREEDOM OF SPEECH, NO FREEDOM OF DISSENT, NO FREEDOM OF CHOICES. This is their actual narrative of a free world. There is no opposition, every single person opposing Tsar is either killed or put behind bars. I remember an incident when a student in my school is abducted only for reading a foreign dialect and he never returned. This is a state of many such forbidden people who never returned. This is the reason everyone just kept doing their job without questioning and resisting. The tsar keep feeding us his monopoly and imperialism through media, books, and institutes glorifying him and his family.

Last week, there was a protest in camp. I didn’t know why they were protesting for, but their crippling voices weren’t able to reach the palaces and got crushed by their heavy boots. After that incident there was unrest in the camps, their fights with guards were common and the number of patients had been increased significantly.

This protest somehow reached to streets, the same people start protesting outside the camps. The death of a child labor triggered the protest. The whole of the lower state, came out on the street and protested against the tsar. Soon they were all crumbled by the brutal forces. Total of 50 deaths but no one bothers, we all forgot. The poor are the pillar for the state but no one cares about them. They born as an insect and crushed under the feet of riches.

The unrest was settled and the streets were brought to silence once again. The same crowd is back on street heading towards the rat race.

The third day after the protest, I was in camp and casually walking behind the trails. There I heard some people talking about something big is going to happen and the BLAST and So. I just ran away from that place I told the whole thing to guard. They were such douchebags, they mocked the whole thing and told me to focus on my work. Such rascals, I consider them as the individual having the lowest I.Q.

I tried to get some information from one of my patients. He told me that there is a group of underground protestors in the upper state who had returned to take revenge for their people. They were planning a blast in tsar’s palace. The first word that came out from my mouth is “what!” I was just wandering there why he revealed this to me. I asked him “why you are telling me?” This is a terrorist attack, I asked him again “are you involved in this?” He muttered and asked me to write to officials to warn them and begged me to keep his name out of this.

I got so scared, I was involved in terrorist activity. I knew that the only punishment for such activity is execution. I took an early leave from the camp hospital and went home. I was hiding my face and body like I’m some suspect. I ran to my building and looked my doors. I don’t know what to do? I grabbed a pen and paper. I wrote an anonymous letter to the secretariat and warned them about the blast.

This one letter cause great chaos, the whole upper state was shut. There were underground raids in the tunnel and all potential suspect's houses. By the evening, a piece of news was spread that the tsar is shifted to some safe house away from the palace. Hundreds of lower state houses were burnt, people were jailed just in evening. Among this whole chaos, I locked myself and wrapped my body in sheets. I tried to sleep but I was shivering so badly. I kept laying on the bed and eventually fall asleep.

It was at 3 AM. An official phone alert woke me up. It says "DO NOT LOOK AT THE MOON". I cleared my eyes and there were hundreds of other messages from random numbers. "It's a beautiful night tonight. Look outside”, every number with the same message. I was confused “What the hell is this drama?”

I walked out on the street and everyone was on the street with their cell phones in hand. Then I looked towards the moon, the blazing fire just below the moon. It was the Parliament building just below the moon burning down to its knees.


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Points: 104
Reviews: 3

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Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:03 am
Ram Hood 001 wrote a review...



Good story. This is a sketch for a big book, I think. Stories of authoritarian governments are becoming more popular.
I will be poorly useful in grammar. Therefore, I join the previous commentator. But I highly appreciated the content of your story.
The most important thing in such stories is the motives of the characters. We cannot impose on the reader the reasons for the character’s behavior. The actions and decisions of people in the story should be logical. A good writer will tell the events so clearly - the reader will follow what is happening without tension. He will understand the logic of the actions of the characters. You, dear author, perfectly managed to tell.
It would be interesting to read more about a group of underground protestors in the upper state, and about that mysterious conversation with the patient.
Write more. I would love to read your stories again.




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41 Reviews


Points: 250
Reviews: 41

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Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:04 am
Traves wrote a review...



Hi Jude085, Traves here for a quick review on the prompt that I gave you .

This is a major improvement from the previous short story you posted, I can definitely feel interested and can see the elements of a story.

Some of my criticism about sentence tense, structure and grammar remains.Try running it through grammarly once.

So I have seen that this is based on a prompt from r/WritingPrompts, and in my opinion this story in its concept is a wonderful take on it.

My thoughts after the grammar has been corrected are as follows-

- I repeat, this is a great take on the prompt, especially to come up with something like this on a first draft is great. For further editing, you don't need to change the storyline

- I want much more focus on the actions and what happened to the protagonist, as well as the ending. That isn't possible under the word limit of 1200 words currently.

- you focussed a bit too much (2 big paragraphs) on the description of how BAD the government is, you need more imagery, metaphors and references to do the job quicker and with fewer words.

- There are a lot of filler phrases and sentences which could be done away with. SOme of them are confusing and need more exposition , so either explain them more or delete them. To decide that, see which let you do more character and story development and which are needless details. Example - "He always tried to send me away from me" & "It was hard for me to be away from me" . What does "me away from me" mean? If it means a part of him remains with his family, say that directly to save words and reader attention. If it means something else, say another part of the protagonist's personality, let it show.

- The haze at the start isn't linked that well to the end? was that the smoke?

- Also this is just my view, but for the view to the moon to be obstructed by smoke by just one burning building seems weird.

-you never explained why exactly the main character was told about the bombing plot.

- maybe multiple bombings that destroyed all core buildings of the upper state and led to fires that obstructed the moon for miles would be a better way of putting it


Still, I loved the concept and look forward to a second draft of this.

Keep writing and sharing!




Traves says...


Also, I'd like more effort put into the conflict whether to look at the moon or not since you created an authoritarian regime, and the prompt also had a hidden focus on why the character makes the choice they do .
- an aesthetic suggestion - let the burning smoke give the moon a reddish tone, making it literally a sight to see, otherwise explain why the message was specifically look at the moon and not "look outside"




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