Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence and mature content.
They say we are what we eat and we eat the poor, the young, the elderly and the needy. What does that make us, if not human? Monsters? What do we call a man who pushes his burdens on another, if not clever? A murderer? Here among our numbers walk the thieves, the liars and the greedy. They steal, legally, making the poor poorer and themselves whiter. They “fix” themselves, breaking the broken unfortunates in the process. Worthless amalgamations of commodities, all of them -- all of us. You too, in fact.
You are a factory worker, lower middle class, brown skinned. You think you do alright for yourself. You’re simple and you like that, but secretly you dream of glamor. You’ve been saving your extra money for over a year, nearly starving yourself on days where you don’t have work. Today, you wish to graduate from your brown skinned cage and see how the whites live. You take one last look at your apartment. The beige walls are dripping with brown and black garbage. Your mattress doesn’t have any sheets to cover the stains. Soon you won’t have to worry about any of that. Soon you’ll have your own wall-paper, white, to cover yourself in. You take the money you’ve saved and head for the door, which creaks open before you even touch it. You can’t afford locks. You walk down the garbage filled streets, trying your best to ignore your neighbors. Soon you won’t have to see any of their dirty faces anymore. It’s their own fault, you think to yourself, they could save their money like I did, if they wanted. Dirty parents with dirty children, you’re glad you never married.
The Albus is within eyesight. You approach.
The familiar screams of a damned man greet you. This one’s slightly darker than you. He’s being dragged towards the Albus to be punished. He’s younger than you, maybe sixteen.
The white pillars tower over you, dousing the perimeter in shadow. You enter.
You pay your dues to the woman in the blouse. Her blouse is beige like your walls, but her skin is alabaster. Her hair, too, is bright white. She doesn’t show any signs of age. She greets you with the indifference you’re accustomed to and directs you towards a chamber on her right. You enter.
The chamber is translucent. Looking through out, you see her figure is distorted and strange. The curved glass bends her face. An angel, you think. You look to your left and see the young, dark-skinned man. He’s been stripped. You close your eyes, it’ll be over soon. You won’t have to think about him or anyone like him ever again. The Albus shutters. You sleep.
Here in our world, there are no prisons. We are our own cells and we hold our own keys. Most of us never try to escape. The security is too comforting; the unknown is too unconditioned.
You wake up from your dreamless slumber. You feel the same, a little lighter on your feet, but the same. Bringing your hand up to your face, you see it is now white. You admire the back of your hand and your pink palms. The woman is smiling at you, blinding you with her marble teeth. Out of the corner of your eye, you see the dark-skinned man. He’s shorter now, emaciated, older and covered in black sludge. Your blackness, age and disease has left you and been transferred onto him. You watch as he’s dragged from the Albus and thrown into the street like a leather sack of nothing. You feel nothing.
That man’s life is over, we all knew it. He’s too black to provide for his family, too old to go to school and too poor to live. In contrast, you have everything. You’ll never go back to your factory job. With your blackness, age and disease gone, you are truly free. Any employer would hire you and any woman would want you. Do you enjoy this power, or have you realized the disease you lost was your humanity? Weakness, empathy, you think, useless -- human. Now, you’re your own man and you’re free.