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Limited - Short story set in a twisted future America.

by WhyTho


Dec. 31, 2121

Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one who sees it. No one recognizes people as people anymore - just competition.

Do they act out of fear? - Or are they monsters in disguise?

Yet this way of thinking is praised - encouraged even. The Limiting system decides the fate of those father calls “the plagued.”

Those who aren’t productive in society meet a gruesome end, ultimately decided by the public.

Overpopulation was always an issue. It wasn’t until president Haul announced the first annual Limiting ceremony that we realized how desperate our government was to get off this sinking ship.

Each month U.S. citizens are given a quota of productivity. Simple, learn a new skill, demonstrate how much you’ve learned in a month.

Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with even the most basic of essentials. For this reason those in poverty don’t last very long. When each year comes to a close, a massacre follows close behind.

Last year’s group included our neighbor’s son and my dear friend Mathew.

He was the reserved type. Always with a book in hand, long matted hair that hid his face and never gave a glance toward anyone who’d addressed him.

Others seem to think he deserved the anything but brief three hour torture that took his life. That he was filth dirtying the image of the strong in our great country.

“How are these thoughts even human?” I wonder?

The sting of Matt’s death continued on after he had passed. Not knowing who had wrote his punishment deprived me of any closure. Images of hundreds of nails and screws deep in Mathews’s skin made headlines. His last words “what have I done?” printed on the back of t-shirts, hoodies and backpacks.

It’s been hard to concentrate on studies. Sometimes I find myself trapped in my bed, not having the motivation to finish lessons or submit progress reports.

Am I weak for missing my friend? It seems everyone else around the house has already forgotten about his presence. Father says it’s best I do the same before I’m the one strapped to a table with drills in my brain.

It’s almost been a year since I was able to feel something besides heartache. Tomorrow’s the ceremony, which means this is my last night of journaling. I’m not too confident on my productivity reports. I’m numb.

The terror wrapped in the mystery of my execution method has been in combat with the excitement of seeing my friend again for a whole year. Every day I feel more distant from reality.

Name: Sean Watts

Score 25/100

Result: FAIL

Skill: Journalling

Graded: January 1, 2122


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59 Reviews


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Reviews: 59

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Sat Feb 06, 2021 4:56 pm
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi WhyTho,

A powerful story in a nutshell you have written there. It reminds me of the despair that takes hold of people when they see that they have lost. The sentences are plain and simple, you get straight to the point, which gives the story a kind of informative newspaper article. Like a short excerpt from the future. While reading it, I immediately thought of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Man is now trying to preserve the best and sort out the weak, according to the motto "survival of the fittest".
I particularly like this sentence:

Do they act out of fear? - Or are they monsters in disguise?


It sums up quite well today's life and how we are already heading towards such a system as in your story. Already today, we have to succeed in a world, be it at school or at work, and we have to show what we can do and create in order to win in everyday life.

Mailice.




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9 Reviews


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Tue Feb 02, 2021 6:39 pm
Vryog wrote a review...



shwoooo, dang this is very deep. It gives me a vibe from a movie I watched a long while ago, possibly called "The Thinning" very very interesting. Anyway the premise was that each kid, every year, until they were 18, had to complete a test based solely on intelligence and if they failed, they would die. They were trying to create a world with just "intelligent" because they thought it was better. I'm getting off topic but you should definitely check it out (if you've ever watched black mirror its almost as dystopian as that)
I really like the last few lines,

"It’s almost been a year since I was able to feel something besides heartache. Tomorrow’s the ceremony, which means this is my last night of journaling. I’m not too confident on my productivity reports. I’m numb.

The terror wrapped in the mystery of my execution method has been in combat with the excitement of seeing my friend again for a whole year. Every day I feel more distant from reality."

Although I did find a minor spelling mistake "journaling" should be journalism.

Overall this is a great plot. It's a plot that's been toyed with for a while but you've definitely made it still intriguing.

keep writing and stay safe

~King_horror




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Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:26 pm
Sunflowerdemon3712 wrote a review...



This was a great story by all means! it was short but it really told a full story and I loved the line "Am I weak for missing my friend?" because it really showed how bad this society must be to live in. all and all I think this is great and I would love read more of it if you were to put more out. I hope you have a lovely day.




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13 Reviews


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Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:27 am


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13 Reviews


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Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:27 am


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13 Reviews


Points: 205
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Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:27 am



wow this was great I would love to see more of this




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13 Reviews


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Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:26 am



wow this was great I would love to see more of this



Random avatar
WhyTho says...


This was actually a short written to see if anyone was interested on the idea so more on the way!



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Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:36 am
raindrops wrote a review...



I simply wish this to be featured, sincerely.

Hi! raindrops here to leave a review.

My review types usually focuses on English and grammar but your writing is superb, I have none expect for a few, which I think is simply a difference in writing style

Do they act out of fear? - Or are they monsters in disguise?


Amazing line you've got here. I'm not familiar with the uses of dashes, so I thought there's not much difference even if the dash was omitted, if it's put for emphasis, I think the phrase itself is well emphasized.

Yet this way of thinking is praised - encouraged even.


Here, a comma would suffice

Now for the writing:

Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one who sees it. No one recognizes people as people anymore - just competition.


Great introduction! A question put in the introduction is usually answered in the body or conclusion of a literary piece. However, you used both in the introduction to effectively catch a reader's interest.

Overpopulation was always an issue. It wasn’t until president Haul announced the first annual Limiting ceremony that we realized how desperate our government was to get off this sinking ship.


In this paragraph I saw a possible flaw, that's not actually a flaw, and I like it. It's the use of comparing a sinking ship with the issue of overpopulation, and the way you subtly put it is just good. Some readers who have not come across this symbolic comparison might not understand that last bit, but that's not really a problem.

This work is wonderfully written as a dystopian genre. The feeling you were able to convey was constant throughout all the lines. Sadly, it is a realistic issue, that even without the Limiting system it happens.



Random avatar
WhyTho says...


Omg, thank you so much for the kind words! I used to write a bit in high school and this was more or less practice to see if this brain is still working. Thank you for reading!!



raindrops says...


your wc. If you wish to have more people review or give insights to this work of yours, you can click that request for a review button on the upper right. There are people there who look for works they can review, and they're really good at it. They have given me deep criticisms which I needed haha. Only if you'd like too, tho.



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Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:45 pm
Haileyg21 wrote a review...



HIYO! This is Hailey's Review for An Amazing work. I want to say this is really good. Its really well written. The words flow together perfectly and It gives a picture for the people who read it.

' The sting of Matt’s death continued on after he had passed. Not knowing who had wrote his punishment deprived me of any closure."
This was my favorite part because the emotions in it. Overall this was amazing and beautiful.
"Name: Sean Watts

Score 25/100

Result: FAIL

Skill: Journalling

Graded: January 1, 2122"
Was also a random place to be my favorite thing. I dont know Over this was really go so thank you for writing this amazing piece.





Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
— Neil Gaiman