Psychopomp Magazine Spring 2016 - Page 42

42 | Psychopomp Magazine

Lavon concurs wholeheartedly, and Albie demonstrates his assent by sweeping a collection of beakers and flasks onto the floor. Soon all the future kids eschew anything to do with the hope or task or problem that appears next to their name on the project manager’s list. They tear out the pages of their textbooks and carve dirty limericks into their desktops.

When the teachers attempt a heavy-handed suppression of the rebellion, the future kids go quiet. They give the whole world the silent treatment, and even when the Director himself visits the school, they remain unwavering in their dedication to speechlessness. The Director is at first astounded by the collective perception they display. The future kids understand that they hold all the cards and they are ransoming their own intellects. He is impressed.

But then Marie sneers at the Director and spits on his shoe. Of all the bones shipped across the sea, hers were the most difficult to obtain, requiring an extensive negotiation with the French Praetor, who demanded outlandish appeasements and remunerations in exchange. The Director takes Marie’s contempt to heart and reevaluates his strategy. He declares that from this point on, none of the children who emerge from the machine are to be told of the world’s particular aspirations for them.

The curricula are scrapped and the future kids are allowed to attend classes with the general student body. Their teachers are told to exercise leniency when it comes to matters of truancy. There are no educational requirements of the future kids save that the foreign-born be taught English. Though after sanding down the imaginative vulgarities etched into various classroom surfaces, most of the teachers agree it would have been better to leave their foreign tongues untouched.

The Director clings fiercely to the hope that with their leashes cut, the exceptional curiosity that must be latent deep within their souls will eventually blossom and lead the future kids to their destinies.