(third blog bite of a short sci fi/fantasy story)
Alex woke with a jolt in his own personal penitentiary, aching to feel the response of his body. Hope glimmered. “Doc” said there’d be other times…
“Stupid, stupid idiot!” he admonished himself “Doc” was a fragment of dreams, a character created by his subconscious due to his administering the medication. It was all an illusion, a paradise conjured by the meeting of a desperate mind hallucinogenic drugs.
Would the real doctor return? He had no way of knowing. Fear seized him. Night came with its nightmares, but none as bad as his waking state.
Morning dawned, faces swam and retreated, the drip rattled as it was changed. Then there he was, Doc.
“Bet you thought I wasn’t coming!” he grinned as Alex felt the prick of the needle.
The hospital gown was gone; replaced by a shirt and loose, brown, cotton pants.
“Do you like your new look?” Doc chirped. “I thought you might want to blend in more.”
“Well it sure beats that gown! Simple and functional, suits me!”
“Yes, I think it does,” Doc said slowly, looking him over. “No multi-million fashion industry here!” he added, as if picturing with pleasure its demise, “or Anorexia.” A cloud of sadness passed his face, then he continued. “No gyms either, there’s plenty of “work out” to be got out in the fields. No uncomfortable business suits for anyone! The air is fresh and unpolluted, there’s plenty of good food for all, rest and exercise, the little ones thrive on it.” Alex remembered the healthy, laughing children at the pool.
“My kind of place!” he agreed. (If only it were real)…
“Let’s look at the school!” Doc grinned. Strolling over the hillside they sighted a crowd of children sitting under an oak, a vivacious young woman standing among them.”The location can change with each lesson.” Doc informed him. “Today it’s here.”
The children flocked to him. He gathered them in his arms as they laughed and squealed. They seemed to know him. The teacher was unconcerned at the interruption of her lesson, smiling flirtatiously at Alex. They began telling Doc some of the places they’d been and things they’d done. Alex listened enthralled. This school was no longer about books it seemed one joyous festival of learning, doing and experiencing!
“There are whole areas for them to come where they can learn constructively. ” Doc explained, “They come any time they want, it’s not required. Some parents also teach them at home, but they like to come, there’s no need of cajoling. Even reading and writing are not compulsory, though they all learn because there are so many beautiful books and stories. Some things must be learnt the hard way and reading is one of them, but it’s taught without pressure so some learn early others late. You’d enjoy teaching here.”
“Me a teacher?”
“But what would I teach?”
“Oh, believe me you’d have plenty to teach! As you can see this school system is quite different!” He laughed and the sound was pure joy reflected in the laughter of the children. It all became one and blended together as darkness invaded.