Everyone Dies In Alabama

(the last short story)

Sometimes You Take The Blue Pill (a screenplay)

FADE IN: INTERIOR: Late afternoon in the bedroom of SALLY SMITH.  All we can make out is a bed, a closed door, an open closet with only a few clothes inside, and one small dresser.  On the bed is SALLY SMITH, she is a young girl with long black hair that hangs heavy around her head.  She stares directly at the camera.

SALLY

How are you not done yet?

The camera jostles as if someone is setting it up.  A boy appears, his face suddenly taking up much of the frame.  We note that there is a date on the upper right hand corner of this camera.  It reads, August 8, and the boy we are now seeing is AARON DANIELS.  He also has black hair, cut short, yet while SALLY hides her eyes and face AARON is different.  He smiles warmly.

AARON

Not my fault…I didn’t even know they still had digital recorders so don’t…

SALLY finally brushes some hair out of her face.

SALLY

Extras don’t get top of the line equipment.  Don’t you know that?  Even for our Committals we’re stuck with bottom of the barrel…my final memories…the last bits of me…left only on the “god I hope it still works machine.”  It’s going to be so hilarious when after I die you find out I won’t even be on the Capsule.

AARON quickly moves to the bed.  He sits down beside SALLY.

AARON

You’re not going to die.

SALLY

You and your constant push for the Rez…you really want to be shunned?

AARON

I want you to live.

SALLY

At the cost of your life, of David’s life.  Siblings of any Extra who chooses Rez always ends up Rez as well.  It’s a death sentence.

AARON

We all die.

SALLY

No, Extra’s die young with a blue while the rest of the world lives for centuries until they finally wear out and buy a red.  There’s a difference.

AARON

Which is why there is the Committal, you don’t have to…

SALLY

Did Dad, or David…did Mom go with you to pick up the camera?

Both AARON and SALLY look at the camera as we finally see the warm smile leave AARON’s face.

AARON

I…it was…

SALLY

It was just you.  They’re still getting ready for David’s thirtieth, aren’t they? 

AARON

Sally, they…

He is now only staring at her, but SALLY pulls away from him.  She shakes her hair back over her face.

SALLY

Call me Extra.  I know why they’re not here.  I don’t get their last name, I’m just a Smith like every other Extra in my class.  We’re all Jane Smith, Mike Smith, Sally Smith, it makes roll call awesome.  We’re after thoughts that hardly ever choose Rez anymore.  Mom, Dad, David, everyone except you knows that soon I’m going to receive my blue and I’ll take it.  They don’t care.

AARON

But I care and…and shouldn’t that be something.  I want you to live, you’re my little sister and…

SALLY

Ha, I’m more like your daughter…

AARON suddenly rises.  He begins to walk out of the room.

AARON

I hate it when you say that.  It’s sick.

SALLY

But it’s true.

Blended from the DNA of the entire family, a bit of Mom, a dash of Dad, just a touch of you and David and then I’m placed in a ready and anxious womb until nine months later the key to long life and perfect health comes screaming out into…

AARON

You’re my sister, and the government may tell you to die for me but they no long force you to do that.  You have a choice, you have the Committal, record your thoughts and then in a month when David turns thirty…

SALLY

Why didn’t they do it when you turned thirty?

She looks at AARON who is at the door to her room.  The camera is set up so we mainly see her, his body almost completely in profile.

AARON

That was five years ago, and you were eleven.  Even with blues it…eleven is too early.  No Extra is taken then.

SALLY

But isn’t it better to do the surgery no later…

AARON

I’ve heard of those who now get their first treatment at forty.  I’m okay.  I’ll even be okay if I never get a treatment.  Talk to the camera, Sally, make your choice.

SALLY, again, pushes her hair back as she stares at her brother.  We still cannot see all of AARON, but enough of his face remains in frame so we notice the youth of him.  However, we now also know him to be thirty-five.

SALLY

Are you really going to talk?

AARON

They do allow family members to do that.

SALLY

Yeah, but…you know no one does.  Only Extra’s talk and everyone else…

AARON

I’m not everyone else so get a move on.  I’ll be on my Tablet…just tell me when you’re done.

AARON opens the door he is beside.  He steps out into a hallway.

SALLY

(whisper)

I love you.

AARON

(off screen)

I heard that!

We catch SALLY smiling.

FADE OUT

FADE IN: INTERIOR: Bedroom of SALLY SMITH.  The date on the screen still says August 8 but no one is around until SALLY jumps into the frame.

SALLY

Even for an ancient thing there are still some cool features to this baby.

SALLY nods to the camera.

SALLY

I saw the Capsule when they took a few of us to the Visitor Center on the Rez.  It was a group of those with only a few months left, our Regulars were going to need us real soon, and then they let us see the one place where maybe we can live a little longer.

SALLY pauses for a moment, her hair falling back over her face.

SALLY

It’s the government you see; they’re smart.  Violence, guns at the back of a head; that too easily leads to rebellion so they pretend to be benevolent as they open their arms and give us a choice.  What choice?  I’ve gone to school only with other Extras, my classes filled with history lesson after history lesson just like any other class that any normal Regular could ever have…but I doubt they got the same stories that we did.  How life was cruel during the Before, people facing cancer, hearts that were defective, lungs that filled up with fluid and drowned you in your sleep.  The Before was hard, but then came the Extras.  Someone discovered that if you design children, make them from the most perfect cells of an entire family, then once those kids mature you have a cure for everything.  You can’t grow cancer fighting organs in some tube, you can’t have stronger blood cells spreading out along a petri dish, all these things need to grow inside a child and only when they’re ready, all good and cooked, then a blue can end their lives yet preserve every last ounce of perfection.  Now there’s no more hearts that are defective or lungs that develop cancer.  For fifteen year’s I’ve daily learned that I make lifespans double, triple; often quadruple from what they used to be.  I’m a hero, a full-fledged superwoman so how does letting me see the one place where I can wimp out change that?

SALLY rolls her eyes.

SALLY

It really is ingenious.

The government used to force Extras to die but that began to be a tad messy.  Some ran, and were shot—whole generations were ruined with bullet hole after bullet hole and then the government started forcing many to ingest red pills by the dozen…but that was also during the Before.  The government didn’t yet realize that while red does mean dead it works so much better when you have a touch of age upon you.  The poor young Extras forced to swallow a red started to twitch just a tad too much for a world with way too many camera’s.  The Capsule showed us that too, the way we used to go, I think it was to make it seem kind of nice that we now receive a calm and pleasing blue—such a perfect dreamy ocean that will send us into a sleep we won’t even realize is our doom.  Kind of makes you wonder why Regulars don’t get a blue when they check out…right?

SALLY brings a hand up to the side of her mouth.  It’s as if she is about to say something conspiratorial.

SALLY

(whisper)

I have a theory.  I think Regulars don’t want to die like us.  Sure, you need age for a red to work as well as a blue does.  Take a blue with even twenty years upon you, or thirty, then bam, here comes the twitching, but a red when you’re twenty-six…I mean that could happen…or, better yet, a red when you’re five hundred and eight, no problem—you drift off easy.  Reds do make sense when you’re old enough to take them, yet I think Regulars like something else.  They like the distance so they order up a red when they’re four hundred and ninety because if they took a blue, and experienced even a touch of pain, it might make them think, for just a second, that an Extra and they are alike.

SALLY drops her hand from her face before leaning back on her bed.

SALLY

I ramble—should have warned you about that.  Sometimes I just go off on tangents when I should be focused.  I wanted to say that the Capsule I saw at the Visitor Center was filled with this one long loop of former Extras.  All of them talking about their decision, how the Committal let them see why dying was a blessing.  But it looked so polished I wondered if maybe it was doctored even though our great government swears they do nothing more than choose the best bits, the greatest moments from each camera, and that’s it for their editing.  But now I am convinced.  We alone can make moments, really perfect ones, because on my camera there are a few buttons I can hit to cut a scene, add some special effects, even connect to the internet…whatever that is.  Why would the government edit when we can do it for them, and…well…I’ve been playing with those buttons, ever since Aaron left, kind of why the jump in time happened, couldn’t think of what to say.

SALLY stares right into the camera.

SALLY

Aaron…I could do it…I could throw everything away that I’ve been told I was created to do…I could go Rez, except for him.  David, Mom, even Dad…I…I could leave them behind and live but Aaron…if I go Rez he won’t get a longer life.  Even with the perfect cells he has from Mom and Dad, all the amazing DNA they got from their Extra’s, it won’t be enough.  He looks young, and strong, but that’s just how potent we Extra’s are…that’s a generation removed and…and…that potency doesn’t cover much else.  He might still have a potential for cancer, or a bad heart, so the government will deny him Reproduction Rights and a Marriage Waiver.  His allotted job will be taken away, he’ll have nothing, and sooner or later he’ll be with me, on Rez, stuck at the far end where every Regular goes after they’ve been betrayed by their Extras.  My class saw that too.  How the Current barely runs out there.  How no one can get on the Wire since Tablets hardly function in the filth the Regulars call home.  Extras live in such hovels on the Rez, yet they seem to be surviving while the Regulars they condemn usually end it long before any normal illness can take them away.  I…it’s my Aaron…I can’t do that to him.

SALLY seems about to say something else but tears well up in her eyes.

SALLY

Damn it, now I really will have to edit this!

SALLY leans forward.  She turns off the camera.

FADE OUT

FADE IN: INTERIOR: Bedroom of AARON DANIELS.  It is night and AARON settles onto his bed.  He looks at the screen.

AARON

Just got done with messing around on the Wire; I swear I have enough free time to get lost for days on some sites, but I’m finally ready to talk.

AARON looks over his shoulder to the closed door of his room before he stares back at the camera.  He leans in, his hand to the side of his mouth just as sister did earlier that day.

AARON

(whisper)

I told Sally she could look at anything I record, and she said the same to me, but I don’t believe she’ll ever watch what I do.  However, I’m too nosy.  I’ll always watch over my little sis…I’ve been doing that since she was born.

AARON smiles.

AARON

She was right you know.  I shouldn’t act as if she has a choice because it’s hard to go against something you’re told everyday of your life.  She was right about other things too.  She’s my sister, yet she’s also this weird mélange of all of us.  A dash of me, a touch of David, and then parts of Mom and Dad and…and…how sick is that?  We’ve become a society that accepts the fact that we do such horrible things only so that a few can live a more convenient, and longer, life?  It makes no sense!

AARON sighs heavy.

AARON

I mean we’re already pretty well off, looking young for decade after decade, but, no, we need even more and…and…maybe I should start saying this government is evil.  Maybe I should say that a lot.

AARON sighs again.

AARON

She called us Regular’s…I’ve never heard that before, but we name her Smith and Extra and send her off to classrooms and field trips only with others of her kind so why shouldn’t she return the favor and give us a nickname as well.  Regular’s…but there’s nothing regular about us.  Live a little longer, Sally, for me, just live as long as you can because there’s more to this world.  Like, did you know, they used to separate Extra’s after they were born?  In the last days of the Before, but still way back prior to the Rez, they would yank a baby straight from its mother’s arms if she was lucky enough to even hold it for a second.  Most didn’t care, but a few did and our government adjusted.  I saw what you said about them being ingenious, Sally, and you’re right…they’re brilliant.  They want power so badly they’ll do everything they can to keep it, violence just their last option so instead they change, not hugely, you think you’re being given a gift but all they’ve done is switch the way they control.  They take a baby until that becomes unpopular so then they let us keep the kid yet the kid still dies.  And what if an Extra doesn’t want to die, well that’s okay too because they finally build the Rez yet they also teach every Extra that death is all they’re good for so that choice becomes no choice at all.  This government hates surprises, anytime one comes along they quickly stamp it down, and they can’t be stopped.  Kind of makes you wonder why I want to fight it…why I want you, Sally, to live…right?

AARON leans over to his side.  He grabs something off his bed before holding up a picture in front of the camera.

AARON

This is the last photo Dad had of his brother, our Uncle, and I’d sometimes catch him staring at it.  He’s three hundred and eight, yet he doesn’t look a day over forty, and still I’d catch a quick look to the side and all of a sudden Dad would be ancient…his brother, his Extra, making him feel every bit of his life in an instant.  That’s what this world does to you.  It tells you when you can marry, how many kids you can have, and you take it because this is now and the Before was worse.  Wasn’t it…I mean it has to have been worse, right?

AARON shrugs.  He lowers the picture.

AARON

I used to admire Dad every time I caught him grieving for his brother.  He was different, he kept a bit of himself secret and safe from anyone’s control, but then you were born, Sally, and he threw this away.  I found it in the trash and it just came to me.  He didn’t need it anymore because he’d gained acceptance, he no longer thought it wrong.  After centuries of keeping the pain alive he finally let that part of his soul slip into the governments’ hands and…well…I suppose that’s what I have to look forward to, right?  Near immortality and a belief that it’s okay that my sister won’t be around!

AARON leans forward.  He turns the camera off.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN: INTERIOR: Bedroom of AARON DANIELS.  It is early morning and we see a concerned AARON sitting on the edge of his bed.  The date on the screen reads August 9.

AARON

Okay, so if you do ever see any of this, Sally, I probably just convinced you to end it.  God, I got depressing.  I think I even made myself want to take a blue pill.  But that is not what the Committal is for.  The government will edit out the parts where we call them names…don’t you ever think those awesome buttons will give only you the power to cut and paste.  Sally, they’ll do it too, trust me.  They’ll edit out so much but, hopefully, they’ll also keep in some really good stuff.  I swear I’ve heard of other Regulars speaking on these things, it’s not as rare as you think and they’ve cussed out the government, called them all bastards for ever dreaming up the idea of Extra’s, yet once their Extra is gone and they have a longer life they all still get their Job Certificates and Reproduction Rights just like everyone else.  I think, I really do, that the Committal is just about as much freedom as we can ever have so you say whatever you want, okay…but maybe I should be cautious with my words.  In case you do see this.

AARON gives a warm smile.

AARON

I watched you being born.  Well…maybe not all of it.  I mean, it was Mom, I wasn’t there for every second but I was there, in the hospital, when you arrived.  Did you know that, Sally?  I skipped David’s birth.  I was five, what five year old wants to be in a hospital ever, but when Mom got her final treatment, and we knew you were coming, I was with her for almost everything.  Nineteen years old and somehow I’d never thought about life…how one forms from tiny cells into this big ball of arms and legs…you were my sister yet you were also the one thing that made me think beyond myself.  I grew up the minute Mom got pregnant and I don’t think I’ve ever told you how much I appreciate that.  You’ve been helping me to grow ever since.

AARON looks over his shoulder, and then stares back at the camera.

AARON

You don’t know how it is for Regulars, how could you.  Extras grow up so fast because it’s harsh for them while for us it’s…we’re pampered from the get go.  Sure, we go to school but there’s no stress, jobs are waiting, we know we’ll live with our mom and dad till we’re thirty, maybe forty at the most, that we’ll look young and feel young and then we’ll even get the added bonus of an amazingly long life as the government soon presents the house they’ve allotted for us, the jobs they want us to take, and that’s that.  No dreams, no fear, it’s all planned out and even before our Extra’s die we know we’re special—we know it well.  I’ve seen the historical files from the Before and I shouldn’t look like I’m eighteen when I’m thirty-five…it isn’t right, it doesn’t make me somehow better, yet here I am…young, virile, and about to gain even more for maybe five centuries.  But I want to thank you, Sally, for opening my eyes before those centuries get passed my way.  I’m going to give this camera back to you soon, I’ll try to slip it into your room before you wake, and I hope you see this.  No more depressing talk, only the best reason why you should live.

AARON fishes around for something else that is at his side.  He grabs up a picture that he holds in front of the camera.  It is a sketch of a beautiful hillside.

AARON

You made this two years ago, and it isn’t a view of what is outside our house.  I also know that no one, not even me, has taken you anywhere where you could have seen this but you made it and I’m…I’m stunned.  The government takes our dreams, they’ve been doing it for years, you tell people how to live, you control them by giving them everything, and it just happens, you stop seeing hillsides and sunsets.  But this is a sunset, even in pencil I can feel the day ending, and you drew this, Sally, you dream and that blows me away.  Stay alive for that, okay…you cry because you’re worried about me but don’t be.  I can’t dream, I don’t know how, but you can and even if you’re stuck with me on the Rez I’ll be happy because I’m pretty sure your dreams are big enough for the both of us.

AARON leans forward.  He turns the camera back off.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN: INTERIOR: Bedroom of SALLY SMITH.  It looks to be early morning and SALLY appears all the sadder.  We notice that the date on the screen now says August 31.

SALLY

Guess what I got today?

SALLY lifts something from her lap.  It is a tiny white box that she quickly flips open.  Only a blue pill lays inside.

SALLY

I’ve been ignoring this…the whole talking thing.  Caught Aaron as he was trying to sneak back into my room to return my camera.  Should have used those buttons…should have edited everything but…but I didn’t because I’m an idiot and I’m lazy and then…then I made everything worse by asking Aaron what he filmed.

SALLY closes the box.  She throws it over her shoulder.

SALLY

I’ve never been angrier.  When he sat down and showed me…when I saw all that stuff about how he’s been watching since I was born…I called him a fool.  As if I hadn’t known how he’s watched.  I have a dad, but it was Aaron who taught me how to ride a bike.  I have a mom, but she never made me banana pancakes on Saturday.  I even have David but Mom and Dad are usually out with him doing something, camping trips, sports, they used to invite Aaron along but never me.  I was supposed to stay at home with a sitter but Aaron convinced them it would be cheaper if he stayed and after a while they just stopped asking.  They’ve always taken my death for granted—it will happen, why worry about it—and with Aaron they do the same.  Not death, who assumes a Regular will die young, they just think he’ll always watch over me.

SALLY smiles.  It doesn’t last long.

SALLY
But now I don’t want him to watch.  If you love someone shouldn’t you want them to have a good life?  All I can give to Aaron is my death…it’s what I was made for and I don’t need him to tell me I should live.  I yelled at him when I saw that picture he held up…the one I drew and then made sure I threw out.  It was stupid.  The kind of childish thing an Extra let’s go of by the time they’re five.  Aaron says I dream…well if I do it’s only nightmares.  Riding horses, somehow flying, maybe even a grand adventure of being on stage as a singer, I get those dreams and then I wake to what’s real.  I never should have drawn that damn hillside but it was just…just something I saw and…so wide open and free and I…I wanted to see it on paper instead of only in my mind.  Never expected Aaron to be our resident trash monger.

SALLY shrugs her shoulders.

SALLY

So, I yelled at him.  I told him he shouldn’t be an idiot and talk on my Committal no matter how many other Regulars have done the same.  I even said he should be more like Mom, or Dad, or definitely David who stopped talking to me ages ago.  Then I ran to his room and waited until he caught up.  I didn’t want him to miss it when I tore that drawing to shreds.

Again, we see tears in SALLY’s eyes.

SALLY

I’ve refused to speak to him since.  Shame, maybe, I shouldn’t have torn that picture, but it’s also easier this way.  He doesn’t get it.  He thinks he’s saving me, but for what?  Choosing the Rez is no choice at all.  The education worked, Aaron, it did for you and it did for me.  I don’t know what else I’m good for except a death that lets you live so very long.  Now that’s a dream I hope I have when I take the blue pill.  Just one last glimpse of your entire life spun out before me.  You said you could live inside my dreams, but I think I’d rather spend an eternity inside one that is all about you.

SALLY stares over her shoulder.  We can’t see the box that we know must be there.

SALLY

I stopped talking on this because I knew you would take it.  I knew I wouldn’t edit…still too lazy…and it’s so hard to even try.  I also knew you would keep being sneaky—try to get the camera at night to see if you could respond—but that if there was nothing you’d return the camera without filming a thing.  Look at how well we know each other…too well I guess, no surprises left between us.

SALLY again looks over her shoulder, but this time she also scoops the white box back up and rolls it in her hands.

SALLY

Which is why I’m sorry for this, Aaron, I’m so sorry.  You’re out with Mom getting even more supplies for David’s birthday and it just seems right.  Dad didn’t notice…neither did David…the mail came through the Slot, right on time as always.  It was simply another assumption that I’d go get it.  Extra’s do have to help around the house before they check out, right, and so I gave Dad his forms, and his packages…he had his Tablet and was surfing the Wire, reading other bits of electronic mail that makes the need for the Slot kind of odd, but I suppose blues can’t get to us over the Wire so there has to be something here to accept them.  I gave Dad everything that was his, slipped David his stuff too as he was talking on his Cell; and neither noticed…they didn’t even care.  It was right in my hands, this box, so white, too white, and they knew what it meant, everyone knows what this means, yet they didn’t care.  I got it then…I knew if you’d been around you would have stopped everything to talk to me no matter how I’ve been ignoring you…that’s what convinced me.

SALLY opens the white box and slowly reaches inside.  She holds the blue between two fingers.

SALLY

Maybe Extra’s do grow up quick, and if so I hope you can see this as my only choice.  As an adult, and for you.  I can’t see you on the Rez, and this is what I was born to do.  I’m just so sorry you’ll be surprised.  Everyone assumes that if I do this it’ll be on the night of David’s thirtieth…hell, they’ll most likely be waiting, pacing back and forth and probably knocking on my door every five minutes wanting to know if I’m already gone.  But it’s okay if I do it now, I’ll be preserved, for a few hours, a few days, maybe a week if you want because it doesn’t matter.  My life will be gone but my organs, my blood, will be ready whenever you need it and you must understand, Aaron, you just have to get it.  Let me help you grow a bit more, this government doesn’t like change and I’m not strong enough to fight it.  Even going to the Rez is too hard so let me have this dream, my dream of you living for as long as you can.

SALLY brings the blue pill to her mouth.  She swallows it down.

SALLY

That wasn’t so bad

SALLY begins to yawn.  Her eyes drooping as she shakes her head and then smiles.

SALLY

Wow…quick, really didn’t expect it to be that fast.  I love you Aaron, and I really am sorry for the surprise.  It’s just…it’s easier this way.

SALLY reaches over and turns off the camera.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN: INTERIOR: Bedroom of AARON DANIELS.  There is no smile on his face, no warmth.  He stares right into the camera.  The date on the screen is September 9.

AARON

That was my little sister.  She once wondered what the internet button on the back of this camera was for, and she could have figured it out, she was so smart, but I suppose more important things were on her mind.

AARON finally smiles, something so sad it is worse than any tear.

AARON

She was right, surprises suck, it’s no wonder the government doesn’t like them.  God I hate her.  She left, and all we had for our final words were yells and silence.  I didn’t…she was my sister and I didn’t get to hug her one last time, or say how much I enjoyed hearing her laugh.  That’s what the blue pill does…it takes everything away.

AARON holds up his hand, a tiny blue pill sits in his palm.

AARON

She was wrong though, still smart, but wrong.  These things can get to you over the Wire…well,  as long as you know where to log in that is—and just how many Credits you need—then these things can actually get to you rather quick.

AARON stares only at the blue pill.  He doesn’t look at the camera.

AARON

When they found her I was downstairs, unpacking all the precious for David’s party.  No one yelled.  Mom had gone up to get her so she could help and all she did was walk back down to whisper in Dad’s ear.  He went to the phone after that, a little skip of happy in his step I swear.  Have to call Retrieval once an Extra goes…Sally was right, they could have waited, they could have left her up there for months and nothing would have happened but why do that and waste another second when a long life for your boys is at your fingertips.

AARON stares back at the camera.

AARON

They didn’t even tell me until Dad had hung up, and when I screamed they looked at me as if I was crazy.  They told me to quiet down and get back to unpacking.

AARON laughs bitterly.

AARON

They still had that party.  My sister, their daughter, was dead, not even a week gone, and yesterday they celebrated my brother’s thirtieth as if Sally wasn’t at some facility getting drained and picked apart.  What a world…this is what you want for me, Sally, being like Dad…just holding onto a picture of you until I have my Extra and finally decide I’m okay with this.

AARON shakes his head.

AARON

No!  You surprised me so why not return the favor!  While they were having their party, I figured out what the internet button on the back of this camera is for.  It seems that was a word people had for a very ancient form of the Wire that used to be around during the Before.  It was hard, and trust me trying to fit old technology into new is always hard, but I was determined.  I finally have my own dream, Sally, you helped me to grow just one last time and I had to follow it.

AARON turns to the closed door of his room before looking back at the camera.

AARON

After you were gone I told them I had a final message to record.  You see it really isn’t all that rare for Regular’s to speak on a Committal, even after an Extra is dead some of us want to mourn, to say one last thing, and no one thought it odd when I made that request.  They never suspected I’d do this.  You’re on the Wire, Sally, all over it.  I downloaded everything you ever said onto every site I could find.  One last advantage of a government giving you everything you ever need…you have lots of free time and all the hours I’ve spent on all my Tablets has finally paid off.  I wish I could have shown you—hell, I wish I could have told you all about the hacking skills I’ve developed—but I was scared.  Not even a Regular is supposed to be doing that and I really thought I would be protecting you if I stayed silent.

AARON shrugs his shoulders.

AARON

It could have been one more thing we shared rather than another bit of silence, but that’s just what these things do.

AARON again holds up the blue pill.

AARON

They take it all away, our freedom, our dreams, we let Extra’s swallow them down but we never seem to understand that we go with them.  Sure, we live but we don’t have lives, we’re just slaves to good health and whatever the government tells us to do.  So, a few seconds ago, I downloaded you, Sally…I’m still doing it.  Right now, we’re both being broadcasted everywhere and I suspect that soon Mom and Dad will get a call and they’ll pound on my door before the cops arrive to break it open, but I don’t care.  One last surprise, Sally, just one.  I hope you won’t be too angry.

AARON brings the blue pill to his mouth.  He swallows it as we begin to hear noise outside.  Soon, the pounding AARON expected begins.  We hear DAD’S VOICE.

DAD’S VOICE

Aaron, Aaron what is going on!  Why did I just get a call telling me I needed to go to your room?

AARON only smiles at the camera.

AARON

Man, this thing is quick, just like Sally said.  I doubt anyone will care about my sister.  I’m sorry, but I don’t think that seeing an Extra die will shake things up.  However…maybe this will.  One last surprise, a Regular just took a blue pill when he is only thirty-five instead of waiting till he is five hundred and then checking out with a red.  Sally was right about that too.  It isn’t just the pain, or the twitching, most Regular’s go red for the distance.  We like to think we’re not like the Extras who die for us but we’re just like them.  They’re our brothers, and our sisters, our daughters, and our sons, and I refuse to accept another day in a world that believes that their deaths are okay.  Good health, longer life, neither should come about because this government has decided that many should be sacrificed so a few can live more convenient lives.

AARON yawns, but then has a sudden tremor that causes his whole body to shake.  It finally passes as more noise can be heard outside his door.

AARON

I am a Regular, and I’m about to go out rather bad.  It hurts, but not too much—kind of like a far-off stomach ache you just know is going to quickly get worse.  But, oh well, if this surprise wakes up at least one other person I’ll take the discomfort.

AARON yawns again, but also shake’s once more before going still.  We hear the noise outside his door grow.

DAD’S VOICE

Aaron, Aaron dammit…the cops are here and you better open this…

AARON

I hope my Sally can forgive me for not living, but she was wrong about one last thing.  We have more to choose than anyone can realize, more options than most say is around, and this is my choice too.  We’re not different from our Extras, and they deserve to be told they’re more than just a death, so I choose to be like them, to go with them, and maybe…maybe this is only a new dream, my dream, something foolish that millions will see and then forget.  But maybe not.  A Regular is dying here folks, twitching and dying right in front of you and that isn’t normal it’s…it’s a surprise, something out great government doesn’t like, but…but sometimes you take the blue pill.  It’s all you can do.

AARON yawns one last time, and then seizes up rather violently, before he goes limp.

FADE OUT