It could be a collective idea. Everyone had a single approach towards perception. A red transparent-glassed bottle with aerated liquid contained inside it. Its cap lay open and droplets of the liquid were spilling out after its reaction with air. Bubbles appeared within the glass bottle and the liquid also was deep red.
I wondered what it meant when they showed up this advertisement on a huge poster stuck up on the billboards every hundred metres. There were times when people avoided aerated drinks. All governments had banned its use in any form of liquid consumption. How was it allowed in such a case, I ask.
The contents of the drink tasted as good as any drink added with soda in it. They said this was different. They declared it as a drink, free of aeration. Could our eyes lie and mislead us from what we saw in real? I couldn’t believe these manufacturers. They’d grabbed the entire population after making the formula for a look-alike of an aerated drink and had made it proprietary on the company’s name. Sipper’s Dip was the name. They had come up with different sets of colours and mixtures within a single bottle. And the drinks had different tastes as well. Some tasted like soups, spices, vegetables, while others were flavoured in fruits, deserts, ice creams, and alcoholic drinks.
I stared at the advertisement, searching for something I didn’t know of. The world wasn’t the same since the global mass murders of political leaders occurred. Various divisions closed after those tragedies. Media stopped after passing bills to not allow any flow of information. Internet was shut down blocking all communications worldwide. Transport became strictly limited to military. Civilians had to work in given job offers located not more than ten kilometres from where they lived. Tourism had stopped in every country worldwide. People forcibly worked in places of filth and unhygienic areas.
I felt different about this advertisement. Something was not right. It was surely the government’s involvement in all of this. I had to make a few calls to know what was going on. This was not good.
After I made the calls, I had to make sure letting out misleading information. But I couldn’t even tell them I had doubts as well. There were eyes everywhere. All cameras belonged to the government and they had taken full rights to access them any time. Every individual, or business person, or company would have to sign, granting the government, access to any device involving a camera or microphone. And they didn’t leave us with just that. Every device was tracked. Privacy was no longer in the hands of citizens. And they didn’t even leave the toilets and bathrooms, the restrooms and the trial rooms as well. They had access to look at everything.
It was still the advertisement that bothered me. After a few days when I had discussed with a few people around in coded language, I found out the true nature of the drink that was advertised not three weeks ago. I planned to let people know of the true nature of the drink. I could see people immersed in consuming the drink almost daily. They looked like they were addicted to it more than drugs. I wondered how was it possible to create such an awareness in people everywhere. I could already feel the light within people diminish. A simple trigger would simply shut them down.
Three days later when I walked the roads, I saw most people had fallen to the ground in awkward positions. And that was when I knew the trigger was pressed already. The bodies were down, all dead. I managed to see handful of people walking along the road. I believe they hadn’t allowed themselves to become addicted to those deadly drinks. I wondered how many people had lost their lives.
Soon, those who survived had to burn the rotting corpses. And that meant us. Once we did their dirty work, they compelled us to present ourselves to them for some registration paperwork in gaining freedom. I doubt how much freedom would they give us after such a holocaust. And there came a truck filled with soldiers. We lined up in queue for registration. Their commander ordered them to do what they had come for. And a shock spread within my bare bones when I saw them lifting their machine guns, pointed towards us. I wished to scream and flee. The fear of death itself after going through all the pain so far was still embedded within me. I know not what happened to the others, but in the next moment, I felt my vision blur out into darkness and felt something warm spilling out from my throat. There on, I lost my balance as well as consciousness.