Thursday, August 30, 2012

Facing Consequences

The world into which she’d been born was one where conformity was no longer something as cavalier as, merely, trying to conduct oneself in keeping with the accepted societal norms. Failure to live within acceptable parameters was cause for far more than muted sighs and derisive shakes of the head by those of the mainstream, it was cause for prosecution and, inevitably, for appropriate punishment. 

Body dysmorphia, rampant depression and escalating teen suicide rates had been the root causes for the Facial Uniformity Strictures. No longer were students expected to simply dress in similar fashion; standard-issue masks guaranteed none would have cause to either laud or lament the quality of the face they’d been born with. 

She’d discarded her mask that morning knowing there’d be dire consequences, yet not caring so long as she enjoyed one last opportunity to feel the warmth of the morning sunlight on her uncovered face before the enforcers took her away forever. 

This story was written for the weekly Five Sentence Fiction prompt: Faces.


  1. Is that too PC for our world? Makes you think...great piece!

  2. Really interesting piece! Nice job :)

  3. A dismal future to be sure. Intriguing story, Jeffrey.

  4. Intriguing and a great take on the prompt - I'd love to read this in a bigger story.

  5. Wow. Tremendous piece of writing.
    'Standard issue masks' - why do such scary ideas sometimes feel they may be closer to reality than we think.
    Loved the defiant last sentence.

  6. You found the perfect photo for this. So Orwellian and, like mjshorts' comment, it doesn't seem all that farfetched anymore. Fortunately, I'm old and will be dead by then -- I hope.

    Really a strong piece.

  7. Facial Uniformity Strictures! Hello, dystopia! This is so creepy and yet somehow too readily believable. I'm glad we're not there yet, even if some days a standard issue mask feels like it would be just the ticket!