Pain World

Ready yourselves, Sisters and Brothers and Others on the Gender Spectrum (or agender, I didn’t know where to put you πŸ˜…

People of the Pain

Yes, get yourselves ready for the upcoming first installment of….PAIN WORLD, a serial that chronicles a dystopian world, one in which a person’s value is measured by their number on the pain scale (0= none at all, 10= screaming on the floor).  The higher the Pain Scale number they can function at, the higher they are status-wise, across the board. This naturally gives rise to ten castes; but it is possible to move between castes, with proper documentation and proof, of course.  In this way people can be as upwardly mobile as they like, if they’re willing to face the pain, and face it down smiling.

On the other hand, some people would gladly give up fame and riches for a simpler, less stressful lifestyle. No problem there.  Just drop that business suit off at Wardrobing, will you, and tell Alicia to give you a farmer’s get-up.  And Alejandro will pick you up in the garage, level Z, and take you to your new assignment

And oh, please tell Greta, your wife, to gather up her jewelry and furs in a pile on the bed.  Josie will take care of them.  Greta  must see Alicia the Wardrobe Specialist. Then she will join you at the garage.

The Brougham is a magic carpet that will transport you from one dimension to another.  Any last questions?

Yes, you’ll find you know more about this job than you thought.

Well, ciao ciao, I must be getting back to the office.  I’ll be keeping an eye on your absorption process.

Now–er, what was your name again?  Macallester?  Splendid!  Farmer Macallester it is, then.

Now, sir, before we proceed with the voluntary Pain Level demotion, we must fulfill some obligatory formalities.

Do you, sir, fully understand that voluntary Demotion entails losing the rights, privileges, and benefits of the societal level you wish to leave; and that should you wish to elevate your status at a later time, assuming there were to be a vacancy, it would be necessary that you present yourself for Pain Tolerance PlacementTesting, just as you did before.  Is that understood?  Sign here. Date here.  Initial there, there, there, there, and there.

Very good.  Now, while Rosa prints you your copy, let me go over ground rules with you.

Your name is no longer ____  _____.  You are now Farmer Macallester, and your wife here–Missus, I commend you.  Not many wives would follow their husbands DOWN the totem pole.

–As I was saying, you will be Farmer and Missus Macallester.  NO one will call you by any other name.  The folks in Farmersdell will sure be glad to see you when they notice you’ve arrived.  Why dog my cats if there isn’t a barn dance tonight!  I’m sure everybody in Farmersdell will be enchanted to meet you there.

Victor, bring the Brougham round.  Earn your money by doing something besides looking expensive.

Victor turned away and smirked. By the time he reached the garages where the antique cars were garaged, spasms of suppressed laughter convulsed  his body and he was afraid he might pee himself.  He struggled for breath and for self mastery and attained one of those.

The Brougham shoveled its enormous face out of its garage, and stood in a hare’s blink at the kerb where Farmer and Missus Macallester waited to step in.  They had no luggage, because everything would be waiting for them at Macallester’s Farm.  THEIR farm!  They smiled at each other, put their arms around each other’s shoulders and sighed sighs of relief and anticipation.

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  1. Very interesting idea for a story! Hmmm…….a caste system based upon your ability to tolerate pain. Interesting indeed….

  2. vevo777

     /  March 4, 2016

    Wow, can’t wait for the next episode! You have so much talent!!

  3. A good story line. Waiting for more.

    • Thank you! The nuts thing about this kind of fiction writing, for me, is that it comes out of some sort of tangential association. Unlike my nonfiction writing, I can’t predict where it will go; so I just have to wait and see! Hopefully it will roll along in some sort of timely fashion, but only the Muse of the Strange knows, and she ain’t telling…

  4. In a way, this doesn’t seem to be fiction. Enjoyed reading.

    • Well, I think fiction is just another way to look at what’s going on around us. For instance, “1984” was a bit late in arriving, but Big Brother is here to stay…Glad you enjoyed! Don’t touch that dial πŸ˜†

      • I like you…Science Fiction is thisclose to something that can become a fact. 1984 was chilling when I read it as a teen. The Outer Limits is my favorite program. Someday it can happen. I won’t touch that dial. πŸ˜‰

  5. For some reason this didn’t load until now. I love this!!! Awesome story

  6. I’m finding the transition from non-fiction to fiction to be more difficult than I anticipated. You seem to have mastered it brilliantly.

    • Aw shucks, Bradley, you’ve got me blushing…blame it all on NaNoWriMo for forcing me to let go of “reality” as a linear phenomenon and look at my dreams, how they take something that worries me and put that into a contextual narrative file. So one day when I was really struggling to write something that was truly fiction, I started with something that had always bugging me and said, OK fuck this, go write yourself…And it did. So here I’m in reality hurting like hell, and the world is turned against pain medicines, so none of the doctors I’ve been seeing are even mentioning pain relief. So, then, what if society was based on that? My goal is to take that concept as far as I can push it. We’ll see. This might dead-end, who knows!

  7. Midwestern Plant Girl

     /  March 5, 2016

    Interesting spin you’ve weaved my dear! If I were to be measured on my pain tolerance I’m not sure where I’d stand. I feel like I’m a wimp, but in past issues I’ve been told I should have noticed my pain earlier and I never felt it.
    Consequently, last night I learned being ‘low on the totem pole’ was actually a good thing.

  8. “Why dog my cats if there isn’t a barn dance tonight!”

    Yes!…I get the metaphor of ‘Pain World”…

    …but that line is hysterical!

    I imagine Dorothy Parker sipping her fourth martini and smiling with approval.

  9. Rather dystopian, which is something I love. Please write more!


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