|The FortySecond Week
Author: Arixa23 PM
Horton sat on that egg for fifty-one weeks before Mayzie finally paid him a visit. What did he do for all that time? For that matter, what did everyone else do for all that time?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Chapters: 4 - Words: 2,733 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 05-18-12 - Published: 05-10-12 - id: 8105345
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
And this one actually had an Opinion (Jojo)
Jojo doesn't really talk much to any of the other cadets, mostly because it's become apparent a long time ago that none of them really have anything much to say. "Butter-side-down" and "Schmitz, Schmitz, Schmitz" and "I do not like them, Sam-I-Am" is the most coherent any of them ever gets. And talking is discouraged, anyway, so where and when would you do it? Every day the cadets train and train and train and every night the cadets fall into their narrow beds exhausted, and Jojo barely has time to dash off a letter home every once in a while. Every morning and afternoon and every evening they eat gruvulous glop from a bowl, which makes Jojo wonder why they're fighting a war over a method of eating a foodstuff which none of them ever get to eat anyway. Except on demonstration days, that is, when they gather to eat their butter-side-up bread in a very long, very loud ceremony. Everythinginvolving General Genghis Khan Schmitz is loud. Everything.
Jojo has never been loud. Jojo is not loud now, in the face of all this war and confusion. Jojo has been at the military academy for almost a year now, and wants nothing, nothing more in the world than to go back to Whoville and to a real family and real school, where, at least, even if they don't teach you real things, they don't try and un-teach you things, and to being a child again instead of some sad, hollow imitation of an adult. Jojo knows how to march in formation now, how to use the pathetic little wooden sword, how to climb ropes and dig ditches and shout battle cries at the Butter-Side-Downers, but Jojo has not yet learned why any of these things are or should ever be things worth learning, and suspects uncomfortably that there is, in fact, no reason whatsoever.
General Schmitz won't tell the cadets anything about what is happening to Who, whether Horton has found them yet or not. The General insists that such things don't matter or possibly don't even exist, that war is the only important thing in life. It's gotten very cold recently, though it should be spring in the field of clovers, and there's no explanation for that other than: What with all of the other things that have happened to them, why shouldn't sudden rapid climate change be one of them? Jojo knows that Horton hasn't found them and probably never will, and Jojo knows that every other cadet in the academy knows the same thing, and Jojo cannot understand why none of them seem to care. Jojo cannot understand why the other cadets stare straight ahead with such blank eyes and never seem to notice anything, how not only the imagination but the life has been drained out of them, and not understanding scares the Thinker.
Oh, after weeks of no dinner for speaking up in rank, Jojo has learned, all right, that one should never open one's mouth unless called upon to do so. The military teaches one how to fake conformity better than anything. But every day is a battle to keep faking from turning into reality, and Jojo is scared, more scared of this than of anything else (except for possibly the inevitable real war), that one day the battle will either be lost or explode into something which can't be hidden anymore.