The blank page glared up at him mockingly. He sighed violently and slumped in his chair, tossing a wary glance over to the guard in the corner who was languidly flicking his whip in a steady rhythm.

The man looked around. He was entombed within unforgiving concrete walls, shackled to a rickety wooden chair with rusted chains. Well, alright, he admitted to himself, maybe I'm being a bit melodramatic.

The walls were concrete, but they were also painted a kind pastel blue. A large window was placed in the wall in front of and behind him, allowing for warm sunlight to spill within the room and creating an open, airy atmosphere. And his chains weren't rusty at all—in fact, they were rather on the shiny side.

Still, it was nothing compared to the conditions the Artists received.

He was a Writer—deemed as such by The Society for the Betterment of Society, although he was mystified as to why they would label him as such—and thus, received the Writers' accommodations. All of the Society's Betterment Officials were treated differently based on their category, but two things stood out as a uniform regulation—none of the Officials were given personal freedom, and they all had to meet set quotas.

Writers had to write at least 5,000 words a day. He currently had twenty-eight.

He was suffering from the worst writer's block imaginable.


Suddenly, an idea struck him. He was almost delirious with relief and attacked the typewriter before him with a relish.

The blank page glared up at him mockingly, he wrote. He sighed violently and slumped in his chair…