A few weeks later a loud knock came to Brendon’s door. He got up slowly as to not wake up Audrey, who was sleeping peacefully next to him. Brendon tried to empathize with her. He didn’t know what he’d do with himself if his freedom had been stripped away.
The knocks were getting louder and more impatient. Brendon grabbed a shirt and put it on before jogging as quietly as he could to open the front door. When he turned the knob, five men came barging in.
Two grabbed Brendon and two went into the house. He heard Audrey’s screams as they awoke and, obviously, scared her. Brendon tried to pull away but he was too weak. The fifth man made gestures for the two that were holding him to sit him down on the couch. Moments later, Audrey was at his side. One man had his hand covering her mouth to muffle her screams.
The guy who seemed to be the leader of the pack pulled something from his pocket and placed it on the table. It looked like a bottle of pills.
“Stop screaming,” he told Audrey, “we’re not going to hurt you. Just play along and listen and we’ll be out of your hair in a few minutes.” Audrey stopped screaming and the man cleared his throat a few times, as if preparing to give a speech.
“Have you seen the world we live in? The number of births is going down. Which is why we need to repopulate it; you’ve heard the rumors of the government giving money to couples for children’s births right?”
Audrey and Brendon nodded.
“Very well, but it seems that most young couples don’t want to take up the offer. They don’t want big families like they were in those days of the fifties. This was going to be the second wave of baby boomers. But instead of births and pregnancies going up, they’ve been spiraling down at an alarming rate over last few years.” Brendon thought the man sounded like a programmed robot, “We tried to give you something back for having babies. But you didn’t want to take it.” The man went on and on, “So now we’re going to force you to. It’s you women’s own fault you were fired. You didn’t want to raise our population the nice way. Well, now we’re going to take matters into our own hands by not giving you any freedom that doesn’t involve you and babies.”
He picked up the bottle of pills and shook them, “You know what’s in here little lady? They’re fertility pills, you take one everyday starting now, so when your girly boyfriend here fucks you. There’s a bigger chance that he’ll plant one in you.”
“Oh fuck you. I’m not going to take shit. Or have any kids for you,” Audrey spat.
“You can’t make her take that shit,” Brendon added.
“You see that’s where you’re wrong,” the officer said, “I can make her do whatever the government says to make her do.” He opened the bottle and pulled out a little pill.
Brendon didn’t notice that one of the men that had been holding him was gone. He returned with a bottle of water.
The officer who’d been speaking made gestures, just as Audrey was about to get up. Their hands went around her arms and held her sitting. “Now open up your mouth woman and take this.”
Brendon was about to get up and try to get to her, but one of the men pulled him away.
He saw them open Audrey’s mouth forcibly and put the pill in it, then pour water into her mouth. Audrey spat it out into their faces and in the next second, the officer slapped her across the face.
“Listen you little bitch, you take this pill every day, or we come back and kill you or worse send you to the camps for the unwomen, and trust me after a few days at the uns camps, you’ll wish that we’d have killed you, or that you would have played nice.” He took another pill out of the bottle and force fed it to Audrey, who didn’t spit it out.
“And we’ll know if you’ve been taking them. Don’t try to get funny and flush them down the toilet either. Things could get very bad for you, capeesh?” the man grabbed Audrey’s face and made her nod.
The man that had been holding Brendon pushed him onto the couch and they walked out of the apartment as easily as they had walked in.
They stared at the door in shock for a moment. Then Brendon rose to his feet and grabbed the bottle of pills, and headed towards the bathroom.
“Those fuckers can’t tell you to do anything,” he said angrily. He opened the bottle’s cap and opened the toilet lid when Audrey’s voice came from behind him.
“Do you want them to take me away?” she said, calmly.
“Of course not,” Brendon replied.
“Then hand them over,” Audrey held out her hand.
“But Audrey, how can you let them control you?”
“Well, I have nothing else to do. So whatever, I’ll just ‘try’ to have a kid.”
“But I don’t want kids,” Brendon shouted, “and neither do you.”
“When did I ever say that I didn’t want kids? Not now, maybe, but I do. And why would I want to have your demon hyperactive spawn anyway?” She said and laughed.
Brendon gave up and handed her the bottle with a sigh.
Things changed quickly over the next few months. Since women were out of work the men had to go in more. Brendon was out of the house working most of the time, besides working at the comic book store on weekends he played the piano and sang at weddings.
Audrey took her little white pill every day without fail and at the beginning of every month she was picked up by a car and taken to the clinic for a check-up. The nurses, men, were very blunt. They told her she was very healthy and could have children at any moment. This news always made her smile. They would ask shamelessly if she and her boyfriend fucked on a regular basis. She would answer yes and then they’d laugh and say that maybe something was wrong with him then. This was usually her cue to leave.
This all happened when they were twenty.
Two years later Audrey held a new-born baby in her arms. She’d had had a baby, and she was elated. Brendon’s eyes shined every time he looked at the beautiful face of their baby girl, Rebecca.
In two years time the country had gone through hell and back. Almost nothing of the time before remained. Paper press of any kind had been eliminated, radio stations played only music and nothing else and there was only one news program in existence. A new government was formed. Their leader was now a man named Peter Wentz, a man aged 30, with a wife at his side and a baby cradled in her arms.
Brendon had choked on his coffee the morning that he had seen him on the news.
“Audrey, come here,” Brendon had yelled.
“What? I’m changing Becky.” Audrey walked in carrying Rebecca.
“Is that our new ‘President’?” Brendon asked.
“I know him,” Audrey’s face was unimpressed, “Well, sort of, I had a few drinks with him, and he talked about this amazing plan he had.”
“That’s very nice Brendon. Look at how much, I really care,” her face was blank; “If tabloids still existed I’d tell you to sell it to the National Enquirer.”
Brendon stuck out his tongue and wondered what Pete or Mr. Wentz’s awesome plan was.
Brendon was mostly confused as to what type of government he lived in now, it certainly wasn’t democratic, but he couldn’t call it complete dictatorship either. Sure the women didn’t have anything anymore, but the men were still free to do as they please. Audrey described it as a “dick run government.”
The new “President” hadn’t given any sort of speech yet. Brendon wondered why Mr. Wentz was called “President” if presidents were always voted in by the people and Mr. Wentz had certainly not been voted in. He had shown up out of nowhere.
Still, Brendon couldn’t be bothered with that stuff. He had a baby and he loved her with all of his heart. All was bliss for them.
That was until everyone in the country was put on lockdown. No one was to leave their houses at all. One crack of your front door and you’d be shot down immediately.
Brendon and Audrey sat in front of the television listening and watching a conference from the leader’s office. Pete showed up behind the podium and looked dead into the camera.
“Citizens of the nation, what we have been given notification on today is a tragedy for all of us. We thank you women who, over the last two years, helped the birth rates go up. The fertility pills we administered seem to have worked, but I bring only bad news. The pills we gave were thought to have been checked thoroughly, but they were not. They worked, and when you became pregnant we took you off of them so as to not harm the baby. But we were told that the body changes to make these pills work, and the sudden stop in the intake of them damages your bodies, in irreparable ways. What I mean to say is that you can no longer have children. These pills were not checked to the highest degree and now your bodies, internally, are mutated,” Pete paused and looked into the camera, “we are so sor-.”
A loud booming noise went off behind him. Within seconds the television screen went blank. Within two minutes they heard the same explosion they’d heard on the television happen outside of the apartment.
Brendon grabbed Audrey and Rebecca and ran into the closet and they hid under piles of blankets. It was a terrifying ten minutes of bombs going off, one right after the other.
Eventually the explosions stopped, but Brendon wouldn’t let them out as a precaution. After forty-five minutes of hiding, Brendon opened the closet door and crawled out slowly.
He walked around the apartment quietly and then went back to get Audrey and the baby. Rebecca had been crying of hunger for the last fifteen minutes or so.
Audrey was feeding her when a foul odor seeped into the room from the vents. Audrey seemed to be unaffected by the petulant odor, but Brendon felt the room spinning around him. His vision slowly faded and came back. He was going towards the couch to sit but it was too late, he felt the world go black.
Brendon woke up a few hours later lying on the bed. He took a huge breath of air and smelt nothing. Audrey was laying at his side the baby in between them.
“What the hell happened,” he asked.
“You fainted, you sissy,” she replied.
“How the hell did I get here?”
“I dragged you here you heavy fucker,” she said poking him.
“How long have I been out of it?”
“About six hours,” she said.
“What? I need to get ready and go to work,” he jumped off the bed and ran towards the closet.
“I already called in and told them you were sick,” she beckoned for him to come back.
“No, I’m going to go in anyway, I feel fine now.”
Audrey slumped back into the bed and huffed, “Fine.”
Brendon kissed her forehead and kissed Rebecca’s cheek before leaving.
At work he couldn’t have felt worse, but the other guys felt the same way.
“Dude, it was that explosion, something came up from it,” his co-worker, William, said, “I fainted. Never felt more like a girl in my life.”
“Are you sure, because you always look pretty girly to me,” Brendon laughed.
“You’re the last person that should be talking about looking like a girl, Urie. Your ass is better than any woman’s I’ve been with in my life,” William retorted.
They went on like that, taking jabs at each other light-heartedly, for the rest of the day.
A few days later when Brendon came back from work Audrey handed him a note, “You’ve been summoned to a doctor’s appointment, apparently something in the explosions fucked men up.
They’ll pick you up tomorrow at 9 am.”
Brendon nodded and they ate dinner and went to sleep.
The next morning Brendon got up early and showered. He waited for the car that was coming for him by watching stupid cartoons while Audrey slept in. His phone started ringing and he tried to pick it up before it woke up the girls.
“We’re here, be down in five minutes.”
Brendon wanted to ask who “we” were but didn’t have the time to. He took the elevator down and walked out of the lobby, only to find a sleek black car waiting for him. He got inside and they sped away.
Brendon was starting to doze off when the car suddenly screeched to a stop. “This isn’t the clinic,” he said.
“I know but I had to bring you here though.”
Brendon climbed out of the car and walked towards the entrance of the UIC Pavilion. Inside there were other men about his age already sitting and waiting for whatever they were here for to begin. He walked down the stairs and sat in one of the seats closer to the stage.
Brendon’s eyes bugged out when he saw none other than Pete Wentz step out from behind the curtains and up to the podium that had been set up on the stage.
“Men, I’m sure that you are all aware of the explosions that happened a few days ago. These were coordinated attacks from our enemy countries. They were bombs that we ourselves haven’t heard of. All over the country this happened. It was a coordinated attack that we didn’t see coming. You men breathed in the fumes from the explosions and they have changed your bodies forever. I suppose you were watching the address I gave to the women a few days ago, well my good men this is to you. Those toxic fumes changed your bodies for the better! The women’s were mutated to no longer have children, but yours’, all of your bodies have changed and you can now carry children and give birth to them through surgery. We ran some tests on a few men who complained about body pains right after the explosions” Pete’s voice was elated, “You will be doing your country a great favor in taking advantage of the gift you were given in such a tragedy. I know you will.” Pete smiled a sinister grin and stepped away from the microphone.
There was not a sound to be heard in the pavilion. It was as if they had all stopped breathing. Slowly, the men started getting up and leaving, shocked looks adorning their faces.
Brendon walked outside and ignored the car waiting for him. He shrugged into his jacket and walked the six miles home, hoping that someone would stop him and tell him that everything he’d heard was a joke.
Audrey smacked Brendon when she saw him, “You fucking bitch! All of you stupid men got everything. You’re all a bunch of fags. I hate you.”
Brendon ignored the hateful comments, “You saw it?”
“We all saw it, they forced us to sit in front of the screens and watch Mr. Wentz go on and on about how perfect you are.”
“I’m sorry, I really am, but this isn’t my-.” Brendon began to plead.
“No, shut up, I don’t care about how sorry you are. Fuck you.”
A few weeks later once again they were instructed to not leave their houses because Mr. Wentz was going to be giving a speech. Audrey rolled her eyes when the message had been sent to their apartment. She wasn’t speaking to Brendon; the only time they talked was when it had to do with Rebecca. After a few minutes of reporters questioning the reason for the meeting, a man dressed in a navy suit called them all to order.
Mr. Wentz walked up to the podium and looked straight into the camera like he usually did. Brendon wondered if it made him feel important to do that. “Ladies and gentlemen, you are sitting in your homes comfortably at this moment, and I have to tell you to enjoy these moments as much as you can because changes are coming soon, and they are coming spontaneously. Men, as you were told, you are fertile now and we must take advantage of this. And as it seems you are not, nor are you going to, we as a government, as your leaders, are going to have to take action and force you. Single men under the age of thirty-five will become what we will call Carriers. You will be taken from your homes, trained, and then sent to the home of a Commander. There you will partake in special weekly ceremonies where your commander will try to impregnate you. Thank you all. I’m sure that right now. This future does not sound appealing, but think of all of the great things to come my people. Then surely, you will want to willingly participate. The take-in of men for training begins tomorrow at 9 am, and don’t try to hide,” Pete gave a big smile to the screen as he turned and walked off of the stage. He greeted his wife, who looked very unhappy, and baby as he walked off.