Do Exactly as You are Told!

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

“Don’t touch the fence. It’s electric. Don’t get too close. Don’t talk to the guards. Don’t ask questions. Do exactly as you’re told. Do not talk among yourselves unsupervised. No joking, laughing, or ribald language. Remember there are eyes and ears everywhere. Stay in your proscribed area. Eat when you are fed. No snacks. Sleep when you are told. No naps. Work until the siren sounds.”

Number 74659100001 whispered, to no one at all, “I thought this wasn’t going to be a totalitarian government.”

He never felt the electric bolt that killed him.


I need to apologize for not reading posts last week. I won’t bore you with the details. I will, however, do better 🙂


49 thoughts on “Do Exactly as You are Told!

    1. Some years ago, I visited Slovakia on a missions trip. Fell in love with the people there. I was talking with the pastor of the church we were helping, and asked him what had changed the most since their “blood-free” separation from the USSR. He took me on a drive through the downtown area, pointing out an apartment complex in which there was an overwhelming amount of grey. Then, there was a vertical strip in which each apartment tenant had chosen his own favorite color. It was like a very straight, very high rainbow. The thing is, they hadn’t been allowed to paint under Communism. Things had lightened up since then , and now they were allowed to paint as long as no one in the surrounding apartments objected. The pastor then told me that everything was grey under communism. No color, no freedom to decorate even a house that you owned. That was all changing.

      I think the only ones who truly enjoy a totalitarian government are the ones who govern.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Someone made a comparison to “Animal Farm,” which I promise you I wasn’t even thinking about. But you’re right, get rid of all dissidents. They shouldn’t have a right to live, never mind to speak up!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lynn. It is amazing to me that with every failure of totalitarian governments down through history, with mass murders and bloodshed, we still keep thinking it’s the right answer.


    1. I did think of using Zing and Zang, but somehow it just wouldn’t work. Someone else made a similar comment. I rarely go to the dark side, but honestly, this story just wrote itself. It kind of let me ride along 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. GHLearner

    I love how your character’s thought that ‘they didn’t think this would become a totalitarian state’ highlights the treacherous path towards totalitarian leadership. People get tempted, frightened, coaxed, promised rewards and before they know it, they’ve given up their freedom and their rights.
    What you told about Slovakia is so true. I had relatives in the former GDR, and I visited the former Yugoslavia several times (part of my family came from Croatia). We called the way things were then the socialist standard junk. My relatives then only dared to speak their mind with lowered voices behind closed doors.

    Liked by 1 person

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