My mother was important. We knew that even as children – although we didn’t understand why. Each morning a silver car would come to collect her from our house in the hills overlooking the smog strangled city. Outside, the street would be deserted. Two other cars – black – parked a respectful, but appropriate distance away. Nobody else was allowed on the street when mother was leaving for work.
My sister and I would be waiting for her to leave. Always the same sterile, crisp, blue trouser suit, the flat shoes, the black briefcase bearing the party emblem. A kiss for the children. A cold nod towards our father.
“Remember who you are children. Remember who we are,” she would tell us.
Who were we?
All I knew was that the four of us lived in sprawling mansion filled with servants and snivelling nameless officials. While most of the city was overrun with poverty and resentment, ours was a life of obscene luxury. However, we didn’t complain. You don’t when you’re a child.
As we grew older we began to understand more about who we were; who our mother was.
Mother and I slowly grew apart. This was dangerous, but I survived. Her conceited grand plan and their utopian ideals eventually failed miserably. People starved. With what strength they had left they fought back.
As the city burned, party flags lay smouldering in the gutters; their headquarters were ransacked – people swarmed like ants over corridors and offices once only visited in handcuffed terror.
As we entered the last room on the third floor my second handed me the loaded pistol. The woman in the chair had her back to us. Even so she appeared unnerved and impassive, despite the chaos all around. Her perfect society in ruins; her family scattered.
“Is that you son?”
“Do you remember who we were?”
“Yes I do mother.”
As the bullet echoed around the room a new leader was crowned.