Once upon a time, in a land very far away, a perfect world was lived. In this world was a single country. There, everyone had a say, and everyone had a choice. In this perfect world, everyone accepted and loved each other. Everyone was family, and everyone agreed. Agreed on what, you might ask? Well, let's just say that there were no disputes on whether or not the country should launch a missile on other living people. For some absurd reason, they always agreed against it.
In this country, everyone was fed and everyone was sheltered. Everyone had free healthcare and education. There was no unfair government – because, again, everyone agreed. And in a small town in this country lived a girl.
She had everything she needed. She had food, she had shelter, she had education. She was loved. However, she was intelligent, and saw through the curtains everyone else seemed to live behind. She saw the flaws. She saw the outcasts, the people who were cared for but not loved. She saw that the country was not really happy. They couldn't learn. There were no disagreements, so no one could ever experience loss, and no one could experience victory.
This confused the girl, for she did not always agree. Her brightness flooded her thoughts. She escaped from her perfect world through books. There, she could read about the faraway lands that spoke of a different, perfect world.
One day, she opened up a book and read a story about another world. In this world, there were many disagreements. People could stand against beliefs and state their opinions. There were many countries in this world – 195 to be exact. Each country had a leader, who emphasized and affected decisions in the country. They would consult with other leaders, forming alliances. The girl fell in love with this world, and could not stop thinking about it.
Little did she know, in the other world was another girl reading about the first girl's perfect world. She could not stand her world. It was falling apart, and its leaders continued to fight and dispute. Every time there was a victory, the leaders and citizens became vainer and more competitive. Every time there was a loss, the leaders and citizens were filled with more hatred and anger toward the world, and everything was divided.
This girl could not stand up to her leader; she was competitive as well, and this caused her to hate herself. To stop herself from becoming like the others in her world, she would read stories about the other girl's perfect world in a faraway land, and was mesmerized.
The two opposite worlds, containing two very similar girls, had yet to reach a place in which there was world happiness. The problem was that one world thought everything was perfect, but couldn't realize that it wasn't. The other world was unhappy, but was doing nothing to address it. The only people that would address it were the two girls, who understood, and were able to see things the way that they were. They were destined to live happily ever after.
The Young Writers Project provides VPR's audience another avenue to hear and read selections from Vermont's young writers. The thoughts and ideas expressed here are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Vermont Public Radio. The collaboration is organized by Susan Reid of Young Writers Project and Vermont Public Radio.