Hello Sirs. I am Josh Elders. On orders from my trainers and owners, Jack and Henry, I share with you how totally my life changed in just one year.
Last October, I was a high school senior with a completely different life looking ahead to college. Self-improvement was something I and all true “woke” people thought about a lot. I was working on my self-doubt, trying to be more of a man. My parents, disappointed in my liberal ways, always pushed me to be more confident. They believed and lived conservatively and were sure about everything and everyone. “Be confident,” I kept telling myself.
‘Why,’ I wondered, ‘did I never feel entirely in control?’
I live in Miller. Our town was a strange place strictly divided between us Preps, atheistic liberal progressives who believed in a globally permissive society and the Towners, conservative Christians who valued a tightly run environment. In our town, many more boys wore red-capped MAGA hats, walking the streets looking to make America great again than were human rights activists working for global change.
I was one of the Preps, but the Towner’s mockingly called us “preppies.” Preps and Towners did not get along, so there was always a simmering tension, a simmer than was set to boil because of the last national election. Towner’s hated and feared us, recognizing that we planned to take from them everything they believe in, and they were right. In their fear and hate, Towner’s moved against us.
Towner’s were the common labors, the “hard workers” as they styled themselves who clung to their guns and bibles and prejudices, while we were the “woke ones” who believed in global equality. Towner’s trusted and practiced discipline and order, segregated rules, America first. We expressed openness, fluidity, and personal choice.
The Preps went to Miller Prep while the Towners went to Central High. After high school, they went to work, and we went to college. We led, and they followed until that day last October first when, in my dorm shower room, the Towners changed me. Now, forever, I follow, they lead, they ordered, and I obeyed.
Towners believed they had received a mandate to make America great again, to make Miller great again. Our conflicts were not a matter of race, but power, the possessing of influence against the providing of service. Towners believe that work was freedom, that “work made you free,” not the preppy effete thinking that, in their minds, had made American weak. Towners planned to make the Preppies of Miller see the error of their liberal ways.
After the last election, some of our Towners, along with our parents, who resented paying top dollar for a prep school that taught values and beliefs they did not trust, understand or live in, began to form new “education” standards for us Preps. Rumors spread that a group had formed looking to re-educate Miller Prep, to make it “great” again. I was the first to be taken. It was a random opportunity that dictated that I would be the first to enter this re-education system.
Why was I was the first to be made “great” again? It was simply because of my location on campus, as I lived in the new luxury dorm. The Towners built this dorm and maintained it. It was secluded from the main campus and housed only a few students. They could and did control the building, and now they planned to control the occupants.
What happened to my three best friends and I will shock you. How did the Towners get away with it all? Simple, we preppies built our community leaving the enforcement and maintenance of our daily lives and security in the hands and control of the poorly treated Towners. At Miller Prep, actual power rest only with the Towners, although we were too stupid to realize this until it was too late. Shockingly, all the Towners supported Jack and Henry, and their associates’ power over us.
As my senior year at Miller Prep began last year, my unexplainable anxiety about self-improvement made it a challenge to fit in. I am sure most of my unease came because of how different my three best friends and I were from our parents and our community. Our rents were, like the Towner’s hard-working ultra-conservative types who found in their kids a frightening liberalism. Our parents tried to change this by sending us here to Miller Prep. The school had betrayed them by becoming over the past three years way too liberal. By our senior year, all three of my best “bros,” Sam, Ben, and Jon, and I were the outcast, first-born of our families, and that did make us feel anxious.
As I said, my name is Josh. Once I was taken by the Towner’s, I was called Joshy, and later, as my training and service had deepened, I am merely referred to as “grunt.”
I am good looking. Girls like me, especially my former steady girlfriend, Lisa. I loved her, and we planned to go off to college together, but now she is Jacks’ girl and often laughs at me.
Physically, I have a tall well-defined torso, long arms, and broad shoulders. I was the junior year state swim champ. I have a swimmer’s physique with a strong upper back that accents my solid arms and well-defined pecs, which are good now for being a plow horse as my Towner owners Jake and Henry like to joke.
Unlike the runner body that my former best friend Sam has, he too was a junior year state champion runner or the tight compact built wrestlers body my bud Jon has or the perfect gymnastic body my gentle bro Ben possess, I have a higher percent of body fat and that “baby fat” as my former girlfriend Lisa use to tell me looks “cute” on me. The Towners used each of our athletic prowess to torture us. When I share where and when, how they do this to us, you will be amazed.
You might be surprised to learn that I have always been a bit too critical and insecure about my image, how I look to others. I think my distant Eastern European genetic inheritance has something to do with it since I live in a town where most of the Towners are blond and blue eyes descended from either English and Irish stock or Nordic-looking with green eyes. I have, sorry I had, wavy thick brown hair that set off my deep soulful chestnut-colored eyes. It bothers me that my skin seems always to have a bit of a tan even in the deepest northern plain’s winters. Then there is my nose that seems a bit too pronounced for my muscular yet slender swimmer’s body. Funny how the three of us—Sam, Ben, and Jon—all have similar noses. I guess it’s because we all come from the same place in Eastern Europe. Jack and Henry like to play pin the clothespin on the donkey’s nose and clip them to my nose then lead me around by them, but more on that later.
Although there is no doubt that my body is handsome, some say even boyishly pretty, I have struggled with one real physical insecurity. I speak slowly, annunciating carefully. As a small child, I had a speech defect, a stuttering problem which, once corrected, I thought to be gone forever until the day I met Jack, and later Henry who is now a daily part of my life too.
Let me share with you something of our town, the place I was born and raised. Passing through our town, Miller, you would notice that we are ranching and mining community with mostly old brick and stone buildings spread about in town, each with an old- fashioned architectural style. We have only one church, a traditional-looking austere fundamentalist Protestant church with a white steeple, a place I never entered for obvious reasons, as we liberal progressives are atheists. The church stands in the center of town, telling you everything you need to know about our town. All the Towners attend church every Sunday most sporting their red MAGA caps.
Long ago, my mom stopped trying to get me to church. See my family, both sides converted in my great grandparents’ pioneer days out here in Miller, and each generation since has been traditionally conservative Protestants. I often made Mom cry when we argued that God did not exist or that these Christians stole their religion from our now long ago converted heritage of Judaism. Towner’s are prejudice against anyone or anything that is not immediately recognizable as who and what they are.
I should tell you upfront that my former three best friends’ parents and mine are very satisfied with our re-education. We had been something of a distinct disappointment. To them, Jack and Henry are heroes, and our meeting Jack and Henry was salvation. Love can often become perverse and twisted, as I will show you.
Sam, Ben, and Jon are no longer allowed to be my friends; we are all “grunts.” Sam was given the position of “manager grunt,” as our new MAGA Lords have structured us. I am the “bottom grunt,” while Ben is “middle grunt,” and Jon, whose dad was one of the secret directors of the Towner’s actions, was taken out of school and given to his conservative older sadistic stepbrother to be a work-slave on his land.
Jon, poor Jon, he is off on his stepbrother’s ranch naked, working worse than you would treat an animal. His stepbrother was always jealous of him, and now his hatred for him is evident and crushing.
Our lives are bad; Jon’s life is terrible. My Towner owners want me to tell you all about how this came about in the many chapters to follow.
As for my school, Miller Prep, it is set off from the town, hidden in a thick grove of old trees and protected by a tall wall. By contrast, the rundown conservative public high school, Central High, is located on the other side of town, next to the junkyards and garbage dump. Much has changed in a year at Miller, modern, progressive, and exclusive, all the Central High boys go to Miller now and are in charge of all the preppies. It was a slow, cruel methodical deconstruction of administrators, students, and even curriculum. Towners have made Miller Prep great again, at least in their ultra-conservative minds.
As I said, our town divides between us the “woke” and them the “deplorable.” The more we relaxed, the more they worked. I see this now, as my hard training with them has taught me much about service and work, loyalty, obedience, and pride. They have taken my greatness from me, from my best friends. Towners have changed the life of Miller.
For generations, Towners, the deplorable graduates from Central High, cut Miller Prep’s grass, shoveled the snow, and maintained our school buildings, cleaned our toilets, and cooked and served our food. They even cleaned our dorm rooms, made our beds and washed our dirty laundry. The inequality of this work made them angry, and in their anger, they would treat us as we treated them, as no more than their indentured servants. We, first re-educated recruits, Ben, Sam, and me, now do this work for them. More on this later.
We have learned how demeaning it is to be an eighteen, nineteen or twenty-year-old working on a crew maintaining a football field but not be allowed to play on it, clean an Olympic-size pool and not be allowed to swim in it, wash a car for a fifteen-year-old student because he had the money you needed to buy a car you can’t afford. We now know what it does to a person, to his soul, to make sure their bathrooms spotless but not allowed to use them, make their beds but sleep in a cage, clean their laundry but wear dirty pajamas either too small or too large for your size.
I sensed this tension all along, but not knowing it was about to, destined to boil over. But why did it pick on me? Even today, after all my hard, demeaning, without mercy or pity, training, punishment, and use, it still seems unfair. As I told you, it was not me they picked out, it would have been anyone assigned to our new dorm. It was my location that gave them what they needed to begin their re-education, not me as a unique individual. Any preppy would do.
How did my re-education enslavement come about?