"Are we sitting comfortably? Good! welcome, citizens of Auto Dale to this PSA. Children, look around the room. Look at your father. He likes to read the newspaper and kick his feet up after a hard day's work. He provides for your family. Your father is pretty. And then, children, look at your mother. Isn't her cooking splendid? She also keeps the house clean and she reads you bedtime stories every night. Your mother is pretty. And now, children, look at yourselves. You're young. You laugh, you play! You may scrape your knees from time to time. You have friends. You and your friends get up to all sorts of playful mischief! One day, children, you will grow up to be just like one of your parents.
And you will build a family of your own. One day, you will be pretty. Now finally, my pretties, look outside at your lovely neighbors. You're pretty, you're pretty, you're pretty. But alas children, not everyone is pretty. Some are ugly. We don't want uglies, dearly children. We take the Uglies away so that you and your friends and your neighbors and your family can stay pretty. Remember that, children. And this concludes today's PSA, citizens of Auto Dale."
Kate switched off the TV and lay back with her brother, John, on the sofa. It was a warm summer afternoon, an average day in Auto Dale. The window hung open, letting in the crisp breeze.
"Mum, what are uglies? Where do they go?" Josephine, wearing her white "happy" mask as all adults did in Auto Dale, spoke from the kitchen behind the children:
"Why, kate, they ruin our city and our people. Think of them as very, very bad people. They are taken far away from here so they can't find us. Now, dinner time, children! Come to the table. You too, honey." The man resting comfortably on the leather chair put down his newspaper, also wearing a mask, and walked up to the table. He ruffled the hair on John's head, then pulled up a chair and sat down. Josephine brought the steaming hot platter of roasted beef and potatoes.
"Mmm, looks delicious honey. Thank you."
"We have a report of an escapee, men. Search the perimeter." The 10 foot mechanical creatures, with their lit yellow eyes and slick, long fingers, set off in search of the escapee without another word. The one whom had reported this nodded in approval, its head bobbing on wires and metal. It then turned and walked back inside the towering building, looking dark and malicious in the night. The lighting roared and the rain poured, the citizens staying inside. It was the perfect time to find the escapee.
The creature travelled to the back, where fresh, wet soil was beneath it. People wearing masks with small labels on them were walked in groups by more of the mechanical creatures, also taken to the back.
"We have the escapee, handy man." One of he creatures walked up, gripping the woman by her hair. He took her mask off, then grabbed her, dragged her to a pit nearby, and threw her in. She didn't move or get up again. The mask remained in the creature's hand, and the label read in neat handwriting:
"Having trouble sleeping again, Kate? Is it the monsters sweetie? There are no monsters here!" Josephine grabbed the gray book from the nightstand and sat on the small bed where Kate lay, looking distressed. She opened the book and began reading, her voice slightly muffled under the mask:
"Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She was pretty and smart! Truly exceptional, just like you," Josephine turned to Kate with her permanent smile." Today, the girl finds herself outside of town. Bed time is fast approaching. Shadows dance between the trees. She too is scared of monsters. she starts running. 'A monster!' She thinks. She begs for her family, for home. For safety.
The girl is scared and alone. But, just as all seems lost, she is saved. The Handy men have come! The exceptional girl has made it home and the monster is gone, for there are no monsters here. Not in Auto Dale, sweetie. We are safe here, do you understand? You're safe here sweetie. Now go to sleep," She started stroking Kate's head gently and lovingly, and Kate slowly closed her eyes. Josephine continued in a darker tone than before:
"You are truly exceptional. Auto Dale needs more children like you. So smart, so pretty. You won't run from your monster."
Will you, sweetie?