Civil Disobedience

This is a flash fiction piece I wrote not too long ago.

They shouted in unison, loud and off-key, like a trumpet section full of stuck valves, shoving each other forward toward the capital building. A hulking woman with orangey brown hair screeched that she needed more room, she couldn’t breathe. She got swept away with the herd, pinned against an iron gate, her elbows flying every which way, one catching a little bald man’s little bald head, spinning him to the ground.

“Tyranny!” a bearded face screamed. He sent spit on an arc that traveled half a block before making a kamikaze dive into the throng.

“Liberty!”

“Freedom!”

A long-haired man with tatted arms and lousy vision whipped a smoke bomb over the police line and toward the opposing forces, misjudging the distance. A cop with a hungry Dachshund back home took it on the head and cursed the day he joined the goddamn force, he should’ve gone into real estate like his goddamn cousin.

One street over a merry band of teens stormed the Tasty DeLites Ice Cream Shoppe and helped themselves to the Mint Chocolate Chip, the Butter Pecan. A string-thin lad with bloodshot eyes smashed a syrup bottle against the 2.0 Point-Of-Sale Transaction Solutions System, laughing, urging it open, his mouth capped with a Strawberry Swirl moustache.

An explosion outside sent shards of glass into the Fat-Free Fro-Yo.

A couple thousand miles away a large man in a golf shirt leaned in to get a better view of the action. He pointed the TV remote and turned up the volume.

He knew those raging streets, had traveled them from the back of a limo, waving to the red-hatted throngs, his people, his flock, his disciples, his warriors. Look how they battle for him. Look how they tear into the enemy, block by block, spreading the gospel of power, real power. His power.

God, how they loved him. Praise be to God, how they loved him so.

Another explosion sent the TV camera into a washing machine spin.

“Boom!” the man cackled. “Beautiful, just beautiful.”

He leaned back in his lounge chair and ordered his assistant to bring him a Coke and family-sized bag of Fritos. He watched her slink away, all curves and youth, thinking she could be one of the lucky ones if the cards broke in her favor.

Back on the streets, a payday loan shop that used to be a library billowed smoke, blotting out the images. But you could still hear the voices, still off-key.

2 Comments

  1. Man, I picked the right day to take a peek at your blog after a long hiatus. This is poetry. I guess it must be your journalism training coming through because you picked just the right details to make me feel like I’m in the middle of that throng. A historian in the future looking for a sense what it was like to live through 2020 would do well to find this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why thank you, long-lost nephew. Great to hear from you and glad to have you back! I appreciate the nice words. I was pretty happy with it, but the judges in the Flash Fiction contest here in the UK gave it the cold shoulder. Maybe it’s something they can’t relate to on a personal basis, raging streets full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. But as always, I value your insights into things I write, probably more than theirs. So bleep them…..

      Hope you are good! Been thinking about you guys. Been a busy month on the marriage front over your way. Give our best to everyone!

      Like

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