A Simple Desultory Dystopic

I recall a somber afternoon in January when it all began to fall apart. We knew we were circling the drain, but we didn’t realize just how quickly we would be sucked into the septic tank, that basin awash in bile. The acid and the hatred—so hot it melted steel and shattered diamonds—would strip our flesh down to the bone, leaving only a sharp-edged skeleton where our empathy and compassion once lived. That day seems a million years ago now. All that’s happened since then swirl into indistinguishable memories, a stew of ugly incidents that, against our will, define who we are.

The other candidate and the past president, both jailed on charges of treason, are painted with brushes saturated in lies. Wealthy opportunists scour the economy for ways to fill their already bulging coffers, reporting on their successes to the commander-in-chief, who urges them on to do more. He won’t be happy until he has emptied the pockets of every one of his starry-eyed nationalist supporters, leaving them penniless yet still foaming at the mouth from self-induced orgasms, spewing accolades for his leadership. Those monsters call themselves patriots, but we know them as fervent jingoes and racists, people who cower in fear at the prospect of a majority “minority” country.

But it’s too late now. We can’t turn back the clock. When elections were cancelled, we knew the worst was just around the corner. And it was. The civil war was anything but civil. Children as young as three years old were called traitors and put before firing squads to pay for their crimes. The entire state of Oklahoma was emptied of its citizens, then turned into a concentration camp where anyone deemed liberal or progressive was placed to face justice. All citizens were ordered to government identification offices, where they were forced to have their national identification number tattooed on the backs of their necks. After the deadline date for having the tattoo, anyone without one was subject to arrest and detention. If the person was determined to be a citizen, the tattoo was forcibly applied and the citizen was given a sentence of two years hard labor. If not a citizen and possessing no visa, the alien was killed on the spot by agents of the Immigration Court Executioners, or ICE.

The resistance, comprising fewer than five percent of the population, was crushed under the heels of goose-stepping citizen militias, thrilled at the prospect of finally being allowed to use their precious AR-15s “in support of the Constitution.” With the resistance ferreted out by NRA loyalists, the commander in chief dispatched the military to dispatch the militias. The efficiency with which the militias were eliminated was stunning. They were gone within five days of the order to take them out.

Yes, this is telling rather than showing. This is the sort of stuff that goes on the back cover of the book (though, I will admit, it would need to be shaved down to grace the back cover). And the passive voice here is over the top; if this were serious, I’d fix it. 

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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