Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Demonstration

     [Just a quick short story for today, inspired in part by Dystopic’s recent emission. -- FWP]

     Evan was excited.
     It had taken him awhile, but he’d finally managed to impress the leadership of Justice In The Streets sufficiently to be included in their activism plans. They’d assigned him a role—a significant role!—in the demonstration against the fascist congressman that was scheduled for that very day. The anticipation had him near to leaping out of his skin.
     Fred Rowland’s been getting laid left right and center. Now it’s my turn.
     He prayed that events at the Town Hall would be dramatic. Something to get the girls juicing, so they’d return to headquarters hot to trot and not overly picky.
     All right, so it’s a tumble-down old barn with no heat or plumbing. There are mattresses and wet-wipes enough. Besides, they call it a roll in the hay for a reason.
     He steered his Chevette into the municipal lot four blocks from the theater, found a vacant stall and parked, grabbed the little air horn he’d been issued from the back seat, concealed it as best he could beneath his jacket, and strode toward the site. A significant crowd was already milling around before the entrance.
     It was only when he’d come within a block of the venue that he saw the security guards.
     There were several dozen of them. They were all male, and all very large. They had guns visibly strapped to their hips. They’d completely interdicted the entrance to the auditorium. They’d erected a rope line for those who wanted to attend...and they were turning people away.
     Not everyone was being turned away. About two out of every five were permitted to enter. The others were escorted out of the line, away from the theater, and around the side of the building to some sort of processing station by two very large, very serious-looking men in dark green uniforms. There was a considerable crowd at that station...also guarded by large, uniformed men with guns.
     Every face he saw in line at the processing station was from Justice In The Streets.
     He shook himself and edged into the crowd at the theater entrance.
     It took several minutes for him to reach the entrance to the rope line. He’d been in it for only a minute or two when a shadow fell upon him from his left. He looked up into a guard’s unsmiling face. The legend on the left of his uniform read Integral Security.
     Shit. What now?
     The guard stuck his hand out. “Identification.”
     Evan stood still, suddenly uncertain.
     “You’re not getting in unless I see some ID with an address on it, son,” the guard said.
     “I don’t have to show you my ID,” Evan said.
     “Yeah,” the guard said, “you do if you want to get in. No exceptions.”
     What kind of crap is this? “I have a right to—”
     “Nope,” the guard said. “Private site, private event. For the congressman’s constituents only. ID with an address on it, now.
     Evan grimaced, dug out his wallet, and handed over his driver’s license. The guard scrutinized it briefly, shook his head, and said “Come with me.”
     The guard chivvied him to the processing station alongside the theater. A minute later he was at the head of the line. The guard passed his license to a handsome, red-headed man sitting at a folding table. A map was spread out before him.
     The man glanced at the license, looked at the guard and said “Seventy-eight. Looks like you’re gonna win, Ken.”
     “I figured as much, Boss,” the guard said.
     The seated man returned the license to Evan. “Why are you here, son?”
     “I’m not your son,” Evan said, “and I’m here for the same reason everyone else is here. To hear the congressman.”
     “I see,” the man said. “What’s his name and congressional district?”
     Evan peered at him. “Huh?”
     “Come on...Evan, was it?” The man smiled knowingly. “Are you telling me you don’t know at least that much about the man you came here to scream at? That’s really bush league.” He nodded to the guard he’d called Ken. “Check him.”
     Before Evan could raise a protest, the guard had found the air horn and seized it. He handed it to the man at the table, who shook his head wearily.
     “You people are all alike,” the man said. “It never occurs to you that the people whose gatherings you’re trying to disrupt might learn something after a while. You’re not a constituent. You came here with a noisemaker. And you gave us lip. Go home and do something marginally useful. Maybe clean your room.” The man cocked an eyebrow. “You do live with your parents, don’t you?”
     Evan could only gape. “ did you—”
     “Never mind. Just go.” He tossed the air horn into a cardboard box beneath the table. It landed with a clank. “And be sure to tell all your little friends about today. This is the way it’ll be, from now until you ‘social justice’ types learn some new tricks...or some decorum. Get him out of here, Ken.”
     Evan’s shoulders slumped. He meekly allowed the guard to escort him away from the theater and toward the municipal parking lot.
     There would be no sex for him that night.



Manu said...

It makes you wonder just how many protesters don't even comprehend what they are protesting, or who it is supposed to be against.

Mark Zanghetti said...

I would guess that the majority have no real idea of what they are protesting, because if they did they probably wouldn't!

Unknown said...

If I was a young man whose best chance of getting laid was to attend a protest, well, d'oh. Why would what I was protesting matter at all? Cool story though!

JakeLayn said...

That was beautiful :D