Volume 24, Number 2

The Nation of Very Happy People

Cierra Lynch

It was half-past noon. A crowd of bedraggled factory men, most of whom were in their late thirties, had begun to pour into the city square. They thrust(ed?) their knurled fists into the air, roaring vicious obscenities as they ambulated in large, squirming rows in front of a chrome-plated pyramidal structure.

“We wants our bread!” one man chortled, a strand of saliva rocketing off of his tongue.

“The woman don’t cook no more!” said another.

They continued to march in disheveled rows, their shoeless feet clopping against the linoleum pavement. A vivid LED billboard was soon ripped from its post, and, in an orgasmic frenzy, the men began to stomp and claw at it with their grease-covered fingers. It sputtered and sparked, sending bits of neon shards airborne.

“Give us our bread or we gon’ kill ‘nother one!” A grotesquely corpulent man shouted, coaxing a shriek of approval from the crowd. Another man patted him on the shoulder, urging him to continue. “Mhm, we gon’ kill ‘em all, mhm, we gon’ kill ‘em all, boys!”

As if on cue, the door to the pyramidal complex swung forward. From its depths came a lithe, beetle-like man. He was dressed in a well-ironed suit, a pair of round spectacles resting against the tip of his nose. He snuffled loudly and looked out at the crowd. “Gentlemen, gentlemen, settle down!” He scuttled down the steps, steepling his twiggy fingers. The crowd abruptly parted to make way for his gangly form, though a few murmurs of discontentment could be heard as the beetlish man drew near. With animalistic expressions, they observed him in hostile silence.

“The Committee has taken your demands into consideration,” he began, sniffling once more. “I am pleased to announce that We have come to a rather momentous conclusion; We will be building a new Neon to commemorate the strife of the Esps!”

Instantaneously, the men began to cheer. Someone in the back of the churning mass started to sing “The Internationale” and, in a moment, the entire crowd joined in and, flailing wildly, had begun to dance about like a troop of baboons. The beetle-like man’s cheeks flushed red as he observed the spontaneous orgy. Drawn by the fascination of eccentricism, and despite his own embarrassment, he sat back and simply watched the display.

“Arise ye pris'ners of starvation,
arise ye wretched of the earth,
for justice thunders condemnation,
a better world's in birth!”