I originally wrote this piece several months ago and read it at “Dimestories” in Costa Mesa. Dystopian to be sure, but as time goes by, it becomes sadly more plausible.
It was the third year of the drones.
Winston was still in a state of shock. There were rumors, carefully spoken, of a secret resistance forming, but he was skeptical.
The ruler was initially mocked- a tabloid clown- a narcissistic reality show buffoon. He was entertaining, good for the ratings. It was absurd to think he would go anywhere.
Slowly, the sense of absurdity changed to fear. He understood the ancient hatreds that simmered beneath the fragile veneer of society. The hatred festered, waiting for someone like him. He was their dark messiah, and he gave the haters license and legitimacy. There were far more of them than Winston had imagined; enough of them with their fevered intensity to put their messiah in power with at least a facade of credibility. And then the unravelling began.
The country was renamed New America. Old alliances fell and new ones formed. New America allied with Russia, which had annexed the nations of the old Soviet Union. China and Saudi Arabia joined the alliance as well.
Europe would not go down without a fight- brave Europe- outnumbered and out gunned. The leader of The Free World, Angela Merkel, held fast, against all odds.
The laws and institutions crumbled and the regression was swift and ruthless. The Supreme Court, deemed obsolete, was replaced by a tribunal of Evangelical extremists. The Constitution was suspended, and laws and edicts were based on Old Testament scripture, upon the approval of the oligarchy. Under the “Woman Subservience Restoration Act”, all abortions were illegal. Women died by the thousands as they were driven by desperation to back alley quacks with rusty coat hangers.
All same sex marriages were annulled, and gays were required to undergo conversion therapy. Those who resisted were branded as “Abomination People”, and a movement took hold to allow public stonings.
Conscription to build “The Great Wall” was mandatory for all males between 15 and 65. The purpose now was to keep people in, as millions sought refuge below the southern border.
Water levels rose, causing massive floods and the average Summer temperature was 110 degrees. Believing in “Man Made” climate change was heresy, and the floods and fires were deemed to be the will of God.
The media had early on been branded as the enemy of the people. Now they were gone, except for the official state station whose logo was the head of an immense, ravenous fox.
Health insurance was gone. Only the oligarchy could afford doctors. Social Darwinism and eugenics were encouraged as a means of eliminating the old and weak.
The drones were everywhere, blocking the blue of the sky. They surveilled, looking for suspicious behavior.
Winston lowered his head in shame and defeat. If only the rumors of a resistance were true- more than a pipe dream.
There was a flash. A rocket shot from the ground. The first drone went down, followed by others.
It was the opening salvo from The Resistance-
The Rebellion had begun.