#ThursThreads Week 161 : Let Them Work Or Starve

“What caused the fall?” I shook my head. “What caused the grand old party to implode? To become irrelevant?”

Everyone in the classroom nodded. “No, Mr. Limbaugh,” Mitt belted out, “Why did we become irrelevant?”

Sometimes, I wondered why I chose to teach our party’s history. It was such a sad tale, with such a violent end.

I took a deep breath, “You read the assignment, didn’t you?”

Sarah belted out, “Of course not! Reading’s dangerous! Fills your head with all sorts of nasty ideas!”

Ted joined in, “I asked Reverend Ronald what he thought.”

Of course none of them had read anything, so, I turned to the board, and drew another cartoon strip. They liked cartoons.

I started with the mass firings caused by automation. Then, I showed our ancestors and their big houses, cars, swimming pools, and all the other things we once had. Next, I showed the peasants outside our fenced off, protected world. Then, I showed the starvation burial grounds. It’s what happened when people couldn’t work. They starved.

I showed Sir Mitch, standing before the board of directors, “If they’re starving, let them find work. It’s not our job to take care of them.” The next frame was of the poster, “Let them work or starve”. The final frame, the rebellion, where the party fell.

Sarah couldn’t help herself, and belted out, “Because people stole all our stuff, and took all the food we’d earned!”

It was good when someone understood.

246 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 151. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#FinishThatThought Week 37 : The Basement

I knew I shouldn’t have opened the basement door. But, I’d never been one for doing what I should. I’d always done what I shouldn’t. So, I opened the door.

And stared at a black hole. It was like someone made a three-dimensional painting of black, outlined in pale blue that flickered, fading in and out. “Cool!” I thought. “I wonder where the light switch is.” I reached into the black, feeling for the inevitable light switch on the wall. I couldn’t find it.

I couldn’t find the wall.

I pulled my pocket flashlight out, turned it on, and shined it into the black. It didn’t do a thing. The beam hit the surface of the black, and vanished.

I remembered what Diana said when I told her I was spending the night in the Thompson house. “You know. The haunted one.”

“You’re an idiot.” Yep. Her exact words.

“You know what happens to people who stay there. You’ve read about it in the newspapers. The ones that come out alive babble about the basement door being a gateway to another universe.”

“You don’t believe that crap, do you?” I’d laughed. “It’s probably just an urban legend.”

“Of course not. But, something happens to the people who stay there. Something strange. You know that.”

We argued about my plan for hours. Until she finally made me promise I wouldn’t open the basement door. “I promise. I won’t open the door. OK?” It was a lie. But it was what she wanted.

“Good!”

She didn’t need to know I was going to explore that basement. I didn’t tell her.

I stood there, staring into the blackest black I’d ever seen. I stuck my hand into it, and my hand vanished. I could still feel lit. I could move my fingers, wave, make a fist. My hand was fine, even though I couldn’t see it.

I stuck my arm in, up to the elbow, and watched it vanish. I moved closer, until the black was between my elbow and shoulder. I bent my arm, and poked my fingers back into the room. I laughed as I wiggled my fingers. “What the heck, why not?” And I stepped into the black.

And fell on my face, hard. Everything was black. My ribs hurt, and I’d probably broke my nose. “Jesus!” I shifted, on the ground, got to my knees and stood up. I couldn’t see a thing. It was that dark. I waved my hand in front of my nose, and couldn’t see it.

I couldn’t see my watch to check the time, and my phone didn’t work at all. It wouldn’t even light up. I tried to find my way out, but couldn’t. I had no water, no food. I wondered long it takes to starve to death?

I heard one thing, a while back. The only thing I’ve heard. Diana. “I told you not to open the basement door.”

490 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Week 37 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.