Issue 82 Mar 2020
I cruised out of BLE’s house in my crate. A teenaged girl like me, she was one of few people I’d ever seen in person.
I stopped my crate in no place in particular to flat out break the law. I was so good at hacking crates that I’d reprogrammed mine to open upon command. Crazy illegal!
All crates were programmed to protect everyone’s fundamental right not to be seen. Basically, they remained closed until confirming you were in the presence of only legally sanctioned live contacts. Then you went back in before seeing any unauthorized people.
History recounts that long ago, people judged one another by things such as gender, ethnicity, occupation, personal transportation vehicle, etc. But the modern American Political Union, our beloved A.P.U., made that intrinsically impossible.
Beyond the cracked sidewalk, and the telephone pole with layers of flyers in a rainbow of colors, and the patch of dry brown grass there stood a ten-foot-high concrete block wall, caked with dozens of coats of paint. There was a small shrine at the foot of it, with burnt-out candles and dead flowers. One word of graffiti-filled the wall, red letters on a gold background: Rejoice!
A boy stood facing his audience in his best white shirt. “Took me three weeks to finish it,” said the kid, motioning to the gigantic word behind him. “Had to use six cans of paint, but Daddy don’t miss one off the back of his truck every few days.” He fanned himself with a wad of posters then admired his handiwork. “So now, we may rejoice.”
The Monson twins looked back at the boy, who stood on top of two palettes. Then they stared at each other, dumbfounded. They were too young to read the posters he’d drawn, perhaps too young to even understand the word rejoice. One of the girls, Shannon-Lee traced the outline of the word on the wall with a stubby finger.