As I’ve done here before, this is part of a Chuck Wendig Terrible Minds Flash Fiction Challenge. Today’s challenge is called No Guns, one made as a response to the horror we witnessed in Florida earlier this week. Write about a world with no guns, whatever that may mean to you. My story is how the GOP managed to create 100% gun control.
There was a smattering of unsure applause as the ten children were marched across the stage. Well, nine of the children marched; the youngest—a six-month-old baby girl—was carried by one of the adults hosting what would become the most widely-watched piece of media in the history of time.
There was no dramatic movie-esque stoicism here from the kids. They knew what was going to happen. They knew they were about to be murdered for the entire world to see. They knew they were not going to see the sunset.
Except the baby. She was blowing spit bubbles and giggling, making the scenario all the more horrifying.
The United States of America, a country convincing itself since World War II it was special and blessed amongst all the nations of the world, had a problem. It was a problem in which no other first-world country on Earth suffered. It was an image problem, to be sure, but it had massive complications covering nearly every aspect of American life. It was reasonably new, but quickly became one of the most controversial topics of the day regardless of financial status, geography, or political affiliation.
How to put a positive twist on the killing of children in order to control the population?
DC spin doctors were at a loss. The people who would become Americans had been culling other humans for centuries and there had never been an outcry like this. The Natives, be it from guns or disease, had been decimated and the majority of US citizens either agreed this was for the best or just didn’t think about it at all. #NotMyTable was the popular hashtag on social media in regards to what can only be described as the most popular genocide in world history.
And look at the Blacks! Men, women, and children brought here in chains served as a common example of what happens when the dominant race relents, allowing the minority to not only survive, but earn actual rights. The Blacks went from a race of cowed, terrified slaves to some of the richest men and women on Earth. They dominated the entertainment industry, which kept the stupid people enthralled with their ideas of equality and freedom. They ruled sports at every level, a mistake on their part as it reminded Americans you can’t be nice to the help because the help would eventually forget their place.
It was allowing the Blacks to thrive that introduced the mess the country was in now. The population had exploded, thanks both to them and the wave after wave of Mexicans crossing the poorly-protected southern border. The former were untouchable, at least in any real way, but the latter had been successfully rounded up with the Muslims and either sent back where they came from or imprisoned. They all had something in their background, so it wasn’t hard to lock them up for the common good.
The school shootings came as sort of an odd blessing. Granted, most of the dead kids were white, but there were always plenty more. It also allowed the government to focus on the real problem inherent in these massacres: the music. Attacks on rock and heavy metal failed, but then rap came along, like God Hisownself personally answering a prayer. By the time the shootings started becoming a thing, white kids all over the country were hooked on hip-hop. The culture of gangs and guns introduced to Caucasian children provided the perfect foil. And games like Grand Theft Auto? Heck, that was a bonus.
For 20 years, as the body count rose, the constant question was: Why is this happening in the most advanced nation in the world? Why can’t we even talk about it? Why won’t our elected officials get off their collective and respective asses and just do something?
The argument became a matter of, how many murdered children does it take to get Americans to agree there is a problem and finally agree to do something about it?
The answer was ten.
During a debate on one of the cable news networks (no, not the good one), that very question was posited by a member of the panel. It was meant as rhetorical, but wasn’t taken that way by a fairly wide and varied group of people. Gears started turning.
Before long, it became a social media mainstay with its own hashtag. #HowManyDoesItTake. All the talk shows had what they thought were hypothetical conversations about the literal number of dead children it would take before the common American had had enough.
In secret, a bipartisan group was looking at the numbers. The number of school shooting murders were on the rise, as were nearly all categories of gun-related incidents. The populace would never understand the need for the slaughter. They would only complain about how expensive food was becoming and how housing prices were becoming obscene and the nation’s infrastructure was falling apart. Much like FDR and the relocation of Japanese Americans during World War II, it was necessary for the government to step in and take care of the situation.
A decision was made. A number was determined. Ten. The plan was this: Ten children, ages birth to 16 years old, would be provided. They would be provided by parents willing to sacrifice their own child to save others.
But how would they be sacrificed? The gun lobby provided a plan (disturbingly quick, if we want to be honest). Ten people, ten American citizens, would bid on the chance to murder a child with live television and online coverage. It would be televised across the world in what was believed to be the ultimate deterrent. Who would possibly want to use a weapon like that when you see, in front of you and live, what it does to our fellow citizens?
Evidently, a lot of very rich men wanting the chance to act out their greatest dream, completely legal and in front of an audience of literally billions, were down for it.
Bids started at $1 million. There was a catch, however; each bid had to be paid in full at the time of the bid and there were no refunds. If someone made the initial million-dollar bid, got outbid, and decided to pack it in? He was out a million bucks. Plus, of course, additional fees and whatnot. The final numbers were never released, but it’s rumored the government could now purchase a half-dozen brand new fighter jets with the funds. And those jets ain’t cheap.
The children reached their spots and stopped and turned, facing the audience. Each of the children was white, straight, and from affluent families. One of the unfortunate souls happened to have a father sitting in the Oval Office, watching the events unfold on one of multiple television screens mounted on the wall. He was eating dinner and growing impatient.
There was no fanfare. The first man (a Northern California lumber magnate with a house filled with animal heads and a basement containing the mummified remains of a Black street walker) walked onstage, holding a .12 gauge shotgun. He nodded to the woman holding the now-whimpering baby. She set the child on the floor and moved away. The man raised the gun to his shoulder, looked at the infant for a moment, then pulled the trigger.
The baby’s head disappeared in a spray of blood, bone, and brains. The curtain behind her was sprayed with gore. There were gasps and scattered screams throughout the audience, but others in the crowd (those making unsuccessful bids to be onstage holding their own gun) clapped aggressively.
The remaining children began screaming, but it did no good. They were shackled, each chained to the floor. Another executioner walked up to the stage. He paid nearly $18 million for the chance to be here and he wasn’t wasting it. The producer of some of the biggest television shows in the world was holding an Uzi with an extended clip and he was going to get the most out of every round.
While this was happening inside, outside the theater a bloody riot was unfolding. People, including off-duty law enforcement and military personnel, were desperately trying to get into the building. All for naught as they were mowed down by federal agents, acting in accordance to the executive order signed just yesterday by the President. The order allowed—hell, encouraged—the use of deadly force in an effort to protect the operation taking place just beyond the locked and guarded doors.
As the First Son was about to meet his Creator at the hands of the current Secretary of Education, all coverage switched to the cameras outside, showing the mad rush to get into the building. By now, it was full-blown mayhem with some of the protesters getting guns of their own and shooting the federal law enforcement agents. As cameras swept across the scene, showing the bloody corpses—hundreds of them—in the streets and on the sidewalks, the President spoke.
“This is what you want? A bipartisan effort was made to get rid of guns in this country for the foreseeable future and these people outside, these thugs, are trying to take that away from you. These supposedly peaceful people who wanted to take away your guns are now using them to prevent the action they wanted and killing innocent police who are only doing their job.
“This is not what our Founding Fathers wanted. You are now defenseless against this horde of murderers. How do you defend yourself now? With your vote. Any elected official, whether they are in your hometown or in Congress, who supported this action needs to be voted out. We agreed to send ten innocent angels to Jesus in order to hand over our guns. And this is what we get. Murder. Terror. Blood in the streets. Vote them out. Vote them all out. Make them pay not only for the deaths we saw here today, but the ones they will be responsible for now that we are a nation of patriots unable to defend our homes.
“The war to take back what is ours starts now. Thank you, God bless you, and let’s make America great again.”