After years of plotting, the children finally struck. Adults were forced to surrender TV remotes and future dreams before being herded onto cattle trucks under the supervision of machine-gun wielding adolescents. The lucky ones who escaped the city fled to far-off snow-capped mountains where young legs leadened quickly. Within months the city had fallen. Angry packs of smudgy-faced toddlers toppled statues and telephone boxes while teenagers ransacked petrol stations, video shops, and off-licences. In less than one year the city lay in smoky ruins. The parents who did not escape were put to work and forced to wear whatever clothes the children demanded. Burly firemen squeezed into tutu’s and angel wings. Cowboy clad doctors wandered hospital corridors with solitary sucker arrows stuck to their foreheads.
Tonight I make my way through the city towards the Resistance. I creep down an alleyway that had once been a busy shopping area. The moon hides behind clouds, giving me an extra layer of safety. Treading carefully over glass and debris I walk past an old TV store. Sitting on a shelf at the back of the shop is a solitary TV. The screen glows green and through the static I make out the face of someone I used to know. He has been made-up like a clown: white-faced, red upturned mouth with a honk honk nose and a gun pressed to his face. Through the make-up I see the fear in his eyes. The TV has no volume so I can’t hear what they are making him say. It’s probably the usual surrender yourself to us and we will let you live bullshit. From behind me I hear young voices and and the clattering of sticks against railings. When I look back at the TV the clown has been replaced by an angry looking kid who spits vitriol into the camera. I think about the clown for a few seconds. Poor bastard. What a way to go. But I can’t let those thoughts get the better of me. I pat the shoulder-bag and feel a drip of hope creep through me. Maybe. Maybe this time. The footsteps get closer so I pull up my collar and slink into the darkness of the alleyway towards the safety of the Resistance.