Don't Panic

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The people of the country went through the trials of the world: terrorism, refugees, and their own single-mindedness. In this short story, readers will see if this nameless country comes together or destroys itself.

Submitted: November 30, 2015

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Submitted: November 30, 2015

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Don’t Panic.

The masses calmed themselves as they read the big headlines, dug beneath them. As the big news hit friends and families, news became more than what it was. Because a story was never just a story anymore. It was their story.

What was the spin? Is this really true? Did you hear what they said about it? More importantly, how does this affect me?

Another headline: Students shot, killed in the safety of their colleges. The numbers increased. The bodies increased. And students searched for answers, often where there was none. People that seemed so far past them told them promises. “We’re looking into it.” In their smart suits, dressed up for something. They seemed almost as tired and clueless as the victims.

Don’t Panic.

This was the lie people said as the economy dipped, maybe crumbled. But the words were never spoken, never printed, and never aired. It was in their actions, below their words. Even in their worried eyes. Families would cite half-facts to hold onto their ignorant hope. Some friends were realists and would spout their doom online. They were hated by the fearful.

In these families, some sisters and brothers found other headlines. Wars. Disease. Crime. But many people never understood. “(Honey, baby, son, boy) why do you read that? It’s so depressing!” Issues grew on their doorstep, threatened to destroy them. Wars. Disease. Crime. “You just have to see this funny picture instead…”

Don’t Panic.

The entire country struggled to follow this underlying message from their leaders, media, and anyone they could latch onto for guidance. Powerful leaders stood on pulpits and gave speeches, hard speeches in trying times. Nothing could shake dirty bombs, mass shootings, and no reason.

As more incidents rang throughout the world, its people watched, empathized, then wondered. They wondered about issues far beyond them. How does this affect me? They walked through their own towns, cities, and streets, perhaps broken and falling down in places, and smiled and wondered. A ragged man on the street shook a desperate, begging hand towards them. His struggles never reached them.

Don’t Panic.

 Finally, no one struggled to put on a brave face. This was their emotions now. The country was a paradise to them, an epicenter of what they had accomplished. It was not perfect and was struggling in places. But now they were proud. Greed lapped at their heels in other places, but the mother of invention was their excuse. It was so hard for some to believe now in opening their doors.

The dirty bombs continued ravaging not-so-distant lands. Some watched, but most had stopped watching. However, they talked about the people. Those people without a home, wanting to come. They talked about them too much and what they should do with them, as if they were just things to be stored for a while. So much arguing, but nothing was ever really decided.

Don’t Panic.

No one said it as the bombs were there, everywhere. They had come from the distant land, at least that is all most could figure. As the toxic dust settled, the arguing tore them apart further. But perhaps it was not bombs. Perhaps it was overpopulation, greed, pollution that felled the country. And then they wondered, ‘where will we go now?’ They now remembered those people without a home they had fought about.

But perhaps the country never fell. Maybe the people stood until invisible boundaries were erected between every individual person. It happened slowly, like a build-up of toxins. Strangers were not people, and they would walk around stiff as a board when in public areas, as if the very sense of being there was incredibly awkward. Around “others.” Each word spoken was like a knife used to attack, kill, and destroy. The cutthroat society lingered until people forgot why their country even existed.

Then the headlines really did read:

Don’t Panic.

 

 

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2018 Karlyle. All rights reserved.

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