The Right and the Proper
by Oscar Deadwood
forum: The Right and the Proper
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

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The Right and the Proper


        They moved in silence down the dusky and leafy streets; they moved in silence with no light to guide them save the light of the fading sun and the rising moon and the lamps that glowed a dull, dull light behind the drawn shades and curtains.

        They were new, new at this game, a game that had yet to be played but the times necessitated a need for this new game.

        And they were paid. These wispy young men who truly believed were paid, paid with compliments and money.

        "You're patriots," they were told by their teacher, "fighters for your country.

        "You're brave, brave men," they were told by their teacher, who never saw them in person; he gave his lessons via a web cam in some part of the country they had probably never been to.

        Only Mick had been out of Michigan, and that was a trip to Georgia with his parents when he was small. Jeff, Smiley, and Blake had never been south of Detroit or north of the Mackinac Bridge.

        And they marched through neighborhoods as the sky darkened and the images of the candidates danced in the sky.

        The candidate from the Right Party occupied the southern half of the sky, and the image of the Proper Party candidate occupied the northern half of the sky, both of their middle-aged faces pock marked with stars and wispy clouds.

        Mick, Jeff, Smiley and Blake stopped as the images lit up the sky. They stared in solemn reverence at the image of the Right Party candidate. They hung on to each word of his opening discourse.

        "We have to protect our borders…

        "We have to protect the middle class…

        "We have to have harsher penalties for criminals….

        "We have to have fair taxation for our businesses and corporations; when our businesses are fairly taxed, only then will our economy truly flourish with new jobs and opportunities for the young…"

        Mick, Jeff, Smiley and Blake were jobless, save the work they were now doing for the Right Party.

        "Is it dark enough?" Smiley asked, his bare and tattooed arms shivering in the autumn cold.

        "Just a little bit longer," Mick replied. "By the time we get to the next block, we can probably start. Just be ready."

        And the four stuck their hands in their pockets in devoted anticipation.

        "I figure we'll hit three or four real fast and then we hoof it," Mick continued. He was the de facto leader of the group, the first to register on the Party's web site and the first to volunteer.

        "We'll hoof it and get something to eat and then go out again." Mick was the only one of the four not shivering, as he sported a long and olive green trench coat that he wore over a black turtle neck and black pants. Jeff, Smiley and Blake were all in tattered t-shirts and faded dungarees and their greasy hair was a tangle of spikes and knots.

        They walked in silence, save the pounding of their adrenaline and caffeine spiked hearts.

        "We should find a house with one of those yard signs first, you know, rather than blindly knocking on doors." Mick lit a crumpled hand-rolled cigarette that he retrieved from the caverns of his trench coat.

        And that was easy enough; the suburban neighborhood through which they walked was a sea of cardboard and stakes with candidates' names and causes splashed across every other lawn.

        And each party, the Right and the Proper, were equally represented, as if half the neighborhood was in one camp and philosophically opposed to the other half.

        Mick took a deep breath as they reached the next block. "Let's do it." And the four wordlessly approached a small brick ranch with a tidy lawn and empty flowerbeds. Mick knocked on the door and the other three stood behind him on the small and concrete front porch.

        An older lady answered the door, an older lady who looked like someone's grandmother. She smiled at Mick sweetly.

        "Excuse me, ma'am, but we're conducting a survey. Could we take a few minutes of your time?" Mick asked nervously without exhaling.

        "Sure," the old woman said as a fat and silver tabby cat purred at her legs.

        "How do you plan on voting this coming election?" Mick asked.

        "Well, for the Proper Party, of course," the woman answered. "They're the only party that acknowledges the expense seniors face in paying for prescriptions…"

        But she couldn't finish. The four young men pushed their way into her house, their hands brandishing short and crude spikes that they kept in the pockets of their baggy trousers.


copyright 2006 Oscar Deadwood.

Oscar Deadwood lives in Royal Oak, Michigan. His novel The Perfect Revolution was published this spring by Silverthought Press and his second release, The Trinity, will debut this fall.