Once upon a time on a small planet in an un-named galaxy smack dab in the middle of the busiest sector, the powers of authority decided there was nothing left to do in the galaxy. So, the shields went up around the small planet–no one and nothing could get in or out, and the planet retreated from any further goings-on in the universe.
Now, some of the citizens of this planet, which we shall call, Ringer, opposed the insular and defeatist policies of their governing body, the First Think. However, any public opposition was punishable by a Dead Sentence, and so the moniker, Dead Ringer was given to the underground opposition group that actually resided underground. If you wanted to contact or visit Dead Ringer you had to know someone who knew someone who was acquainted with anyone who knew you. It was as easy as that.
There lived not far from an underground station for the planet’s mass transportation, one Malcolm Shell who owned all the confidence tricks on Ringer which incessantly perpetrated fraud. Historically it was a game called Thimblerig, but Malcolm Shell owned all the rights and it became known as the Shell Game. You would think that Malcolm Shell was wealthy, which he was, but he had so much emotional baggage it burned his soul right down to the pit. Anytime a citizen spoke about having an emotional breakdown, he typically called it a shell burn.
It’s important to know that Malcolm’s shell burn precipitated an event more distasteful than the time sugar cane was discovered on the planet Nova, and Nova Cane became the sugar of choice by the Galactic Empire of the Hegemony. But, that’s a story for another day. You see, it was the morning of the day that the planet lost consciousness. And the First Think in the morning of that infamous day, set the stage for everything that happened to the planet Ringer.
Malcolm Shell’s shell burn was due to the loss of his young wife, Anita Soft-Shell who was lost at sea. Of course, there were a lot of rumors going around that Malcolm got rid of her and there was a long list of reasons, the main one having to do with Malcolm’s shortsightedness in not having a prenuptial agreement and the Mrs wanted a divorce, from which she would get half of everything. Now, Malcolm went to demonstrate with his friends at the offices of the First Think in the morning. It was a mediocre turnout, and as Malcolm was looking around he saw his dead wife. Their eyes met and she took off running. Malcolm chased her and just as she was crossing Epiphany Boulevard, the limo carrying the chief of the First Think was barreling up the boulevard and struck Anita–killing her on the spot.
This is where it gets a bit complex so bear with me. Malcolm was furious, his shell burn flaring into violence as he pulled out of the limo the chief of the First Think and bounced his skull on the pavement until there was blood and brain matter scattered all over. The Dead Ringers, being the opportunistic leeches that they were, started not only a riot but a coup. Government troops came in and killed anything and everything that moved, including most of the members of the First Think. The General of the planetary forces decided to use a weapon they had reserved for just such an occasion: hypnotic rain. Central Weather Control instigated specially designed rain clouds that covered the globe and the rain, whether it touched you or not became a gas that dominated the atmosphere. Everyone fell unconscious, including the planetary forces and, well, just everybody.
Unfortunately, there was no cure. In no time at all, pirates shattered the planet’s shield and looted the planet. Young, attractive and very unconscious women were taken to the pirates’ ships for reasons I’m sure you can imagine but wish you didn’t. Some say that once off the planet, the women regained consciousness only to find that they were, well…you know, sex slaves. Over time the unconscious population ceased living and the planet became a cesspool of disease and decay. Finally, the Galactic Empire of the Hegemony blew the planet Ringer back to the Big Bang.
“The End. Did you like that fairy tale? Wasn’t it good?”
“Grandpa, it was terrible what happened to that planet. What kind of fairy tale…?”
“Wait, wait. This fairy tale teaches you a lesson….”
“Grandpa, this is bull….”
“Wait. The story is full of war, mayhem, murder, fraud, blowing up a planet–lot’s of death and destruction. I thought you kids liked that stuff.”
“Well, yeah. I guess so. Grandpa, what’s a sex slave?”
“Okay, time for sleeping. Go to sleep now.”
“Good night, grandpa.”
“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.”
“What bugs, grandpa? There are biting bugs in my bed…?”
Inspiration Monday: First Think in the Morning at Be Kind Rewrite
Prompt: First Think in the morning, Dead Ringer, Emotional Baggage, Nova Cane, Shell Burn
Word Count: 818
Many thanks to Stephanie Orges of Be Kind Rewrite for hosting Inspiration Monday