Summer Colony

That year, July was cancelled for Bougainville.

The inmates of the local 'mental hospital' were taken out for a walk, the sun being good for their 'health'.

#83004C (diagnosis: paranoia) was particularly attentive. The electroshock reduced his will to nothing, but somehow heightened his senses. He noticed the dust cloud on the horizon before anyone else did.

Hundreds of them bore down upon the unsuspecting town. They carried flags and rifles, and took over the buildings in the name of their cause.

They occupied the houses, each in own room, and sang at night. Sometimes #83004C would leave the complex at night and sit under their windows, listening to them sing. This was easy--the guards were there too.

Worn out and bedraggled was the invaders' appearance, but illuminated, as if they'd heard some heavenly tune that made them want to dance forever. Something about them repelled the residents; they preferred to hide out in the Nebraska Agriculture Co. grain silo all through July, plotting the overthrow of the newcomers.

One of the wanderers told parables of Zeno. Another taught tightrope walking. The sky greyed angrily.

#83004C knew 'they' were still watching him, but he no longer cared. He was free. A melody kept playing in his head. It drove him down Main Street and pointed his government-issue slippers in the direction of the cornfields.

The first dawnlight of August illuminated an empty town square, the townspeople huddled under the eaves of the hall in the morning cold. On the barren plaza a sunray hit a wooden rifle, paint, string and all, and smiled.

Nobody missed just another number.