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by Tanith
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Sci-fi · #2200096
Daily Flash Fiction entry
When the Prophet(TM) came staggering out of the desert to warn the people of impending doom, it was during peak consumer hours.

Consumerism, being the most patriotic duty the people could engage in (ranked even higher than military service or church attendance), was of course always encouraged. But the hours from the time schools let out until nearly midnight had been designated "peak" consumer hours and during those times consumers enjoyed special incentives. Deep discounts into big-ticket items went into effect, "limited editions" became available briefly, and certain retailers were allowed to hang the red "PREFERRED DISTRIBUTOR" sign in their windows. In these establishments, purchases of staples such as batteries, bottled water, and canned food could be made in bulk (normally disallowed due to supply concerns).

The Prophet(TM) knew that there was no real reason to limit bulk purchasing; there were warehouses full of the items bound for PREFERRED DISTRIBUTOR stores. He also knew it was his job to deliver this warning before it was too late. They might not listen, but he had to try.

The Prophet(TM) caught his breath against the wall of Smiley's before entering the store. Smiles sparkled on the awning over the door as well as the salespeople and customers inside. Everybody looked up, smiling, as the Prophet(TM) shambled in and began to rant.

"Hola! All of you! Rich and poor, young and old, strong and weak! In the wasteland beyond the city the engineers of hell still build their death-machines and bombs like those that killed the Old Cities..."

A blinding but silent white flash stilled the warning forever. Just before the windows of the store became a dagger storm, the Prophet(TM) could see the smiles on the faces around him, frozen in time. Too late, he thought as he fell into oblivion.

299 words

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