Me thinks we protest too much.
|500 word entry into September's "The Whatever Contest"
Maddy Pane felt the whiplash of other hysterical protesters knock her to the street. Pepper spray stung her eyes into nothing but tears. “Don’t hurt me.” It was her thirteen year old daughter clinging to her side. The Black Lives Matter sign shielded them from the baton’s cracking heads above.
“Play dead,” Maddy urged, shouting into Diane’s ear. They both watched silently as the wave of blue pushed everyone back down the park into the evening gloom.
“Serve and protect.” Maddy made the comment become swear words spitting off her tongue.
“Why?” Asked Diane, restless, unable to lie still any longer. She knew her mom was the organizer, had the registration and license to occupy that location for free speech. “Mom. You are bleeding. Let me help you up.”
The shock wave was over. It was time to make something good out of the bad. “We were peaceful. No-one threw a frown at the police, much less a soup can or a rock.”
Maddy motioned to the park warehouse her group had gathered in front of. “Hi, Nick. Did you get it?”
A man about her age with a press sticker and cam walked out of the entrance. “It’s going viral right now. Look who I brought with me.” From behind NIck strode out the mayor and head of the police force.
Maddy pushed Diane in front of her. “Tell them.”
“We don’t want anyone fired or suspended. We want the Blues to become new Blues, better trained. You see why, don’t you?”
Maddy hugged Diane with one motherly arm. “I hate the word protesters.” She held out the name of the state social worker on the front of her community action group’s training brochure.
The mayor’s hand reached for and opened it. The head of the police nodded his head and smiled. “They want to become certified Blue volunteers trained by the state social work department to mingle with the police during registered free speech gatherings to prevent future confrontations. Seems good to me.” The looks on both officials faces were ones of shocked surprise. No-one they knew had thought up such a simple helpful suggestion.
“All right. A win for both our blue teams.” Nick stopped recording this most recent transaction. “It’s going viral, too. Pushed national be my guess by what happened before. A little excitement followed by a simple solution that wouldn’t have garnered any news at all.”
Maddy’s grin was infectious. “It was my daughter’s idea. I wasn't sure we would need it today. Nick and Diane figured we did. I guess they were right.”
“Welcome to the Blues,” The chief of police took off his officer’s hat and wiggled it onto Diane’s head. He barked into his cell phone calling his troops back to their home station. There would be some surprise new members of the force waiting to greet them.