Chapter 4 – Chasing Ghosts
The State of Rebellion had a static charge coursing like a lightning strike felt down all the way down to the bone in the days following “The Blackout.” Although fleeting, the phenomenon left a mark on all the rebellious souls left in its wake and an urgency to figure out why their home didn’t quite feel the same anymore. Murmurs throughout the Rebels confirmed that the change was far from negative, but no one could quite pinpoint what it was exactly… Some felt the sudden Blackout was the precise rattle their everyday life needed to get out of the monotonous rut they were in regardless of how terrifying it was. Others suggested the fact that Demolitionists and Rock Republic members alike experienced a forced interaction that would have NEVER occurred had the sunlight forever remained unstripped from their pupils and the sun resumed being ignored. Many thought it was a combination of those reasons and more that left a desire for the change to stick… Even still, they were willing to do whatever it took to make sure their land’s newfound unification did not leave as abruptly as it had come.
A week had gone by of trying to harness and utilize this newfound energy before a simple idea was put into “The Rebellion Times” classified section:
“Srchng 4 Rbls 2 go 2 site of Blckout n find answrs. 2 days. 6:30p.
It was impossible for anyone in town to miss the message since “The Rebellion Times” was the only news source that covered beyond Emerald City. As word spread about the proposed meet by a mysterious poster going only by the name of “R8” reactions ranged from dismissive to anticipatory to downright anxious. It was clear that not everyone in town would be going back, but to those who carried a sense of hopeful wonderment and desire to never go back to the way things were that was fine by them. To THOSE Rebels, this was bigger than a “take it or leave it” moment… this could be a DEFINING moment. For too long the State of Rebellion kept its head in the sand and the residents numbly accepted “the way things were” no matter how miserable their lives were. With no one daring to take the first step to change until the cryptic message in the paper nobody really felt permission to leap forward and take a stand. THIS WAS THAT STAND. Potentially anyway… on baited breathe, Rebels waited.
By the time the 2 days had passed and 6:30pm approached like a snowball at the bottom of a long hill Rebels from both purple and red sectors gathered their wits and mentally prepared themselves for as much of anything as they could. As Rebels all over the State left their homes on the trek to Blackout ground zero it eerily resembled a courageous zombie exodus searching to feast on the hearts and brains of the determined. As members of the Rock Republic and Demolitionist factions arrived at the expansive center of town where it all went down in the first place, the electric tingle that had given rise since the week prior rapidly intensified. Everyone scanned the environment with wild eyed anticipation as hearts began pacing to a unified drum beat simply trying to find a method to this unknown madness. The energy… the CHANGE everyone was internally pleading to come across again was most certainly present, but what was it??? What do they do?? Where was this “R8?” The thought of losing such a magical feeling was enough to stir movement in one particular Red Rocker refusing to wait any longer…
With a flash resembling that of a scorpion sting and a powerful silence to match a red legged Rebel pushed up her glasses as she took a step forward. With little warning other than the bonfire in her eyes and her clenched Rebel fist she hissed “My name’s Lori…” and before you could blink twice she pierced the sky with the most ferocious lion’s roar the State of Rebellion had ever heard. Before her declaration had hit its final note a domino effect rippled down the line of anxious Rebels as one by one Rock Republics and Demolitionists alike stepped forward and stated their name chorusing into thunderous Rebel yells dancing all around them. Suddenly a pop like a light bulb emitting its glow rang through the crowd and the sky dimmed. Pulses pounded as Rebels felt the Blackout coming again…
Only, it never came. Instead of all sight vanishing like it had the week prior Rebels were privy to determined faces bouncing through squirms of shadows as each body made of Brick lunged towards the music born from the battle cries passionately soaring all around. With each rebellious step into the expanse of yard center in the State housing the current experience, a new melody emerged clearer and clearer. A bass driven rhythm carried a ghostly “Ahhhhhh ahhhhh!” with the words “I’m not giving in” trailing behind it like a realization turned declaration.
On the outskirts of the happening a crimson haired Rebel lurched forward in a fight against the swirling winds that were picking up in time with the driving beat making his legs heavier and heavier with each painful stagger. As he fell to a knee contemplating being able to keep on a sweet voice carrying a reassurance with it whispered;
“Here you go Cliff, take this…”
As he stuck his hand out to receive the gift being offered he glanced sideways to get a peek at what it happened to be. It was a shovel. A dirty, dingy, and worn black handled shovel with specks of spray paint on it telling a story he didn’t know. Where the rebel wearing the shirt stating “You get the results people don’t get by doing the work people don’t go” on the back got it from Cliff would never find out. All he knew was that she could somehow see exactly what he needed even when he himself had no idea. Using the shovel as a hoist Cliff dug his heels into the ground with intention as he took a deep breath and bellowed “AhhhOOOO!” in defiance. There wasn’t a munchkin’s chance in the land of winged monkeys that he’d ever go back. He’d come too far now. Turning back wasn’t an option.
As Cliff and his fellow Rebels continued their march towards the music like Young Volcanoes with a purpose the ominous music continued its trend of getting louder and louder with each step and shout. All the courage, heart, and brains in the land couldn’t possibly be enough to prepare the Rebels for what was about to come next…