The Greatest Nation on Earth (Fiction by Shawn Micallef)

03 Sep


I apologize if this FICTIONAL story offends anyone’s personal feelings but again this is a story of FICTION.  I in the past have written stories that corresponded with a Holiday and wrote this for Labor Day. It is not meant to offend but just offer a speculative fiction look at a future world. Please read with an open mind and if you have comments email them to me over ranting in comments. As always positive comments and likes are welcome. Thanks Shawn,


???????????????????????????????????????Those who keep track of each passing day are telling all of us we do not have to work today. They said it’s something called Labor Day and we are going to be given a break from the recycling yard, and I was thrilled. The overseers were actually going to feed us real food today and let us shower with real water.  There is no mush or broth for us today, but instead we are getting some kind of meat.  Well those of us able to chew the stuff since many have few teeth left.

It hasn’t been easy for us remnants of what was at one time, “The Greatest Nation on Earth”, well that’s what the overseers tell us at least. They like to remind us of that every time one of us comes across something that says, “Made in The USA”, stamped into the metal. The truth be told I had no idea what country this was as I saw plenty of things made in China, Taiwan, India and other places. I stopped asking the overseers if they were right  after getting my fifth beating.  It’s not smart to question those in control if we do not want to suffer for questioning them. The same old line beat into us with each hit of the whip.

The delousing spray they normal use on us workers never really seems to help as lice are everywhere. Granted most of us workers are in long steel buildings on wooden cots, while “they” sleep in big metal buildings on wheels. You can always tell the status of an overseer by the amount of rust on their home.   Granted our sleeping places change as it depends where we are working as sometimes we have slept in giant fields of dirt on just our bed rolls.

Only the timekeepers really know how long it’s been since the decline changed the world, but the old-timers among us love to tell their stories. Heck, Mack, I think that was his name, or was it Mike, or Mark, heck who cares. He would tell us how their was electricity that powered society and that almost everyone had a house. The house wasn’t on wheels but had something called a foundation and was stuck in the ground. He did say that even than people with money had bigger homes but most people enjoyed their lives.

The decline happened when some decided the government of the world’s was not doing enough for the small people. They started to riot in this place called Europe and riots grew and grew. Mack would tell how it got so bad over there the some fool of a country attacked its own people and started a war.

Mack would say how after the attack the people rioted even more and somehow a military base was taken and some even bigger fools fired off what he calls a nuke. Someone blew the thing up in orbit but the radiation fried much of the electric stuff on earth. The poorer countries did better as they were used to not having everything but countries like the USA were sent to the caveman days.

So many people had become dependent on the government and others for things that no one really knew how to take care of themselves. So people started to fight each other and small wars broke out all over the world, well that’s what Mack told us. He had no real proof since there was no connections with the rest of the world. All I know is that those who were able to speak good and organize others finally started to take control. There are people, like us, who move from an area to another going through scrap heaps of metals taking out the useful stuff. We will do this to the area is clear and move on to the next place that is looking for help. It is hard work as one never knows what is in the piles and many of us have been hurt or killed digging through the metal piles. When we move we have to help pull the overseers homes by rope since there is no other way to move them.  If we get lucky some of us get to stay in the area we just helped clear as those who called for help may hire some to stay on. I think that’s what happened to Mack, he got asked to stay on near some farming place because he knew how to grow food.

The rest of us keep moving along from one job to another. The one thing Mack did tell us that really sticks with me is how things haven’t really changed much. People are still expecting others to do the work for them instead of doing themselves. I think he’s right cause we have been buy some places they called communes where everyone helps and no one tells others what to do. They all do what they know best and teach others so the job is always done. They share in the rewards in those places and often we can see some light at nights meaning they have a lot of candles. It’s not hard to be jealous  of those people, but what can I do. The overseers say that without them we’d never get food, never get new clothes, beds or anything else without them giving it to us. I have tried to run away in the past but my back cannot take anymore beatings.  It is scared bad enough and they almost left me after the last job since I was still in bad shape.

So, whatever that labor day thing was I’m glad it comes since we finally get a day of rest. I think the last one we got was a long time ago for something called Christmas, but some folks got mad we didn’t do it for all religions. Something to do with some god or something and so we lost that day off. So people have to ruin it for everyone. It’s funny if those people could have been responsible for their own lives and not rely on others maybe we would still have this thing called electricity and this could be The Greatest Nation on Earth.

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Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Short Stories


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