THIEVES IN THE NIGHT
“Hidden like two thieves in the night,
Gershon the new wasteland for cockfights.
Ill mindsets and weapons of mass destruction.
A civil war breaks, critters doomed to faith in the republic.
Without hope all is deception.
Illusions of favor make me look twice.” –Otus Wise
This is for the good of everyone. Believe me; the Big Cats didn’t have your best interest at heart. Instead, they took the best for themselves and even made my people for their amusement.
Archer took the megaphone from Roman. There was some feedback overpowering his voice. Archer cleared his throat.
…That’s what apex predators do, they take! They enslaved my friend here. How many of your loved ones did they condemn to the wilderness of Cavia Porcellus Island, huh?
Cavia Porcellus Island, (aka Guinea Pig Island) is a temporary exile location for Calla Lillian’s convicted Criminals.
We in the crowd grumbled amongst each other. Did anyone understand the koala? Roars and squawks grew louder and louder. Archer silenced us–
Settle down. Juvenicia belongs to us now. Those large felines lost control and destroyed our home. But we knew Calla Lillian wouldn’t last long under their rule. Gershon, the new promise land for us to start a new.
New Gershon? What? Promise Land? I was confused. How did they? Roman summoned the machines. Several took flight into the smoggy sky. In the blink of an eye. At a distance. Dozens of lamp posts, one after the other, turned on. It was magical. So much so, the grumbles turned into oohs and aahs.
IT WAS A TRICK!
Wait, did we all just forget Roman and Archer more than likely torched the forest? Destroyed families? Demolished our houses?
Just when I thought the show was over and we could continue demanding answers. More lights turned on.
Electric “Beetle” automobiles parked in front of buildings.
The stars retreated.
Flashing billboards lit up the night’s sky.
The excitement of the crowd. A new hope. Advancement. Almost too good to be true. An unidentified brave soul in the crowd directed his question towards Roman.
Maned Wolf: Are you asking us to forget about our homes? Calla Lillian? Follow you? And do what–
Archer passed the megaphone to Roman.
Roman: Exactly what I hope you choose. Gershon. What’s left of this life? A new hope is underway. Prosperity. A chance for us all to capitalize not barter.
The Maned Wolf challenged Roman further.
Maned Wolf: And if we don’t?
Roman with a tight-lipped smiled. He paused–
Roman: Well, I am a gracious man. I will not use force. You can stay here. And… Those of you who choose to follow will walk with me into the city. Gershon, enclosed inside of high stone walls. Once closed, no one can enter or leave. My hope is for all to choose wisely.
All in the crowd looked at each other. Shoulders shrugged. Decisions made. Some looked back at what was. Calla Lillian. Others looked ahead at what is. Gershon. The babble roared. Mother, brother, sister, and I stayed put.
THE FIRST ONE!
A Red Fox stepped forward. His wife and son hesitant at first, but submissively followed. No, soon after, more would join them. Critters. The Madayah collected and piloted groups of critters on their massive backs to the entrance of Calla Lillian. According to Class. Pigs first! Gershon occupied by Boars. How long have Boars lived in this new city? How did they bamboozle us?
At the entrance. Single filed. Critters shook hands with Roman and Archer. My family, we were one of the last to decide, the last family in line. Shocked my mom conceded. Caught between a rock and a hard place. She has never made any decisions without my dad. His whereabouts remained unknown. Until…Roman and Archer extended their hands to me as I approached them.
Roman: Welcome to your new home.
Archer: Let’s adjust your bowtie…
Archer straightened my bow tie. (My eyes grew wide) I don’t like being touched.
Archer started acting all weird; as if he did know me.
Archer: Dear God! Your Sylvester Wise’s–
He mentioned my dad. Like he had seen a ghost. Archer’s face was pale. I had to ask…
Seen my dad?
Roman and Archer looked at each other.
Mom stepped forward.
Mom: Please, can you direct us to him? He was working in the labs very late.
Roman didn’t make eye contact with us. Archer placed his hand on my mom’s shoulder.
Archer: We didn’t, we were, I searched everywhere for next of kin. We made a stand against those vile fleabags, Juvenicia, but Dr. Sylvester… I offer you my condolences.
Mom lowered her head.
Mom: Dear God!
She then cradled us.
I was confused.
I didn’t get the chance to tell Dad I was sorry for what happened at flight training.
Roman and Archer embraced us in a solemn group hug.
Archer: He was a good man. His greatest achievement was his family, he told me so.
I stood off alone, and out of sorts. Archer stared at me, almost without blinking. He had this peculiar smirk.
To be continued.