Gerald J. Sanpatri walks to the presidential square each day to stand in a particular spot. To pass the time, he creates story about how his deceased son destroys the dictatorship in their small nation. In this excerpt, he decides to send his son Jonny into the sewer system.
“Jonny, what will you do today?” he said to himself as he started his daily exercise. The incomparable Jonny had a thousand tricks up his sleeve, and each one led to the downfall of the self-crowned prince, who lived high and mighty within those walls.
He took out his notebook as he stood, balancing it precariously on his left hand.
“Sewer,” he said. He hadn’t used the sewer system before.
A boy stood on a grate, bounding up and down like children tend to do, expressing the jubilant joys of childhood when the grate gave way, and Jonny fell into the swift moving current. He stretched and turned, striving for breath, all the while fighting against the torrent’s green caps of contaminated drift which encompassed him. Anyone else would have drowned, but not Jonny. As his mother frantically yelled from the street, Jonny took one quick plunge into the polluted flow and let the filth contaminate his cells. He drank it in, gladly, with purpose and clarity unknown to everyone else. For Jonny was not ordinary. His cells wouldn’t be cast aside; the chemicals penetrated deep into his inner being. His fate was not his own. He accepted it all, gladly, for his family, for his country; he dipped and dived beneath the filth until the metamorphosis was complete.
Gerald wrote furiously as people streamed past him in the heat of the day.
First a tail exploded out of his back side. Then the claws, the massive perverted claws made by the chemistry of the dark green sludge. He stood on four legs, but the sewer couldn’t hold the beast-of-a-boy and his second-by-second expansion. He exploded upward, through the twenty feet of rocks and sod, through the half foot of asphalt and into the palace of Antoine. The beast stood, reticent and bold. The army, confused and distracted, shot at each other; the beast attacked and trampled the guard house. It smashed the courtyard and flung its tail against the Ministry of Finance. Bricks flew in all directions. Accountants stood ashamed beside blackened columns, their balance sheets precariously unbalanced. The mutant beast, a product of Antoine’s filth, assailed the main palace with one flick of his jaw, and the entire structure fell into oblivion. The beast flapped furiously back and forth. Bullets were useless. Tanks fell still. Jonny, the beast, rested on top of Antoine, who was defeated and cowed into submission.
Gerald chuckled loudly as he wrote down the words. It was late. The light in the sky had begun to sink into the horizon.
“Jonny, I shall have to wait until tomorrow. Thank you.”
He closed his notebook and returned it to his gray sack. He looked once at his stone, said his goodbyes, and began walking home—another day waiting for the revolution had come to its end.
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