If you can’t beat them

The mercenary army appeared in the village at sunrise. The butchery didn’t take long, well-armed veteran troops against helpless peasants. In less than an hour, the last scream died away.

Magister Ho shook the sole survivor in his gauntleted fist.

“Where is my former apprentice, Tuan Ti?”

The terrified peasant indicated a monastic outbuilding. The Magister nodded briefly with gratitude, and then his hand erupted into flame and plunged through the peasant’s chest.

Ho’s boot kicked the door open on the North side of the building, just in time to see a familiar face disappearing from the far doorway on the southern end of the monastery.

“So, Tuan Ti,” Magister Ho bellowed, stalking into the simple chamber where she kept her sleeping pallet. Hundreds of recently lit candles lined the long, narrow hall on both sides. “I see that you’ve been practicing. There was a time when your childish magic could not light even a single candlewick. So many at once, I am impressed.”

Tuan Ti sprinted for the boulder just behind the south door and dove behind it.

“Those aren’t candles,” she shouted back.

Everything on the north side of the boulder vanished instantly in a massive explosion.

“They’re bombs,” she whispered, removing her fingertips from her ears.

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209 words. Inspired by this week’s Picture It & Write prompt:

Who let the dogs out?

“Astaroth, do you remember our original plan?”

“To siphon all of Mankind’s wickedness down here into Hell and concentrate its mystic energy, to power the engines and increase the suffering of our guests. We’ve seen a thirty percent torment boost!”

“Excellent. We do have one little problem. You’ve left the lid off.”

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52 words. Inspired by this week’s Shapeshifting 13 prompt at Grammar Ghoul Press:

Photo provided by Grammar Ghoul Press

Stop telling me to be scared.

I’m not a Democrat.

None of the likely Democratic candidates inspires me, and I don’t agree with many of their talking points. But I find myself being pushed over into their voting column this year anyway, thanks to the circus antics taking place on the Other Team.

The Other Team keeps us Safe, and to prove it they started the last pile of wars. Including the “War on Terror.” It’s worked about as well as the “War on Drugs” (which is to say, it didn’t). Then there was the War on Iraq (cost us billions, was built on lies, and did wonders for terrorist group recruitment). Thank you, Halliburton.

The Other Team preaches Fear and Defeatism and Darkness and Despair. It preaches Intolerance, we need to build a Wall to keep those Scary People Out.

Berlin Wall?

We need to register and database these refugees, make them wear a patch that clearly identifies them. Surveillance on mosques.

Jews in 1939?

Better yet, send ‘em back where they come from, we don’t want their kind ‘round here anyhoo.

Klan in 1955?

Forget about those pesky American values written on the Statue of Liberty. We need to keep the Scary people out, by any means necessary. How’s that again? When did this happen?

Refugees. Muslims. Islamics. Radicals. Terrorists. Despite what you may have heard on the media, these are not synonyms.

The more extreme the Republican candidates get, the less likeable they are. The Republican Party has been using Fear to drum up votes since the Cold War (remember Commies? “Family Values?” “War on Drugs?” The Flavor of the Decade is “Terrorists”) It works amazingly well, and always has. Rich White People get really, really paranoid about hanging on to their first world advantage.

The Republicans weren’t quite as far around the bend in most of those previous elections. They were just (generally) propping up complete stiffs as candidates. But then, so were the Democrats, and the tradition of both parties propping up “no one you’d really want to vote for” worked out just fine for the last few decades.

This election, we have a billionaire demagogue who has views remarkably close to that mustachioed gentleman from Germany. And he’s being pushed further and further into the extreme Right by the other whackjobs in his debates.

And he’s extending his lead! Has this country completely lost its collective mind?

Be afraid, be very afraid, all the bloody time. There might be a nonwhite person sneaking up on your Walmart with a pipe bomb! Look at what happened in Paris!! Stampede to the Right and cower under your desks!

This is America.

Home of the Brave.

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