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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Genocide in the Catacombs

I have locked myself in the bathroom, leaning hard against the bucking door. The two blonde thugs on the other side are doing their best to kick it down with their jackbooted feet. It is my last, desperate stand.

Inevitably, my strength gives way. I hop backwards, raising my hands in surrender as the door bursts open. One of the thugs, sneering, preppie-menacing in a white cardigan, grabs me by the upper arm and hauls me through the living room and out of the apartment, into the great underground concrete warrens I call home.

The second fascist is uniformed and rigidly formal. There is a lovely young woman with long brown hair waiting in the corridor; she’s frightened, and looks like she wants to flee. But the uniformed fascist hands her a large glass beaker, the size of a full-grown pumpkin; it’s filled with swirling, cloudy green gas. He orders the woman to take it down a short flight of steps to a furnace room. We follow, and the fascist in the white sweater directs the woman to pour the gas into an empty brick fireplace that’s connected to the air vents.

I suddenly realize what’s happening. “That’s nerve gas, you fools!” I scream. “You’ll kill us all!”

Already the young woman spasms in agony, her eyes wide, terrified, as she’s enveloped in the deadly cloud. I sprint away in a blind panic, expecting the fascists to give chase, but they only smile knowingly, not caring as they disappear into the spreading cloud of mist. I dart into a supply room and hastily cover myself in the blue fluid that offers some minimal protection from nerve gas, but I know it won’t be enough, and I charge down the corridors looking for an exit. Around me people gasp and stagger and fall as they’re overcome.

There! A ladder to the surface. I grab hold of the rungs and start to climb, but it’s too late; my vision flashes blue and green, and every muscle seizes up at once. Everything goes black, and I awaken into the darkness of our bedroom, wide-eyed. 

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