War was never officially declared. Violence just raged up, like a flash of fire in a pan of hot oil. Jets swooped down in waves, dropping their payloads and returning to their base, eager for more. Residents of Craptown had no means of retaliation, but their complaints and protests streamed out on news broadcasts. Men sporting slim-cut suits, perfectly unkempt hair, and baby soft hands whined that it wasn’t fair. Women with highlighted and lowlighted hair declared that they had done nothing to deserve such treatment.
Nobody offered an explanation. Nobody outside of Craptown felt that one was necessary. Fleets of shiny cares exploded into scrap metal. Acres of cutting edge, European styled architecture burned and crumbled. Days and years worth of time spent creating a safe, sanitary, and prosperous looking community were wiped away. All the effort put into refining what was appealing to the eye proved to be wasted. A circularly perfect, conveniently located way of life was gone.
Yotum was an immigrant to America, come to sell Dead Sea beauty products from his native Israel. Somehow, he and the amazing products he promoted ended up in a kiosk at the mall, the bleeding heart, the iconic center of Craptown. What he experienced in Craptown was nothing compared to what he had lived through while serving in the IDF. More than anything else, the way people reacted to what was happening confused him. Boys with mohawks and pinstriped shorts curled up and cried on the ground. Black-eyed Hot Topic punks ran about in screaming panic. Orange women clutched their pursebound miniature dogs to cleavage so fake it could only be referred to as “tits.”
Yotum raised his voice in a cultivated shout, somehow able to make himself heard and obeyed over the din and the catastrophe. Some people were too far gone, mentally surrendering to whatever was going to happen to them. The rest found themselves following the foreign man who sought to lead them to safety. They navigated around crumbled sections of roof while watching jets zoom by through the holes they had made. Yotum continued to shout directions and encouragement to all who would listen. He soon found himself leading a pack of popped collars, ironic haircuts, and sarcastic t-shirts.
At last, the impractically flamboyant group found themselves stepping carefully over broken glass and through hollow door frames. They didn’t know, but the devastation around them was complete. They looked out at a parking lot of craters and fire, but beyond what they could see were lines upon lines of crushed and blackened buildings. Sprawling fitness centers which once produced beautifully sculpted and wondrously powerless human beings were flattened. Subdivisions full of two story, five bedroom homes were burnt to the ground. No more sushi bars, no more home improvement centers, no more expensively laid back family restaurants, no more furniture outlets, no more retail lots full of self-important self indulgence.
The last of the jets left, their work accomplished. Yotum and the others watched as a large, propeller driven plane took over the sky. The bay doors in it’s belly opened and released thousands of flitting, swirling little pieces of paper. Across town, other cargo planes were doing the same. They blanketed the city with the information that the world wanted residents of Craptown to know. Yotum bent to pick up a paper that floated to the ground at his feet. He read it aloud to the group crowded around him.
“You were doing it wrong. Start over. Try again, harder this time.”