December Draws Near
This story is one of 11 short stories I wrote to be part of my National Novel Writing Month book “Beyond Nova Sparkles”. Because that story ended up being an abomination and the short stories were only there as filler anyway, I am publishing them all separately once they are sufficiently revised, under a “ByNS Story Banner”. This is the first of these; enjoy!
December Draws Near
Deadlines must be met. That’s the most imperative directive. Defective are the days when Thanksgiving meant family, friends, and feasting. Gone are the days when children could take a break from school for the week and relax. The past is over. What is current is now. All hail The Black Week! Its history is a storied one, and its rituals so sacred to Our Society have a backstory rivaling those of entire religions. It should truly humble us to look back on what has made America what is is today.
We all know from the history books that Black Friday began over a century ago by the Founding Barons, those titans of capitalism who drove America into its position of power that it retains today. Its origin is shrouded in mystery, but it is certain that the holiday took to instant fame, even spawning the holiday of Thanksgiving the day earlier. However, it was not until the early 21st Century when Black Friday began to undergo its inevitable metamorphosis.
2018: When Black Friday sales begin at 8 AM in Thanksgiving, people aiming to rush in and out of stores so they could scurry off to their Thanksgiving lunches and dinners were sorely disappointed, as lines went on for sometimes five and six blocks, and people had to wait in line for, on average, eight days prior to the Black Friday sales to even enter the stores in the first six hours, causing the doorbuster sales to last for the entire weekend as thousands of fights broke out and stayed broken out for the duration of the sales, controlled by the police, who did not attempt to break up the brawls, as they instead merely stood and watched, in what many conspiracy theorists summarized as complete and utter proof that the Illuminati was both active and acting upon their tight grip on the government to use Black Friday as a population control method to weed out the weak members of the human species in their horrid eugenics experiments, and their entire force went on a break when the Great Riot of New York began over a $40 Wii V video game console, which was extremely popular in this particular Christmas shopping season, and because of their absence, 413 people were killed, 9001 were injured, and dozens went missing, in another conspiracy theory hotspot, which was that those missing were taken by the Illuminati to be tested upon, since most of the missing never did end up being found, even though there was a worldwide search for all the missing individuals, the results of said investigation turning up few to no leads whatsoever, and many important business individuals were among those people who seemingly disappeared into thin air after the Great Riot of New York had finally ended about a week after it began on Thanksgiving morning.
2019: People were reasonably frightened about the next Black Friday, now pushed back even further to 4 AM on Thursday to accommodate people getting back to their families in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Many were quite vocal on the matter, even.
“Estoy muchos tristes; mi familia fue asesinado en Viernes Negra en el año anterrìor.”
“Muy malo… Muy malo…”
“¡Los ventas no son tan bueno! ¡No necessities motar para ventas bien!”
America was not welcoming Black Friday back onto its shores ever again… Until it learned of the maddening deals that would be offered, where, oftentimes, up to 90% was discounted from products or given via coupons or vouchers, from almost all major retailers, which convinced nearly every American to line up for the sales, the first of whom began lining up as early as August and September. And once again, the fighting and warning consumed nearly every piece of our once great nation.
2020: The re-election campaign for President Chris Christie was underway this year, and Black Friday had become a heated source of debate between him and his opponents in the Democratic and Tea Parties. Corporations were ever-willing to donate their money to each candidate through massive Super PACs, and fueling the election season by marketing patriotic sales all through Black Friday and the days before and after it. In fact, a bill passed by Congress pushed back the voting date to Black Friday itself, much to the surprise of the news media. Black Friday and Election Day happening at once tripled the carnage, though the $5 iPhone 19Ses and the option to pay $35 for an extra vote at the ballot were two deals not to be passed up. At the end of this bloody day, fifteen thousand lay on the streets, It was unclear who won the election, though it was clear who lost– the people.
2045: “Veintisiete años desde entonces, y nunca estado mejor.”
President-For-Life Chris Christie made his announcement each year to prepare for Black Friday, and his constituents would always raze the nation with ravenous praise towards the corporations that controlled the United States.
“¡Me encanta La Semana Negra!”
“Los ventas son muy asombroso. ¡Y yo sólo tengo que esperar en fila para ciento dìas este año!”
The populace had been indoctrinating in these 27 years since the Great Riot of New York, supporting many of the previously thought baseless and nutjob ideas of those Illuminati conspiracy theorists so many years ago, which were until recently thought most impossible to validate in any significant manner. It seemed, now, likely that the government was manipulated into this catastrophic state.
People begin forming lines outside the stores as early as June (the world record is March 8, held by former businessman Mark Zuckerberg), many taking up a semi-permanent residence there. As a result, the population of America has overall seen a migration en masse into the urban centers of the country, so that the distance to the biggest sales is as short as possible for as many folks as possible. Tent cities are created almost through the entirety of each major metropolitan area; estimates in the 2040 census showed that 89.7 million people live on Manhattan for at least 3 months out of every year, readying themselves for the sales.
The modern Black Friday is now known as The Black Week. It is a double entendre, ironically, as it is the week of capitalism, but also the week of carnage and death. The children are taken into bunkers the Sunday before, and then the sales begin. Anything goes in the war for good deals. Most who participate in the sales bring their weapons to the event as soon as they get in line, and as soon as the clock strikes 10 PM (it was pushed back 2 hours early in 2039), the gunfire begins. Lower-class families who cannot afford guns have to resort to knives, broken glass bottles, and chainsaws. Some even use their cars to rampage across each store. It is not unlikely to see military-grade weaponry used, somehow smuggled onto the battlefield by people with connections.
Usually, the death toll of the combat is around 800,000, but it has known to become far greater, depending on what sales are produced by the major retailers. One year, 3.6 million lives were lost in the fray, and just last year, the death total was 1.49 million.
Now, the only stores without any sales are weapons shops. Those are closed, for the safety of the shoppers, and are guarded securely at all times. Lucky members of the police have The Black Week off, but most usually go into the bunkers and protect the children from any harm that could come to them.
The Grey Weeks are the ones directly following The Black Week. This event is 3 or so weeks long, as cleanup from The Black Week is the prime directive, as well as helping the status quo return as best as it can. Children whose parents were killed are rounded up and sent to orphanages, where they are trained to become store employees, and the rest are returned to their living parents, where they can return to their normal lives and prosper.
The White Week goes from the winter equinox and follows for the next seven days. This is when gifts are exchanged, families follow the love rituals that the government has assigned them, and police are in full force to make sure every single American is well-behaved and spending time with friends and family only, and are not unhappy in any way.
Then the cycle repeats the next year, as it has for the past 27. America has found its new place among the stars as the most powerful nation of all time, and The Black Week is the sole proprietor of this claim. This is how life is. This is how life will be. Forever and ever, the sales, ad infinitum.
The Black Week Reigns.
<La Semana Negra Reina.>