An Epic Five-Part Mini-Series

Part V: The Freedom to Be Free for Freedom’s Sake

More meetings, more dates. Tongues and rubbings.

“You in?” Nicole cooed, panties plinking to the floor.

“Oh, I’m in,” Todd said, entering her from behind.

Zealous sex confirmed their commitment to the cause. At the next rally, ListenJohn explained how LISTENAMERCA was less service than sabotage, designed for no other purpose than to drag America’s great name through the mud.

“Who’s the real victim?” he shouted.

“I am,” cried everyone.

Todd had learned about other uprisings. The American Revolution—the #1 biggie. Later, the French did something wild as well. Light on specifics, he nevertheless felt called upon to preserve the original idea of this great nation of his.

A montage: more meetings and marches, placards and fists, picnics and mad love under howl-worthy moons.

That spring, LISTENAMERICA veterans from all over pilgrimaged to the National Mall to protest. Todd and Nicole made the long trip, driven by love, by what they truly believed.

Captain Mike appeared. Todd and Nicole looked at each other then back at the man—his strained smile, the purple-black eye. He partially lifted his right arm, which happened to be in a sling. “I was wrong,” he rasped. “Sorry for my disservice.”

“Now,” ListenJohn said, “repeat after me: PLUG. YOUR. EARS!” The by-now familiar chant shot like a current through the crowd. While shouting, Todd and Nicole stuck fingers in each other’s ears, which was fun and nearly sexy.

ListenJohn patted his zipped-up jacket. Made eye contact with guards to his right.

Quickly, a well-armed human chain began to form. Thousands of people, firearms shiny at their sides. Todd began warming up to history—the idea of going down in it. But first things first. Anger. Resolve. Elation at having bravely taken the first steps toward making his voice heard in this stupid, backwards world.



Michael Cocchiarale

Michael Cocchiarale is the author of the novel None of the Above (Unsolicited, 2019) and two short story collections--Here Is Ware (Fomite, 2018) and Still Time (Fomite, 2012). His creative work appears online as well, in journals such as Fictive Dream, South Florida Poetry Review, The Disappointed Housewife, and Fiction Kitchen Berlin. Michael recommends Philabundance.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Sunday, August 21, 2022 - 22:24