The glass greenhouse stood to the side of him. A small family, who had taken up the abandoned green house, stood opposing him. A pile of potatoes at their backs.
“Look, girly, i didn’t mean anything, I just — “
The girly interrupted, “Don’t fucking say that! You don’t know what I am. I am not a girl. I’m a they. That’s not my pronoun you fasCISt DICKtator. You fucking patriar — !”
He felt his heart stretch like an overblown balloon. It popped. He pulled out the revolver from the back pocket of his Eddie Bauer bluejeans. He shot the teen, the obviously female teen, in the crotch.
“Well now it looks like no one FUCKING KNOWS what you are!” He yelled amongst the screaming, remaining family members. He shot the rest of them, emptying the gun of its bullets.
Times had changed. What was left of middle class Alberta was scattered across the prairies: lone individuals, shattered families, bands of crooks, bands of hopefuls, churches full of the hopeless. The elites strengthened the divide between the rich and the poor. There was only the poor and the sky high, untouchable elite. It was 2025. Above all the plains — that had been shut down for the great reset — floated an original Hindeburg zeppelin airship, classic design. Its crystal windows reflected the sun down onto the earth.
Justin Trudeau floated over the prairies, casually leaning out the windy crystal window of the airship, over the green lands below. He watched rivers and creeks meander over the flat plains. He admired the small lakes reflecting the sun in the sky. He saw old barns abandoned. He saw roads filling in with green. He saw what was possibly a person and dropped his half full champagne flute out the window and watched it tumble down. He wondered, then laughed if that fall would spare that possible individual the last drop. But, like usual, his thoughts turned to the more dramatic outcome he hoped would follow. The stem would be snapped from the cup’s base ad probably used as a weapon to steal food, or to rape someone, or just for sheer, lawless brutality. He wondered at those dramatic scenes. He shuddered from the cold atmosphere and turned back to the poker game being played at the table.
“Did you see anyone you know, kiddo?” Smiled a saudi prince over a pile of black poker chips that pooled under his chin in his hands.
“There’s definitely a lot less Albertans this spring time around.” acknowledged Trudeau.
Caber Thominson had lost his parents during another cold winter that they just couldn’t get through. The winter before his neighbours had captured and ate his cat. His two sisters had moved to Grande Prairie back in 2019, with boyfriends, and he stopped wondering if he would ever see them again. He stopped carrying his phone since last fall because he hadn’t been able to charge it for a year before that. The shut down of the grid was meant to be temporary, was meant to be the first step in transitioning the economy to a green one, a green energy grid. The energy never transitioned because it never turned back on. Everyone just sat waiting for the lights to come back on. He had no money — online banking with Simplii — and barely survived this winter on a feed bag of oats he found in an abandoned stable until the dandelions appeared in spring.
It was his basic knowledge of eating dandelions that lead to him discovering the revolver randomly dropped in a patch of dandelions he had been harvesting.
He pocketed it through his belt so that the barrel sat in his back pocket of his faded Eddie Bauer blue jeans. He didn’t think of using the gun against anyone. He assumed the bullets would land in a moose, or a white tail deer, or something he would find to hunt. Sometimes, he thought he might have to use it on himself if he couldn’t find a way to make it through winter.
When he saw the greenhouse in the distance, the sun glimmered of its roof. He crossed the meadow of grasses, dandelions, and feral wheat until he came across a small family piling harvested potatoes against one of the old barns.