Daily Fiction 1: The Riot Act

The people were rioting.

The cops came out to read them the riot act.

The riot act said the government could do very bad things to you if you were caught rioting, worse than the things it was normally allowed to do. They had made a whole act just to allow it.

“We know that,” said the people. “It’s very unjust. Why do you think we’re rioting?”

“I assume it’s because you’re a bunch of savages” said the cops.

“We know you assume we’re savages,” said the people. “Why do you think we’re rioting?”

“I thought it was because of the riot act,” said the cops.

“Don’t be smartasses,” said the people “it’s a complex web of issues.”

The cops had a complex web, too. It came out of a gun, and it could wrap you up without injuring you too badly. The thing it did was pretty simple, but the way it worked was complex.

They shot the web at one of the people in the front of the crowd. It wrapped the person up pretty nicely. A bunch of cops ran up to start beating the person they’d wrapped up.

The people weren’t sure what to think. A lot of them thought the web was really cool. But the culture among the people was, you weren’t supposed to think violence was cool. It was all about smashing the oppressors, dragging the blasphemers, and slaying. Violence had no place in such a movement.

Many of the people took out their smartphones and started filming the cops beating the person.

The cops thought about filming it, but they knew it would be a breach of protocol. They thought about asking some of the people to send it, but they didn’t want the asking to show up on video. They silently planned to stream it later.

One of the people starting filming the cops silently planning.

Inside the net, the person was in very much pain. The person didn’t have a lot of perspective on how cool the net was, because they experienced it as a bunch of hurt and constraint. It was very scary in there and the cops outside seemed angry.

The cops beating the person didn’t feel angry. They had nothing to be angry about. The net had wrapped up the person nicely, and now they had a chance to beat someone without being in a real fight. It had worked out well for them.

One of the older cops did start to worry, though. The cops faced a paradox. It was really fun to beat people, and part of the fun was hitting as hard as you could. But if you kept hitting a person very hard, eventually the person would die, and that would ruin the fun of the punching.

“You can’t have your cake and eat it to,” some of the cops had said back in the day. It had been said in the cake shop, but it applied here too.

The older cop thought about telling the others to stop, but that didn’t seem fair to the cops who hadn’t gotten a chance to hit the person yet.

The older cop didn’t want to stop either, if nobody else was going to.

A lot of the people started to get worried. They were feeling empathy for the person being beaten.

I don’t know what happened after that. I stopped paying attention. Somebody had a very funny Tweet. I assume it was very funny. It had been reTweeted by a person I thought was funny and I think from the context that that person had thought it was funny. A lot of people had liked the Tweet, a lot of people had retweeted it. “Here’s a chance to join the winning team,” I thought, and reTweeted it.

I forgot what the Tweet was about. I hope someone reminds me of it. It would be good nostalgia. Then I can bring up the same nostalgia to some other people, and get credit as the source of nostalgia.

I still like things that are about cops though. I like it better the farther away the cops are from me. It says that things far away are worse than they are here. But it’s still okay when the cops are here, because I am not a cop so it’s not my fault.


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