Ephemeral

Every night, the revolutionaries make their marks, and every morning, the drones scrub them clean.

The drones buzz about the city, through the lower levels. They are a whirr of motion, of clean white death, of danger. Their lasers scour paint, stripping art and slogans from the brickwork and slowly rusting steel.

They gather the bodies of the dead and take them away, like valkyries, like vultures. The dying and the desperate lie nearby, begging for help, but the drones are not here for them, not yet. They only take you when you’re dead.

The drones maintain the peace, the officials say, up in their gleaming towers. They keep the order.

But whose peace? ask the children of the lower levels, among the refuse and the scrap. Whose order?

And the officials, in gleaming towers and gleaming suits with gleaming smiles, do not answer.

Every morning, the drones make their sweep. Every morning, they sweep evil and rot under the bed, so its sight does not offend.

And every night, under shadows and flickering light, the revolutionaries paint their messages anew. They make art and know that just because something doesn’t last, doesn’t mean it didn’t matter.

END

Word Count: 197

This is for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: 2021: Week #13. Been a while since I did one of these, though I’m not sure why. Thanks to rogershipp for running the challenge. Photo prompt is from https://pixabay.com/photos/graffiti-wall-graffiti-graffiti-art-1209761/

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