ISSN 1989-4163

NUMERO 129 - ENERO 2022


Locked Up in Fright

Coos Palmboom

Life wasn’t quite as merry as it used to be in the Empire. The golden years of prosperity and fun seemed to have come to an end. While most people still had enough to eat and a roof over their head, persistent rumours were going round that soon the party may be over for manyand bitter times were lurking. This instilled in the people a sense of insecurity and they automatically clung on to what they had, savings and stuff, rather than looking for new opportunities as a means of regenerating their society, the approach which had brought them so much wealth in the first place.

And then, one day, seemingly out of the blue, a face appeared on screens all over the world, a face that wouldn’t easily go away again. It belonged to Dr Toni, who in his younger years had been a locally famous fearmonger, and who with his nasal voice and closely set eyes managed to bring viewers worldwide in a state of trance where they believed, as the good doctor had told them, that there were plenty reasons to be fearful. In fact, no serious consideration could take away the logical acceptance of fear as the only possibleanswer, since every aspect of life carried the potential of entering in a major crisis. At least, that’s what the screens told, that everything could basically go wrong so there was always ground for fear. Life’s scary, you know. Especially, when your civilization is taken away from you.

Fear is democratic in that it offerseverybody the chance to be afraid and indeed many, mesmerized as they were by Dr Toni’s stare and his poorly veiled Brooklyn accent, embraced fright wholeheartedly. Unsatisfied with life as it had been lately, people found in fear a new belonging. Scared together, right now, over me. It was tiresome, being scared all the time, it also led to more alcohol and drugs consumption, yet at the same time it was the only thing to be. The faint at heart were proud of their condition. Fright makes right, a wordsmith had forged.

As so often, children suffered from the madness that had grabbed the adult world. They were forced to stay at home most of the time out of fear something might happen, and they were only allowed to know a handful of people. At school they were kept away from each other and encouraged to log in from home. Many children were very unhappy at first, but they are children and they do what they have to do, which is play with life as it comes. To achild even fear can be fun. So, for a while, the children survived emotionally. Their parents were not always so lucky.Many had a hard time keeping the faith and often felt that being scared was not so different from that good old feeling guilty: both sucked.

After a good half year of heavy panicking which some elderly people just couldn’t bear, meaning they died from stress, while younger fainters sometimes felt they had entered a bad lsd trip, Dr Toni, once again on every screen, came with the solution: an injection, to calm the fears. And indeed, the mere thought that a frighteaser was on its way already cooled anxieties and distinctly lowered flight hormone levels. Once the injections were starting to be given, a jolly insouciance grabbed the population. Let’s all get back to normal, a popular slogan went. Yet, this wasn’t in the planning.

The cooldown wouldn’t last long. Dr Toni was at it again. There were new fears on the way, he warned, and new injections, too. Some people were not ready to sink back into fright, so they resisted the common scare and continued enjoying life. Yet, many more still followed Dr Toni’s voice. Yes, there were new reasons, there were always new reasons, in theory. There’s certainly reason to fear theory. And so it happened all over again, the scare, the injection, relaxation and a new scare, as if there were no end. At every round more people stepped off the carrousel, yet Dr Toni stayed the course with his fear trip and a sizable portion of the electorate was still following his dictates, taking the scare and loving it.

And then, with Christmas approaching, things turned uglyrather quickly. Many of the friends that had jointly taken jabs that year suddenly suffered blood and heart problems.Still, most did not, but numbers were going up fast. People asked: what’s going on, but nobody knew what were happening. Maybe it’s climate change, somebody said, and the next day everybody said it’s climate change and two weeks later nobody mentioned such a silly notion anymore. Meanwhile, the heart patients themselves were queuing for life-saving help. Hospitals were busy injecting non-functioning fear relief potions. Cancers were also in recurrence. People were dying when they shouldn’t be, and things weregetting into large number territory. Now there was something to fear, rather than fear itself. What was going on in our bodies? Had the injections anything to do with it? And where was Dr Toni?Dr Toni was rumoured to have taken his Brooklyn tongue to warmer climes, where he was allegedly trying very hard not to appear on screens any longer.

With Dr Toni gone, had also the injections come to an end? People weren’t quite sure whether they should fear such a situation or not. Freedom, from anything, from drugs, rules, other people, it must be a noble achievement for sure, but it was simply too dangerous to be seriously considered. It was hard not to be alert all the time with so much going on, according to the media at least. Inevitably, fear won out again, yet, while the jab frightened people more than anything by now, they also knew only the next jab could give them temporary relief from their scares. Whatever the injections contained and however dangerous they were – nobody was supposed to know or even question – they also provided the short-lived and intense relaxation every next shot delivered. Taking the jab had become like smoking. You know it’s going to kill you but not necessarily immediately. You also know the only problem with this comparison is that a single jab is worth ten years of heavy inhaling.

Unfortunately, this is where we’re at for the moment. While it is easy enough to shed the fear, since it has no base in reality, most people still won’t do so. This has driven the growing numbers of fearless humans to despair. Why is Earth ruled by the meek? they wonder. The meekare mostly unbearable with their soft complaints and lack of initiative, quite like the woke who are their children.While we are changing the year, this is perhaps the right moment to share the plight of the lonely unjabbed who get to swallow and neutralise all the bad shit the jabbed are spreading around town and who then realise that they are muchlike Jesus Saviour, loading the suffering these misguided people were causingonto their bareshoulders. Inevitably, they were going to suffer beyond their dues. One unjabbed said in a zoom call, you may as well torture me to death, as this is what you seem to desire, a true expression of your anger, and I can no longer sustain your nonsense. Hers was a story which yearned for a hero to save her from crucifixion. But the hero won’t come, of course, ‘cause people are busy complying.











@ 2022