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Monday, May 7, 2018

Microstory 836: Goodbye Children

I’m standing in the corner. I’m the one who first discovered the message, but I’m nobody, so I just need to leave it to the professionals to deal with all this, and figure out what’s going on. When I noticed it, I thought it was some kind of hoax, but it still meant someone had tampered with one of the most precious documents in our nation’s history, so I had to alert my superior. She didn’t understand it either, so she reached out to her own boss. He didn’t know what it was about, so he went up the food chain, and on and on it went. No one knew what to make of it. We hear footsteps out in the hallway, and this feeling that we’re in the presence of darkness. A man walks into the room, immediately commanding it, even though no one seems to know exactly who he is. “What does it say?” he asks. The woman with the highest clearance there steps back from the table, and hands him the magnifying glass. “Goodbye, children. Please pretend you’re fighting for our cause,” he reads aloud. “Hm.” He’s thinking these words over. In the more than two hundred years that the United States Constitution has existed, no one has ever seen this. These words suddenly just appeared, right before my eyes, like they had been written in invisible ink. But I was just selected to place the document in a new encasement. Was that it? Was exposure to the air in the lab what revealed these words? Or was it something else? The mysterious man continues to think over what he read, then he nods. “So it’s time.” He leans over to someone in his entourage, and issues some kind of order, which prompts the lackey to leave. Then he scans the rooms, ensuring that he’s made eye contact with everyone here, but he misses me, because like I said, I’m nobody. “In May of 1836, President James Madison requested access to this copy of our Constitution. His petition was granted, not only because he was a former president, but also the Father of the Constitution, so it belonged to him. Acting as the last surviving member of Constitutional Convention, he encoded this message, designed to appear at a grave time in the future, when the country was at a turning point. The reëlection of a black man to the presidency seems to have triggered this event, and called my people to action. We were created decades after Madison’s death, interpreting his words to mean that our country must remain great. It will take the world four years to fully understand, but we are in charge now.” Then he takes out an assault rifle, and kills everyone here, but misses me, because I’m nobody.

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