The Lost Art of Saying NO

in Freewriters3 years ago

pine pollen.jpg


"Aw. come on Charlie," he'd snap back, "that's just ridiculous. How many protests were there?"

That was back in the days when we argued pretty much constantly. If I said "three" he said "That's ridiculous, it was four". If I said "greenish-yellow", he said "That's ridiculous, it's chartreuse." If I said "Let's plant melons" he said "That's ridiculous, I hate melons".

It could be said that, in those long ago days, Charlie was narcissistic. Of course, in those long ago days, that label had been defined broadly enough to be applicable to almost anyone, except those most submissive. This prompted a return to submissiveness, because who wanted to be labeled narcissistic? We were made to consider the good of the whole above our own good, and narcissistic was just about the worst thing you could be.

In 2027, a law was passed condemning anyone who was certifiably narcissistic, as determined by the director of the HHS, to public death via guillotine. It was the best of times... imaginative history would go on to say, but the times really sucked.


Strong accusations against all the party-goers were in the paper the next day.

Headlines the next day included:

"Sarah Sanders rose to state her Suggestion, and Invaded the air space of her neighboring Citizen Suggester"

"Clem Collaborator spoke out of turn with a Cynical tone, as the new Measures were announced."

"Blaster Owasco shuffled 6 inches forward and lifted a forefinger Accusingly when Commanded to remain seated."

Parties were not as they used to be in the old days.

We now entered the gatherings facing forward, 8.67 feet apart, silent, and masked. We carried nothing, and were careful to keep our hands visible as we passed through the weapons detectors that now graced every single entry to every single building in every single town, village, or city in the world.


the fame spread quite quickly of the events of that day. It was the first time in a long time that a group of three protestors said "NO" in some fashion while in the same place at the same time. The enforcer was quite flummoxed as to whom to arrest first, and so all three of the protestors were left wondering if they would live to see another day.

Their actions put new ideas into the zombie minds of the others in the room, the enforcer's first. He blinked thrice, turned in place to face the wall, remembered joy, and turned back to embrace the person closest to him. Love rushed back into each heart in the room.

They remembered the old days. The parties. The protests. The colors. The arguments. The conversations. The love.

They all began to talk.

They all remembered how to say NO.

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This is my entry to @mariannewest's daily freewrite challenge. Saturday challenges include a three-prompt challenge. We write for five minutes on the one prompt before looking at the next prompt, for a total of 15 minutes of writing. The prompts for this weekend freewrite are in *bold in my entry.

I nearly always set a timer for 4:30 for each section, then go back to clean up the typos and weirdnesses for as long as I like (usually a minute or so for each section), without changing the content. Pure imagination. My imagination keeps ending on same topic (freedom and tyranny) these days, no matter how differently the freewrite might have started out.

Thank you for reading this. I welcome you.


image is mine


Your imagination did a good job. It was good to read you.
You are sure you never met Charlie?

Enjoy the weekend.

I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I know lots of Charlies. I am one.

Just say NO!!!

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