[Short Story] - Protest

in writing •  last year  (edited)

The writing prompt was:
"Teargas in a protest."

Provided by @zoexantelamv

Image courtesy of @rocking-dave

“No more fees! No more fees! No more fees!” We shouted as one when Tom Baker, Head of the Student Organization of Ülmbrick, finished his speech about the alleged rise in college tuition.

It took him a solid half minute to quiet down the massive audience. Not everyone saw him and he thus needed to wait for the wave of silence to reach the back rows and the people in the more remote alleys.

There was at least 100,000 of us on the streets in front of the parliament that day, students – ex and future – and professors alike. For decades we have been witnessing slow fee increases on a year to year basis with our hands behind our backs brushing it off as regular inflation. This year, however, they have decided to raise all tuition fees for 25 %, lower scholarships by 10 %, and increase interest rates on student loans by 10 %, all the while keeping salaries of professors all the same.

After the information came out, it didn’t take long – or much effort – to organize a nationwide protest. Everybody I knew was there, and everybody they knew as well. We have all suffered for far too as a minority, and we were determined to make a change.

Tom announced that the Dean of the University of Ülmbrick was to give a speech next, then walked off the school bus that served as a podium.

Before the Dean made it to the ladder, however, the crowd went wild and started shouting like mad. I didn’t know what was going on at first, but then I made out the words they were shouting.

“Gas! Gas! Gas!”

I wanted to turn around to get ready to run with the crowd, but was entrapped by the people beside me. I couldn’t turn around, let alone move.

The crowd started moving as one giant herd, and I along with it – facing the wrong direction and clumsily making backwards steps. I wanted to fight the masses at least enough so I could turn around, but to no avail. Even if I stopped walking backwards to try and focus on turning around, the crowd just kept on moving me on its own. No matter how hard I tried, I was stuck in a moving entity of a thousand people at the very least.

Facing backwards I could see a smoke cloud forming near the parliament. I could see the terrified faces of my colleagues scattered in the crowd. The terrified faces of my professors.

I tried turning around one final time, but just when I thought I succeeded, the worst happened. My knee jerked. I tried to catch my balance again, but it was too late. I couldn’t keep up with the pace of the crowd and I fell.

Powerless against the mass to get myself up, I got trampled under the feet of a hundred men.

No matter the adrenaline I had in me, I could still feel every shoe that stepped on me.

The pain was excruciating, and my shouting futile. There was no way anyone could help me – the crowd just carried them along like it did me.

Then, all of a sudden, it all stopped.

I could feel a breeze of cold air on my body.

I was in pain and couldn’t get up, but I was happy it was over and that I survived.

A group of policemen with gas masks approached me and I smiled at them, thinking they would call an ambulance and make sure I’m okay. I didn’t know whether or not I was going to be arrested for protesting afterwards, nor did I care. I only wanted to get to the hospital and feel okay again.

Four of them gathered around me while the rest continued on their way to shoo the rest of the crowd away from the parliament.

“I can already see the headline,” one of them laughed. The sound was distorted due to the gas mask, but still clear enough to understand. “Student lives taken by their colleagues trampling over them.”

They all laughed.

”But I’m not dead.” I thought to myself. As much as it hurt, I moved my arm to give a sign of life just in case they misjudged the situation, but the black silhouettes around me didn’t seem to care.

I looked around again and saw another person – a woman – lying on the floor with five policemen around her, nightsticks in their hands and beating her wildly.

Only then did I realize what was going on. Realized what was to happen.

The first kick I got was to my lower back.

I thought I felt pain before, but it couldn’t compare to that at all.

I mustered as much strength as I could to pull my arms up to my face and try to protect myself, but the kicks just kept on coming. My back, my chest, my head, nothing was safe.

I wanted to scream with pain, but couldn’t. My lungs were empty of air and in between kicks I couldn’t find time to them.

It wasn’t until after they took out the nightsticks and started pounding on me that I felt my consciousness leaving me.

A blurry image of a finely polished policeman’s shoe is the last thing I remember.

While you are waiting for content new,
in the comments below leave me a clue,
an idea for a story you'd love to read,
a journey to the unknown my keyboard will lead.

Short stories I have written so far:

Happy ending
#1 - Living off the grid
#3 - A young thief
#8 - A traitor from hell
#9 - Not alone
#10 - Millitary testing grounds
#13 - Bigfoot
#14 - And angel in love with a whore
#15 - Down the rabbit hole
#18 - Reborn as a 10 year old
#19 - A struggling door to door salesman
#24 - Rebellious talking food
#26 - Ssssnails!
#28 - Mission Erased
#32 - Dog's breath
#38 - Abducted
#42 - Killer clowns
#43 - A penny
#44 - Fear
#49 - Morning coffee
#50 - Midnight sunshine
#51 - My new home
#52 - Protest
#2 - A dolphin tea party
#4 - Stained hands
#7 - The giant depressed onion
#21 - The red star
#25 - Long-distance Relationship
#27 - A dream
#30 - Potato
#31 - Dragons
#33 - The Jungle
#35 - A life lesson
#36 - Unicorn meat
#39 - The Purple Road
#40 - Immortal Store Clerk
#41 - Artemis' Hell
#46 - A scientist's journal
#47 - One of many
#48 - Gone in 10

#5 - The homeless man
#6 - A blind date
#11 - The wealthy man
#12 - Happy ending
#16 - Asshole soulmate
#17 - My bunny Fluffy
#20 - War veteran
#22 - Wishing to meet a villain
#23 - School trip
#45 - Crafted armor

#29 - Green Chewing Gum
#34 - Turkey Trauma
#37 - Stuck in a loop

Want such a table for your own work? Or even make it better? Learn how to do it here.

Five minute freewrite challenges I have fulfilled so far:

Fire, Toilet, Flash, Soft feet, Pillow, Grounding, Surprise, Ending the pain, Going for a walk, Car Mechanic, Murderer, Dog hair, Ducks, Untested medicine, Forbidden love, Vacation, Awakening, Dentist, Wild west.

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Amazing! <3

First of all, sorry it took so damn long!
Had no ideas because my mind was elsewhere all the time ._.
And secondly.. I'm so very happy you enjoyed it! :D
I definitely have to write more standalone short stories :3

Yes, I liked it very much! I will miss the #constrainedwriting contest, by the way. I'm still going to post my (very very) late entry, soon.

The constrained writing contest will be back (likely shortly), but to be quite honest I am now very much in the mood of finishing stuff up and getting stuff published.
I'm thinking of giving myself about two to three weeks right now to finish my Wild West story while I let my already written book (nothing of it published anywhere) sit still a bit so it matures properly for further editing. I might do that, ooooor write a bunch of short stories of the same genre (likely brutal) and publish ~30-50 of them as a collection :P... might even do both? I need to take advantage of the time I have before college starts again :3 So if all goes wrong, Constrained Writing Contest will be back with October...

Sounds good. :P Will give it a read (and a reward, but you didn't hear that from me :P)

Please do take the time for your brilliant writing! :D One must take advantage of the opportunity and the mood coming in together haha I hope everything goes right, let us (your fans) know how you're doing. That collection of short stories of the brutal genre is something I would really love to read. Thank you for your awesome replies. I wish you all the success.

  ·  last year (edited)

I'll give it my best, though the insomnia is taking its toll on me. :|

Will keep you updated! You'll certainly know when the book(s) is out :P

I was thinking of collecting 30 that I published (found under the brutal and Gross genre in the table at the end of the post), and write 5 more that will be exclusive to the collection - published nowehere else. I'll throw all the stories I've written so far together today and see the length of it. If they're exceptionally short, I'll instead publish 40+, if they come together to an okay word count (i.e. will fill 100 pages worth) I'll publish 30+5 :p

Of course, all the already published material will be revised, re-edited if necessary and just overal reformatted to make sure they're worth the moneys. I can afford mistakes when the content is free, but can't afford them when I'm asking money for it.

So I believe it's a fair compromise - keep a lot of my content free still, but give out a little extra to those who wish to (financially) support me, and really give those people extra polished content. I am, after all, asking for your hard-earned money. Don't want to try and sell you a mediocre product.

Thank you for the wishes! I'll give it my all to do as much as possible in the time until college begins (and for as long as I'm single and really have all the time in the world haha well, beside work, that is. :p)

Thank you for the support as well. <3 You're part of why I'm doing so well. <3

All I can muster is wow. You always bring your stories to life, and make the readers feel what you write. It made me feel as if I were at the scene. Although it is a story, it makes me wonder if these types of events truly happen.

Thank you so very much! That means a lot to me, especially because I tend to forget how much I also enjoy writing these shorter standalone stories. I can write them in one sitting, can immerse myself in a whole new world, and it's just one of the greatest feelings. :3 Completely different to writing a book haha :D Thank you for fueling this love within me further! ^^

And yeah, I wonder, too.
How many things happen that get brushed off as "someone else did it"... And how many people actually get away with such acts... Ugh. Might be best not to think about that....

You're most welcome. I have always enjoyed reading your writings. And I agree, is probably not a good idea to think about it. I stopped watching the news. I have enough chaos in my life.

I... ugh.. You're making me shy here! Slowly melts down into a puddle.
Thank you very much again! So very happy to hear that!

I stopped watching TV altogether some time ago, and I believe it's for the better. Not just because I'm one of the people who are too easily distracted, but also because they feed us cherry-picked information, and it's likely false at that. shivers. Ugh...

Lol, then we are even as I am super shy myself. I just hide it well. As for tv, I turned ours off a yr ago. I don't really miss it. If we desire to watch something, we go on netflix.
I like to read too, so finding things that draw my attention is how I roll. :) Which is how I found your stories :)

  ·  last year (edited)

Could you... teach me?
I mean, I don't get red cheeks, usually... just suffer from the imposter's syndrome and pretty much suck at taking compliments because it feels... undeserved?
In my head it's like... "It's just a bunch of words... Anyone could've written that."
And then feel super uneasy because it feels like credit I don't deserve... Ugh.
Though, slowly, but surely, I'm working on improving that ^^ And I thank you very much for your support!

Same. If I want to watch something, I'll just watch it elsewhere, where there's also no commercials. OH THOSE DARN TV COMMERCIALS. ugh.

Yayyy :D I like reading also, though have somewhat neglected that lately... Bought some books to read before bed-time though, so I am moving in the right direction :3

Sorry for delayed response. Was overcoming back issues and then a very long day yesterday.
I too struggle with accepting compliments, because I find myself wonder if they mean it, or just saying things to be nice.
I have found that there are people who truly mean what they say. If my gremlin tells me it was a line of bs, I tell him shut it, and I look at what I myself feel was right, or good about whatever it was. Most times, it is that gremlin we all have, that keeps us down.
I truly believe all your writings are great, to me. But I also love westerns :)
As for books, I had bought some and had been gifted some, but find myself not reading as much as I used to. Some day I will pick it back up. :)

No problem at all, life does have the tendency to get in the way sometimes most of the time.
That too, yes. Especially agree with that little inner voice that just won't shut it =.=
Just makes you feel blah. Like, I have the text written for a book I told you about... Non-fiction... and I looked up some of the similar books on the matter, and it's all doctors and renowned psychologists and whatnot... Then here I am, a humble chemist who just happens to be interested in that topic. Feels a lot like I'm underqualified.
But no matter. It's a personal achievement for me to publish it, even if it either doesn't get read by anyone, or gets torn into oblivion by critics. I know I've put my all in that text, and at the end of the day all that matters is that I am happy with my finished product, though I tend to forget that all too often. Ugh.
Hope you don't struggle that way! Or at least remember to trust in yourself and ignore that gremlin when such a time arises. ^^

Looks back at the comment... Sorry for the wall of text again haha
Wish it was more positive, not a wall of whining. haha :D

Thank you so very much @pixiehunter! Though I might have to disappoint you that the Wild West series will end soon, partly because I have an ending in mind, and partly because I want to make something of it exclusive to the published edition - and the ending is the only thing I have left to conceal.
I'm evil, I know. haha

There's a time and a place for everything, I believe, but also.. As long as you read, be it a book or not, you're reading. I've much more enjoyed short(er) stories than full-out novels, and I don't really believe I've been left hindered because of that. I tend to forget all the names too fast - which is why Wild West only has 3 names to remember haha :D (Tom, James, and Ducköden :P)

Runs out to you, suctions you into a bucket to refreeze into your mould.

slowly thaws in your basement back to room temperature

Oh my goodness! I can't believe it, I am in shock....AND I WANT MORE!

I am following you now, will there be a part 2??? Is this person dead?

Thanks for making that neat table, I think I will be visiting your chapter book of a backlog when I have a bit more time on my hands!

I found you on @c-squared, and I am so happy I did!

Shouts down to the people in the engine room
Turns back to you, completely calm
"I have been ensured there is indeed more on the way, sir. I thank you for choosing to cruise with us. Sadly, though, I have to inform you there will be no part 2 to this story, as the main character died under the feet of the police. With no protagonist to keep the story going, I'm afraid I cannot revive it anymore. There are others on the way, though, and I've been assured they're at least as good as this one. I hope my staff and I do not disappoint. I dearly thank you for the compliments on the story, and the table. I, too, find it neat, and am delighted you've enjoyed it as well. Feel free to stop by anytime. If there is anything I can do to help make your stay better, please let me know." Hands you the keys to your room. "Have a good day, sir."

End of Titanic reference.

  ·  last year (edited)

I shall! I shall!

Though I can't help but contemplate one more time the tragedy that has occurred beneath the feet of these overworked public servants, protectors of the peace turned frustrated destroyer. Who's fault is it? Surely we cannot trace the cause to the working class police man and woman who stomped bodies in rage at the forced unpaid overtime required to monitor such a popular uprising, but to who ever decided to raise the fees once again!

It could either be rage or outright sadism. Or they could've wanted to send a certain message. Many factors to include here.

All I could write about is the successive headlines or the story as told by the Police officer(s) who have taken the poor student's life, but that'd likely be a new story altogether... Which gives me an idea :P I could indeed write something in that direction ^^

Here I hear two sides, the evil police and the reckless young people. But no one ever talks about the necktied law maker who seems to escape hands-clean from any chaos that their schemes might cause!

Thanks for sharing svashta, was an entertaining read. Gonna check out some of your other stories now. "The giant depressed onion" sounds interesting! :)

Thanks for reading! ^^
The Giant depressed onion is indeed an interesting read :p Hope you'll like it! ^^

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Heeey, thanks! :D That's awesome! :D