#61 The Last Independence Day (500 words)

Inspired by: Lay Down Your Weary Tune

On July 4th, 1876, the Beacon Philharmonic put on a show celebrating the nation’s centennial. 

The Colbert’s as a thinly veiled apology to the Union financed the whole thing. They invited the city’s most influential people and held a raffle for the city’s lower class to rub elbows with the elite. 

The Fall’s proudly wore expensive garments of red, white, and blue while the Colbert’s were dressed entirely in black. This was no day of celebration for the Colbert’s. July 4th had been and always will be a day the populous ripped away Maryland’s control from them and for whatever misbegotten reason gave it to the Fall’s, a family so benevolent you couldn’t help but wonder what skeletons they were hiding in their closets. 

After each song and sonnet, the Fall’s rose to their feet and cheered loudly. After their grandstanding applause, they sat in their seats and stared at the Colbert’s. The Colbert’s were unimpressed. 

For the final performance, the musicians began playing the national anthem. The Fall’s were beaming and singing along from their theater box. Suddenly after the first verse, the song morphed. The whole music hall began chanting with the song. 

“God save the Queen!”

The Fall’s were disgusted. The Falls looked across the Hall at the Colbert’s who all donned Raven masks and were chanting “God save the Queen.” The Fall’s looked at the people below who stared up, masked as foxes, also singing. 

The Fall’s couldn’t figure out what was going on and would not be a part of it. They stormed out of the music hall and tried to put this evening out of their minds forever. 

After the Fall’s left, Denny Colbert waved an arm to silence the orchestra and chanters. 

“Today is the day most of the country celebrates America’s independence from the British Empire. For us, it is a day of mourning for the same reason. It loathes me to say America is a great place, but that is despite itself, not because of its independence. Can you imagine the lives we would lead if we were full members of the British Empire?

“My ancestors did not come to America to become Americans. Can you imagine? Oh, mommy, when I grow up, I want to be an American! I wish I could go to a place that uses dead beaver skins and deer pelts as currency because I can’t figure out pounds silver! 

“My ancestors came to America out of an outpouring of love for the British Empire! We’re European-Americans damn it! Europe and the old world first and always! For 100 years, we have been isolated from our heritage. 

“I don’t want to be in a melting pot. I want my heritage distilled, purified, and intensified. I want this land to become insufferably British like it was meant to be! Now, who’s with me! British Empire, here we come!” 

The orchestra began playing again. The whole room sang traditional European ballads for the rest of the so-called “Independence Day.”

Published by einquin

Writing personal exploration flash fiction as well as building the foundations for a comic book universe.

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