by Jason Dennis
Honorable Mention – Flash 405, April 2017: Trinie Dalton’s “Shangri-La”
The chanting started before dawn. Crowds had grown larger each day since the announcement. My street was mobbed. I grabbed my cellphone and winced at the nine thousand new emails. Everybody wanted to lobby me.
When I’d first heard the conspiracy theories, I’d scoffed. Wild stories had burned through the internet like brushfire. This one wasn’t far afield from some told about Clinton in the last election cycle. But the lizard people, it turned out, were real. The fabled aliens who’d crashed at Roswell in 1947 had disguised themselves as humans and assumed positions of power around the world. They’d been pulling the strings and making us humans dance.
After decades amongst us, they’d exhausted their experiments and had come to empathize with our species. Now they wanted to help solve the problems they’d exacerbated. That’s where I came in. They’d invented social media in order to find “the one.” Sifting through billions of posts, tweets, and shares, they’d gained incredible insight into our minds, had been able to essentially read them. And they’d determined that I, more than anyone else on Earth, had the answers.
They’d revealed themselves to the world and simultaneously announced that I would be creating a whole new set of rules to govern the planet. People panicked. Riots broke out. I tried to talk them out of their plan, but my attempt was half-hearted. Deep down, I knew they were right. “When I rule the world…” had been a comforting thought during the bleak times. Now it had happened.
My vision of utopia was controversial. Even simple things caused an outcry. Number one on my list, banning leaf blowers, seemed like a no-brainer. But gardeners complained about the undue burden of raking and sweeping. Property owners forecast increases in their landscaping bills. I peeked out my blinds and saw the bleating masses with their colorful signs. They needed my ideas. I decided that the noisy blowers had to go, along with nuclear weapons, gristle, hypocrisy, economy seating, inequality, white zinfandel, and a host of other offenses that detracted from the human experience.
The lizard people had given me absolute authority, and since they controlled the governments of all nations, they had the power to implement my rules. People might protest, but they would thank us later. When they weren’t drinking your blood, the lizard people were okay. They had good intentions. And so did I. Together, we would fix everything.
What ever happened to the Lizard People? Read this to find out. But seriously, dealing in all the insane conspiracies we’ve seen from Alt-Right warlocks trafficking surrealism, Lizard People fit right in. Speculative fiction is the new Keeping It Real? I guess so, sigh…
Jason Dennis lives in Los Angeles, where his distaste for the sun elicits mistrust. He studied Film & Television Production at USC and now writes fiction, essays, and rants.