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Utopia — Subdued

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By Danny Wilkes

“It’s all your fault, Culture Shock ... or should I call you little Johnny?” mumbled The Tranquilizer as he released a big pot of Tone Down Tonic, his newly perfected, mind-controlling formula, into the Central Arizona Project canal.


“You just killed the spirits of the southern part of this state with that poison! Why should I care that you know I’m Johnny Jones?” blasted Culture Shock as he tugged at the ropes that bound him.

“But aren’t you just a trifle curious how I found out you were who you are, little Johnny, or should I call you munchkin, just like Dad did? Then you can call me Bestest! It’ll be fun!” sneared The Tranquilizer.

“Oh my great spirits. It’s you, Festus.”

“That’s right, it is me — your long lost brother, Festus Jones!”

“But you ... your ... missing ...”

“Well it seems like I’ve been found, dear brother. I found myself long ago: Years after you and my former ‘family’ abandoned me,” said The Tranquilizer.

“But we never stopped looking, never!”

“Oh, you didn’t, did you? Well you never found me and I never saw you looking, so what does that prove? Let me tell you a story, little Johnny, a story about a boy who gets left behind after a nature festival. If you never stopped looking, how did I get to be raised by wolves?”

“Oh my spirits, Festus, I’m so sorry.”

“But the wolves weren’t the bad part, dear brother. I was raised by my wolf family until one day a man came hunting in the forest, found me and took me home, but that’s where the STORY BOOK ENDING ENDS!,” said The Tranquilizer. “The man’s name was Homer Wilson, former candidate for the vice presidency, do you remember him from the news? The man who took all forms of creativity from his 12 adopted children and was later indicted for child abuse?”

“But Festus, why do this?”

“To create the ultimate world where everyone conforms and no one thinks for himself. To make the state of Arizona a vast wasteland of drained minds and squashed spirits. To silence drums, guitars, amplifiers and pianos. And best of all, to silence the voices of melodic vocalists who scream their passions into the air,” he said.

Just then, Culture Shock had an epiphany and began singing.

“Stop it, stop it dear brother! Stop it!” wailed the Tranquilizer as he tried to block the path of Culture Shock’s vocal vibrations.

But there was no use. The inspired song brought back Culture Shock’s electricity, breaking the ropes that held him, and cleaning the water in the Central Arizona canal of the Tone Down Tonic. The Tranquilizer was rendered into a crumbling heap.

Culture Shock headed to the nearest phone to call the police to come and collect The Tranquilizer. When he returned, he found his brother gone. Scrawled into the concrete was a message that read: “I’ll be back for Mom and Dad like they never were for me.”
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