Finley: To Parliment

The morning arrived. Both Finley and Parker freshened, dressed, and ate in an eerie predawn twilight. They made their way down to the park grounds of the Tower, where they hailed a carriage headed for the House of Parliament. As they navigated the congested and cobbled streets of Elaea, the street lamps casting a dim glow, they saw, for the first time, the havoc that such gloom could wreak: traffic was horrendous, much looting had taken place, and corners, normally filled with those pedaling produce and other wares, laid bare. The authorities weren’t in sight, as they were stretched too thin dealing with riots, uproars, and swindlers. Midway through their journey they were forced to stop due to a barricaded intersection and were quickly ambushed by hooligans attempting to strip Finley and Parker of their valuables. The carriage driver did his best to fend off the gang, but, in the end, it was Parker who, whacking them upon the head with his formal cane drove them away. “What in the Queen’s name is going on?” said Finley when Parker sat back down opposite him in the carriage. “The pedestrian will play when the authorities are away, my Father always says. It’s the darkness, Fin. People are going mad.” “How would you vote now, Parker? Someone’s got to do something.” “Yes, I agree, but the question is: why is that someone not parliament? For the Queen’s sake,” (this was something that Elaeans, by tradition, often said, though the Monarchy had long since been abolished), “where is my Father in all of this?” The question went unanswered, however, as Finley’s reply was interrupted by a second wave of attacks on their carriage by the same hooligans regrouped and wielding missiles, rotten vegetables and cantankerous fruits. “Go back to the Tower ya’ fetid dung,” the rabble shouted. The carriage driver whipped his horses, abandoning all of hope of reconciliation. “I’ve never seen the like,” exclaimed Parker as the carriage careened through the streets. “Nor have I,” said Finley.

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