The Wax Conspiracy

Fumes, quicksand, toxic waste, on at all hours

Tremblay Industries, on Lake Eastlé, dumps out another batch of pinnipeds every week. Every other week they hold a cook out and drain the excess to make one fine array of pelts and oils. Another day another dollop.

Today, nobody cares to stop it as the atrocities and outrage keeps them warm at night and gives them something to do during the day. Those in the cold against those with a sense of animal ethics jostle about, keeping their voices raised and shackles waved. Always on time, but never in line for dreams.

Ineffective rallies are how the people come together now. Up from their couches, dusting off the crumbs in bed and into the harsh conditions of exposed air and non-artificially generated winds. Sunlight returns everyone to a natural complexion, the deep blues of their veins covered up once more by the melanin in their skin, soaking up the rays. Biometrics and other scans stopped working for many when the systems could only read and register them as ghosts. With their flesh back to "normal" they once again were able to enter their work details, picking up their brooms.

Years ago they would still be on their collective toilets, listening to the sounds of depth charges and small splashes as the dings on their smartphone refresh for more content. Until winter broke through a heat wave and their thumbs started locking up, and over time fused into hooks. Unable to wipe without tearing wider, they accidentally invited themselves to a rally when they mishit and accepted instead of muted the blast that came through.

But these were principled peoples, and an invitation accepted is an invitation accepted.

A student filmmaker, fresh from watching a documentary on Gregg Toland, sets up his smartphone for minutes before throwing it back into his backpack. Taking out a camera, he steadies it on a pontoon across the way and sets up the shot. The Tremblay offices in the background, gutted and sliced seals in the fore, matching up for deep focus. A sense of achievement washes over him before he pours bleach on the camera.

By the plant a boom fires into the air, a seal comes crashing down later and feeds the crowd. Everyone stays warm when there's a fire going.

Ethan Switch

Written on Friday, 31 January 2014

The Wax Conspiracy

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