People used to live here. It was a nice neighborhood. Now it is ruins.
There used to be a thing called Black Friday. On the day after Thanksgiving, stores would have big sales. Some stores opened super early in the morning with special early bird prices. People lined up outside the doors waiting to get in.
Sometimes people were trampled to death as the crowd rushed into the store to fight over a limited number of dramatically discounted TVs and game consoles. It was unfortunate, but it did not stop the Black Friday frenzies. It was understood that there must be sacrifices. The dead became martyrs to cause of consumerism.
Then one day was not enough to contain the lusty lure of low, low prices. After stores kept opening earlier and earlier, eventually Black Friday spread into Thanksgiving itself. People tried to fit giving thanks and eating turkey between shopping trips.
But it wasn’t just Thanksgiving that fell to Black Friday. Pre-Black Friday sales started even before Halloween, and following Black Friday were Cyber Monday and a slew of last minute and super last minute sales.
With a holiday shopping season spanning three months people couldn’t keep track of what they were buying. They would grab something hastily to get the sale price. They’d buy the hot, new toy in case it sold out later, even if they weren’t sure their children wanted it.
By Christmas, many households had gifts hidden in every available space. On Christmas morning the piles of presents were taller than ever before.
People were ecstatic.
Children and adults ravished their loot from the shiny paper wrappings only to give a quick acknowledgement and move on to the next one. When all the presents were opened people took all the wrapping paper and packaging to the trash.
That was the problem.
After an unprecedented number of gifts there was an unprecedented amount of garbage. It spilled out of trash cans and dumpsters and into the streets, sidewalks, and alleyways. It was so bad that cars could not pass.
Someone got the idea to use snowplows to clear the streets. That succeeded in clearing the way for cars, but the houses in neighborhoods were then totally blocked in by the walls of trash.
The city promised to add extra crews to remove the trash, but the next day there was a horrible blizzard. Little could be done until the snow stopped, but by then it was too late.
The snow and ice collapsed the walls of garbage onto the houses. Some people were crushed. Others starved to death while waiting to be rescued. Those who survived were never the same.
So that is how Black Friday came to be a day of purging. A day to get rid of things you don’t need or don’t want and give them to others who may need or want those things.
Of course, there are a few who cling to the old ways. They live in tall towers where they feel their trash will never be able to crush them. They don’t even know where the trash chute goes.
This is a part of my Fiction Friday series. Related posts:
- The Groupie
- Misogyny accusations raise tensions at Santa’s workshop
- We didn’t cure cancer. We fed it.
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