12/9- Economic analysts in Nor Easter noticed something strange early this month: a sharp dip in sales in marketplaces throughout the capital city, Oeil de Fleur. The sharp decline in business came along with the release of the newest installment of Clement Aldridge Kene’s “The Gutted Earth”, a new novel being published serially in a popular penny dreadful, “Strange Stories Monthly”.
“I can most certainly verify that it is that [expletive removed] book,” said one shop owner, a purveyor of accessories and personal embellishments for steam-autos. “They loiter around outside, these strange young men and women in costume, handing out flyers and talking about how we’re all going to be living in caves before long. They’re annoying my customers and scaring them away! I tried telling them I don’t have anything to do with the Blackwood industry. They just shot me this dumb smirk and went back to handing out their tacky little flyers.”
Those ‘tacky little flyers’ have been a headache to residents around the city, as they typically get tossed away by the people they’re handed to.
“Main street looks like a giant clown vomited on it,” said one woman. “You can see soggy green, yellow, blue and red pieces of paper all over the place; up in trees, clogging up gutters, stuck to the side walk. It’s disgusting. And kind of funny, considering all the flyers are talking about saving the environment, or some such nonsense.”
One of our correspondents in the city confronted one of the young fans, and questioned her about her intentions.
“It’s our duty to tell people the truth,” she said. “Perhaps they don’t want to hear it. And perhaps we are annoying. But sometimes the only way to get people to notice something is to take a big stick and knock them over the head with it (speaking strictly metaphorically, of course. Don’t actually do that). I mean, look. You’re here, asking me about this. That never would have happened if we simply gathered in a park or posted on bulletin boards like we are expected to. You say people aren’t reading our flyers, but they sure notice them laying in the street. We didn’t throw them there…they did. It’s time for them—no, us, all of us—to take notice. Just NOTICE, at the very least, what we’re doing. And ideally, take responsibility.”
Authorities are at a loss at what to do. The protestors are hurting business, but their hands are tied.
“We would like nothing more than to go in and break things up, or get them to move to zones designated for such things,” said Juste Chesneau, Chief of the Department of Public Safety and Protection of Imperial Interests. “But it would seem that Empress Marcellette Bastian herself has taken a liking to the stories, and an interest in these kids. We cannot make a move on them without her approval, unless an immediate threat to public safety occurs.”