Turtledove
Advertisement
Terrific Leader
Fictional Character
"The Terrific Leader"
Future Dystopia
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: Between 2017 and 2030
Parents: Unnamed mother
and father

Kim was a young woman who resided in a small village in the United States. She'd been born after the Terrific Leader came to power. She lived with her mother in an apartment. Her father had been declared an enemy of the state and taken by the police - three years later, she didn't know whether he was in a prison camp or had simply been executed. Despite this, both Kim and her mother maintained unshakable faith in the Terrific Leader. They had three portraits of him in their apartment.[1]

Despite the arrival of a blizzard, the government had not delivered a promised shipment of coal. Consequently, there was no power in the mornings, and Kim and her fellow villagers slept fully clothed at night. All the trees within a day's walk had been cut down.[2] Because resources were limited, Kim spent her days foraging; resources she and her mother did have were stretched and reused as much as possible.[3] During one such expedition, she found that her neighbors, the Parks, had placed the body of their eldest son out in street in front of their house. The ground was too frozen to bury him.[4] She also met the large dog that belonged to Old Man Lee, who'd caught a rabbit. She envied Old Man Lee; she couldn't remember the last time she'd eaten meat.[5]

She went to the village's harvest ground and began looking for grain. She met another young woman named Kim. They greeted each other by wishing Heaven's blessings on the Terrific Leader. Then both foraged independently so they didn't have to split what they found. Kim found first mushrooms, then grain. After she put some distance between herself and the other young woman, Kim inspected the snares she'd set out, and was delighted to find a big rat, hanged like a leftist deviationist.[6] Her mother was similarly delighted, knowing that they'd be able to eat for a while.[7]

Power came on after two that afternoon. A little while after, Kim, her mother, and the rest of the village gathered in the square watched the Terrific Leader's speech on the community televisor (which, like radio, was tightly controlled by the state to block out the outside world's lies). The Terrific Leader, wearing a red ball cap that proclaimed "America is Great Again", extolled his plan for putting America first, for ending crime and restoring order, pronounced that the country's border wall had helped keep the country safe, and proclaimed that he respected the dignity of work and of working people. He signed off again with another motto: "America first." For her part, Kim cried, realizing that she couldn't help it: she loved the Terrific Leader.[8]

References[]

  1. Welcome to Dystopia: 45 Visions of What Lies Ahead, Gordon van Gelder, editor, loc. 1557-1569, ebook.
  2. Ibid., loc. 1557.
  3. Ibid., loc. 1569.
  4. Ibid. loc. 1587.
  5. Ibid. loc. 1587-1602.
  6. Ibid, loc. 1602-1617.
  7. Ibid., loc. 1617.
  8. Ibid. loc. 1617-1632.
Advertisement