by J.R. Gerow
from Cherry Hill Publishing
Leroy Spasmo, aged 53, a neurotic recluse in the South Carolina boonies, addicted to digital media and conspiracy theories, loses it one night after his internet service is cut, decides (completely plastered) to burn down the house he has squatted on for the last 15 years (legally his ex-wife’s) and skip town, stopping along the way only to unload six bullets through the front window of his digital services provider, Blip Mobile and Media, who everybody knows is spying for the government.
Leroy slurringly takes a brief video of himself soap-boxing against the powers that be with the gun in his hand just as he takes his shots into the empty storefront. Leroy blacks out. His video uploads to the internet. He is picked up within minutes by the local police. But Leroy’s video goes viral and he becomes the unlikely leader of a new political movement, seemingly embodying forces larger than himself. There are vindictive rightwing operatives, bleeding heart liberal senators, leaks, conspiracies, counter conspiracies, preferred pronouns, subreddits, escape plans, cue cards, a growing group of true believers, and G-men in the produce aisle.
Fast forward and the crowd on the National Mall is in the millions. A text message prompts the crowd that they are about to storm the Capitol and a slew of barricades are ripped down as a rush of unruly protestors surges forward. Leroy steps towards the mic and . . . .