Author: Irene Montaner

The pink young woman was followed by a green man. A deafening explosion and hundreds of sparkly green dots illuminated the night sky. His features could be properly distinguished against the darkness. A middle-aged frowning man; he wore glasses and was already going bald.
The people cheered and clapped their hands gladly, forgetting for a while the hardships of their daily life in this brand-new global autocracy. Tonight, and only for one night, was a time of celebration to commemorate the first five years of peace since the arrival of the Mayor to power.
Everyone marveled at those splendid fireworks that depicted human and animal shapes so realistically. Some said it was the Mayor himself who came up with this new powder mix that rendered such beautiful fireworks. Most people knew this wasn’t true, though, but they played along and passed on the lie. This is how you got by these days.
A pretty couple closed the show. A golden boy and a silver girl illuminated the sky one last time, their sad faces clearly signifying the end of the happy holiday. Everyone was to go home and be up tomorrow at 6 am, just in time for the pledge of loyalty to the Mayor’s government.

“Seems like people enjoyed the show,” said a coarse voice. Ton looked up to see Joris’ face emerging through the smoke that still hung in the air.
“Yeah,” Ton replied and continued cleaning the debris that was left after an hour of fireworks. “We’ll see what we can grind for next year’s celebrations. Each day there are fewer dissidents left.”
Joris shrugged. “Never mind, I’m sure the Mayor will provide us with some other useless souls. There’s always something unsettling about them anyway, the dissidents. They don’t sparkle as much as the rest.”