I was slightly blackmailed into attendance, seeing as I’d kicked his dog. Not deliberately, but enough to maybe bruise a rib. So there I was. The rally. Rallying against—well, it seemed to me—whatever was going. Thousands of them: activists, I supposed. He made me hold a sign that promoted what was no doubt a powerful and damning acrostic, but one rendered nonsensical by his abysmal handwriting. Looking around me, I marvelled at the wasted time and talent that had gone into all the signs, costumes and general papier-mâché constructions. All this art in aid of what generally amounted to just shouting and stomping. Suddenly, a roar from the crowd, and a figure leapt above our heads: a crude scarecrow in a business suit, taffeta hair streaming from its pinched-pillow head. A chant rose up above the crowd’s hum—Burn, Burn, Burn—and the figure’s clothes shot through suddenly with flame, shocking me, inciting a shout from my own mouth—Burn, Burn, Burn—


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