It was early morning just after dawn but a dozen or so protesters were already tumbling out of a dilapidated old Winnebago near a hemp shop in downtown Portland. They got out slowly, stiffly, attempting to stretch despite lacking the physical coordination to even bend at the waist and touch their toes while keeping their balance.
“I think we’re just in time,” said someone. “Driving all night was a good idea. But that weed was too fucking much. I’m thinking, breakfast tacos.”
“Where is everyone?” asked a very thin woman wearing a pink “pussy hat” and a black t-shirt emblazoned with Animals > Humans across the front. “I didn’t think it would be this cold. I was going to take off my shirt and write “SLUT” in red lipstick across my chest.”
Several “No, don’ts” erupted amongst the crowd of social justice warriors. A man in a purple sequined dress and blonde wig wearing a rape whistle on a cord around his neck checked his clipboard and said, “Something’s not right, folks. We were supposed to meet up with at least three hundred people here today.”
“Well this is the only hemp shop around here, Loretta!” shouted a fat, blue-haired woman in some kind of European military surplus camo. “I told you we shouldn’t have hit that shit ’til after.”
“You hush now, Jack,” Loretta said, setting his phone on speaker. “That road trip was epic.”
“Loretta!” a voice shouted urgently against a backdrop of crowd noise. “Where are you?”
“I’m here,” he replied. “Portland. Where are you?”
“Same!” shouted the voice. “Things are going great! We need you. The Oregon State Police just arrived and–”
He ended the call quickly, his face darkening with deep shame, cracking his makeup around the corners of his mouth.
“Did he say, Oregon?” someone asked.
Loretta stared at the ground, scratching his stubble.
“Dumbass!” Jack-of-the-blue-hair shouted. “This is fucking Maine! How the fuck do you make a mistake like that?”
“Dude!” someone at the back of the group shouted, unaware of the geographical mishap. “I see the Pacific! This is awesome!”
“No that must be a lake. You can’t see the Pacific from here,” said a chubby male wearing a black plastic trash can. Wide straps had been fastened to the front and back to fit over his shoulders and hold it up. He wore a section of a black sweatpants leg with eyeholes as a hood beneath a dented catcher’s mask.
“Everyone please simmer down for a minute,” Loretta said to the rumbling group. “Let me think.”
They stood arguing about tacos and doughnuts, weed and mushrooms until a faint sound like a swarm of bees only more mechanical began intruding on their conversation.
“Do you hear that?” black trash can asked. “Sounds like…is someone using a camera drone? Did the cops deploy drones on us? Fucking pigs!”
A man standing at the back of the group wearing a “Beachside Sushi” t-shirt cocked his head. His eyes widened at the sound. He quickly grabbed a woman dressed like Jane Fonda in Barbarella and began running away from the intersection without shouting any kind of warning or calling attention to himself or his companion. They disappeared into the nearby hemp shop just as the armored motorcycle rider known popularly as The Samurai topped the hill a quarter mile away, grabbing big air as the screaming Kawasaki landed smoothly on the downward slope and bore down on the protestors.
“What the?” Jack said as the mysterious rider known popularly as The Samurai spun around, smoothly drawing his Koa katana and lightly scraped her temple as the masked rider flicked his wrist sending Jack’s blue wig into the gutter and down a storm drain. Everyone gasped at her skull-capped head.
“REVELATION!” yelled The Samurai as he executed a quick stoppie, pivoting sharply while tilted forward on his front tire with the rear wheel several feet up off of the pavement, and changed direction.
“Fraud!” yelled Loretta pointing at Jack. “That bitch wears a fucking rug!” he continued screaming at Jack while adjusting the binding straps of his form-fitting dress.
He was beginning to sweat which was causing his foundation to run, revealing light stubble. “Jason!” he yelled at the man wearing the black trash can who was attempting to run away. “Drop!”
Jason hit the pavement hard with his knees just as the Samurai swept past and dropped a hissing ferret into the gap between the man’s soft body and the trash can enclosing it.
Jason hit the ground and raised his fist in defiant victory. “Missed me you–” he began, then let out a bloodcurdling scream as the ferret began attacking his ample flesh. Unable to reach into the trash can to remove the errant weasel, Jason’s spastic flailing caused him to fall over and roll down the hill, his head and legs protruding from the barrel, his screams fading as the barrel swung wide left, popped a curb, and disappeared from sight still rolling down the hill through a playground.
“GEOGRAPHY!” shouted the Samurai, spinning once again. The Kawasaki’s engine screamed as he pointed it toward Loretta, whose heavy, running makeup gave him the appearance of a spent Alice Cooper after a marathon show.
Running over three women and another obese individual in a Wonder Woman outfit whose biology was unclear, Loretta screamed “OUT OF MY WAY, BITCH!” and sprinted for an organic bagel shop on the far corner of the intersection as The Samurai executed a perfect spin, outflanking him on the right. He swung the sword chest-high and broadside hard into the fleeing crossdresser.
The koa katana collided with Loretta’s chest, clotheslining him with such force that the katana snapped as Loretta dropped hard onto the pavement tearing loose dozens of purple sequins from his dress.
“SAMSARA!” the Samurai yelled as he executed three perfect donuts and sped back up the hill in the direction from which he had come. Patrons streamed from the coffee and bagel shops along the street, attempting to capture the action with their cell phone cameras, but all that would show upon playback was a dark blur beneath a canopy of elm branches and the sound of a screaming motorcycle engine.
Loretta sat up, surrounded by the glittering purple sequins, dabbing at his bleeding nose with the ragged hem of his dress.
“I’m going to get that guy,” he said to Jack who was sitting up nearby. “I will make him rue this day like the strong, independent woman I am.”
“Pull the dress down, dude,” she said. “Your junk is out.”
The protests in Oregon turned into riots that lasted throughout the weekend and resulted in millions in property damage and numerous arrests. Maine remained relatively quiet and undisturbed except for the few injured protestors from Nebraska who went east instead of west, the only disturbance caused by the mysterious rider known as The Samurai, last seen speeding away back through the shadows in the general direction of the rising sun.