The heat of the parking garage enveloped the Marines. Lance Corporal Stevenson Swinton worked his biceps, his triceps, his tapezius, his core. Sweat dropped like shell casings from a M240. Other lance corporals and corporals operated in similar fashion. Every move remained swift and precise. The idea was to get buff, sure. But the real reason behind all of this lifting, squatting, pressing, and yes sweating was to be the best Body Bearers. Swinton dropped the two hundred and twenty five pound bar on the bench press. He looked up at his platoon guide. A smirk found its way onto his face.
“When I first got here,” Sergeant Pella Mansley said, “I thought that I was the hotness. My CO punched me in the chest.” The words chilled Lance Corporal Chorus Lessing like frost on a tombstone.
The building looked like any office space. Instead of cubicles, just a few desks and computers occupied the area. The corporals, Cortland Carras and Samantha Hillinger sniggered. Only to themselves, however. They dared not let the gunny or staff sergeant see them laughing at the uniform of the Marine that outranked all of them in the room. Master Sergeant Kent Kipton wore the same digiprint camouflage uniform as the others. He pressed it and affixed his insignia in the proper places. The only thing that caught the attention of the corporals was the master sergeant’s sleeves. They looked like two flat monster truck tires rolled up just past his elbow. They looked like two soggy donuts approaching his upper arm.
The studio lights seemed to permeate through every crevice. Producers and electricians and other staff members busied about the space, ensuring that this show would be a knockout. This warm summer day became belied by the artificial lights and pumping air conditioning system. Makeup and hair crews applied their talents to the two figures on stage. Jill Mackey peered at her subject for tonight with slight disdain and a little wonderment. She stood 5'9" but could not compare to the 6'8" of Mr. Taylor Goshon. Jill revealed nothing that would indicate her 57 years on this earth. She wore a purple pantsuit with pearls and buttons and matching pumps. Goshon exhibited his 63 years of life with a thin grey beard that wrapped around his visage. He wore a light blue shirt and dark suit, a grey and white striped tie, and brown loafers.
Gold and platinum balusters with encrusted diamonds sparkled like bioluminescent creatures. The king and queen stood at the top of the stairs and walked with elegance and precision. They journeyed down the spiral case with as much splendor and care as befitting royalty. Their black skin shone against the white garments that covered their bodies. The queen showed honey brown skin and donned a full length gown. She displayed relaxed, flowing blonde hair. The king’s skin showed medium brown and he sported short locks with a pristine mess dress uniform. Once they reached the bottom of the stairs, a gaggle of photogs snapped pictures with flashes lighting up like bottle rockets. They made their way to the grand ballroom stage where everyone in attendance shot to their feet. “The Star-Spangled Banner” played from the live orchestra. This was America.
“You mean I can’t even get a square? No e-cigs? Nothing?” The woman shook her head no and placed a patch on her arm. Her eyes rolled back in her head. “Damn, that feels good.” This spring day, where the blossoms have burst open bearing the gifts of the trees, saw the predawn decades before the Great Transition in the state of Delaware. Before every right was respected, the lawmakers had to tinker with the apparatus. Yellin Boer, gaunt and smart in dress and appearance, strolled up to the counter to buy some nicotine gum.