Nothing but Flowers

Everyone was happy. That’s what gave me the weird feeling in my gut. People are never happy for more than a few days at a time. Maybe a week. After that, they create friction for themselves if something doesn’t show up. If their family life is fine, they look at work; if work is fine, they turn to the national picture. With the alt-right recently re-elected to the White House, it wasn’t hard to find political strife. Trip over your shoelace in even the smallest town and someone’s accusing you of being a “Dumbocrat” or a member of the American Nazi Party.

But Twitter’s circlejerk of deplorables had shut up. Tumblr’s extreme social leftists had quieted down. Both sides had only one message: peace.

In no time, the gun debate had evaporated in a cloud of apathy. Some gave their weapons away, those who liked the way they looked or felt on their hip kept them but never loaded them. A group of drunk Border Patrol agents tied part of the fence to a dump truck and pulled it down. They drank with the locals that night.

“Worldwide Utopia” was the headline on the last issue of the New York Times. They didn’t go out of business per se, but people simply stopped coming in to report the news. They would rather attend the all day (and all night) music festivals in Central Park, all genres of music welcome.

Prison gates clicked open and stayed that way. All prisons. Even Guantanamo. The inmates tore off their orange jumpsuits and ate handful after handful of free street tacos from local vendors.

Someone, probably a DJ on one of those niche Sirius channels, started playing that Talking Heads song (Nothing but) Flowers on repeat. It grew. And it stuck. The last time I saw a Billboard chart, it was at Number 1. It became our anthem.

And it started to come true. We did tear sown shopping malls to replace them with fields of daisies. We turned Howitzers, anti-aircraft guns, and tanks into planters filled to brimming with fruiting plants and herbs. We took sledgehammers to our houses of law; we didn’t need them. There was no more murder, no more violence. Just peace.

Even those of us who didn’t feel the worldwide tug of brotherly affection didn’t resort to violence. Maybe it did affect us a little. Maybe we could have knocked the rose-colored glasses from society’s nose if we bloodied our hands.

Instead, we connected on the internet, talked, theorized, planned. Was this heaven, the result of some Tranhumanist designer happiness virus, a massive shared hallucination?

One of us, some guy in India, noticed a couple NASA sattelites returning wonky results. We could see them through live feeds; hundreds of saucer-shaped ships. Thousands.

When they landed, humanity put up no resistance. They had pacified us too well. Even if we tried, all our defenses had become grain silos and orchards.

There aren’t many of us left.

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