Commonwealth, XXVI: The Jungle

Commonwealth, XXVI: The Jungle March 13, 2020

Commonwealth: A Novel of Utopia, part 1, chapter 7

Author’s Note: This is an excerpt from my novel Commonwealth. The rest of today’s installment is free, but only on my Patreon site. If you want to read the next part today, it’s already up on Patreon as well. You can sign up for as little as $1/month, or $2 for exclusive author’s notes and behind-the-scenes material. There’s also a table of contents for all published chapters.

Well, I guess it’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you, Rae thought with gallows humor.

At dinner that night, Michael had confessed what he’d discovered. Zoe had burst into hysterical tears.

“He wouldn’t show me who else was on it,” Michael said, “but I can guess. It’s everyone from SSJ and the other social-justice clubs at Westchester. Probably other universities too. I guess the billionaires think we’re troublemakers.”

“It’s just spite,” Zoe said bitterly. “How can we be a threat to them? They own everything. The land, the water, the money, the jobs, the government. We’re a handful of poor romantics who have no power, no chance to change things. They’ve won. But because we dream of how the world could be better, they take pleasure in grinding our faces into the dirt. They’ll never be satisfied until they’ve stamped out the last flicker of hope.”

“Don’t give up yet. It’s not that bad,” Rae assured her friend.

She was aware of the incongruity of saying this to Zoe.

Normally, she’s the optimistic one.

“How do you figure?” Zoe asked. Skepticism and a desperate hopefulness warred in her eyes.

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