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The young but regal looking President Lineal Row, with his golden hair and posh voice, spoke before the gathered assembly, “I hereby declare that the State of Us is founded! And in this nation, all humans are humans, and perfect balance will reign supreme.” 

Fifty years later, on the exact day, the State of Us had become the most prosperous nation in all the world. Everyone lived in a beautiful, clean, safe world. And all were very happy. All were very human. 

“Look what you have created,” said Mrs. Row, seated on a couch in the main office, to Lineal as he stood just outside on a balcony at the great capitol. “Fifty years.” 

“Yes, we have done it.” 

He looked over the Capitol, and recalled when it was but lowly buildings and fields – and now the skyscrapers and streets, along with the smart and happy humans. 

“Have you noticed,” his wife asked, “the work of the new artist about us?” 

“Which one?” 

“I’m not sure of his name, but he puts those two curly horns on everything. Stencils.” 

“Ah yes, I did see one of those on a wall as I was being driven. I don’t know what I feel about the graffiti, but it’s quite a talent.” 

“I like it too, it moves me.” 

She rose up and walked toward him, laying her hand on his shoulder and they both stared over the city from the balcony. “Would you like to go over your speech again?” 

“No, I know it very well. Thank you though.” 

There was a knock at the door. 

“Come in.” 

“Sir, we should go,” said his portly assistant. “I’m afraid there is a parade beginning – we may be blocked.” 

“Right then,” said Lineal, “let’s go.” 

As they drove through the city streets, the people walked and smiled. There were many humans out – ready to celebrate the Golden Founding. 

Many noticed his motorcade, and cheered, and cheered very loudly.

“They love you so much,” said Mrs. Row. 

He put down the window some, and waved out and shook some hands. 

“Row! Row! Row!” they chanted. 

But suddenly there was a commotion and the crowd began to part: a man was breaking through the crowd. Row just happened to see the man’s wild eyes – it was a black-haired man with a blondish moustache, and fierceness in his face. Right before the man got to the car, he raised up, like someone taking a deep breath before plunging under the water, but instead of sinking down – the man drove his head into the window of the door shattering it! Glass flew all over the backseat, into Row’s mouth and eyes. 

The man’s head exploded in blood, and flapped open with a massive, skull-revealing laceration. 

Before his Security pushed the crowd back and sped off, he heard the nearly dead man who was on the ground, say, “Not us!” 

“What the hell was that!” said Row as they drove away. 

“Are you okay, Sir and Madame,” asked the driver. 

“Yes, yes, I am fine. What the hell was that?” 

“A lunatic sir, a lunatic.” 

“Son of a bitch,” he said. “I have blood all over my shirt.” 

“We can get another.” 

 

***

 

President Row arrived at his speech. Was changed out of his shirt. All the dignitaries were there, seated behind him. Many of them were the men who had been there at the founding of the State of Us. 

There was the playing of the anthem, and several speeches by other politicians. He sat and listened, still a bit shaken by the incident earlier, but happy it was over. 

After nearly an hour, Row rose to give his speech. The people cheered wildly. 

He began: “Fifty years ago today, we created the State of Us, and proclaimed, all humans are humans!” 

There were more cheers and all rose, and he paused to let the people celebrate. About three hundred thousand of them. 

He was about to go on, when he noticed in the front row, near the stage, several hundred people stand up as the crowd settled from their standing ovation. 

There were perhaps about five hundred of them, and suddenly, they began – with their heads, ramming into the stage, over and over again. The entire platform shook and swayed. Row looked around confused at the others on the stage. They were in shock as well. 

He looked back out over the mass, and saw streaming through the crowd, with their heads down, other souls ramming and bucking. They were bucking into anyone who was not likewise bucking with them!  

The mass of people began to stampede, some were getting trampled. Security quickly whisked President Row away. 

They were placed back into the car, but were soon followed by people ramming into the car with their heads! 

“Shoot them!” said Row, “shoot them! They will kill us!” 

“But are guns have never been used,” one said. 

“Use them now!” 

“On the humans?” they asked. 

Row shook and nodded. 

Security opened fire, dropped many of them, but it didn’t stop the rampage completely. The entire way through the city, people ran up and bucked their heads into the car. 

Until they got behind the President’s residence gates, they were attacked the entire way. 

President Row got out and looked at his heavily dented transport. 

“By God,” he said. 

 

***

 

The President was surrounded by his team members in his office. “What is going on?” 

“They call themselves the Buckers,” said the intelligence chief. “They are the ones behind the horn stencils, if you have seen —” 

“Yes, yes I’ve seen them,” said the President annoyed, “what do they want?” 

“They have no leader,” said his Vice President, “it seems spontaneous. And it’s not just one artist putting the horns all over the city. But many people it appears are doing so.” 

“But,” said his Press Secretary, “there has been a sort of statement issued in the past hour, a slogan appearing with the horn stencils.” 

“Well, what’s it say?” 

“NOT US.” 

“Huh?” 

“What’s that mean?” 

There was a silence in the room. “Well?” said the President.  

“I don’t know how to say this,” said the intelligence chief. 

“Say what! Spit it out for God’s sake!” 

“They do not agree with you on the grounds…” 

“Yes say it.” 

“On the grounds that all are humans. They claim they are not so. They seem to think they are different.” 

“What!” said the President, his sharp tone cracking into a smile – “I mean what?” 

“They claim they are inhuman.” 

“Why?” 

“They claim they are treated differently than others” 

“But on what grounds?” 

“Well,” said a woman, the Attorney General, “so far we don’t know. They claim that they are not balanced. That they are harassed.” 

“Where are they from? Are they educated?” 

“Our best schools. All of them.” 

“Is the equal abundance off or something?” 

“Sir, as you know,” said the Vice President, “there is no poverty in the nation. No crime. Everything is very neatly organized. Everyone has plenty. Everyone is well represented. We checked the numbers again – there seems to be no unbalance whatsoever.” 

“It reminds me of the days before our founding,” said the President, “before all humans were humans. But now all humans are humans.” 

“I do not get it,” said the Director of Intelligence, “why do they claim they are not human? Not us?” 

“They are human,” said the President, “my God, everyone sees them as human, right? That is clearly the case. How can they not feel that? See that?” 

Suddenly, one of the two black suited guards at the door, dropped his handgun, the clanky metal noise made everyone turn. The guard was grabbing the sides of his head and had his eyes squeezed tightly. 

“Are you sick my boy?” asked the Vice President. The Vice President really liked this man.

The guard said nothing, and then seem to catch sight of a marble bust of the President. He suddenly lowered his head, and sprinted full speed, and bucked into it! He knocked himself out and shattered the bust. 

“What in the hell was that! What are you doing!” 

Everyone in the room was standing. The other guard seemed scared. “I think you better put down your gun,” said the Vice President.  

The guard nodded, and gently set down his weapon. 

“We should go down to the media room and make an announcement,” said the Director of Communications, “Now.” 

“What will I say?” 

“Re-state the belief that everyone in the State of Us is human. Make sure they know it. All education, money, and so forth is abundantly equal.” 

“Yes, I will.” 

 

*** 

 

The group rushed down to the media room. As they were walking, a young man came up quickly, and bowed his head – President Row started back, and the remaining security guard jumped in to protect the leader.   

“Oh,” said the young man raising his head, “I guess I shouldn’t do that bowing thing today. My apologies.”

“No, my son,” you better not said President Row.

“But I have to tell you: we have reports all over the nation that, well, some people are bucking into anyone who is not bucking. There is a growing animosity toward those who do not buck, who see all as human. It is getting bloody and violent. The buckers are doing damage to others, property, and themselves.” 

“We must hurry,” said the Vice President. “We must calm them, tell them they are human. Your voice must still carry weight. You made this world.” 

“Um,” said the young man, “I’m sorry to interrupt, but our reports are telling us that what irritates them most is to tell them they are human.” 

“Well, I am not going to lie,” said the President, “they just need to be reminded, forcibly, about reality. About what this nation stands for. We have to reiterate, the message has been lost.” 

The President sat at this desk in front of three large video cameras. He turned and looked behind him through a large bay window out to the lawn in front of the Presidential residence. A mass of people were now at the gate bucking against it with their heads and bucking any people who had not started bucking! Those unbucking people were trying to climb the gates and escape. “God Almighty,” he said. 

He looked back toward the camera, the Director of Communications nodded at him, and the light flashed on “LIVE!” He began. 

“My fellow humans in the State of Us. Please listen to me. Please hear me. You really are all human. Each of us. All of us. Look down at your hands. See your hands.” 

Here he raised his own hand and looked at it. “You see, five fingers!” He wiggled them.

“And you see here,” he said, as he touched his head, “a human head.” 

But as he touched his head he started. He thought he heard the sound of two pieces of wood hitting each other. He looked back at his hand, perplexed. His eyes grew large and frightened. He saw before him, not five fingers but a large, split hoof. 

He moved the hoof to the top of his head, and banged it twice against what seemed to be – yes – horns. Enormous curling horns! 

“My state!” he said. 

He looked at his other hand – it too was a hoof! 

Suddenly, his face bent into anger, his eyes squinted. His mind began spitting out words: How unfair is it that I am President! This is not fair! This is not real power! I am poor. I am hated. I am not human – not in the eyes of anyone! 

He rose up, and said to the camera, “Not us!” 

He then bucked through the window, shattering it, gashing his face, and running out toward the gate, bucking the entire way. As he did this, the gate was pushed over, and all the buckers together bucked at the remaining humans until they were transformed or were no more. And then they bucked at each other all over the nation. 

 

THE END