art by Junior McLean
P is for Parade
by Tim Pratt, Jenn Reese, Heather Shaw, Greg van Eekhout
A parade is still the very best thing. Mother and Father bring all us children out, the youngest infants still umbilicaled, and stand us in front of the shops of Main Street to watch the parade go by. It begins with the riders on horses trotting and dancing and bright ribbons flying. Then come the marching bands, their great, elephantine bodies blowing stomach gas from their tuned chrome pipes. Blorf! Fwoot! Tweet! The fire engines, polished to brilliant red, trail behind in case a stray spark should ignite a cloud of bass notes.
Next come the old veterans, marching in smart precision despite their age. Their uniforms are threadbare, their boots worn, their eyebeams cooled by time to benign red wavelengths. The mayor stands in the back of a car, smiling and waving, his udder swollen with milk, which he squirts into the mouths of our poorest citizens.