LGBTQ+ Drama Speculative

When I was a little girl my father said I could be anything. At the age of fifteen, when I came out, he told me I could love whomever I wanted. With acceptance also came an abundance of warnings, but it was acceptance nonetheless. 

When I turned eighteen he told me that I could no longer be that person.

That was the year Drucker was elected. We watched it on the television, me on my side of the couch, clutching the last remnant of my childhood, Mr. Pigglesmith, my father on the edge of his seat, elbows resting on his knees, hands clasped tightly before him.

I’d never seen him like that before. He was eerily silent, intense and unblinking. 

When Drucker was assured his ascension to the highly contentious seat, my father turned off the television and stood, staring off into some distance my eyes could not fathom. 

“Follow me,” he said.

We went into my bedroom where my father started to pack away certain things that identified me. I protested briefly, but when he turned his gaze upon me I nodded acquiescence. I understood what he was about, and though I didn’t possess the same sense of foreboding that he did, I nonetheless thought the good fight best saved for another day. 

Unfortunately, that day never came.

Drucker’s first point of order came about in the isolation of our once great nation. He closed our borders to all, north and south, east and west. Trade ground to a halt. We became self sufficient, and the things we lost became illegal and morally undesirable. 

That word…undesirable.

It became a banner, a rallying cry for all the hate and paranoia that I never knew existed. Millions rallied to this call, and before we knew it the word took on a new connotation to include more than just goods. It began to include people. 

The immigrants were first. They were easy targets. Any and all that were first generation fell victim to the initial wave of roundups. Herded to detention centers, classified, and then ferried off to different rehabilitation programs. They were to be ingrained with The New Path, the nationwide plan that laid out the steps to the reclamation of our former glory, whatever that meant. 

But that wasn’t enough.

Next Gens, or the second generation, was next, and then the third. Someone, somewhere, in the deep cogs of the thinking machine that ran the gears of oppression and silence, decided that this was the threshold of loyalty.

Soon, anyone who was fourth generation started planting the new flag on their front lawns and wearing Drucker hats and shirts, and the immigration roundups ended. 

I wish I could say it stopped there, that our esteemed leader was satisfied with the programs and the promise that only loyalists would find their way out of what was, even then, being labeled ‘camps’, but lies are uncomfortable bedfellows.

In a fiery speech broadcast across every screen in the nation, Drucker expanded the term ‘undesirables’ to include the biblically sinful. That’s when I knew that my father’s foresight had been correct all along. 

Another wave of roundups proceeded, and soon new camps were created to house the incoming traffic of any and all who showed the slightest sexual proclivity away from the established hetero. 

I, thankfully, had been safe from those machinations, erring on the side of caution, except in hindsight it wasn’t an error at all but a prescient precaution brought about by the extreme paranoia I inherited from my father. 

I’m not sure how long I could have lived that life, perhaps years, if it had not been for the letter I received when I turned nineteen, the same year that Drucker abolished the term limits. 

A mandatory online aptitude test proclaimed me gifted in engineering, and I was to report to the college for immediate education. My father was dead set against my attendance, considering several options, chief among them an Underground Railroad he had heard about that gave a whisper of a chance to the southern border, but ultimately he deemed it too risky. The only recourse was to feign malady, but that would also mean surveillance for several years, and I wasn’t certain I could keep up such pretense. 

I, in my naïveté, thought I could pass as a loyalist much better than I could an AO, or an autoimmune. I assured my father that my thoughts would be kept within the confines of my mind and that my actions would mirror those around me. It took some convincing and some practice, but I had a whole three months to prepare, and soon I was able to emulate even the most fervent of loyalists. 

By fall I was ready.

That first semester was not too difficult. I excelled in my studies, kept to myself. There were overtures of friendship and more, over eager boys who thought themselves the equivalent of royalty, able to trace their lineage back to the Old West, but I rebuffed these advances, remaining true to my fictitious boyfriend back home. This was enough to dissuade even the most intent of would be suitors. 

Loyalty was something that all understood. 

By the middle of the second semester I had fallen into a comfortable rhythm. My education even became enjoyable. It was nice to be recognized for what was inside, even if it was only a small portion of who I claimed to be. 

All would have been well…until the day that I saw her.

I cannot describe adequately with words the feeling I had when first I glimpsed those eyes, the way she gifted me with that lopsided smile across a roomful of our peers, an acknowledgement of an extremely difficult question that I was able to posit when no one else could. 

When she accosted me after class to congratulate me, I was at a loss for words. I felt, oh how I felt, as if the rapid beat of my heart spoke a language that, could it be heard, would bridge the divide that had grown between me and my desires.

 It started meekly, the both of us too cautious to extend more than the branch of friendship. Study sessions in the library amidst the public eye, the same lunch table shared in the cafeteria. Eventually we grew braver, or perhaps just foolishly complicit. 

We attended a screening of a new movie, a brackish attempt at comedy wherein the male leads struggled with courting the same woman, only to realize that she was fourth gen, leading to their spurning of her in the end and embracing their newfound camaraderie. Everyone laughed as expected and so did we, though our laughter was contemptuous of our audience. 

Later that night there was a knock at my door. She was there, a hood pulled low over her face. The door was barely closed and locked behind us before we came together. 

How do I describe love?

I cannot tell you what love means. I can only tell you what it meant to me.

I inhaled her like air…into my lungs, my heart, my soul, her breath mingling with mine. I could feel her pulse through her skin, thumping beneath my fingertips, sending little waves of electricity coursing through my body.

We made love awkwardly but it was love.

It was more than I’d ever had and not enough at the same time. 

The next day was different. I was lighter than I’d been since I was a little girl, when my mother used to sing terribly to songs I loved just to make me laugh, and my father’s embrace was all I needed to feel safe in the world.

I don’t know how we were revealed. In the end, it didn’t matter. 

They grabbed me right outside of class, before I even entered the building. 

I never saw her again.

What followed was a mixture of hazy memories. I was given a shot to pacify me, a cocktail of hallucinogens and barbiturates to prevent future recollection of processing. Vague images of a steel room, standing naked, stinging powder that burned my skin and eyes, a cold hose. The only clear memory came when I was tattooed. I puzzled over the mixture of letters and numbers, attempting to decipher the message, but it seemed random, senseless.

After the processing center they loaded me and a bunch of others into the back of a van. I couldn’t see them. The black bag over my head prohibited that, but I could hear them, smell them, sense them. 

I lost track of the turns and even dozed a bit. When we stopped hours later I was still groggy from the cocktail, but I felt present enough to wonder about the others that accompanied me. Were they, like me, the provocateur of a forbidden love, or the worshiper of false gods, a collector of outlawed texts? 

When they unloaded us, a different guard took each of us in different directions. The bag was ripped of my head and I was finally privy to the sight of my new home. 

What can I say? When the word ‘camp’ comes to mind I recall textbook photos taken nearly a century ago of tall barbed fences with guards, closely packed barracks, skeletons wrapped in skin, gaunt and haunted as they shuffled aimlessly in oversized uniforms, waiting for something, anything, to come and alter the incessant sense of hopelessness that enveloped the entire place like a shroud.

This place was no different, barring the modern additions of cameras and electrified batons, and in the main yard a single large television screen behind a thick pane of bulletproof glass with two large speakers on either side. 

It was my first impression of Rehabilitation Camp B13, and it was a dour one.

Life in the camp was initially suffused with fear, fear that there would be a plethora of abuse from the guards, or that the ‘prisoners’ practiced a hierarchy of intimidation and violence as seen in the old movies. Perhaps food would be used as an incentive, or worse, the absence of it as a deterrent to aberrant behavior.

I found that none of these factors applied. Oh, there was fear, no doubt about it. At times, the guards would come for one of us. It was very specific and quick. They’d enter through the gate, already oriented on one of the undesirables. There would be a brief struggle, mostly due to surprise, and within a few seconds they’d be dragging the unconscious person out, never to be seen again. 

It was best not to think what happened to them.

There was no mingling, not out of fear of reciprocation from the guards, but because our misery was too all encompassing to include any ray of light. We had been taken away from our families, from our loved ones, from the world, and placed in purgatory for our sins. 

We are, dear brother, now all citizens…of one true place.

It’s always Dante that came to me. 

We are all just waiting to die.

A few months after my arrival I received a letter telling me my father passed away at the age of 56. His estate had been sold and bequeathed to the state. In compensation, I received a free year’s supply of feminine products. My father’s life for a few boxes of pads. 

It was the first and only time I cried in the camp.

The main yard was just a place for us to amble about with no clear direction in mind. It wasn’t that exercise was a requirement or a necessity. Rather, it was a product of tedium. There was nothing else to do. Sometimes a small crowd would gather in front of the television to hear fiery speeches of condemnation from our leader as another select group joined the list of undesirables. It made me wonder who would be left to live in that world. 

I don’t think I would have lasted much longer if it had not been for Matumaini. 

He appeared one night behind the glass, a tall dark imposing figure of a man who, for all his intensity, exuded goodwill and hope. His speeches were different, a platform of regret and condemnation for the policies that had become commonplace over the last decade, slowly transforming into a fierce denunciation of The New Path, much to the surprise of us all. 

Matumaini was the front runner for the independent party, and though such a position had been deemed laughable in the past, the polling of the nation was beginning to prove otherwise. 

His name meant ‘hope’ in his language, and we were beginning to understand that it was more than just a name or a word, but the essence of all that had been suppressed long ago. 

The crowd around the television grew nightly, until each and every one of us was tuning in. Even the sickly came, carried betwixt helping hands. None would dare miss a speech. 

He said we needed to be brave, to stand up to those who would keep us down. There were no undesirables, only the intolerant. All had lost some, and some had lost all. It was time to bring back our fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, daughters and sons. It was time to open the borders and stop letting fear rule our lives. It was time to take back our future, our freedom.

I felt exhilarated. It was like a rebirth. Where I had been invisible, I felt seen again. We started to awaken, to remember who we were. Conversations were tentative at first, the merest of greetings and introductions, but soon we huddled in groups in front of the television, talking quickly and quietly in earnest, waiting for the next wave of hope to grace the screen.

It was three months before the election, and disaster struck in the form of an intended bullet. Matumaini went down in front of our eyes. The television shut off as the security detail swarmed towards their charge. We all stood shocked and anxious, looking very much like a funeral procession when we were herded back to the barracks.

Each night we huddled waiting for news. Finally, nine days later, he reappeared on our screens, looking gaunt, accompanied by a wheelchair, but with the same fiery determination in his voice. The message was clear. No assassin could stop the message.   

The night of the election it rained, a veritable downpour. It was like a summer rain, warm and soothing. Standing in front of the darkened screen, awaiting our deliverance, I held my gaze to the heavens and let the water bless me with its cleansing ablution.

All conversation ceased when the news came on. We huddled together, hands pressed against the glass. A familiar face sat at a familiar desk, the graphs behind him exemplifying just how close we were to realizing a new reality. 

“This has been an unprecedented race, my fellow patriots. Absolutely unprecedented. I just want to thank everyone out there who turned out for the polls. We know that this is the largest turnout in recorded history. We saw earlier on our broadcast that lines as long as four city blocks have amassed in our nations largest urban areas. People have been waiting all day just to cast their vote. In some instances-”

Here he stopped, cut off by whatever hidden voice spoke to him. Finger to his ear, he stayed silent for a long time, staring off camera. There was a moment when the side of his mouth twitched, but it was gone before it could be analyzed. When he finally looked back to his audience, his face was an unreadable mask.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I have just received word. A winner has been declared-”

The television went dark. The yard lights came on.

We looked around, blinking drearily as if roused from a deep slumber. 

“What’s going on?” an older lady asked next to me.

“I…I don’t know.”

The bedtime horn sounded, the blaring blunt and unequivocal. 

No one moved. 

We backed away from the glass television as a trio of guards came towards us, beating their batons against their shields.

One man, at the front of the crowd, screamed at them and turned to slam his fists against the glass. He went down with the first hit but refused to stay there. They surrounded him, taking turns with their clubs, methodical and precise. 


It was out of my mouth before I realized it. The word punctuated the air, ringing in my ears, echoing across the yard. 

The guards turned as one and started to walk towards me.

“No more,” I seethed, surprised by my own vehemence. 

The guard closest to me raised his baton, but it never fell. He was quickly grabbed by others near me. The weapon fell from his hapless grip as they dragged him to the ground. His screams were cut short quickly. The other two guards stood frozen to their spots. 

An alarm blared and the gate opened. A dozen guards packed tightly together marched toward us. I bent over and picked up the baton. 

I was thinking of my mother, of my father, of my love. I thought of all the things that were wrong with this world.

“NO MORE!” I screamed…and we surged as one, towards the guards, towards the future, towards freedom.

February 23, 2024 21:10

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Graham Kinross
11:06 Mar 25, 2024

I have nightmares about similar scenarios. It’s horrible that some of the worst dictators were voted in initially and the tightened their grip on power while people approved of them. By the time opinion shifts it’s too late. This is as poignant now as ever, it shouldn’t be but it’s relevant.


HC Edwards
23:20 Mar 25, 2024

I concur…it was heading in the direction of acceptance for so long but recently it seems that people want to impress upon others what they should think and feel. My father, who is from the old generation, inspired this story because we were watching some news and saw the list of newly banned books in Florida…his response was, “next thing you know, they’ll be banning gay people, then immigrants, and you think it’ll stop there? Nope, then it’ll be Jewish people and everyone else who isn’t what they want them to be…”


Graham Kinross
23:52 Mar 25, 2024

Yeah… what a world we live in. I’m not sure about the book but this reminds me of the film V for Vendetta.


HC Edwards
01:58 Mar 29, 2024



Graham Kinross
07:20 Mar 29, 2024

You saw it or read it?


HC Edwards
00:24 Mar 31, 2024

I’ve seen it but not read it. I have the full graphic novel but honestly never opened it


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Kevin Lawrence
18:25 Mar 08, 2024

Hey man. Great work. Amazing read. Probably the best so far. Every time i read your stuff it gets better and better. Like i said great work.


HC Edwards
21:25 Mar 08, 2024

Thank you, I appreciate that!


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Trudy Jas
02:34 Feb 27, 2024

Powerful! A modern-day Nazi/holocaust story. Excellent!


HC Edwards
22:18 Feb 27, 2024

Thank you! I have a lot of thoughts about this one but I’ll wait to see if anyone mirrors them.


Trudy Jas
22:58 Feb 27, 2024

Yes, there is the want to be unique. But then there is the triumph to say it better than someone else. I'm not sure anyone, right now, could tackle the same theme better.


HC Edwards
00:53 Feb 28, 2024

Flattered, and glad for the opportunity to promote acceptance instead of vitriol at the state of affairs these days


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