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Workless of the World

by Julie Wornan

Lunky moved his chair to the window and settled down for some Thinking. He took out his notepad and pencil. Writing helped him think. He knew how to write. It made his head ache, but he knew he had to do this. Not just for himself. For them all.

He wrote, Hats. He wrote, Hurrying.

Binky came in, interrupting Lunky’s Think. No matter: he could test his ideas on Binky. He must make Binky understand.

Lunky said, “Binky, listen. There are Classes.”

Binky said, “I know. I try to do French Class. Parlez-vous?

“No no no no no. I mean: Some people are different.”

“Aha! You long-nosed class.”

“No no no. Look out the window. See those people? Some wear grey suits. They walk fast, carry briefcases. Those people have Jobs. They are Employed. They are the Working Class.”

Binky said nothing. Lunky pursued: “We are the Workless Class.”

Binky said, “I wonder what Lana is doing.” He left.

Lunky wrote, The Working Class eat real food. It is Unfair.

He wrote, Workless everywhere, Stand up! Go out! Demand Jobs! You have nothing to lose but your tasteless foodstuff!

He thought about that. He stood up. He left his room and made his way downstairs.

The guardian at the door said, “Hi, Lunky. Going out for a walk?”

“Oh, Yes!” said Lunky.

“Will you know how to come back?”

Lunky said, “Yes.”

And then he added, “Of course.”

“All right, then. Have a good walk.”

A child pointed: “Mommy, is that a Workless?”

“Shhh. Yes, dear.”

“Can we feed him some money?”

“No dear, he gets everything he needs.”

They crossed to the other side of the street.

Lunky decided to follow a man wearing a dark suit and carrying a briefcase. They entered a tall building. There were a lot of things to read. So many! The man bought one. Then Lunky followed the man to the elevator. The man turned around, frowning. “Why don’t you get lost?” he said.

Lunky said, “Because I’m careful. I remembered all the streets.”

But then he wasn’t sure he had remembered them all, so he decided to go back.

By the time he found his way home he was terribly hungry. The foodstuff machine wouldn’t work. Lunky pushed a button, then another, then all the buttons. Gray pasty goo squirted into his face, his hair, his eyes, all over the floor. He had forgotten to hold up a bowl.

Lights flashed, a bell rang, and Chimpy came in. He was grinning, as usual. Chimpy pushed the right buttons to make the machine stop, cleaned up the mess and settled Lunky into a chair with a napkin tucked round his neck and a bowl of foodstuff on the table before him. Before he left, still grinning, he gave Lunky a banana to cheer him up.

It had been a long day, and, think as he might, Lunky didn’t suppose the Workless Class were any better off for his efforts. He turned out the light and went to sleep.

Copyright © 2009 by Julie Wornan

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