Verruca and The Wildlings — Ep6: Has No Income
Pix gets a breather from the SHOE programme (Stay Home Or Else). Her short-lived freedom gives her a glimpse of what’s happening Out There.
There was excitement in the air as Kunashmu relaxed its SHOE programme (Stay Home Or Else) for three days.
“I don’t know what to do with all this freedom now that I’m so comfortable in my isolation bubble,” Pix told her landlord Fungus, who delivered the news to her.
“Have a little wander around that side of that mountain,” Fungus pointed out to the distance. He suggested that Pix visit a small fishing village that didn’t mind having visitors. “Just be sure to use your nose peg. You don’t want to risk inhaling stuff that’s bad for you,” he said as he coughed out micro-pieces of his tobacco-charred lungs.
Pix did not like the idea of her nose being pinched by a nose peg. She decided to stuff her noseholes with cotton balls instead. “Improvisation,” she thought cleverly to herself, and off she went. Sometime along her walk, she met a new face that looked forlorn.
“Hey there,” Pixel chirped. “What a nice sunny day to be out and about!”
Newface nodded in agreement and stared at the lumps of cotton crammed inside the girl’s nostrils. “What are those?”
“Oh, these guys are my lurgy blockers. I don’t like the pegs.”
The two walked to the fishing village together and later decided to sit in a small spot that served fried spiced cross-eyed fish.
“I had a call with my mum from Curlasia this morning,” Newface shared as they waited for their meal. “Mum was charged 200 lucre for not wearing a nose peg in her own front yard. She was trimming her hedge — you know, her plants — when the Public Controllers walked over and gave her a stamp she had to pay at her local NPPO (Naughty People Punishment Office) within 24 hours. And then a dude I met from Giddyjuju who’s also living at Rembibi told me that anyone caught not wearing nose pegs in his country were being charged 80 lucs on the spot.”
The fisherman’s son who fried the fish was now back with apologies.
“Sorry my friend, food take long. Public Controllers coming.”
“That’s alright, brother. What did the Controllers want?”
“They say we need special anti-virus permit for making food to customers. 1,800 lucre per month for permit. We no have that money.” The boy shook his head in disbelief, and flashed a smile: “Enjoy the fish. I catch it today…” and he walked off.
Pix and Newface looked at the crispy-looking cross-eyed fish staring lifelessly not quite at them.
“What a coincidence that TPCs (Top Public Controllers) from different countries are pretty much doing the same.”
“The State is poor. It has no income.”