…wherein dissent is punished…
In her defense, she hadn’t meant to do it, or rather she hadn’t done it consciously. The dust bin just happened to be there, at the supermarket’s exit and she extended her arm and threw the receipt inside. There was no thought to the action, just a habitual reflex.
Which is why she was more than mildly surprised when she answered the door a few hours later and was accosted by two sneering policemen. One of them held the offending receipt at eye-level for her to read the contents there.
‘This yours?’ He asked.
She pored through it once more, before confirming to the officers that it had in deed once been in her possession.
‘CCTV cameras caught you dropping it in the bin a few hours ago.’
‘Nothing odd about that, is there?’ She asked, puzzled.
The second chuckled, ran his fingers over his tablet and started reading rapidly, ‘Chapter three section four of The Accords states, “Any and all pieces of parchment, pamphlets, documents, clothing material, fabric, posters and all other manner of signage bearing an image of his Highness or the Crest of the Crown shall henceforth be treated as holy as his Sovereignty and any show of dissent towards such material will be treated as a show of dissent towards the King himself.”’
The first policeman flipped the receipt and the blood drained from her face. There, inscribed at the bottom of the receipt using cheap ink and barely visible to the unfocused eye, was the Crest of the Crown.
‘But, I love the King,’ she protested, ‘I named both my first son and my first daughter after him.’
‘Very funny in deed. May your humor assuage you in whatever bin His Highness’ magistrates decide to dump you in.’ The first policeman mocked as they dragged the poor struggling woman into the waiting police van and with each desperate cry for help, she noticed painfully her neighbours windows and doors shut ever tighter.