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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by jimblanchet on March 13, 2012
"I always wanted to make a comment on the "Movement." I guess this is that comment. "


I hope today's commute is as smooth as Friday's, but I never get lucky twice. A smooth transition from the on-ramp to the highway is not a sure thing anymore. Sometimes I ease into traffic and sometimes I pull right into a Clump.

The Clumpers began by occupying city parks and verbally attacking finance elites. Their message was simple, but the novelty faded once the police evicted them from their parks. When the country stopped listening, the Movement took to the highways.

All you need for a Clump Team is five wannabes who chip in to buy a car. Then, you get the Movement's local chapter to sanction your Clump-Car and you're on your way. You only need one driver, but the rest of the Clumpers ride along to spot traffic cops and hold out signs for news helicopters.

The cars start off driving single file. They speed up and fan out to block every lane. Once the cars are parallel, they slow to the exact speed limit and hold on as long as they can. With the rush hour cars on the road, it only takes a few minutes to form a cluster. Even if the formation falls apart quickly, the effects of a Clump last long enough to disrupt traffic for an hour. Road rage causes accidents every few days, but they must have anonymous donors for auto insurance, because every one of those cars are street legal.

Nobody knows for sure how the Clumpers coordinate. Nothing changed when the traffic cops disabled social media, so it must be old school. They could be yelling between cars, using hand-held radios or maybe just more of their famous hand signals.

The Movement kids kicked it all off with "C-Day", and now Clumps show up on the highway almost every morning. "C-Day" fizzled out in the big cities with effective public transportation, since most commuters were on trains, but it spread quickly. Clumping works best in cities with a highway based rush hour, which helped to steal some attention for the smaller chapters of the Movement.

Occupying the parks grabbed some media buzz, but frustrating traffic took the Movement to Prime Time. Support and opposition both spiked after C-Day. Apparently, a hectic rush hour affects the finance business a lot more than a nation-wide camp out. They got to the bottom line from the highway, once people stopped getting to work on time, and that really attracted Big Wig attention.

A lot of talking heads call it "disruption for the sake of disruption". Some of them swear that it's totally legal, since Clumps force commuters to observe the speed limit. Every politician has something to say about it too, since the election is right around the corner.

I say it's a pain in my butt, but they finally found a way to keep my attention.

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