The electricity had been out for a week. Now flames covered half the city and no one knew what happened to the fire department. Eddie ducked under an SUV as an angry mob carrying rags soaked in gasoline moved up the street. As the mob made their was past, Eddie sighed. Didn’t they know how bad that smoke was for the environment?
“Hey,” one of the members of the mob shouted, “back there, what was that?”
Eddie squeaked. The youth with the bandanna around his face had heard him sigh and now the mob was pulling him out from under the gas guzzling monstrosity that had been his hiding spot.
“It’s the guy!” one of them shouted as they held the putrid torches up to his face.
“No, please,” Eddie, cried, “it’s not my fault,” he pleaded but deep down he knew it was. They dragged him to the town square, he knew the road well but hardly recognized it now with its broken windows, overturned cars, and graffiti everywhere.
Had it really only been a week? All he tried to do was help the environment. He had been the assistant manager of the town’s second biggest fast-food restaurant. The manager was away on vacation and left him in charge, only a day later the biggest fast-food restaurant was hit with a flood, leaving Eddie to absorb all their business. What a windfall, he thought.
Eddie always saw himself as something of a hippie and he hated how much napkin waste his business generated so while his manager was away and the only real competition was out of commission he saw his chance to make a difference. He implemented a one napkin per customer policy. Sure it would take some getting use to, people would grumble but they’d adapt, he was sure of it.
They adapted all right, they adapted into a pack of bloodthirsty monsters.
The mob tied him to stake in the center of town. Boxes of unused napkins made up his pier. One member threw his torch at the pile of environmentally unsound, bleached napkins and the flames were licking up Eddie’s legs faster than he could say, “post-consumer recycled materials.”
“No, please, don’t! It’s so wasteful,” he cried as he kicked feebly at the burning napkins.