It Could Be Anything
Abruptly the voices--hundreds of voices, he thought--rose in a roar, a long-drawn Yaaayyyyy...! Brett thought of a stadium crowd as the home team trotted onto the field. He could hear a band now, a shrilling of brass, the clatter and thump of percussion instruments. Now he could see the mouth of the alley ahead, a sunny street hung with bunting, the backs of people, and over their heads the rhythmic bobbing of a passing procession, tall shakos and guidons in almost-even rows. Two tall poles with a streamer between them swung into view. He caught a glimpse of tall red letters:
... For Our Side!
* * *
He moved closer, edged up behind the grey-backed crowd. A phalanx of yellow-tuniced men approached, walking stiffly, fez tassels swinging. A small boy darted out into the street, loped along at their side. The music screeched and wheezed. Brett tapped the man before him.
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I only rated it 3 stars because the ending is pointless and meaningless. I was really let down after the excellent buildup.
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A clever story that leaves lots unexplained, but illustrates the advantages of the twin virtues of paranoia and not making waves.