Is It a Super Walmart, or an Alien Invasion?
They have arrived by the hundreds in preparation. Doctor Who fans know to fear them. The rest of you should listen to the Doctor Who fans.
They are Cybermen.
Or wait, they seem a bit small for Cybermen, but what else then could they be, so many, all in a row, a massive gleaming army in the sun at the edge of the new Super Walmart with its giant parking lot so charmingly enhanced by four dead trees?
Such discipline, such perfect alignment. How do they manage it?
Well notice the tall blue cyber sentries in their white helmets standing guard on the left.
And the guard tower with the cyber guards inside keeping watch.
Who dares break rank?
It’s a fearsome sight. Their very presence sucked the life from a tree that came too close.
And do not touch them. Do not dare get close like that poor tree, because…
Yes, they are guarded.
And look beyond and what do you see?
The bars of the prison where they will hold you.
But yet, it looks so harmless inside the store, so innocuous, so infused with the lovely gray order we associate with Walmart. Except is it really a Walmart or is it a trap?
Notice the prices. Yes, Walmart is cheap, but in this Walmart, everything is free.
There are other signs, too, that something is amiss. There’s a message in a bottle floating among the vast waves of beautiful blacktop that lap up on the shores of the Super Walmart.
What could it mean? And what of these?
A sort of crop circle formed from miniature coffins, or perhaps anti-depressants.
A raised tribute to the Cyberman God.
In the middle of this.
The forest, ancient in its wisdom, is unhappy.
And above it all, looking sternly downward, strange lights glow in the mid-day summer sky.
And the trees have surrendered.
There was once a mall here with a food court and a fountain. There was once a movie theatre with sticky floors where people went on dates and I took my daughter to watch Alvin and the Chipmunks. There was once Fun Quarters and ping pong and pizza and little stores and a man named Mannie with a shop that served food. But that’s over now, long dead and forgotten.
Now there’s just this, the cold steel dawn of the cybermen.
The ruthless efficiency of the well-managed future. Do not stand in the way.
For they will crush and leave you broken.
All hail Walmart.
It has come. God bless us all.