Mommy Wars - The Apocalypse

           Bayside, New York, 10:33pm

          Lizzie strained her eyes to see the number on the house. The darkness was impenetrable. If the moon still existed, she couldn't tell. She clutched the piece of paper with neatly written address on it, and wrapped her arms tighter around little Ethan. He was snoring lightly, his head on her shoulder, his legs dangling in the air. Lizzie parked the car about a mile away, by the docks, as instructed.
          “We can't afford to raise any suspicion,” the caller said. “Imagine five vans or SUVs parked in front of the house. We might just as well advertise it on the national TV.”
          Lizzie's arms were numb and her back was screaming in a pain so great she could almost hear it echoing in the empty street. I can't carry him any longer. She was about to give up when she noticed the cat statue. Dear God, I found it. Making sure not to slam the gate shut, she tiptoed to the back of the house and pushed the screen door open.
          “Lizzie! Finally! I was getting worried. Welcome to our chickenpox party, darling!” a blond woman in an apron offered her a flute of champagne. “I'm Sue. Make yourself at home!”
          “Thank you,” Lizzie sighed. She put Ethan down, stretched her back and looked around. The living room was painted in soft yellow, with family photographs covering most of the walls. Three other mothers sat on a large, L-shaped sofa, sipping their drinks and chatting while kids played on the floor. Lizzie's feet sank into the plush carpet, leaving footprints behind as she walked across the room, dragging sleepy Ethan behind.
          “Here, darling,” Sue thrust a crystal vase filled with long stemmed lollipops in front of Lizzie's face. “Pick one and go have Ryan lick it.”
          Lizzie smiled at Ethan: “How about blue? Your favorite color!”
______

          In the van parked across the street from the house in which Lizzie had just disappeared, Natasha pulled the Newcon night vision goggles off her head: “She's in. That was the last one. It's time.”
          Six women in identical black yoga pants, knitted hats, tight shirts and army boots nodded and lined up.
          “Belt – check.” Natasha said.
          “Check.” Women echoed.
          “White syringe – MMR. Check.” Natasha continued.
          “Check.”
          “Red syringe – tranquilizer. Check.”
          “Check.”
          “Hannah?” Natasha glanced at the tall girl with AK-47 slung over her shoulder. “Ready?”
          “Let's do this, boss,” Hannah winked with a comical salute. Natasha grinned back at her. “Go time!”
______
    
          Lizzie was just putting a lollipop licked by the infected child into Ethan's mouth when the door busted open.
          “Stay where you are and do not move!” a tall girl in a black hat yelled, waving a rifle over her head.
           For a second, everyone froze. Then the house exploded in fury.
           Lizzie sat still, unable to move, and watched the scene unravel in slow motion. With the lollipop still in her hand, she wondered (inappropriately, as she later admitted) if these women had been recruited by Victoria's Secret. Their long legs jumped from child to child, their lean arms stabbed them with white syringes, their movements choreographed like a ballet performance. There is no way they ever breastfed, Lizzie thought, noticing their round, firm breasts. 
          Finally her gaze shifted to Ethan. His eyes were wide opened, his mouth formed a silent “o” and then the screams pierced Lizzie's ears and she jumped. She grabbed the syringe that was still sticking out of Ethan's leg and read the label.
          “No! Noooo!” She collapsed on the floor, sobbing. “Not the MMR! Dear God, please, not the MMR!”

***

          BBC News, US & Canada

          Residents of Similac, Ohio, the town with the last functioning formula plant in the United States, awoke Thursday to Breast-Is-Best militants at their doors, with the extremist group abducting scores from the Formula Feeders United group and forcing hundreds more to run for their lives, an advocate said.
          The Breast-Is-Best fighters attacked the town of Similac at about 4 a.m. and abducted children and women, said Stephanie Booker, founder of the Formula Feeding Rights Network.
          Talking to the BBC from undisclosed location, Booker said that between 100 and 150 people were kidnapped. "Reliable sources" told the Paris-based monitoring organization that they'd overheard Breast-Is-Best militants talking on wireless devices about having detained "120 anti-boobists" in Similac.
          About 300 formula feeding families managed to escape the onslaught, Booker said. The Similacs lack food, water, blankets and other necessities after years of being in the middle of the pro/anti breastfeeding war.
          Booker said members of the Formula Feeders United group and other formula-feeding groups have been "left all alone" by the US government and the world. "This is like a miracle that they have survived this long," she said of her fellow Similacs. "How can these people stay alive? They are not only forced to breastfeed, they are forced to cloth diaper, too.”

***

          Police station, City of Boulder, Colorado, 1:15am

          “Please, madam, calm down and answer my questions.”
          “I am...I am trying...”
          “Tell me exactly what happened last night. Start with your arrival home.”
          “I left my office at 5pm, just like I always do. I picked up Emily from my mother's house at 5:15. We drove straight home. I thought of stopping at the deli for some milk – we were running low – but decided it could wait until the next day.”
          “Were you being followed?”
          “Followed? Um...no, I don't think so. I mean...I just didn't think about it.”
          “OK, what happened after you got home?”
          “I put Emily in her playpen so that I could change and make dinner.”
          “You put her in a playpen?”
          “Yes.”
          “You didn't put her in a baby carrier? Or a sling?”
          “Well, no. I have suffered a serious back injury a few years ago and -”
          “Right, of course you did.”
          “I did! I can't -”
          “Let's move on, shall we? So your child is in the playpen.”
          “Yes, Emily was in the playpen and I cooked dinner.”
          “What did you cook?”
          “I am not sure how this is relevant -”
          “I am here to decide what's relevant, madam. What did you cook?”
          “I...I made macaroni with cheese.”
          “Excuse me?”
          “Mac and cheese.”
          “Home made or from the box?”
          “It was from the box but-”
          “Which brand?”
          “It was Kraft mac and cheese.”
           “Madam, are you aware that Kraft mac and cheese is made from genetically modified wheat and contains artificial food dyes yellow #5 and yellow #6 which are proven to be linked to hyperactivity in children? Don't you follow Food Babe?”
           “I just -”
           “Let's move on. You made Kraft mac and cheese. Then what?”
           “We ate, then we played a little, then I put Emily in her pajamas, brushed her teeth and put her in the crib.”
            “What time did you put your child in the crib?”
           “It was 7:30pm or so.”
           “Please, describe the bedtime routine.”
           “The bedtime...well, I put her in the crib, turn on her turtle toy that projects lights and plays music, kiss her good night and leave the room.”
           “What did Emily do when you left the room?”
           “She did what she usually does – she started crying and -”
           “She usually cries when you leave her alone in the room?”
           “She usually cries for a very short period of time before she falls asleep.”
           “You let your child cry herself to sleep?”
           “It's not at all like that -”
           “Madam, I am not here to judge you. You don't need to explain anything. Let's see – so what happened after you left her alone crying in her room last night?”
           “I was walking to the kitchen to do the dishes when a rock flew through the glass door that leads to the backyard and then four women with machetes stormed into my living room.”
            “What did you do?”
           “I screamed and turned around to run to Emily's room, but one of them grabbed me and threw me on the floor. She put the machete to my throat and then they all started yelling at me at the same time.”
           “What did they say?”
           “They...they called me horrible names...they...they said I was a GMO slut with processed food instead of brains. They called me...they called me a Ferberist. Me – a Ferberist...”
           “What happened next?”
           “They spray painted “Searsology Forever” on the wall and forced me to read an introduction to The Attachment Parenting Book : A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby. Then they pulled Emily out of her crib and tied her to my stomach with a 100% organic, fair trade wrap. They told me that they would be back to quiz me on that Attachment Parenting book and then they left.”
           “Is this the book? May I see it?”
           “Yes.”
           “Oh my God. It's a signed copy! Martha – hey, Martha! Come check this out! It's signed by Dr. Sears!”
           “Excuse me, but are we done? What is going to happen next?”
           “Unfortunately, madam, I need to keep this book as evidence. We will send a patrol car to your house and hopefully it will scare them enough to keep away from you.”
           “Is that it? You won't try to catch them? They broke into my house!”
           “Madam, I understand that you are upset, but if you have read news recently, you must be aware that we have more pressing matters to attend to. Just lay off those GMOs and pay attention to your child a little. Sign here and you can go.”

***

          San Jose, California (KGO) --

           In a story ABC7 News broke Monday morning, numerous arrests were made after Screen-Free-Childhood enforcement officials conducted a raid targeting illegal electronic devices for children in the South Bay on Monday.
           Store merchants said they sold music, phone cards and groceries, but Screen-Free-Childhood enforcement sources told ABC7 News it was the scene of some illegal activity that needed to be stopped.
           Just after 10:30 a.m., the Keep-It-Screen-Free
unit raided a store right on Capitol Expressway. Screen-Free-Childhood enforcement officials confiscated at least 15 tablet computers developed for children, ranging from pink to baby blue. "We believed that there was an on-going criminal enterprise here involving illegal, underage screen time, as well as other crimes such as portable DVDs for long drives, and anything from iPotty to Apptivity Seats. We believed that some of the suspects that were involved in this case may have been armed, that's why we utilized our SWAT team," San Jose Department Lt. Jane Cunningham said.

***

          Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland

          "Dear students, dear parents and teachers, dear family members, friends and spectators – allow me to welcome you to the Outscored! It is my utmost pleasure and privilege to join you today and watch history being made!
          Before we get started, let's talk about what brought us here.
          For years, we had to listen to squabbling between proponents of homeschooling and proponents of public education. For years, our social media feeds were filled with arguments between homeschooling mothers and public school defenders.
           American public school system is declining! the homeschoolers cried. According to them, children were more likely to succeed when taught in a safe, comfortable environment of their own home. When a child is at home, they argued, he or she does not have to deal with peer pressure, but can rather focus on what's important – studying. Instead of worrying what to wear and how to fit in with the popular crowd, they can enjoy a peaceful and calm atmosphere, while working at their own pace and in their own style.
           Nonsense! the public school supporters cried. Children who are living a sheltered life will have difficulty adjusting to the real world. It is essential, they claimed, that children learn how to interact and to work with one another. Public education is not just about furthering one’s academics, it is about teaching children the skills and being able to use and apply them through meaningful interactions with their peers and their teachers.
          Countless articles, studies, TV shows and documentaries bombarded our daily lives without giving us a clear cut answer.
           Finally, we have decided to put a stop on this madness. Ladies and gentlemen – let me introduce you to Outscored!
           This is the real deal. On this stage, contestants from both camps will compete in real life – for life. Yes – you've heard me. Both homeschooled kids and public school students will compete in spelling, math, history and social studies, as well as a team project that tests their social skills.
           However, only one team can survive. Put your money where your mouth is, we say! The team that loses will be offered a choice of a lethal injection or a firing squad.
          Now, without further ado, please welcome our contestants!"

***

          Ashville, North Carolina, 12:17pm

           The sun was blazing down on them as they climbed the hill. The young woman cradled her burgeoning belly.
           “Mom,” she said. “How much further?”
           Her mother stopped and turned to her: “Not much longer, love. See those trees? The entrance to the cave should be just behind them and the creek is on the other side of the hill. Once we get there you can rest and I will fetch us water. I imagine they will start searching for us soon, and then we will have to stay put for a while.”
           The young woman looked at the trees in the distance and bit her lip.
           “Baby,” her mother said softly. “You can do this.”
           They started up the hill again when they heard the sounds.
           “Oh shit. That bitch must have talked.”
           The mother grabbed her daughter's hand and yelled: “Run! Run, Ashley, run!”
           They stumbled up the rocky path together. They reached the first patch of trees just as the helicopter hummed over their heads. Then the sound became distant again.
           “Now. Run, sweetheart. I can see the cave from here.”
            They ran again. Ashley's face was twisted in pain. Her mother was breathing heavily. She is too old for this, Ashley thought. Finally she could see the cave opening.
           “Here. We're here. We're safe, love.”
           Both women collapsed on the ground, panting.
           “Mom,” Ashley said. “Do you think they will find us? I don't...I don't want to go back there...I don't...” she broke down crying.
            Her mother hugged her. “Shh,” she whispered in her ear. “Shh, little darling. No one will find us. You are safe. Safe. Your baby is safe.”
           She looked into Ashley's eyes, took a deep breath and continued: “The biggest mistake I have ever made was agreeing to giving birth in the hospital. I should have never done it. I should have never agreed to the epidural. I should have had you the way nature intended, and bonded with you through that experience.”
           She sighed: “I will never forgive myself for that. But I swear to you – they will never get you. You will have your baby here. You won't have to worry about rude nurses, inquisitive doctors, lethal drugs and superbugs. Your birth will be magical, darling. I promise.”
           They could hear the buzzing of the helicopter getting closer again. The dogs were barking in the distance. Please, God. Don't let them find us.

***

          Good Morning America, ABC News, Chicago, Illinois

           “The infamous Pacifiers Suck group, which has been responsible for stealing more than 10,000 pacifiers since mid-May from children in the parks, shopping malls and other public areas in Chicago, struck again yesterday. “I was sitting on the bench, discussing shapes and colors with my almost two-year-old son, when they swooped in. At least five children were sucking on binkies when they attacked, and not one binky was left behind.” said Molly S., a mother of three. The group claims that pacifiers cause a multitude of issues, ranging from nipple-confusion and breastfeeding problems, an increased risk of middle ear infections and dental problems, to dependency on the pacifier which later in life leads to illegal substance abuse.
           Now, please stay with us and don't go anywhere – coming up Chef De Lassat will show you five easy ways how to prepare placenta to keep the nutrients in and post partum depression out! Placenta pâté, placenta stroganoff, placenta cutlets in lemon sauce, placenta kebabs, and for the upcoming summer season placenta burgers are sure to impress even the biggest gourmet! From Chicago, Ellen Baker for Good Morning America, ABC News.”

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