The Tag
The Tag


Jeremy Bro

A few days ago, years of jumping on my bed finally caught up with me, as the springs jutting out of the mattress could easily pass for corkscrews. Faced with the fact that continued use of the mattress would most likely result in me skewering myself, I decided it was time to replace the bloody thing. In no time at all I had selected a new mattress, and soon men in a truck delivered it to my doorstep. As I set this new mattress upon my bed I noticed a small tag sticking out of one side. Kneeling down, I examined the tag. In large letters it read: WARNING: THE REMOVAL OF THIS TAG IS ILLEGAL. VIOLATERS WILL BE PROSICUTED TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW. "How odd," I thought and continued about my business.

Later that night I lay sleepless atop my spiffy new mattress, and my mind began to wander. It was then that I remembered the small tag, and I came to wonder: Why in the world would anyone care whether or not I removed a tag from my mattress. Thinking on this a bit more it dawned on me that the only purpose of the tag was to tell you not to remove the tag. I lye awake most that night puzzling over this mysterious little tag.

Sometime around four a.m. theories began to form in my head. I figured the tag was most likely placed on the mattress by the government, but to what end? Thinking on this more, I realized that just about every bedroom in the country had a mattress in it. If each mattress was equipped with tags similar to mine then the government had tags in nearly every house in America. But why? It was only a small slip of fabric, what could they possibly be hiding in a small piece of fabric. Then it hit me: Bugs. There must be bugs sewn into the fabric of the small tag. I had always suspected the government had been using satellites and such to spy on us. As such my window tightly sealed, and covered over with sheets of tin foil. I had thought that once inside my house I was safe from the watchful eye of the government. But if they had placed a bug in this small tag then I was no longer safe, not even in my own home.

Realizing, I was now in a cold sweat, I stumbled into the kitchen to fetch a glass of water. As I passed back through the living room I saw something that caused my to drop the glass to the floor. (This was actually not as dramatic as it sounds, as it was a plastic cup from QuikTrip and bounced off the floor with a small clunk) There emerging from the couch was a small fabric tag I had never taken notice of before. That meant that they were monitoring us not only in our bedrooms, but in our living rooms as well. They could see and hear everything we did. There was no place we were safe anymore. If they knew everything we did before we did it then they would be able to prepare and counter any action we chose to take. That was only a few short steps away from them having total control over our lives. In no time at all, we would become puppets, having our strings dangled my secret government Gestapo, moving at their will.

As I returned to my room I thought perhaps I was being paranoid, I needed some way to put my theory to test. I crouched down and leaned in near the tag I had so quickly come to loathe. In hushed tones I began to speak as if I were on the phone. I spoke of plans to assassinate the president. No sooner had I finished speaking then the phone began to ring. Fear raced through my body as trembling fingers raised the receiver to my ear. Mustering up my courage I spoke. "Hello, this is Jeremy." There was a pause, then a gruff voice on the other end spoke. "Sorry," he said, "wrong number."

Waves of panic washed over me, as I realized my suspicions were correct. Something had to be done! But what? They were watching me even as I thought. Surely they would be prepared for anything I planned. Then it came to me like a shot of lightning. My course of action was clear. I needed to cut them off at the source. I lifted the tag in my hands, and ripped it off. I felt the fabric tearing in my hands, then it was over. I gazed down at the slip of fabric I held before me. The fear drained out of me as I saw the severed fibers. They no longer had control over me. Never again would I allow the corrupt eyes of the government to penetrate my home. Feeling a surge of power I got up, and ran through the house, stopping at every couch, mattress, pillow, and cushion, freeing them of the shackles of the government.

Scooping up the collection of tags, I stepped outside. I set the tags down on the pavement, struck a match, and watched them burn, or at least smolder. A bark of laughter escaped my lungs as I realized it was over. Standing up, I took notice of the sun as it began itís rise, spreading light across the land, and vanquishing the darkness. Somehow this seemed fitting, and I realized that today, perhaps for the first time ever I was free. My life was my own to do what I pleased. I began to feel choked up, then I realized that I had swallowed a bug. Perhaps it was time to go back inside. As I turned to go back inside, and back to bed, I heard sirens off in the distance. I stood frozen in my tracks. After a moment I realized that they were, indeed, drawing closer. It couldnít end like this. I couldnít let all my discoveries go to waste. The sirens grew louder and louder, and I knew that they were coming ever closer. Strangely, I felt no fear. Running into the house, I moved my dresser in front of the door. Quickly I turned on the computer and began to write fervently.

Now you can all see the truth. Be warned that this was not written in jest, and that even now they are most likely watching you as you read this. There is a pounding at my door, and I donít know how long my makeshift barricade is going to last, so I must be brief. I encourage all to resist this outrageous injustice. Stand up against the powers of evil. Move cautiously, so as not to have attention drawn to yourself. If you get nothing else from this writing listen to this: I BEG OF YOU, DESTROY THE TAGS THAT ARE NO DOUBT IN YOUR OWN HOME. SPREAD THE WORD TO OTHERS. TOGETHER WE CAN OVERCOME THE SEEMINGLY INVINCIBLE STRENGTH OF THE ENEMY. I hear my door splintering, so I fear my time is at an end. Please, remember the truths that I have presented you with. Please do not let all my work end in nothing. It is too late for me, but it is not too late for you. My life is surely ending, but there is still hope for the rest of you. Never give up hope. Never give in to the pressure. They may take our lives but they can never take our freedo....