From the author: A riff on DST from my Friday Flash Fiction project.
Jenna signaled the waiter for her check and asked him to wrap up what was left of her sandwich. As he left with the plate, she stared at the empty spot across the table.
“Jenna!” came a voice from behind her. Jenna turned to see her sister Molly walking over in her sandals and her—no doubt—100% organic fair-trade cotton dress. Molly plopped down in the empty seat. “Hey there,” she said. “Have you been waiting long?”
“A little while,” said Jenna.
“We said 11:30, right?” asked Molly.
“That’s right,” said Jenna.
Molly looked at her watch. “I’m actually a little early.”
“No, you’re not,” said Jenna. “You are, in fact, over forty-five minutes late. Did you forget to set your clocks forward yesterday?”
Molly looked at her sister and then rolled her eyes. “Oh, Jenna,” she said. “I thought I told you. Kevin and I don’t practice Daylight Savings Time anymore.”
“Wait,” said Jenna. “You what?”
“We don’t practice Daylight Savings Time.”
“I didn’t realize it was optional,” said Jenna.
Before Molly could answer the waiter came over with Jenna’s to-go box and the bill. He paused briefly at the sight of Molly and then asked her if she needed anything.
“Something free-range,” said Molly.
“No!” said Jenna. “No, Mol, you can’t just order lunch now, I’ve already eaten.”
“You’ll stay for a few minutes, won’t you?” asked Molly.
“I have to get back to the office,” said Jenna.
“Well, that’s fine,” said Molly. “If you’d rather have your corporate overlords tell you how to keep track of time—”
“I’m not letting…” Jenna started. “Hold on, back up. Why aren’t you practicing Daylight Savings Time anymore?”
“Because it’s just big brother telling us how to live our lives,” said Molly. “It’s the ultimate in brainwashing. The government tells you that it’s an hour later and you just believe them. What’s next? Do we eliminate Thursdays? I’m telling you, it’s 2 + 2 = 5 with clocks.”
“You can’t just follow a different clock from the whole rest of the country,” said Jenna.
“Not the whole rest of the country,” said Molly. “Arizona doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time.”
“Arizona is a state,” said Jenna. “You live in California.”
“I fail to see the distinction,” said Molly.
“So, you’re just going to be an hour late to everything for the next eight months?” asked Jenna.
“I’ll admit, there are some challenges,” said Molly. “We’ve gotten push-back from the kids’ schools. But we’re in the right, dammit. They have to respect our beliefs.”
“I can’t believe we’re having this conversation,” said Jenna. “I have to get back to work.”
“Suit yourself,” said Molly. “Be a slave to the paymasters. Be a part of the problem.”
“What problem?” bellowed Jenna, disturbing a few of the other diners.
“The problem of temporal oligarchy,” said Molly. “Frankly, I’m surprised more people don’t rise up against it. There’s a revolution going on!”
“Revolution?” asked Jenna. “Do you even know what you’re fighting?”
“Injustice!” said Molly. “We’re trying to make the world a better place.”
“How?” asked Jenna. “What do you even do? Hold meetings and then show up an hour late? How does any of this make the world a better place.”
“We… It…” Molly frowned. “Okay, fine, I made it all up. I slept in. I’m sorry. But please stay, I didn’t bring any cash.”
Jenna rolled her eyes. “Oh, for Christ’s sake. Just eat fast, okay? And get an alarm clock.”
“Alarm clock?” asked Molly. “Ugh! Why don’t I just surrender myself to the New World Order right now?”