The tension inside Burberry Falls town hall had gotten increasingly worse. Usually it was the same few, complaining residents every week who would show up for tonight’s weekly Tuesday meeting. The gathering this evening however was different, with practically the entire town population in attendance. They were all here specifically to hear what Mayor Ann Bagin’s solution would be for the recent tragic event that had swept over the town. Before she even got to make a single move, resident Frank Monroe quickly stood up among the dozens of people. He was a big man with an even bigger mouth.
“Can we just get to the reason why we all came down here tonight, Miss Mayor? What are we going to do without our jobs??” His bellowing voice still echoing off the vaulted ceilings as he sat back down.
Chants in agreement accompanied Frank’s words as the crowd’s concerns reared its public head.
The townsfolk had a right to be worried. The primary source of income and employment for Burberry Falls was shutting down for good. ‘Charleston’s Pot-pies’ food factory was closing after being in business for seventy-six years. Hundreds of residents who were employed by the factory would soon be out of work. In a town like Burberry Falls, whose population topped out at 8500, the factory going out would certainly mean financial hardship and ruin for all the people who lived there.
The grumbling level of noise escalated as Mayor Bagin stood up and walked over to the free-standing microphone to address the crowd. She was a tall woman with small glasses. Her delightful yet firm charm is what won her an election a year ago. Yet, now many residents secretly doubted that she could save the town with anything less than a miracle.
“Ladies and gentlemen-Wreeeeeee” the microphone gave out a slight feedback as the mayor spoke.
“I understand your frustrations and concerns about our futures and the future of this town”.
The crowd started chanting things like “Yeah” and “Damn right”!
The Mayor stood there resilient and unfazed.
“Tonight, I’m unv-ing our solut-n”
Her words were being broken up by the faulty audio of the only working microphone available for all the meetings. A new one certainly needed to be purchased, but it just wasn’t in the current town’s budget. The mayor gave the mic a little shake and started again.
“A new factory is moving in to the old one and everyone who had a job..IS KEEPING THEIR JOB!
The longer feedback from the microphone this time filled the entire hall. People winced in pain.
Confusion then started. The gossip among everybody begin to spread.
“A new factory? Who is it? What product will they be making?”
Just then, fifty-seven year old Mary O’Leshy stood up at the front of the crowd. Everyone knew Mary. A genuinely sweetheart of a woman, who was employed with the Charleston’s company for over thirty-seven years. She took a step forward, raised her hand up in the air and spoke to the Mayor.
“Annie…. uh Miss Mayor..
She had known Ann Bagin since she was a little girl. Calling her “Mayor” still felt foreign to her.
“I’m grateful for the news your bringing us all here tonight. But, me myself like many of us here only know how to do one thing – make pot-pies. How are we supposed to work in some new factory making well, god knows what?”
The crowd behind petite Mary started to grumble their same concerns all in a chorus-like unison.
The Mayor smiled. She grabbed the microphone and looked directly at Mary.
“Well, Mary I’m glad you asked that. I couldn’t wait to tell you and everyone else here. The facto-
Just then the microphone went dead. The mayor continued to talk but, no one could hear her. Frustration begin to ruminate throughout the crowd. The Mayor shook the mic frantically to get it to work, but nothing but hissing dead air came out.
Police chief harry “the horn” Hornsby walked up from where he was standing by the mayor to look at the microphone. The chief had gotten his moniker from his constant use of a little megaphone he used at all public events of disturbance or at the friday football games where his son, Jeremy played. The ‘Burberry Bakers’ were so far three and two this season.
Recently, the Mayor had told Harry to cut back on the use of his megaphone. She personally found it annoying and felt it unnecessary, provided you can capture a crowd’s attention with your charisma and subject matter. Yet, at this moment she realized that this situation surely needed a quick remedy. She walked over to where harry had been standing a moment ago, picked up his megaphone that he had (of course) brought with him. She turned it on, put it up to her mouth and boomed out what she was excited to say all evening.
“RESIDENTS OF BURBERRY! YOU’LL BE ALL ABLE TO WORK AT THE NEW FACTORY! YOU WILL NO LONGER BE KNOWN AS POT-PIE PEOPLE.”
She paused, pulled the megaphone away and stared out at all the now silenced faces staring back at her in anticipation.
“THE SANDESON YORKSHIRE PUDDING COMPANY IS MOVING IN TO THE FACTORY. WE ARE ALL NOW..YORKSHIRE PUDDING PEOPLE!”
An even, steady flow of optimism began to slowly embrace all the people in attendance that night in Burberry Falls. A new future had been unveiled for all of the residents. It just took a little patience, a resourceful mayor and one loud megaphone for that news to finally be heard.
This piece was written using the FOWC word prompt-Megaphone and the February Writing Prompt – Yorkshire pudding people – Day 2/28