A dark gray cloud enveloped the bustling city below, showering rain and thunder upon its inhabitants. A wind was raging with such ferocity that even the sturdiest buildings began to tremble. Occasionally a shot of lightning would slither down from the sky, uttering a loud CRACK almost immediately, indicating that it was not very far away. And by the way the wind was blowing, the inhabitants of the city could tell that the storm was getting closer.

In spite of the rain and thunder and lighting, the entire city was smiling. It was the first Tuesday of the month, meaning that it was time for the Happy Day Parade. The poverty of the District of POH made way for certain indulgences in frivolity. An enormous blue float of a monkey made its way along the street, its many flags and ribbons blowing in the wind. The city crowded around as close as it could and cheered heartily for the blue monkey that was going down the street.

The Blue Monkey Float was only the third of 30 floats that proceeded down the street. Each one was more magnificent and whimsical than the next: a green elephant, a purple giraffe, a giant birthday cake, and even a giant panda. Each float was met by a cheer from the admiring crowd. Despite the rain and the overcast sky, each face radiated excitement. The Happy Day Parade was one of the several things that the inhabitants of the city looked forward to every month.

But the most magnificent float was saved for last: the Happy Day Float. The Happy Day Float was by far the most beautiful and whimsical of all of the floats. The float itself was composed of the words "Happy Day Parade!" in 40 foot letters. Each letter was a different color, with a myriad of ribbons and flags on each one. The letters were also adorned with hundreds of colorful balloons that managed to stay fixed despite the wind. However, the part of the float that the citizens were watching was at the very tip of the 50 foot exclamation point; this was where the mayor of the city and his wife were waving down at all of them. The mayor had a kind and sincere smile on his face that seemed to wave away the wind and rain and lighting. The people of the city cheered and hollered for the mayor, for he was the most beloved man in the city. He was kind and generous, and most of all, he brought the city the happiness that it depended on, for this district was like a kindhearted community, with each man looking out for the other. It was a gentle way of life, a way of life that no citizen could even dream of abandoning.

Unfortunately, there was one citizen who did dream of abandoning the city; the mayor's only son, Norman Pincer. He was completely appalled by the acts of the District of POH, how they gave parades that they could not afford, how they're educational system was based on music and not as much on learning. These are but some of the reasons why he ran off to the District of Education, one of the six districts that this land of joy was a part of. This was a very large dilemma for the District of POH, for leadership of the district was passed from father to son. This man, who hated all that the District of POH stood for, would once be its later. A day all too soon.

The mayor continued to wave down at his people, his smile never faltering, even when the wind almost blew him off of the float. His wife smiled too, although her eyes were shadowed with concerned, for she noticed that the lightning was coming closer and closer. The mayor remained oblivious and smiled some more. He only stopped smiling when he heard his wife scream as the H was struck by lightning. The mayor instantly lost his smile, and panic overtook him. His panic channeled through the crowd, some of which had already seen the lighting strike that could have been so fatal. However, they were relieved that the strike didn't hit the mayor, and the continued their cheering.

However, the mayor was not so carefree anymore. He knew that it was sheer luck that the exclamation point, which was taller, was not struck, and he knew that very soon it could be. He looked around to find the hatch that would lead down through the exclamation point so that he and his wife could escape the deadly predicament they found themselves in. Finally, he found the ring to the hatch, but he was too late.

The lightning had found its way to the exclamation point.

Everyone watched for the horrifying instant as the mayor and his wife writhed in agony. Finally, they both fell to the floor of their platform, dead. The city didn't know what to do. There had been so few deaths. There had never been tears except for those of joy. However, all joy seemed to end with the death of the mayor. Little did the inhabitants of the city know that at that moment, each and every one of them cried in sorrow, for their tears mixed with the rain that found its ways down to their feet.

District of Law

"Norman! Norman! How do you feel about the death of your father?"

Norman Pincer was a man of 25 years of age, a lawyer and business man at heart. He had short, brown hair, brown eyes, and a small brown mustache. His skin was pale from lack of sunlight, his entire life being devoted to his studies. He perpetually wore a variety of business suits and a pair of shiny black shoes. His wife, Wilma Pincer, also of 25 years, was equally shrewd. She had prematurely graying hair and a long face. Her mouth was always drawn up into a grimace, and her gray eyes were always glistening with a dissecting glare. Her only attire that suited her was a thick, gray dress with white socks and gray shoes. Wilma had taken it upon herself to learn electrical engineering. Norman had enlisted himself in law school so that when the time of his father's death arrived, the land of POH could have a proper leader.

The District of Law was in a state of frenzy. Everyone knew Norman Pincer, the most prestigious lawyer in the entire town, and they also knew that his father was dead. Needless to say, Norman was being practically swarmed by news reporters. They kept shoving microphones in his face, seeming to think that it would make him more eager to answer their question. However, Norman was a quiet man, and all of the invasive microphones were becoming quite annoying. Trying to remove some of the guilty microphones, he answered the question. "It grieves me to hear of his death. However, his death may prove beneficial to the District of POH."

"In what way?" asked a young male news reporter.

Norman responded, "My father's leadership was lacking substance and proper disciplinary actions. His actual disciplinary actions were appalling, to say the least. His carefree way of life encouraged lack of productivity within his district. The frivolous acts that he encouraged in his district were detrimental to the society he so fruitlessly tried to establish."

Another news reporter, again young, but this time female, inquired, "Being his only heir, do you plan on returning to the District of POH?"

"Yes, I do. I believe I am the savior they so desperately need to salvage them from this pitiful state of financial ruin they find themselves in."

Immediately after his answer, another wave of reporters assaulted him. Silencing them, he said, "I plan to leave immediately. I can take no further questions. My wife and I will take the train to the Spokes and we can walk from there. Good day to you all."

Norman and Wilma boarded the train and sat on its unpadded steel seats. Wilma looked at her husband. "I don't understand why we are going to live in such an undesirable district. Living on happiness and joy will get you nothing. I see not your interest in them."

"They need my assistance, Wilma," Norman responded. "Without me, they will have no leader, not like they have ever had a decent one. Not one good leader; even their namesake, Philip Orville Harvey was a clown. It is about time that someone leads them in the right direction."

Wilma scowled, or rather continued her scowl from previously. Her husband may be manageable, but not the district he came from. She had heard stories from that land; the people there were said to be lawless, uncivilized idiots. And they were poor as can be. She never imagined that her marriage to her husband would take her to a place so... unclean. She sure hoped that her husband would be able to manage the situation.

"Yes, this sure will be a challenge," said Norman as he straightened his plain black tie around his neck. "It will be like building houses out of mud. But no matter; give mud time to dry and it turns into brick."

The train passed building after building. The buildings in the District of Law were tall and narrow blocks of cement with the occasional spattering of tinted black glass windows. The district taught law, created law, and enforced law throughout all of the districts, except for the District of POH. The District of POH was a secluded little Hooverville full of carefree people without a strict law or government. Neither Norman nor Wilma enjoyed the prospect of going to this place.

Finally, the train reached the Spokes. This was a circle in the center of the six districts, with six roads leading off to its own district: the District of Law, the District of Economy, the District of Technology, the District of Agriculture, the District of Education, and the District of POH. The first five districts worked as one unit to form a large and well organized city. Each district had its own distinctive attributes and facets. People generally grew up in one district and moved to another. However, this was not true for the District of POH.

Norman and Wilma Pincer stopped at the Spokes. In the middle of the Spokes was a small, hexagon-shaped house, with each wall facing one of the six roads to each district. There was one door on the house, on the wall facing the District of POH, but it could only be opened with a key. And no one knew where the key was. Countless times the walls had been battered down, but to no avail; this house seemed indestructible. But the house didn't distract Norman and Wilma from their mission: to go in and save the District of POH.

They turned one Spoke to the left, which left them at the road to the District of POH. Most of the roads to the districts were cement paved roads; however, this one was made of dirt. In Norman's mind, this did not bode well for the District of POH. Worrying he would defile his shoes, he carefully walked down the road to the great big gates to the District of POH. He had a look of disgust on his face; he remembered this place, but none too well. He had left for the District of Law very early on in life, and he had only short, terrible glimpses of his past here.

Wilma Pincer could only expect the worst. Unlike Norman, she had never lived here. She had heard him describe it as a vile place full of lawlessness and idiots. He said they had parades every month, parties every week, and holidays each and every day. It sounded like a truly disgusting place.

"Well, at least with the death of their leader, they might be mourning," said Norman as he stood at the gate, too nervous to walk back into his old home. "Maybe, just maybe, they won't be too active today."

"I hope they're never active again," said Wilma. "Activity gives me migraines. However, I have a feeling I'll be having an awful lot of migraines in my remaining years."

Norman looked in surprise to his wife. "I've known you for 7 years, and I've never known you to make a joke." He stopped and looked at his wife for a moment. He then continued, "It was very inappropriate in the present circumstances. We need to be good examples of what these people should be." Norman once again straightened his tie, a thing he did when he was nervous. He gulped, a thing he did when incredibly anxious. He even tapped his foot, a measure only taken when on the verge of panic. They'll be in mourning. They'll be in mourning. They must at least have some respect for the dead. He opened the gate to the district.

It was a complete nightmare.