One day, they were gone.

"Who?" said Chuck. "Most everybody I know is still here."

"The leaders," said Fred, providing useful information the narrator omitted in the first sentence, "they left."

"Like who?" said Chuck.

"Mostly that asshole John Galt, and a lot of his buddies. I think Malcolm Gladwell is gone."

"Good," said Chuck, cracking open a beer.

"They left behind a note about how they weren't coming back until people appreciated them," said Fred.

"Did they leave any of their stuff behind?" piped in Gary.

"Most of it, yeah. I've been using Paul Ryan's riding mower for a week now," said Fred.

"How does it run?" asked Chuck.

"The blades were beveled like shit until I fixed them. Otherwise OK."

"What are we supposed to do without those guys?" said Chuck.

"I dunno. Whatever we did before. Work. Hang out. The usual."

"I call dibs on Taylor Swift's shoe collection," said Gary.

"What for?" asked Fred.

"Gonna give 'em to Mrs. Echo down the street. She deserves them, if you know what I mean."

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Fred sighed. "Gary, even if it is just a narrative conceit and you don't really exist, you know I don't approve of you sleeping with Mrs. Echo."

Gary shrugged. Down the street, Ray's dog was loose and crapping on Ed's lawn.