She breathed in sharply, letting the doubt serrate her vow. She’d never studied under revolutionaries, never exercised her right to protest–the most subversive act she’d committed in the past year was insisting that an expired coupon be honored. All she’d wanted was to preserve beauty, to educate, to provide a place of contentment where everyone could find solace. Her fingers twitched, skirting above the phone buttons. If they discovered her, she risked unemployment. Her name stamped in permanent, midnight ink. Accusations of treason.
Nicole, a two-year employee of the National Parks Service, closed her eyes and clicked, lobbing her seventeenth forbidden dispatch into the maddening pit. She glanced nervously at the cubicles on either side of her, though she knew their occupants had long since departed.
She longed for cinematic bravery distilled into small portions. Summoning her weight in grit every time was exhausting and frayed her calm. But the alternative was helping them fit science for a muzzle, watching facts erode and experts derided.
It would not happen on her watch.
A writing prompt from @samldanach, who suggested “Hope. Light appearing in the darkness.”