The Mundano was the ruler of Tiano Pines. And, once a year, he allowed the citizens to put on a show.
"Citizens of Tiano Pines" he announced, "It is almost time for that wonderful spectacle, the Festival of."
Well, I suppose I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up a few weeks so you get the whole story.
A few weeks before the great shindig, my mother, my two sisters, and I were planning to move to Tiano Pines. It was nearing the end of a beautiful summer about a month before school was set to start. Upon my mother Lilian's decision to move to Tiano Pines, a pamphlet had been sent to each of us that explained the different customs. After reading them, we sat down at the kitchen table to discuss it.
"This place sounds really weird to me." Said my older sister Rose. "The first line of this pamphlet says 'Monogamy is not a principle and jealousy does not exist here in Tiano Pines.' What's that supposed to mean?"
"Well," explained Mother, "that just means that people there don't necessarily believe in marriage and can, therefore, have interest in several people at a time. And jealousy doesn't exist so feuds don't break out between two people who happen to like the same person."
"But how can you just get rid of jealousy? Isn't it something deeply ingrained in each of our beings?"
"It was probably explained a bit better in my pamphlet than yours. They're supposed to be geared towards your age group and the intelligence of that group. Basically, when moving into Tiano Pines, they perform an operation with another optional operation for women. The first operation, which is given to everyone, uses highly focused beams of energy to target the part of the brain that houses jealousy. The other optional operation for women temporarily disables your ovaries and blocks the hormones that cause menstruation. An effective way to keep from becoming pregnant."
"But what if you want to have children?" asked Daisy, my younger sister.
"Then you simply take the pill and your body functions normally again."
"You're right." I said, tossing my pamphlet to the side, "Your pamphlet does have more information."
I picked hers off the table, noting how much thicker it was that the others lying around. There was a picture on the front of a stereotypical family with a smiling mother and father and two healthy smiling children, a boy and a girl, naturally. They were all laughing together while playing on a perfect front lawn in front of a lovely house. It was supposed to be the perfect family with the perfect life. The first page of the pamphlet had written, in the friendliest font possible, 'Welcome to Tiano Pines!' It had the monogamy/jealousy line Rose had mentioned as well as the index.
The first few pages were about the housing options. A page or two after that was devoted to the education system. Some pages after that were about the certain customs observed in Tiano Pines. I stopped on these pages to read closer.
'Here in Tiano Pines, we believe in sharing with our neighbors. We all want to live free happy lives with the people we love and care about. The Mundano, leader of Tiano Pines, rules with a firm hand and a kind smile.'
'A fascinating concept, sharing with the neighbors.' I thought, 'Sounds a tad like Communism.'
Mother adjourned our little table meeting and sent us to our rooms to pack. The only reason we were moving to Tiano Pines was because of this fabulous job offer she'd received: a chance to work at a prominent law firm. For that reason were we uprooting ourselves from our comfortable home and transplanting our lives across the state. And to a place that practices Communism no less.