I shrugged my shoulders, trying to get any air through my throat. "What's the meaning of this?" I gasped.
"You, sir," the meme Officer that gripped my neck, perfectly enunciating every syllable, "are the first to have violated the new decree."
"Decree 11-15-11," the other Officer recited, "By order of His Eminence, Pope Webster IV, the use of the acronym with the letters 'ell,' 'oh,' and 'ell' is now punishable by varying degrees of discipline depending on how often the offender has used it in the past."
"That one there's the second found offender."
"The lax in language these days," the other Officer spat, dragging the girl off the sidewalk by her arm. "It's disgusting."
"A trivial lax there may be," a sweet voice lilted, "but not in all people, you see." We all turned, I with some difficulty, to stare at a sprightly girl perched neatly on a nearby fence.
"You realize you have quite a bit of nerve, young lady, speaking to us in that manner," the Officer at my throat said.
She shrugged, sliding off the fence and landing softly on the ground. "Fruitless it is to punish those users Of letters "ell-oh-ell," you beggars-not-choosers."
My eyes widened. This girl had serious guts. The Officers were clearly not amused. "What's your name, you imp?" one demanded.
"Symin's my name, variation on spelling. Rhymin's my game, odd utter'nce's telling."
"Rhymin' Symin?" the apprehended girl asked, suppressing a giggle.
"Do you always speak in rhyme?"
"Most of the time, if I find a rhyme." This Symin seemed to always be in motion when she spoke, sometimes playing with her long mahogany braid, or rubbing her graceful fingers together, or doing a little sprightly hop.
Clearly she'd taken the meme Officers off their guard, both had visibly loosened their grips and were glancing at one another in a most puzzled manner. Frankly, I don't blame them. How often do you run into a bold wisp of a girl who seems to have learned to speak from Dr. Seuss books?
"This arrest is unfair, you've seem to forgotten," Symin began again, "The Decree's not yet public, it is spoiled and rotten To persecute those who know not new rules And then be set up to seem like floundering fools By you, the almighty patrolling force. You must wait for news to take its own course And spread to the laymen, both far and both wide, To correct their 'bad' ways or else hide them inside."
The Officers were stunned. She was right, the Decree had not yet been announced and posted. They might've arrested her right then and there on charges of sheer annoyance, but she wasn't doing anything against the law. The meme Police were known to be ruthless and to occasionally make seemingly-arbitrary arrests, but they weren't that cruel. Stringent as they were in the lines of grammar, they couldn't help but appreciate a bit of good poetry.
"Alright then." The Officer released both my throat and the girl's arm. "You'll not be arrested this time, but you both have a warning." A thin metal band was slapped around my wrist; it didn't inflict any bodily harm, but it would notify the nearest meme Force if there was another grammatical offense. The two Officers shot one last glare at Rhymin' Symin, then stalked off.