Tuesday, March 17, 2015

An Old Story

I found a file of a short story that I wrote in my Libertarian Days.  I did update a few minor deatils on it.

It was March in Minneapolis and it was cold and wet. There wasn't a proper rain, only a drizzle from a low cloud ceiling. From where I worked the cash register of a parking lot one could not see the upper floors of the Wells Fargo and IDS towers. Or for that matter, the top of the skeleton of the aborted Starfire tower.

I was off duty at sixteen hundred (my employer, a security company, used military time). It had been in the Chinese sense an interesting day. We raised the half hourly rate for the second
time in a month. Not unexpected given government economic policy and I was still receiving curses and dumbfounded stares from the customers. One woman called me a Consentist son of a bitch.

I thanked her for the compliment.

Although it was damp I walked outdoors. On the skyways the enclosed bridges between buildings some people would ignore the convenient informational signs. They would see my security uniform and assume I knew all the answers to their stupid questions: "Where is the elevator? Where is (a building demolished five years ago?) Are you toxic? And have you been saved?"

I crossed the plaza of the old Federal Reserve Bank and started walking south on the mall. A street person probably male demanded change for bus fare. He/she/it cursed the Universe and me for not giving him/her/it an unearned existence.

Beyond Seventh Street, under the Skyway to Nowhere, was a clump of people being haranged. I looked at the boarded up skyway for new graffiti. Yes there was some. On the bridge between the
IDS tower and the terminally incomplete Starfire tower, someone had painted: "BEWARE OF FALLING DRAGONS".

I hadn't the faintest idea of what it meant.

I didn't stop as I passed the crowd. The man standing of on a home built platform was describing the evils of material existence. If he really believed what he uttering, he could have jumped off any of the convenient bridges in Minneapolis, or off the incomplete Starfire building. The fence around the abandoned work site wasn't really secure. The City Council was tiffed about that particular mess, but they only had themselves to blame.

I was halfway between Ninth and Tenth streets when somewhere behind me a bomb went off.

My first action was to jump into the convenient alley. I leaned against the north wall and counted off ten seconds. No other explosions or gunfire. I looked out. The antimaterialist speaker and his audience were gone,. I saw rising smoke, broken glass, and lumps of what looked like well dressed hamburger.

I ran back to the mess. Some cops had already arrived at the scene. I could read their faces. The older ones survivors of The Revolution showed no emotion. On the younger cops it was: "At
last someone who isn't a ghoul! Someone with first aid training! Can you do this sucking chest wound?"

Of course I could.

A Channel Four newsclown with his camera crew appeared. Many corespondents from that station are hired by the networks and one even got himself shot by a cop down in Nicaragua. The clown recorded his segment and left. 

He'll probably get a Koppel Award for it.

After those who could be saved were evacuated, I gave a statement to the police. I described everything I saw and heard including the speakers platform at what was now the center of the
blast area.

The cops gave me a lift to my flat. I lived in a small apartment  two blocks off of Lake of the Isles. I locked the door and took a long, hot shower. I have never really felt clean after messes like today's. Of course this time it wasn't a grunt hunt.

I opened a Diet Coke (the real thing was too sweet for me), switched on the anti-surveillance system, and booted up the PC. When I was finished, I placed the report on the day's incident with
the data I had gathered on the local politicians.

And once again I had the thought that I should have stayed home and helped Dad on his hemp farm outside of Rockstone, Guyana.