Thursday, August 27, 2009

#4 Rider Of The Storm

The storm was approaching out of the southwest at a leisurely rate. Lightning spiked against the black clouds on the endless horizon over the dusty cornfields. A normal late summer afternoon in Kansas and Dale was pedaling his bike against the increasing wind trying to get to his job at the local Commonwealth Corporate Hardware Store before the fiirst rain drops hit.
He swore silently, a secret pleasure rushing through him as he cursed. No one could hear him out in the fields on his bike on the outskirts of Overland Park. He had silently whispered a curse word in his lab class yesterday at Cheney High and was reported to the monitor by that little pest, Angela Blasinsky.
That’s why he was riding his bike. He couldn’t take the bus like the other kids because of the corrective Christian detention he had to sit through as punishment for the next week.” I gotta get out of here” he desparately thought, “ Someday I’m gonna save enough money to go to New york or Los Angeles!”
An unspoken dream that could get him in even more trouble. “You never know who’s a snitch” he sneered.
Last month, his Uncle James had visited from New york City. Uncle James had arrived late complaining that he had been strip searched at the Heartland Visitors Welcome Center at the Kansas City Airport. “They took my newspapers!” He fumed, “No one said that I couldn’t bring a copy of the New york Times into the Commonwealth! You’d think this wasn’t part of the United States anymore!”
Then he had hinted that he had been questioned about his marital status and sexual orientation. They finally let him enter after a DNA sample of his saliva was collected.
An airport security gaurd had syruply smiled and said, "Welcome to the Christian Hearland Commonwealth, sir. Your visitors pass has been approved for a 2 week period."

It seemed that the border was getting tighter and tighter. Less and less visitors from the outside were coming into the Commonwealth for simple tourism. People seemed more suspicious than ever of outsiders.. There had recently been an incident of violence against a group of travelers that had blundered into a small town and tried to buy more gas than the rationing system allowed. They had been roughed up a bit because there was a panic that they might be arabs or something worse. The sherrif’s men had saved them and asssured the towns people that they were Americans with an Italian last name.

The family assured them that they were only trying to get to a relatives house for a visit in the next county and were in the Commonwealth on valid visitors passes and weren’t trying to get jobs.

Dale knew the last thing he wanted to do was work for the rest of his life for a Commonwealth Comapny. He could see gangs of laborers in the farm field even now as the storm approached. “What chance of a future did any of them have?” he thought. You were born into a workers family, no chance of a real education, brainwashed into religious submission and housed by the Corporation in a settlement in the middle of the endless Commonwealth Corporation Farmlands.
You could have a little plot of land if you wanted to have a garden, but other than that, the Commonwealth owned you. They gave you the medical care they thought you deserved, taught you what they thought you needed to know and you really didn’t even have to buy food. You could always eat at your community Christian Heartland Kitchen. The question was, what were they serving you?

When the Christian Heartland Commonwealth was formed in 2013, it seemed to be a buffer against the failing economy, the godless influences of immorality, the creeping menace of foreign workers and ideas. Christians united in a common vision to take care of each other with out the interference of the Federal Government. The 4 state Union was approved under President Palin, soon after she took office after the unfortunate, tragic death of President McCain. Alaska soon followed suite. Alaska was made a security buffer Commonwealth, with the newly appointed Brigadier General Todd Palin as the de facto military governor. It all seemed legal enough, but who had the time to stop anything, these days?

It was hard for President Palin to do other wise, what with the endless and expanding war with the Arabs and the unexpected results of the pre emptive offensive against Iran that McCain had initiated.
Dale had seen the latest pictures of the slow devastation of Israel, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon as they slowly succumbed to the spread of radiation. The news casters were invariably grim when reporters braved the dangers to bring the latest pictures, but the reports invariably ended on an upbeat note, with items about advances in the treatment of radiation sickness and the cheery predictions that the fallout would have little effect on the mainland United States.
Europe, on the other hand.......

Lightning flashed somewhere very near in back of him and the resulting thunder almost knocked Dale off of his bike, he pedaled faster as the first raindrops dashed against his face.
Still about a quarter mile to go, he cursed silently again.........

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