Pt.2 of 5: “‘Three’ if by fire”

‘Three’ if by fire

Check out "Article the fourth." Surprise...
Check out “Article the fourth.” Surprised? I was.

2 – Freedom in Flames

For the third time that night he was high up in the Senate gallery, a better-than-front-row seat. He was hovering over the goings-on.

“Yes-s-s..” he cheered aloud, stifling it quickly. The dream-scene predictably lost sharpness, began tunneling down like a glance down a reverse telescope. Damn…

He held his breath – blocked any further thoughts that might extinguish the vivid view.

The scrawny Leader of the Free World [LOTFW] appeared front and center. The chamber audience cheered and applauded wildly as the man raised an old oversized paper above his severely grayed head.

A Last Supper-sized group of sycophants – instead of the typical twosome – sat smiling behind his tele-promptered podium on this dreamier Senate platform.

Leaping to their feet, those sycos “upwaved” to get the roomful vertical as well. Surprisingly, the dreaming gardener easily recognized half their mugs. The remainder had nameplates only someone with their eyes closed could miss.

Using a favorite lucid-dream ability, Yoshi focused like a laser beam on the yellowed paper just before the Dear LOTFW lowered it. Only saw a few words…but they were seared into his retinas.

It was the Bill of Rights!

“My fellow…citizens. The fear-mongers…were actually…right…” the President began, in his now familiar, halting style, “We are…coming for…their rights…and their guns…” He smiled as tittering came from the twelve supper-guests on the dais behind. He’d honed his much discussed oratory style early on in his first term. The Legitimate Press called it politically-inspiring; enemies and Internet buffoons derided it as “Telepromter-Talk.”

The haters were wrong this time: the man needed no cheat sheet for those particular words.

Deafening cheers erupted and now nearly everyone was jumping to their feet as a Cindy-Lou-Who kind of girl – flanked by her parents – approached the front. Yoshi guessed she was 5 or 6-years-old.

“Starting here…” the President said, and Yoshi zoomed in as the man produced a paintbrush like a stage magician, Voila! then swiped it over a section of the Founders’ document, a clear liquid oozing out. Before the words dissolved into dribbles the dreamer saw: “Article the fourth…..A well regulated militia…”

Then another wave of applause arose, punctuated by whistles and cheers.

“Here are my helpers…” the LOTFW continued, now brushless, gazing magnanimously down on the family of three. “My heroes…and, oh, how they…have waited…so patiently……five long years…for a final solution to all the violence…Today, in memory of their dear daughter – and sister,” he smiled so broadly Yoshi feared the man’s face might split, like a Muppet’s, “Wantonly slaughtered – by a…gun…in Connecticut.” The happy fell from his face as he wiped at the corners of his eyes, “They…will have the…honor…”

The politician’s voice cracked. He was handed a white pocket square and he covered his mouth, to muffle some sort of sob or gasp, Yoshi figured.

Even the dreamer was now confused as a black uniformed SWAT-type officer appeared, a gleaming silver trash can in hand, his sinister battle-rifle on a short leash in front, as if freshly arrived from any of the USA’s active warzones…

The President handed him the yellowed document and Voila! an equally gleaming Zippo lighter went to the small family.

“No!” Yoshi exclaimed – or tried to. Only air escaped. The view didn’t start to tunnel though, or go to black this time; oddly, things got clearer.

Suddenly a sea of raised fists beat the air rhythmically; a primitive cacophony coalesced. As one, they chanted, “Burn them all…Burn them all…” From across the large room he could smell lighter fluid as, incomprehensibly, Mother, Father, and the little girl got a hand on the lighter, whose wheel they flicked in unison, which engaged the flint, which-

A menacingly large flame leapt up from the old school device nearly filling Yoshi’s field of dream-vision. A collective “Ou-u-u,” then, “Ah-h-h” likewise went up from the approving crowd; the tongues of hot colors grew as if fanned by their breath.

Still Yoshi remained unable to speak.

Orange, red, maroon…the flames engulfed, then devoured the thick dry paper. Too eagerly, it seemed to him. Even the enforcer-turned-butler now looked surprised.

One-handed, he grabbed his rifle, only to have it transform into trash “tweezers;” he commandeered the burning sheet and stuffed it unceremoniously into his trash can. Smoldering, it sent up a wall of dense black, obliterating the vestiges of savage delight at and behind the podium; muted the gleeful celebrants on the chamber floor.

Yoshi blinked hard; felt sick to his stomach but pushed aside his usual analysis. Reopening them revealed the President again. Holding up the two-hundred-plus year-old document. Again. Only now he shook it menacingly, as if it was a bad, bad baby and he was an even worse parent.

His dream had backed up, again!

This time shouting rang out from around the room before the third-term president could smirk and make his point about fear-mongers and gun-violence.

Yoshi watched, stunned, stomach clenching, as the regime’s Praetorian guards broke from at-ease, then went to en garde for no apparent reason. These troops were far more menacing than the trash-butler, even sporting two familiar federal-eagles ceremonially on each shoulder and the one on a masked helmet.

Probably, he thought, it had something to do with their flash-bang, tear-gas, mega-magazine, in-your-face riot-gear festoonery.

But then inexplicably, the dreamer felt a surge of hope as each Fed was confronted, one-on-one, by ghostly invader-shapes. Towering outlines wavered, then filled-in and solidified, challenging the heretofore unchallenged penultimate storm troopers.



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