“Three” if by Fire
Part 5 of 5: Dive right in
The woman wouldn’t listen, especially to Yoshi. Had to see it for herself.
The Metro was indeed a nightmare.
Back at the office Yoshi squeezed into the crowded conference room-turned-lunchroom. Even the end “shin-killer” spaces at the wood-topped table were filled. With the festive mood it seemed nobody cared about banging into the edges of its twin art-metal “parenthesis” base. They watched the super-sized flat screen as one, paying no mind to the view of D.C. in the distance, out floor-to-ceiling windows.
Yoshi’s boss for the day stepped into the doorway; paused dramatically. “Hey, Yoshi,” she waited until most eyes were on either her or him, “Seen any lizards in the Senate yet?” Several people laughed, others smirked and shook their heads.
Yup, he’d been an idiot to fill some of their traffic time telling them his nightmare.
“Uh-h-h, learned how to set an alarm clock yet?” he retorted. If she hadn’t been 15 minutes late to the office they’d have been way more than two-cars further onto the bridge. Would be making their own broadcast and reporter’s journals rather than rehashing the parent company’s.
She glared at him. He smiled back, knowing he’d live no worse on unemployment.
It was finally time for the President’s address and bill-, or whatever- signing.
Yoshi, still haunted by his dreams, stepped to the plate glass windows; looked towards downtown D.C. then glanced towards the group.
Co-workers “Sh-h-h’d!” each other; stared at the screen; crowded closer.
“My fellow…citizens,” the President began, “the day…of four new freedoms…is dawning…” Deafening cheers from the surround-sound speakers filled the meeting room, then merged with employee tittering.
But he couldn’t watch, didn’t need to watch the screen. Needed to watch the City.
“…Yes, America will have true liberty at last…She will have…freedom from fear…freedom from violence…freedom from guns…and finally…freedom from fear-mongering gun-owners…beginning today!” Now full-on cheering and clapping and stomping came from his co-workers. The room actually vibrated from the combined melee.
Yoshi shook his head; forced himself to not look at the TV. Typical politician. Not even that tallest lizard could keep those promises…
Then he saw a flaming ball, whose size he couldn’t fathom, falling straight down from the sky. Unbelieving, he turned back to the TV just in time to see the sporadically flickering image of the three-term President as he began waving an oversize yellowed paper vigorously; something made a thunderous sound.
“Oh my God…”
Like a miniature sun, the ball continued to slash through the hazy blue leaving a white contrail, a pointer of sorts. It struck the City and Yoshi knew this was no dream; a grey dust “spatter,” blocks wide, flew up.
Many had turned to stare dumbly at his outburst and went wide-eyed as they noticed the scene out the window. He shouted again, anyway, “Get down! Now!” Almost immediately the shock from the impact, barely three miles away, began vibrating the aluminum drink cans and silverware on the tabletop.
Suddenly desperate to survive, Yoshi dove under the table’s heavy wooden planks; slid easily between the narrow 3-D parentheses’ gap; put his head down and covered it with his forearms.
He knew there was room for a couple of others…
The screen was blessedly silent now; Yoshi’s co-workers babbled incoherently. A few laughed nervously.
In his mind’s eye he saw the debris-wave traveling outward from the Capital building, an ever-expanding, yet perfect, circle.
Probably laughing at me, he thought, as the rumbling shock-wave arrived, turning the double-paned plate-glass windows into countless crystal scimitars.
— THE END —
Starting Sunday, 21 april 2013:
“Yankee Determinism” a political fairytale in multiple parts.
It’s the southern Berkshires, in not too distant future, and a time of dictatorial “presidents,” planned economic Depression, and widespread hopelessness. Somehow a flame of independent-thought remains (and not just in “old-fogies”), proving the spirit of the Founding Freedom Fighters has, in fact, NOT completely disappeared from the once-revolutionary bloodlines of rural New England.