Night Terrors - 16 - Raconteur
I stand in the street and hear in the distance a woman scream, "federalists!" and I hear the wheels of a car spin around the corner onto the street I am walking, through the sunroof stands a boy with a machine gun whom begins firing on the public and laughing, when it passes we continue on our way, because this is how things are here.
I walk passed the signs that say, 'positions available, serfs only', I cannot stop to apply for a position because they only allow the party to work and I refuse, too political for me and I don't have the tithe to pay required before you can work, by choice of creed I won't work at the company store. I continue through the small-minded secularized city into suburbia and see old glory hastily and majestically sprayed over an old billboard with a stencil for only the original thirteen stars, black and white, with the stars on the left it means that a capitalist refugee camp is left and nearby in the forest, they let us live as outcasts, for now.
I make my way to the hospice, with communism running rampantly ineffective, aside other unscrupulous traits, the coal plant officers sell us charcoal we use for filtering water polluted only to be blamed on political enemies of the party, the most hated are called federalists, constitutionalists, capitalists, demonized for individualism. In the party's defense, they're not that bright, they praise individualism but cannot become it in irony and punish it in hypocrisy. Communism by design is corrupt and so the coal plant officers gratefully sell us things we need against party rules, for extra cash, just as most tenured officials do, when they're not under party review. It's dangerous, but better to drink than to drought.
I move to the outdoor kitchen for food but am denied without something to barter, my mission among the drones was successful so I accept this current situation and walk from the sweetly-smelling venison soup to the door of the commissary tent. After speaking with an old friend from Hoosier hills and another newly made friend I walk inside the camp headquarters.
It's best to note, as our numbers grew we were forced to split into smaller bands, the more troops, the larger the den. Large groups can't spend time in open plains without food either, nor is it a good idea to make many zealous attempts to graze in intervals on the fields, tho the underground railroad helps, and large groups are typically gathered and the young indoctrinated, their parents fare worse. Marxists make it a habit to deny holocausts, communism in reality had not been liberal because it does not allow free thought, it was and is overly conservative as it tries to keep clandestine monopoly, and overtly fascist appealing to the beasts within people. Republicans were the liberals and libertarians, yet the latter were ambivalent to forces outside fate such as the liberal mind is, unadventurous independence, this derivative pithiness is me digressing, the golden age is over and the fight has begun, war has grown.
My friend and leader sits watching TV in the tent, solar powered, it plays the state television quarterly debate, pinkos are the party but they allow the socialists as a vassal-like class because they demand that money leeched by the party be spent, illogically but profligate nonetheless, which makes the party seem useful, the favorite ruse it seems of bureaucrats. The communist behind a podium of a red flag argues for research into genetic testing that will allow scientists to divulge if an unborn child is capitalist to expedite abortion procedures, the socialist with a red flag argues for the funding first to do so. Their callow propaganda sounds while my mind imagines them as puppets and the hidden face of Satan.
From the disarmament pacts served through disinformation fascism, guns for all people are outlawed and anyone opposed to the existence of the party are now called citizen and no longer brother or sister, and in doing so run the risk of death for thought crimes. Even if I am mad, trapped inside my mind by paranoia, to seem unsympathetic unnoticed and still pose that the devil is in the details, such a theology could also be punished. We still have our pistols and caches of weapons in scores in troves but the tent is filled with archery weapons and blades to present ourselves as hunters and butchers, and nothing more.
Democracy is a body politic, its blood has been spilt, the wound will heal only with the flow of blood. The chief mentions to me his disgust with the rhetoric of the state and I politely agree with him. There would not be peace without violence, the misanthropic theocracy the party spouts is bile to corrode life, the warlords tearing holes in the ancient peaceful world would call it dishonor, if it describes the evil and idiocy of the party, I'd have to agree with them. I give him cold hard cash, he'll use it to buy facade and subterfuge for the ever battle, I'm offered ammo and meat then told by him "in God we trust" and I repeat it to him then wipe my hand on the side of my jacket. It is a matter of secrecy that we never salute, our signal in deep cover is brushing ourselves to be clean of particulates, like baseball signals, because it makes us seem fastidious under scrutiny and brings a new meaning to guerrilla warfare.
We'll be moving forward soon, you can always tell when we're pulling up stakes when the clothes are being washed. The cash was part of my duty to the cause, we steal it from the unsuspecting or steal things of even trivial value then wander until we can sell them for money, we use currency for fuel and seeds if ours are lost in battle, they're more valuable than money to us at this point. Its main purpose is for costume and conflict, we never spy anymore, that lead to this hell. The party blamed the free world, we are their lies come to veneration, to the unknown innocent we are the decedents of those seeking redemption and the descendants of vengeance. Even before the war the Islam fought blindly in their own blood, now we're swimming in it.
I take my cut of meat to the nearby fire, the children politely approach in wonder and begin asking questions, I cut a strip and eat it raw, when the children ask I tell them they're too young to eat raw meat and sever the cut in half and give it to their denmother, I eat pieces cooked at the fire's edge with my knife, offering occasional pieces with a young couple as my mind races about the girls in the city that in whiles get information from party officers and elevated aristocratic sympathizers.
Eventually we tell our stories of our common enemy to the children, our plight and exploit explained through the joy of killing communists, which I imagine is the same tale the ancients would tell of hunting bears in deep caves except to add the slavery and sin of the war, but keeping certain to never tell the children why we fight. They must decide to err on the side of good, I can't afford to take another choice from them, they've lost so many already. As the children tire we tell the stories of Napoleon told to us when we were children at the start of the war, memorized in great lengths from books now flipped and thumbed into disuse and disrepair, copied by hand somewhere the mountains.
When the Left is caught in treason they deny it ever happened, if desperate they might attempt to argue their case, but with so many of them now, they so quickly turn to violent radicalism. When the Right is caught in treason they'll admit their error, but provide a patsy, the way an animal might chew-off a limb caught in a trap, slowly losing credibility or mobility, but slow to violence, but when they begin to fight it's hard to make them stop. I believe freedom is in the right, that is us, we are a small band sick of the party's full spectrum lies, teachers nauseous of the reeducation camps that put leaders to death and liars to despotism, doctors that won't ration and cutback care, scientists and soldiers that don't want to repeat a dark tyrannical history.
The fire is low and the night is long, I see darkness lurking in the trees, I hear a whispering gravel voice, a figure of shadow stands near a tree and I pull my pistol with its modified short silencer and aim at the visitor, it is a visit from darkness itself, it leaves like a cloud of darkness that consumes light dissipating into the nothingness.
I sleep and wake with the season putting cold into each dawn, my eyes open to see the Muslims doing their morning prayers in the trees, when done an old friend among them shouts to me religious words in their native language, and I reply 'in God we trust', it is the way of soldiers of our insurrection to give a greeting mentioning God and any one of us could do it in a hundred languages since we were young, it perhaps is why they joined us. They had given up their rabidness, their fear of pork, fear of booze, their contempt of differing faiths, and their polygamy is nonexistent much to many woes of any man from his illicit dreams. They however did not give up their old ways of direct assault, they get into a car with handmade guns so if caught cannot be traced and handmade grenades and head to the nearest concentration of pinkos, they'll act as a corrosion to conformity for life or death, escape and lead them astray for a second wave to slaughter the pencil pushers and rubber stampers, with enough numbers they might even lead the reds into a forest trap and feast or famish.
"Hey!..snap out of it!" a boy shouts at me, "we're going now taker," I've flaked in that last thought, we're moving out in caravan, nomadic we travel, solar and the sweet smell of gasoline. I sit in an old school bus turned into a command unit, I watch a warrior half my age make the compounds that turn plastic into flammable liquids, his tools are in hidden drawers in the walls.
A city approaches the road ebbing beneath the floating horizon, the bus halts and we exit and scout a place to drive into the forest, the bus's solid tires tread softly over the soil and scare a rabbit, three pocket crossbows with the bow against the side of the pistol instead of atop it, point and shoot, one of which is mine, another of such shoots very close to my hand, the rabbit is dead, the two other shooters are boys, I tell them to "bring me my arrow" and one of them takes the rabbit in one hand and pulls the tiny arrow with the other, he holds forward the arrow and reluctantly the rabbit, I take the arrow and gently slap the side of his head and turn away from him. I hear their feet dash through the leaves and their mother calls them, their feet halt as they give a contemplative 'yes' simultaneously. I can no longer hear their conversation over the sound of leaves crushing beneath my feet. We pull the netting over the lowered bus, set the sensors by the road, check the scanner in the vehicle, and roshambo for who takes first shift guard duty. I am first to patrol and afterward first to sleep.
Dreaming I see a city of museums and monasteries, I walk thru gates over large square stones, thru large doors, I see a famous painter on a ladder creating one of the famous paintings, the afternoon is also evening, the surreal light is transparent but bright and dark, in the shadows a woman cat burglar comes to remove the paintings from the abode, her form wrapped in black cloth, like the ninjas from books in the archive, to do so she swings a rope with a triple hook on it used for climbing to a rung of the ladder, then pulls the artist down to their death. The burglar begins to take the paintings, and the dizziness of disillusionment makes me a picture, while watching her take the pictures, while watching through her eyes, while feeling the world be taken like a picture from a wall as the ground shakes and melts, I fear and startle myself awake from nightmare.
I walk toward the guard on patrol and am silently ambushed by another stealthy sentinel and tell them my dream and new found revelation, they patronize me for the entire telling of the dream and ask me "are you asking us or telling us?" to which I presume is my zealousness and retell them my interpretation, "when we are living we are fighting, to sleep among leeches is to die, when we cannot make our funding nor can we attack, we spy, and if left for too long, sabotage a luxury, a noble's new wardrobe, a king's apple cart, something that would never be a major target, but those are our major targets... look, if we disturb the river we channel the river, ...if we take the luxury from the lives of career aristocrat wives, they'll soon be angered at their husbands, which forces the commies to shuffle their strengths, come hunt us as they would never dare, in the confusion we stage spies and saboteurs throughout their base, the final trigger is to hit a supply shipment, a freighter or a train, then collapse a stronghold in a single night."
The guard reaches into his coat leaving me believing that he is about to shoot me, the same thought to the second patrolman, but it is a bottle of booze. With his hand on my shoulder he pulls a flask, he hands it to me then briefly squeezes me saying, "that is a fine idea, drink, in the morning we tell the chief then call the mountain." a bitter drink called moonshine, I can hear the shadows whispering again.