In light of Monsieur Trump’s somewhat startling win in the presidential race, I offer up this wee bit of fiction, written back in October, when the world seemed less a kilter. The extract is from my novella, ‘Trafficville ~ USA’.
Someone we think we all know comes to town
A dark-haired man, with that funny little moustache, stepped out of a grove of trees in Windsor Park and walked, of a cool, late evening, towards the lights of town. Where had he come from? No-one would ever know. What did he want? – that they would soon find out.
‘Things are bad,’ the little, dark-haired man with the funny moustache said. ‘It’s like we’ve been in a war and we aren’t recovering yet. How come, hey, how come?’
He had a kind of voice and eyes that shone, lustrous eyes, and you couldn’t help but listen. Here, in Morrie’s old-style Munich Beer hall, he had an audience; just the usual gang, Phil from down the box works, and Andy from MidWest Bank, Ron and Howard, who’d been let off from the car plant, and Felix, who ran the fix-it guy franchise. There was Betty, who worked at Walmart, and Greta and Milly who PA’d for corporate clients… And a few more, sitting off in the gloomy dark, people with the same sorts of names and the same sort of stories and people who’d been venting just a little about the poor state of the nation. And the little man had listened and he’d said a few quiet words in response to something Phil had said, and Phil had said – ‘Hey you guys, listen to this; this guy knows a thing or two.’
And then, in just a wee while, the little, dark-haired man with the funny moustache had the floor, like he owned it. He added to their complaints, he wrapped them up in general weltschmertz and he told them what they wanted to hear. ‘People don’t own their own homes any more, our jobs are meaningless, trivial nothings, and even those jobs they take away from us. Drug barons run the government, and law enforcement… Schools are failing and our kids can’t even read and write any more; all the things that used to make our country great – well, they’ve sold them off to foreign interests.’
‘And does anyone do anything about this? Anyone? Anything? Does anyone who should care, care?’
‘No,’ they all whispered (or some of them maybe just thought it in the prickliest part of their minds), but man, didn’t they agree. What could he offer them?
Camps for Mexicans
They came for Juan Lopez and Penny in the dead of night; men in black uniforms with a lightning flash over a wall motif sewn onto the right sleeve of their long black shirts and jackets.
No-one knew who they were or where they’d come from… But there they were, in a black Mercedes van, out in the street, so Lleyton observed (as too did Myron, who’d been sent by Richo to observe).
Lleyton had known something was coming but could not tell exactly what it would be… He’d seen the electronic ripples in the matrix sub-strate, almost felt the unusual photon beats of electronic discord (like a Pearl Harbour style attack on an unsuspecting star fleet, thought Trekkie Lleyton). And the pulses were converging on his friends’ places; on Penny’s and on that funny old dude, Juan Lopez (whose story Lleyton knew). Myron Oli was hanging around the Sweet’s house. Lleyton knew Oli’s cyber-signature, knew he went where trouble was brewing.
He’d learnt enough of the Trafficville matrix to be able to identify a rough location but he’d missed the arrest of Juan Lopez; he saw him now, handcuffed, led down the path and prodded into the back of the van that had disgorged the men in black. The van started up. Lleyton ran – he knew they’d be after Penny next.
Out of breath he flung himself beneath a bush, hard breaths (got to do more exercise) kicking up the smell of moist ground. There’d been a storm the night before. And he saw them coming for Jenny, saw them going in before he could get there and tell her and her family to go somewhere – to hide. Three of them, walking now, calm and implacably right, up the Veritas’ Driveway.
The first Penny knew of it was the banging at the door. She thought…
It’s exactly like you see in those movies: crazy, disjointed, not believing; the men in black, her Dad hit and thrown on his back, cuffed… her Mom screaming ‘what the fuck are you doing…’ And the backhand slap (no, harder than a mere slap) that flings her mother against a wall, all in pyjamas, all of them, crazy, tousle-haired, herself, and she just holds out her wrists, not because she is scared but because she wants to keep her wits about her, and her strength; she is surprised at the level of her hate.