A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 143: The Twilight Zone

Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran

Contributing Muse: Tarasandia, 12 May 2021

Editor: nnpdad 19 May 2021

Help I’m steppin’ into the twilight zoneThe place is a madhouse
Feels like being cloned{br}

My beacon’s been moved under moon and starWhere am I to go, now that I’ve gone too far?
Soon you will come to know
When the bullet hits the bone{br}

-George Kooymans, Golden Earring

Dinnertime was upon us and it was time for me to rock and roll. I was trying to motivate myself, though I felt like I no longer understood myself. I knew what I wanted to say, I guess. At this point, it was all a matter of how I said it. I went inside for a bourbon and to see if I was even the least bit presentable in appearance.

When I looked in the mirror, a hard man looked back at me. I could see a lot of other things, but determination was the overriding image right now. I still had a little time while the folks ate, so I loitered with Aunty in the kitchen a while. She gave me coffee to go with my cigarette and I described to her what I wanted to say. The nice thing about Aunty is that every time I was around her, hopes and dreams became part of my mantra again.

Bourbon finished, coffee finished, and cigarette snubbed, it was time to go out and build confidence. Aunty’s eyes shone with belief as she watched me rise and shrug myself back into standing condition. I wasn’t surging with confidence, but I was only standing in front of a crowd of one. I would feel differently out there. I was fully kitted out for travel and also fully armed with both pistol and shotgun, even if the pistol was still concealed. I even had my travel bag slung over my shoulder. For all intents and purposes, I was ready to go.

I whistled up Brin and walked out to face the crowd on the back lawn, with Aunty in tow. The spot where the stone deck descended down to the lawn still served as our dais. I stopped there to view the people assembled. There were far more than I had imagined, and there I stood, alone in front of them. They looked to me with expectation in their eyes. So many eyes.

I held my bag and shotgun out and Amos took them from my hands. Tossing my hat to the side, I shook my hair out, looked up at the brilliant blue, clear sky, and then began.

“This very morning disaster came crashing down towards us!”

I let that hang for a moment, then cleared my voice and continued.

“But it wasn’t to be.

“We were protected.

“That mindless force of destruction was made to pass over us and then allowed to vent its destructive energy on unfortunate others. We grieve for their losses.”

Powerful words, said slowly and with sympathy.

“Sadly, we lost two of our own and we will bury them here today. Had they been where they should have been, this wouldn’t have happened.

“We mourn their loss, regardless.”

“This place has been a curse to us all!

“We need to leave and leave we shall, on tomorrow’s morn.

“Staying can only bring more heartbreak and we cannot trust that disaster will skip us next time.

“Rulo awaits and with it awaits freedom, hope, and dreams.” That brought the first of many cheers.

It was time to start building energy off the cheers and murmurs of agreement.

“I promise you that you will have what you hope and dream!

“Hard travel and hard work await, but the work will be the work you do for you and for your town!

“I promise you that elusive American dream of true freedom!

“Land for each person!

“Food to keep you fed!

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