Authors: Andrew Kjelland
“Say what now?” He turns around to his partner “Louie you hear that? Butt hole over here seems to got a lil spine in him. How bout the rest of yawl? You see the govment for what it truly is?”
“None of us have stars if that’s what you’re asking. We just want to get the hell out of the city.”
“Say what, you fellas need a way outta here? Ha, shit when I volunteered to fight in
they told me it was a near death sentence, not a way out even through the shit lines.” He says pointing to the sewer. “And by the looks of your ass you ain’t gona be waltzing your way down I55.”
“We’ze gonna kill em or what Bill I’m not liking just standing here, gotta keep moving.”
“God dam it Lou can’t ya see?
brothers in arms, our next of kin caught in all the misfortune the government can bestow.”
“God dam it what I tell you about getting all hypothetical on me.”
“It means we got to help em, you thick shit.”
“Vacate the alley with your stars showing and hands in the air.” The voice from the helicopter barrels down.
The man standing in front of us looks back down at us reaching out his hand. “Names Billy.”
I shake it, “Will.”
“Now we can’t get you outta here, we got work that needs doin. But we can probably get your ass back to the right number of holes. Maybe set you up with a lil food, shelter for the night till all these helicopters get tired chasing mice like yourselves.”
I look to the group who all give a general how the hell would I know look. “I suppose we don’t have much choice right now.”
“Well, all right then; it’s not more than a few blocks down.”
“Puts your hands up you sons of bitches!” A sudden voice from behind them yells. I can’t see him past our new friends but I know it’s Over. Billy and Louie spin guns drawn.
“Wait!” Grace yells, “They’re helping us.”
“What!? You sure?” Over asks.
“Ya, best chance we got,” Roger yells at him.
Louie and Bill part in my vision, a shit drenched Over stands a gun in each hand and Ecoli
dripping from his chin.
“God dam, were you in the sewer that whole time?” Billy asks.
“Fuck ya I was, had to go a goddamn block till I found a way out.
“How’d you get it in your hair?”
“What you expect it’s not built for walking down there.” He pauses and sheepishly says, “I might have fallen a few times.”
“God dam a few times?
Didn’t learn your lesson after the first one?”
Roger cries out almost laughing.
“Well looks like you’re gona need a shower.” Bill says, “or a hose then a shower most likely.”
“I’ll take both,” Over replies. Roger and Billy hoist me up by my arms as a shot of pain radiates through my ass.
“Damn it boy you lost more blood than it looked like we better hurry”.
In all the tension I had almost forgotten about the bullet wound.
“What are you guys thinking? We can’t just walk out of here with that helicopter,” Grace points out.
Billy breaking out into uncontrollable laughter. “You obviously don’t watch the news do you miss? Louie would you do me the honor of solving our little pest problem.”
“It’d be my pleaser.” He starts to rummage through his duffle bag and comes out with what looks like a grenade launcher. He loads it running into the street screaming “YYYEEEEEHHHHAAA, you bastards think yawl safe up there, but you gona die down here!” He fires the grenade a direct hit causing the helicopter to spin out of control and out of sight followed by a loud crash.
Louie waves us out of the alley. After three blocks of hiding behind dumpsters and store front awnings every time a helicopter gets close, we finally make it to where ever the hell it is we are going. It’s nothing special just an ordinary two story grey house.
“Here we are.
The brand spanking new white house,” Louie exclaims with a smile.
“Goddamn it Louie what I tell you about saying shit like that all out
in the open and what not.
God knows what the government has flying around. For all we know we could be helping em find him”.
“Him, who?” I ask.
“Our official semi democratically elected vice commander in chief. Mr.
Landen Paul himself” Billy almost whispers to us.
Paul guy?” I ask.
“No, no but the next best thing, his son.”
“Why is he in Chicago, didn’t he know it what was going to happen?”
“Now you see, that train exploding is what caused all this. When they blew up that train they were able to lock down the whole city.
All we can figure is they musta knew
was here and that catching him would be a great blow to us. And with blaming innocents getting killed in mass on some crazy rebel group would sure help their diplomacy and support. That’s why we’re here. Not only to protect Mr.
and hopefully find him a way out, but also to set the record straight about that train. God knows you do not put words in a rebel’s mouth. We don’t kill civilians weather they agree with our ideology or not, just ain’t right.”
We get to the door.
“Do the knock Louie.” Billy orders.
“Shit you do it, don’t feel like getting us all shot over a wrong knock.”
“I got my arms full with Mr. Assholes, just do the knock.”
“I don’t wanna do the knock ya hear?”
“Goddamn Lou grow a pair or get your ass to Canada.”
“Fine, fine I think I remember it.” He does the secret knock and the door immediately opens. A large man maybe two hundred and fifty pounds stands there his face looks like the kind that has a perpetual scowl on it. “Get inside.”
We all rush into the dimly light unfurnished house.
“Got injured, needs a bullet removed from the hind side.”
“Billy, we got enough troubles without you looking for charity cases on the street.”
“Why the hell we here then? What we rebelin for if we just gona leave the people we’re fighting for on the streets to die, huh?”
“I’m just sayin we can’t fix up the whole dam city, get him and his friends down stairs to the doc, he wants to talk to you anyways.” “Wait, wait hold on, are you covered in fucking shit?” He asks Over.
“Ya he was goin all commando out there in the streets, be a good hostess an let him use the shower.”
The man scowls in reply, as he takes Over to the other end of the house.
“He’s a lovely piece of work ain’t he?” Billy rhetorically asks as he leads us down the steep wooden stairs. Opening the door at the bottom showing a brightly lit room with
a long wooden desk in the middle.
“How’s the mission Billy?” A middle age man with a strong southern drawl asks.
“Well, transmitters in place, an got a guy here with a little too much led in his ass courtesy of Uncle Sam.”
“Hello son, names Landen
how are you feeling?”
“Heads a little light other than that I suppose I could be worst,” I reply.
“Well you’re in luck, just so happens I’m a doctor. Lay him on the table and we’ll see what the damage is.” They lay me face down, pulling my jeans to my ankles.
“You got a pretty nice ass kid,” Louie smiles as he turns going back upstairs. I see Grace out of the corner of my eye getting a fair amount of enjoyment out of it.
“Well it sure is pretty deep, but I should be able to get it out.”
“Billy, where did you put your tackle box?”
“What!?” I yell.
“Do you see
an emergency room here son?
We aren’t a hospital and all we got is what Billy takes fishin with him at the moment.”
“Here you go sir,” Billy says handing him the tackle box.
“Good, you see nothing to worry about. Needle nose to get it out, and a hook and line to patch you up.” He pulls out a half gone fifth of jack. “You mind if we use some of this?”
“Go right ahead sir, jack messes with my aim anyways,” Billy replies pretending to shoot a gun in the air.
“Could I have some?” I ask. “You know for the pliers you’re about to stick in my ass.”
“Well son now I would, but since we’re going to be rootin around in there, it’s a good chance you’ll start bleedin again. And with the blood you have already lost it’s a bad idea to give you alcohol on account of it thinning your blood.”
“Is they anything you can give me?”
looks to Billy, “it’s up to you Bill, I feel better with you not having too much of that on you anyways.”
Obviously hesitant then deciding the karma just may be worth it he nods. “Well God dam it’s your lucky day son. Got some o this shit on my way though Milwaukee, and lucky for you I consider myself a true Hu, man, I, tare, iun.” He says giving each syllable its apparent due recognition. He drops a bag of white powder on the table and a credit card.
“What’s that?” I ask.
“That there is your anesthesia. Your top o the line painkiller, your numero uno”.
“We get it Billy,” Landen
says cutting him off.
“It’s just some dam good cocaine son. Believe me, you won’t feel a thing”. Only consolation I got is when you come down, you don’t go getting yourself shot just for another snort of this shit. I’m only generous once ya hear? Plus I’m thinking not too many dealers are gona be sticking around these parts long, so I gotta make it last me.”
He pours the powder on the table right in front of my face making two lines with the card.
“I don’t know that seems like a lot,” I tell him.
He busts out laughing, “Son, you only get one,” he says as he quickly leans over the table taking a line in one
fluid motion. “Hooweee hell ya!
Smells like college don’t it Landen?”
Landen rolling his eye, “the only rocks I had in college where in my whiskey.”
I slowly lift my head taking a sample hit. The powder enters my nose. I feel like I just inhaled a fire pit. “Jesus I don’t know, I’ve never done this stuff before.”
“It’s probably not gona be that bad anyways, I’ve got a steady hand son” Landen
“Just go on without it.”
“Hell ya,” Billy cries as he quickly take the other line in one quick motion.
Ok let’s get started.
grabs a bowl and pours the whiskey into it. Placing the needle nose, fishing line, and hook into it we wait in silence as they disinfect.
It’s done, he finishes sewing me up. I pull up my pants and just lay there,
wiping the tears from my eyes.
“You’re gona be just fine son. Little sore but your ass is gona make it.” He says with a grin.
“Well I can't thank you enough,” I tell him.
“It's not a problem son, it's for people like yourself that we are even doing this. I'm just glad I could fight this war with a scalpel instead of a gun tonight. Now why don't you go upstairs and get some food, I’ve got some work that needs attending to.”
Bill comes up to my side pulling my arms over his shoulder as he helps me up the stairs.
“You’re in for a treat boy, we got the finest chef in all o Chicago cooking upstairs for yawl.”
“What’s he making?”
“Well tonight’s menu is a gourmet cup o instant
noodles with a side of hot dogs cooked in a coffee maker. Dam stoves ain’t workin and in the name o conservation we’re only
the small appliances with our generator.”
“Well it sure beats nothing.”
“I suppose you can say that if you insist on being optimistic,” he retorts as we make it to the top of the stairs.
Grace bolts to me as soon as I come into view, wrapping her arms around me.
“How’s your ass?” She asks with a sly smile.
“Ha it's never been better.”
“Here let’s get some food,” she says taking Bills spot at my side. We slowly make our way to the kitchen, the stench of burn hot dogs and cheap noodles
fill the air. She sits me down at the table, a shot of pain flows through my lower half as I shift my weight to what can only be referred to as my good cheek. Grace brings two plates sitting next to me as Roger,
Billy and Louie each take a seat around the table. Over wearing clothes that are obviously two sizes too big for him.
“So what’s your guy’s story?” I ask Billy and Louie.
“Well, we’re parta the Free Man’s Militia, hailin all the way from Montana. Now I know how that sounds, like we’re some hiding out in the woods head cases just waiting for the world to end, but that just ain’t the case.”
“Well,” Louie interjects.
“Well, it ain’t the case for all of us.” Another long look from Louie,
“Well some of us... maybe just me an Louie, and possibly Watchtower are the only ones that ain’t.”
“Watchtower?” Grace prods.
“O, that’s right you guys ain’t met him yet, he’s proba
bly upstairs, keepin a lookout. But getting back to ma point.
We just some guys practicing livin by our own wits, few weekends a month. And ya, few o us mighta been waitin on the world to end, but hey look at us now, can’t say they’re exactly crazy anymore.”
“But we must have seen almost a thousand of you guys running around Chicago, how are there so many?” Grace asks.
“It ain’t just us, you probably didn’t know this but there’s well over three hundre
d militias throughout the country.
And believe me when the news broke about that veteran gettin sent to the hospital by the police you’d of thought the government declare war on us or somethin. Hell we had one guy drive all the way from Mississippi an tell us about how they were gona attack the White House. Said he was representin the south east militas an such.”