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Authors: Andrew Kjelland

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BOOK: Black Box 86ed
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She smiles.

“I want to hear you say it, right now, say it.”

“Say what?”

“Before I can let you go I need to be certain that you know just how special you really are”

She pauses, gathering her thoughts. “Well, if I’m getting this correctly you are currently the luckiest man alive right now.”

“Dam straight”

She smiles rolling her eyes as she pulls me back into her.

“You’re an idiot!
You God dam idiot.” I yell at myself. Walking up to them the light flickering between each footstep. They have become frozen, intertwined, like I’ve paused a movie.

hat did you think would happen? HUH WILL!?! Cause I can tell you!
She’s going to call you, crying just like she is now.”

The light begins to slowly fade; I feel it more than I see it.

“And you will be there for her, you will be her emot
ional doormat in shining armor.
That’s all you are, that’s all you’re going to
be, and that’s all you deserve.
You get attached and she fucks your best friend!” I scream.

“And what are you going to do about it?”

The light almost completely gone as I yell at silhouettes. My rage, anger, and self hatred boiling.

“Nothing, you do nothing. She will slips from your arms and you will let her. You deserve this.”

In an instant the light goes out. Darkness once more. Complete emptiness, it’s odd, as if the earth has moved without me. I’ve been left behind, a tiny little creature floating endlessly though absolute emptiness, not even the stars seem to care about as they’ve left me too.

“WWIIILLLLL,” a girl’s voice floats softly to me. “What cha dooiiin?”

Her melody like falling snow slowly covering, wrapping itself around me as I breathe it in. It’s here again. My candless little candle flame.

“WWWIIILLLL” It calls once more. It’s siren song irresistible. Reaching out I cup it in my hands. Finally letting me pull it in, bringing it to my eyes entranced I stare.

“Will?” it asks, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” I breathe out blowing away its flame like a dandelion in the wind. Falling and floating all around me the embers slowly sifting into the distance becoming the night sky.

My eyes open. I’m on my living room floor head throbbing. I look up to see my front door with a hole just about the size of my head.
God, I would just like to personally thank you, I know how to appreciate a fucked up sense of humor as much as the next guy. But for once I would love to stop being the butt of a joke for once. Please? Just for a little while, just bring me a little happine
ss. I would appreciate it, amen. Rolling onto my stomach running my fingers through the thick brown shag carpet I claw myself to the couch. My heart pounding what feels like buckets of blood through the new lump on my forehead. I close my eyes, inhaling to my lungs limits and hold once more.




I feel the sun on my eyelids
as they slowly open. A piercing pain behind my left eye, as if it’s trying to push its way out of its socket. Putting my hand to my forehead rubbing it. Jesus, rough night I guess. I slowly turn from the
of the couch looking to the brand new seeing head hole in the door. The sun poking through. God dam what the hell did I do last night. It’s a complete blur with just bits and pieces and vodka shots floating to the surface with an overwhelming sense of… oh I don’t know, I can’t describe it. It feels like that part in some scary movie where the idiot protagonist hears something in the basement. And as soon as he starts to walk down the stairs to check it out, the door slams locking behind him. Right at that moment. That, I have just fucked myself feeling. I’m trapped and it’s my fault for being an idiot protagonist. I slide onto my stomach. The image of me trying and failing to fight last night thumb tacked to the wall of my skull. What should I do? People are going to ask about it.

A tiny, little something catches my eye next to me on the couch. It’s a bug, an insect, I can tell by the legs. There’re six, plus if it even looked like a spider I would have instinctively killed it already. I just stare at it, fat, kinda chubby, with red and black looking paint on its back. Kind of an off brand ladybug. Pausing from its walk lifting its antennas they float back and forth.

What the hell do those things do? I wonder as I slowly take off my shoe,
raising it above the little guy. Do they smell? Or feel? Or help them see? I stare perplexed. One thing I do know is that they defiantly do not detect giant ten and a half size shoes of death that are about to rain
down hell
. I dig my shoe into the couch. Surprisingly squishy it’s guts and brains and nerve endings and internal organs streak across the white felt, a massacre. I’m a murderer. God, what if that happened to us? What would you do if you just were walking from the store carrying the milk for your cereal and low and behold some massive shoe comes careening down squishing your neighbor? It’s got to suck to be a bug.

Reaching for the remote I flip on the TV it’s already on CNN.

CNN: In the face of growing police opposition a mass of about 400,000 protesters have flooded the docks here in Oakland. Where just last night the scene of chaos and bloodshed which added twenty nine more lives to the death toll. Twenty five of whom where civilians and four police officers. This no longer appears
in any way to the mostly peaceful protest we witnessed just a few short weeks ago. People have brought sticks, are throwing rocks, m
olotov’s, and fireworks. Obama has declared a state of emergency, hinting that if violence persists all options are on the table including
of military units. Here is a clip of the presidents’ latest address to the nation.

The TV switches to Obama standing in the pressroom
of the White House. “We have a well tested, tried
and true system of governance.
We must protect those rights of not only the protesters but also the rights of those
that have been broken by them.
We will not allow Oakland and several other major cities to be the twenty f
irst century Los Angeles riots.
You have t
he right to protest peacefully.
But, you must do so with respect to the authority of t
hose serving behind a badge.
I ask everyone going to the docks today or any other occupy rally, to not bring weapons of war but
an idea that we can solve this.
That your voice
will be and has been heard.
I will do everything in my power to right those who feel they have been wronged.”

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah I switch the channel to FOX news, it’s William O’Malley.

“A whistle blower in the inner sanctions of the White house intends to release cables detailing the surveillance of thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters. Going so far as to listen in on and record every phone call and text message made in most major citie
s throughout the United States.
Tea party advocates have taken an interest with this obvious blow to the rights of privacy with those like Senator Ronald
Paul speaking out against it.
He has also overwhelmingly protested the idea of dispatching military units to Oakland questioning not only the legality of such a decision, but also the moral aspect of quote “beating back protesters who were at once peaceful and have a valid argument.”
As we are seeing now, a sit in that originally started about loans to large corporations has now blown into a full riot with a large scope of ideas included in which is the abuse of power by police an
d the recently revealed spying.
We are also seeing now that the large political movement, the Tea Party has given a sympathetic ear to these trespasses and in large part have started to support th
e protests they once denounced.
Surely with the help of Mr. Paul’s recen
t speeches and press briefings.
I have on my show today Senator Landen Paul who is also a tea party member candidate and son of the long time senator Ronald
So what is your take on the situation in Oakland?”

“It’s a travesty Bill.
The Peoples’ right to not only peacefully protest but also their right to privacy has been completely e
clipsed by this administration.
There was a revolution because of similar actions by a ruling body; we
call it the revolutionary war.
We cannot allow the United States government to
freely do whatever it pleases.
We have not seen this kind of uprising since the march on Washington led by Dr. Martin Luther King and we are seeing similar reaction by the poli
ce now as they did in the sixties.
This will not be tolerated and I will do everything in my power to restore common sense to America.”

“Strong words
from an up and coming senator.
We are getting reports that the president himself will be holding a press meeting concerning the events of last night, of course we will have this for you live at
about five pm eastern time today.
We'll be right back after these messages”

The TV quickly switches to a man dressed in a ceremonial army uniform, he's missing his left leg. “I've given my country everything. Like many before me I have given to this country my heart, my soul and my body so countless others do not have to. Your children can go to school unharmed, you can go to work without fear. I have helped protect and build this nation, and I know that no matter how tough I have needed to be, my country will always be behind me. That my accomplishments are our accomplishments. I still believe in the United States of America, I will always believe. We will get through this stronger and more united. Don't give up on this great country, I never did.”

A voice like those disclaimers at the end of a commercial come on while the man stairs defiantly into the TV. “Paid for by the department of Home Land Security

Was... was that an ad to get people to calm down? Did I just see an ad telling people to trust the government? That has to be a first. Are they really that scared?

My phone vibrates in my pocket. Fishing it out allowing gratuitous amounts of change and pocket lint to make their great escape. It Grace. It’s ok Will, it’s ok. She just wants to know why you left last night, you’re going to be bright, you’re going to be cheery, and all sorts of bubbly and everything will be just fine.

My voice cracks ever so slightly.

“Hey what’s up?”

“Not too much I’m kinda just sleeping off my hangover.”

“O ha, ya you drank a lot last night.”

“Ya I was in the zone I guess.” I let out a halfhearted chuckle.

“You seemed off though.”

“What do you mean?”

“You know what I mean.”

“I’m sorry I barely remember any of last night you’re going to have to be more specific.” Dam I’m a good liar.

“Well you didn’t talk to me at all last night, not even a good by. I was looking for you all night.”

“O my bad, ya I think I walked home.”

“O well at least you made it home safe, what cha doing, you want to meet up?”

“I got some chores to do, laundry and all that good stuff.”

“Well when you’re done you wanna kick it after Mike leaves for basic today?”

“I’ll have to see. Why don’t I just call you when I’m done with the laundry.”

“Come on Will you can come up with a better exc
use than laundry, what’s wrong?
I’m sorry about last night if that’s what you upset ab
out. I should have told you.
You just surprised me is all.” She pauses waiting for a response but I’m only able to breath into the phone. “I do like you, bu
t just as a friend you know.
I mean people date and people break up I don’t want to lose what we have.”

“It’s fine it really is, can’t a guy just try an get some?” I joke instantly knowing this is the worst thing I can possibly say. Dead silence. “I was joking, sorry it’s just a weird conversation.”

“It’s not we
ird we need to talk about this.
I don’t ever want to lose you especially over something we could just talk out.”

I feel my blood rise. I’m not mad at her, just myself. She’s absolutely perfect, so
I have to make her mine no matter what it takes. “It’s alright don’t worry we will be just fine.” “Nothing is going to change between us.”

“You promise?”

“I swear, cross my heart.”

“Ok I believe you Will!” She says in a determined you better not be lying voice.

“Don’t worry, I’m going to go do laundry and we’ll talk after Mikes going away party, ok?”

“Ok, we better!”

“I promise.” I hang up the phone. I don’t have any laundry to do I just need some time to get my head straight. How the hell do I turn this relationship around? I need to show her she wants me, no she needs me. That I’m something to be needed
. That she will love me as much as I’m in love with her. God I sound like such a girl, maybe that’s it. I’m not an asshole enough for her to want and need me. She has to feel like she needs to win me, and not that she already has me.

O, fuck it; just
take her on a date. Not official in anyway but something that to any normal person would feel like one.

That’s a genus idea. What, candles and a box of wine? Usually arguing with myself helps but, it seems like I’ve just been going around in circles lately.

BOOK: Black Box 86ed
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