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Authors: Andrew Kjelland

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BOOK: Black Box 86ed
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A movie?

O now that’s cliché as hell.

Will, what the hell are you doing? Your best friend has just started dating
her; kinda a lost cause now isn’t it?

Ya, well I’ve liked
her for an incredible amount of time does that not count for anything?

You never called dibs though, not officially. No one knows what you’ve been thinking these last few months. For fuck sake you haven’t had a deep conversation with anyone, Grace excluded.

Ya but what good does it do when all I can think about day in and day out is how alone I truly am,
and the fact that the last thing connecting you to your parents will be getting foreclosed on, and you will not only be homeless loveless and broke, but you’ll be falling into endless pit of a future that life has just kicked you into. Jesus, you just need some fresh air, some fresh life.

I pull myself off the couch, remnants of vodka mixed with blood rush to my head as the floor creaks beneath me. Walking into the kitchen I open the fridge taking some orange juice I chug probably half a gallon. God you would think they would make alcohol that doesn’t dehydrate you by now. I close the fridge door as all my art pictures from grade school flap in the draft. Pictures of my stick figure family sitting around the dinner table settle back in their rightful place. My stomach rumbles and aches from the apparent workout it takes to get off the
couch and walk ten

Grabbing my stomach I lean against the fridge. Ten seconds, ten seconds and I’ll be fine, right as rain. Squinting my eyes at the linoleum floor I take a few deep breaths soothing my stomach. One of my Picasso esc drawing of me and my parents holding hands floats into view then getting sucked halfway under the fridge, flapping in the draft of the compressor. I do the tremendous effort of leaning down and grabbing it before it’s gone forever. Pulling it out, I look at it. I remember this. We had just gotten back from our camping trip and my dad surprised me with some finger paint. When he gave me the paint, I mean let’s just say a second coming of Christ would have paled in comparison to how awesome I thought it was.

Standing back to my full upright position I place the picture back under its magnet, a picture of me on Santa’s lap. How did the fridge become the armature art gallery of every house in the country anyways? It has to be a conspiracy by the people who make magnets and fridges.

ring out from my TV. It’s
cell phone
footage of what looks to be New York City. The caption at the bottom of the screen reading. “Live ammunition, accidently fired on Wall Street.”

The footage cuts back to O’Malley. “This was taken earlier this morning as occupy protestors stormed the main buildings of Wall Street. After dislodging the famous Wall Street bull from it’s base with a hack saw, several people left large duffle bags on the front steps of major Wall S
treet firms and businesses. This particular incident occurred when a man in his late twenties seen being fired on in this video, had left two large bags on the main Wall Street steps. He then proceeded to carry around a teddy bear that appeared to have wires sticking out the back. Now, the bags
as it turns out had only contained monopoly money. The bear also having no explosives. However, police have been treating this as a possible terrorist threat. And although many police officers believe the use of force necessary, we are being told there was no authorization to use live ammunition on the man, who has since passed.”

“Now those duffle bags have been detonated by the New York bomb squad sending hundreds of monopoly notes into the air.
Police are on high alert after finding multiple undetonated IEDs in a New York subway, near Oakland’s largest police department, and at the Washington monument. Closing the whole national mall and restricting access to all government buildings in Washington DC to only members of the media and government workers.”

“This all comes at a time when Chicago’s downtown remains on intense high alert after the car bomb that was detonated late last night, injuring three including a national guardsmen and one officer. Police have been looking into a possible concerted and organized effort in these explosives almost all of a sudden appearing at once.”

“Bill, Bill I’m sorry to interrupt,” the screen cuts to a reporter I’ve never seen before. “In regards to the man shot earlier this morning, after investigation of the possible explosives hidden in the bear, it has turn out to be nothing more than a bear that requires batteries to sing and dance. Early reports of the man taking part in the demonstration, as well as having a direct roll in the placing of duffle bags on the front steps of Wall Street have
been determined as incorrect.
The police report claiming him as an occupy demonstrator and possible public safety threat have been retracted by the officials whom made the claims earlier today. I have with me, Debra the wife of the man shot earlier today.”

He walks over to a very skinny woman with dark brown hair in maybe her mid to early thirties

“Thank you for joining us today and I would just like to extend my condolences to you and your family as you get through this hard time.”

“Thank you,” she meekly replies.

“Now you have told us that your husband was not taking place in the riots today, is that correct?”

“No, he wasn’
Today was our third year anniversary and I’m not sure but he must have bought the bear for me.”

“”Do, you know why he was at the”…

The television goes blank with a “We are currently suffering technical difficulties, we’ll be right back.”



Walking into Mike’s trailer it feels like I’ve entered an underground version of a children’s
book. The air thick with cigarette and pot smoke, weirdly colorful sentimental decorations covering the walls. The kind that are oddly undefined like WAY TO GO
YOU DID IT, or WE’RE SO PROUD!!! Wait no it’s m
ore of a garage punk children’s
book, O the places you’ll DIE, DIE, DIE, I think in my head as I stare at a blown up picture of Mike when what looks to be his fifth birthday. Grinning ear to ear holding a pop up action doll. Jesus, I actually remember when he got that. I was so
I tried to take it home with me one day. Got it all the way to the car, but like always dad found me out and took it back in. I look around the living room, but its’ empty, except for shallow voices trailing from down the hall. I walk towards the back of the trailer to the deck.

“Hey, hey there he is!” Jody exclaims quickly followed by her smokers laugh. You know the sound, like aaaahahahaha, but with a twinge of emphysema on each emphasis. She motions me over to her, Grace and Mike leaning on each other at her side. The length of my stay here shortening with each little giggle that escapes Graces lips. Mike looks to me already in his army outfit.

“How you feeling buddy?” He smirks to me.

“Like I’ve been hit by a bus.”

“Ya man can’t believe you even make it home last night.”

“God I know, I don’t even remember walking home.”

“Jesus Will!” Jody scolds me.

“Hey, it’s Elle
I could pass out almost anywhere in this town and wake up not murdered.” I smirk to her.

“Ya but you’ll get your ass ran over one of these days.”

“Even when I’m drunk I always look both ways... probably.”

Mike starts one of his many “O my God one time I was so wasted” stories, that I’ve grown accustomed to ignoring.

Why are they even together? I ask myself, he’s gona be gone for most of the next two
years what the hell is the point? Is this just a fling? Just a
hey lets fuck and pretend we are falling in love?

Mike finishes his big most likely not completely factual story.

“Well, now that Will’s here you guys ready for some cake?” Jody asks us as we all nod and head back into the trailer.

“What kind of cake is it,” Grace asks as we crowd around the kitchen table.

“Carrot cake,” Jody replies.

“OOOOhhh,” Grace excitedly growls. “I love carrot cake!”

“Well if Mike isn’t a pig you can probably take the leftovers.”

“Ah, well it sucks to be Grace then,” he smiles as she shoves him.

I feel my stomach churning doing my best to keep my face its normal pale white color.

“Hey, wait look at Will,” Mike says.

O shit my face has to be a deep shade of red.

“O, Jesus Will,” Grace scolds. It’s damn near noon and you’re still sober?” She smiles. “We’re gona have to fix that!” She laughs, rummaging through her purse producing her black bowl and some incredibly orange weed. (When you’re as hot as she is it’s not hard to get some of the best stuff around)

Suddenly the room fills with some terrible rap music. Something to the effect of a man getting lots of money will simultaneously romanticizing your lady friend
because swag.

“O, that’s me,” Mike says as he takes his phone out of his pocket. Grace continues packing her bowl.

Ahuh, ahuh, ok, ahuh, yes sir, ahuh, 0400
yes sir.”
He hangs up.

“Huh, I guess there’s been a change of plans.”

O, god don’t tell me you aren’t going I think to myself.

“We’re gona be training with law enforcement and the Nation Guard first.”

“Why’s that?” Grace asks.

“We’ll if I tell you I’d have to kill you,” he laughs. “Man, I haven’t had carrot cake in so long,” he quips quickly changing the subject.

“Three months I think,” Grace interjects.

“O, that right Will’s birthday”… a slight lull in the conversation as everyone in the room tries to decide how touchy I still am over celebrating a birthday without parents.

“Yep, yep I remember baking it,” Jody says. “Mike tried to eat it all before we even got to your house.” “O, that reminds me you get that all straightened out with the realtor?”

“Yep,” I lie. “But since it’s not worth as much as when my parents bought it, I probably won’t get much money out of it.” (I’ve not even made the appointment to sell it yet.)

“Well it’s better than getting into debt over it.” Jody says.

“Are we going to eat this cake or talk about the stock market?” Mike interjects.

“All right, all right Grace can you hand me the knife?” Jody asks.

We cut the cake and quickly demolish it. In between hits off of Graces’
bowl. And
besides Grace and Mike’s over dramatic this might be the last time I ever see you again kiss right before he heads out the door, they keep it pretty PG.




Slightly buzzed and still way too full I plop down on my couch glad that Grace apparently forgot about the whole hanging out bit. I flip on the TV;
it’s still on Fox news. Obama is doing that press thing they were talking about earlier. He looks like he’s wrapping up his speech. I turn it up.

“And this is
something that we can overcome.
This is a discussion we must have, but we cannot allow… we cannot tolerate young people and police men and woman a like to
pay for this with their lives.
I take your concerns very seriously and I will make it my goal to aaahhh to bring about fare and practical reforms to not only our stimulus but to also how local officials have treated demonstrators who are protesting peaceful…”

He stops as if he’s been cut off. The camera pans out to a woman who seems to be yelling at him.

“Now, now hold on.” Obama says trying to take back control.

The woman ignoring him, reaching into her purse. Gunshots fired, blood splattering from her neck as she crumples to the ground, the secret service quickly pile on top of her. Obama’s face stunned as secret service quickly rush him from the room.

The camera quickly cuts to a deadpan news anchor, “uh, uh, as it seems someone has been shot at the presidential address.
We will keep you informed about these events as facts come to light, uhm but we will be taking a break as for us to gather what has happened and report it back to you.” He stares out of my TV waiting for the camera to pan away.

I just stare at the screen, too surprised this even happened.

A woman appears on the screen promising that Petish Britrolium has learned its lesson and that it will be a responsible adult from now on. And has not ruined an entire ocean.

The anchorman returns on the screen. “Preliminary reports from our field reporter at the briefing has informed us that the woman shot is Edith Frank, a mother of one of the protesters that died tragically in yesterday’s events.”

He turns to a different camera with a split screen of the reporter.

“Welcome Terry, I would just like to start off with saying that I’m glad you’re alright, what can you tell us about what Edith was looking for in her purse?”

“Well as it turns out she was reaching for a picture of her
daughter to show the president.
After secret service subdued her they quickly transporter her to a nearby hospital where she will most likely, at least form the wounds I saw be in critical condition.”

“Ok thank you for your reporting on this. Our thoughts go out to Edith’s family as they go through this very tough time.”

I hear my mailbox
flap open and clamp shut through the door. I feel my pulse rising, my hands shaking almost unnoticeably but it’s chilling. I stand walking to the door. Please, please just let it be junk mail. I open my door retrieving the mail. Sitting right o
n top an envelope with the word
NOTICE in large red letters. I don’t suppose they’re talking about the sexy singles in my area. I rip it open. Dear Mr. McHenry according to our records you are behind on your current mortgage. I stop reading after the first line. It’s been the same stuff every time. You need to make a payment of blah, blah, blah. If you do not do so your house will be blah, blah, blah. Each letter only changes in how strongly they word it.

BOOK: Black Box 86ed
12.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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