After The Occupation

I wrote this for another short story contest.  The concept of the contest is “Forgiveness and Reconciliation”.  I twisted up the intent to create a slightly different spin on what those two words mean, primarily in todays propaganda filled world.  By the way, I got 2nd place with the previous entry, “Suffer The Children”:

 

It had been 7 years since the Forgiveness And Reconciliation Act of 2012. Most of the former Occupy Wall Street participants had already died either during the prior rioting, or shortly after being incarcerated in the FEMA camps.

Of course, “incarcerated” was not what they originally thought it was. At first it was “humanitarian”. Businesses had stopped donating food and sundry items to the protesters, and most of the remaining protesters had either lost interest in working while they were so readily provided for, or had created a criminal background that pre-empted their ability to find gainful employment. So, in a cunning move, the TEA Party controlled government set up FEMA camps so that these protesters could continue protesting. Then they put up fences topped with razor wire, and armed guards. No….”prison” wasn’t what it started as. But it soon enough became an entire prison system, enforced under the auspices of The Department of Homeland Security and executed by FEMA, in partnership with the DoD. And due to the rioting seen, Uncle Sam had the impetus to begin criminalizing the Occupy Wall Street participation in the interest of National Security.

Immediately after the 4 year failure of the Obama administration, TEA Party loyalists managed to wrestle the reins of government, using promises of hawkish domestic policies in response to the riots seen in the winter of 2011, as the protesters grew colder, hungrier and more angry at the “injustice” of having to support oneself.

Grady Harris had found himself in a very precarious position in this newly minted police state, as the roundup of those videoed at OWS protests was still underway. The “Flea Party” protesters had somehow been turned into social pariahs, and the majority of America either supported the roundup, or stood silently by as they knew that somewhere there may be video of them at one of the protests, where they may have merely showed up out of curiosity. There were also those “agents provocateur” who worked for non-official agencies, such as the Evangelicals, that are afraid of being mistakenly swept up in the raids. This is the position that Grady finds himself in as he prepares to go to work in the grocery around the corner.

Grady had joined up with an Evangelical extremist militia in Missouri shortly after dropping out of Missouri State University in 2004. An ultra right wing conservative, he (like most of his brothers) had assumed that once the TEA party was voted into office, he would be “safe”, or on “the right side”. None of them expected the totalitarian power grab would have merely used them as pawns to achieve the goal of instituting a full fledged police state in America, where the Bill of Rights was no only suspended, but The People silently supported it in order to “keep them safe”.

As Grady reflected on the previous several years, and how his nation had ended up in the condition it was in, he laced up his boots. While putting on his left boot, his thoughts were interrupted when he noticed an old, faded blood stain. It immediately brought back the memory of the day his best friend, James, had been shot in the head with a rubber bullet. They were at the Occupy St. Louis event, when police on horseback assisted a Riot Team in moving the protesters out of Keiner Plaza in the downtown area. Of course, this is the risk of being an Agent Provocateur..you can be mistaken for being part of the group you are trying to provoke. This is what happened to Grady and James, as they were fired on by St. Louis police. Bean bags, tear gas canisters, and rubber bullets were fired in the general direction of the crowd. As Grady was following James out of the Plaza, an officer who was only a few feet away fired at them, hitting James in the front of the head. When he fell back, he spun and landed face down on Grady’s boot. He had tried to wash it, but it was set in already. Of course, had James not been shot, Grady would likely have been arrested and placed in Missouri FEMA Camp 3 with the other rioters. This gave him a very bittersweet feeling, to be honest, and he pushed the memory back down.

As he sat there sipping his coffee the sound of the clock advancing caught his attention, and he glanced over to check the time. 5:15am…almost time to get the store opened. Today would be a busy day, as it was All Patriots Day, September 11th, and people would be in to purchase their picnic items and beer. For a brief moment he considered calling in so that he could enjoy the brisket cookout with his other militia brothers at the training center, but quickly reminded himself that calling in sick was against the fabric of his southern upbringing.

Just as he was finishing his coffee, the front door burst open. Grady was obviously shocked by the commotion of this unexpectedly expected event, and he spun around to face the invaders. Just as he was able to completely turn, he felt a sharp blow on his forehead and he lost consciousness. He briefly faded back in as a bottle of vinegar was poured over his head. As he lay there looking up through profuse amounts of blood, the only thing he is able to make out is the gold glisten of an officers badge, then he loses consciousness once again.

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Story On Page 9 Of The September 18th, 2019 edition of The St. Louis American

Body Of St. Louis Man Found Near Missouri River

Yesterday St. Louis Police Department officers responded to a call of a body floating in the Missouri River. The body of Grady Harris, 34, was found near the banks, tangled in some grasses and reeds. While details are sketchy, police suspect foul play and are asking anyone with details surrounding Mr. Harris’ involvement with a local militia, The Son’s Of Christ, to contact them.

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