Jason E. Fort
This is a short story, based on something I pictured happening in a dream. Lord help us if it ever comes true.
It was only logical. Jimmy only had one logical choice; bug out, while he still could!
He took one last look around. Several of the houses surrounding his family home had suffered fire damage from the rioting crowds. For such chaos to occur in the suburban neighborhoods outside a small southern city like Easley, SC, was almost unheard of.
After all, it was the year 2026. Jimmy grew up in the house he and his old Ford pickup truck stood before now. And thanks to some reality on his old man’s part, Jimmy had been ready for some of the chaos. But only some.
Jimmy had told his dad that he thought some of the rebels against the law would effect cities in the south, and he’d been right. His father agreed with him to a point. But neither his father, nor his grandfathers, were ready for the revolt of people to hit this close to home. That’s what brought young Jimmy to this point now. He hoped his parents had made out better so far in the mayhem than he had.
He stared up at the dead bodies splayed out on the ground in front of the front door. One dark skinned man with no significant dress other than the bandana around his neck lay across some other white man with black face paint, another bandana, and a big black t-shirt with the Anarchy symbol spray-painted on the front. Jimmy couldn’t avoid it. Unlike the majority of the homes in the neighborhood, apparently Jimmy and his father were two of the only ones ready to fight anyone trying to invade their home. Jimmy’s parents were away, taking care of his grandparents, and Jimmy was making last minute preparations to get anything else he and his dad had decided on, including their two mutts – when a Molotov cocktail crashed through the window in the dining room! People shouted into the house, demanding that the ‘skinny American’ come outside and face his Maker, since he had so many stickers and patriotic emblems on his truck. Jimmy hadn’t wasted any time. He ran over to the small secret cubby where his dad kept a loaded pistol. He grabbed the gun and aimed it at the front door, as whatever group was outside banged harder and harder.
“Come on kid – we know you’re in there!” some Middle Easterner shouted with an accent. The inside of the house caught fire, and smoke spread down the hallway.
Then one or two of the thugs out front, wearing their bandanas and anarchy symbols kicked the front door in and held two more bottles with rags sticking out of the top. The white kid lit one of the rags and the dark skinned Middle Easterner started to charge Jimmy with a baseball bat.
Five gunshots rang out. The other ruffians gathered out front scattered like cockroaches, away from the front of Jimmy’s house. Jimmy stood there with the pistol pointed straight ahead at the front door, the two mutts inside with him, barking hysterically… two men with bullet holes in their foreheads and necks now laying out on the front brick step.
There was a time when Jimmy would have taken a logical step of calling the police and telling them what just happened. But he no longer lived in that time. The police couldn’t be trusted, because the only people the government hired now – were people who they could count on to hurt other people. So Jimmy’s logical choice now, was to do exactly what he and his dad had planned.
“When things start to go south,” his dad said, “grab the most essential things we need, come get your mom and me, and we will go find cousin Bryan.”
Bryan was the one person in the family who saw a lot of the social revolt and riots on the horizon, back when it was all considered conspiracy theory. Jimmy couldn’t wait to see his dad’s first cousin now. ‘Wait till he hears about this,’ he thought to himself.
Since ‘things went south’ like his dad said, Jimmy did exactly what he’d been told. He’d spent the last few years preparing his truck and belongings, to help him to be one of those guys that always had something someone needed. His logical preparations would finally pay off. He looked down the street, and saw so many of the other houses ablaze. Then he saw some other thugs regaining their courage. They loved to gather together, to build each other up into a lather before trying to take on anyone who might fight back. And this time, one of them had a shotgun.
“Gracie! Layla! Come on!” - the two mutts ran out, despite not being on leashes, and jumped up into Jimmy’s back seat. Jimmy climbed up front and fired up the engine. The roar of the dual exhaust V8 could be heard for a mile, and Jimmy saw out his window that the other thugs were getting closer, now forming a line all the way across the road. He left the engine running and jumped out and opened his tool box. He got out his rifle. The lead thug in the center of the mob started to lift up the shotgun in his direction. Fortunately, Jimmy had left the rifle loaded and ready to fire.
Jimmy leaned over the top of the metal tool box, looked through the scope and put the crosshairs right on the center mass of the large dude with the shotgun now aimed towards him. He squeezed the trigger, and took out the most logical choice, as threats go.
Then he ran back up to the front and hoisted himself back in to the driver’s seat. He threw the transmission down to the “D”, and gunned it going right out of the driveway, bouncing down from the front yard and skidding into his sharp turn across the front of the adjacent cul-de-sac.
A normal person may have been second-guessing themselves the whole time. A normal person may have felt guilty because they had just taken human lives for the first time.
But Jimmy was logical. Emotion was never logical. And logically speaking, young Jimmy did exactly what he had to do. Now he had to zoom across town and hope his mom and dad had made it out okay, finding a safe way to transport the grandparents.
Hey, at least now, Jimmy had one heck of a story to tell.