Archive for the Novel Category

Once in a Blue Agave Moon…but wait!….there’s More!

Posted in Novel, Once in a Blue Agave Moon, The Home For Wayward Souls, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, The Talking Monkeys on May 13, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

Chapter seventeen, Part Three

(Leigh-Ann continued):

“You already know that this is a dangerous undertaking…between the rough terrain and harsh conditions on the road, So I try to keep everybody healthy and intact…I was the one who treated Amy’s road rash after the first time she dropped her bike on a fast turn, and I am so glad it wasn’t worse, but it was a wake-up call for all of us, so in addition I maintain a sort of MASH unit just in case. It’s all packed in shipping crates and can be set up in less than two hours for a full surgical suite, and less than five minutes for immediate interventions that can’t wait until then.”

“I have also managed to acquire a grand inventory of vitamins and nutritional supplements, health supplies and root medicine; I use organic natural sources whenever possible, or trade for more sophisticated medications I can’t make. I also trade antibiotics and surgical skills if necessary, and that more than pays for anything we want or need medically.”

“Jed already knew he could trust us. I don’t blame him for not trusting other men, but we both know that he would be naive to trust most women either. It’s gotten to be a very lonely and suspicious world. When Jed started to realize that he was looking for you, of all people…the one person that I know for a fact he still considers to be his best friend, well, we all realized that this was a chance to close the circle back on itself…to take on new blood among old friends.”

(Jed coughs slightly as if embarrassed by Leigh-Ann’s direct sincerity):

“What Leigh-Ann is not mentioning is that these three women also have both singular as well as group talents for distraction bordering on hypnotism.”

“I’m glad there aren’t more women in this business right now because ‘The Three Winds’ have pretty much cornered the market for feminine charm, and for that reason when anyone ever underestimated or mistreated any of us, those men who crossed us never expected to be shot by a woman.” 

(Leigh-Ann):

“…At least not until our reputation became common knowledge…it would be easy for people to become envious or jealous of Jed’s perceived wealth and good fortune, and he got tired of constantly having to looking over his own shoulder all the time, which was just about the same time that our own individual stars were beginning to rise.”

“I don’t know what I believe about destiny or fate, but whatever has brought us back together is the kind of thing most people would call an omen.”

(Jed):

“There’s one more thing…one of the reasons I wanted to propose this alliance…do you remember a place they called ‘The Home for Wayward Souls’?”

(Elliott):

“Down in southwest Florida?…used to be an African animal sanctuary?…No, wait… If I remember correctly, the government took it over and was using it for Chimpanzee research…no what  minute…they were the ones who paid for all the attorneys…some kind of religious cult? …where they had that trial about animal cruelty and some shit about government experiments, and a chimp that was able to testify on his own behalf by using sign language? Wow! What was that, like fifteen yeas ago? Whatever happened to that bunch?”

(Chiana):

“Wait a minute!…wasn’t that also the home of the ArchAngels?”

(Jed):

Yes, as a matter of fact is is. They often referred to the actual church building as The Sanctuary, and that was where they made all that music and visual effects. Even back then, it was the best theater, sound system and multi-media show I had ever seen.”

“Ash and Kali eventually even got their own television network on cable…outdid the Christians at their own game, and became reluctant millionaires in the process, so they set up their church as a non-profit corporation.”

“Despite the popularity of their recordings, including videos, you really did have to experience it all live to really appreciate it, which is why they never took their show on the road. They really didn’t have to, and with all the lock-down and security measures set up during the trial, they really couldn’t.”

 “Nobody wanted to be the next Dimebag Darrell…the really right-wing Christians thought they all were Satan’s minions. Eventually, if you remember, it was one of the FBI chiefs that murdered Frederick, the chimp that testified at the trial right on the courthouse steps right after the last day of the trial.”

(Elliott):

“Oh yeah. I do remember that. We saw them a few years before all the controversy, when it was still more of an underground kind of thing…and they were just a local band that played for the church services. You know what I think about religions in general, so we had to be more or less dragged along by a couple friends of ours, but we used to go out there every couple of months. It was a long drive, so we used to stay there overnight and drive home the next day.

 “But honestly, I was really only there for the show…great place…a jungle paradise. I remember thinking that this must be what the Garden of Eden was like.”

(Chiana):

“It was really beautiful and inspiring. We never even thought about going back there after…well, you know…we just pulled up stakes and came out here and waited for the rest of the world to come back to its senses. Whatever happened to them?”

(Jed):

“Well, for starters, they survived the Armageddon Virus and the general collapse of Western Civilization better than just about everybody else, but that’s another whole story unto itself. The point is that they have also maintained an almost completely self-sufficient society of their own, and they are one of my best clients.”

“One of the lead FBI agents who was put there as a mole to report on them turned rogue, and he also turned a bunch of other three-letter agents that were friends of his into a legitimate private security force shortly after the trial. He was also the one who killed Sebastian Lodge, his boss, who shot Frederick, the Bonobo-Chimpanzee hybrid that the newspapers named ‘The Talking Monkey’ during the trial.”

“And if that wasn’t enough, every night something like fifty Chimpanzee/Bonobo hybrids now patrol the entire perimeter of the premises. It’s uncanny…I think they are naturally smarter than many of the humans I’ve known.”

“Given the opportunity to evolve in such an accelerated atmosphere devoid of involuntary captivity, their inability to speak seems to be a very minor limitation, since everybody who lives there knows how to use sign language.” 

“At present, they do not have all of the cognitive abilities of humans, but the fact that they possess true sentience and some degree of sapience is unmistakable. They are outgoing, friendly  and quite charming.”

“They’ve turned it into the Garden of Eden, where even the Serpent is welcome, as long as he behaves himself.”

(Elliott):

“…And…?”

(Jed):

“And I want you to meet them…they changed my life…that hardly even scratches the surface of what I am trying to say…you need to meet them…you and Chiana. This isn’t something that can be explained with words. The only way to really understand is with this…” Jed holds out his hand, palm up. Six bright blue capsules lay there.

“They call this the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

What lay in Jed’s hand were six capsules. Cobalt Blue, Egyptian Blue, Electric Neon Blue…if there is a name to describe a color even brighter, more intense and more saturated than all those colors, that is what you would be looking at.

(Jed):

“I’ve never seen a color quite like that. Even the capsules are made on-premises…by a genius chemist who had been a consultant to every major Big Pharma manufacturer on the planet. He invented this compound from bi-products of a drug he was designing for Merrick.”

“His name is Merle.”

 

Chazz Vincent

05/13/2017

 

Once in a Blue Agave Moon: “…but wait!…there’s More!

Posted in Liason Between Parties, Much Too Good For Children, Novel, NSFW, Once in a Blue Agave Moon on May 13, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

Chapter Seventeen, Part Two

(Jed):

“I have to admit that I’ve lost track of how many languages Amy speaks, but she usually manages to communicate or at least listen to make sure they’re not talking shit about us right under our noses.”

(Leigh-Ann):

”More often than not, somebody involved on the other end tries to ‘re-negotiate’ the deal at the last minute, but you won’t find a better haggler than her; in fact I’ve even seen her raise the price just to teach them a lesson for trying, with all of us ready to walk on her cue. But here’s the really beautiful part…she can argue any angle from either direction, and make it sound like the only option to take.”

“It works like this: she knows how to play the egos of any man she deals with because she always gives them a way to feel good about themselves when they do business with her because she never lets her real intelligence show unless she absolutely has to; but even if she has to put them in their place, she gives them some kind of out so they can pretend to have won by doing what she wanted in the first place.”

“She says that all those psychology courses gave her insights into channelling talents she already possessed.”

“All I can say is that it’s a gift she has; twenty years ago we weren’t exactly the best of friends, but we’ve both learned a great deal since then, and have developed a mutual admiration and I can tell you right here and now that to observe her working a deal is a thing of beauty.” 

“Rebel also brings her tattoo gear along. I don’t think we have ever made a trip out that somebody hasn’t wanted to trade something extremely valuable or desirable for one of her works of art. It’s getting so that people look out for us just to meet her. She has  a growing cult of fans that keep driving up the value of her work.”

“She is more or less considered the visionary artist of the Apocalypse. People are again starting to believe that certain talismans and symbols impart invulnerability to their wearers; hell, she won’t ever consider doing a tat unless she looks into their soul first; she calls it scrying…learned it from her grandmother.”

“But she picked up Wicca after she left Virginia; after her grandma died she started studying Shamanism from the local Cherokee, Algonquin and Chickahominy tribes.”

“There are places we go where we get safe passage just because she is with us. I’m not saying she doesn’t have some kind of miraculous talent, but  the worse that times get, the more that people turn to the Meta realm for protection.”

“Taken on balance, we are something between Santa Claus, a carnival, a traveling medicine, monster truck and gun show, and a flea market, except we are very scrupulous about making sure that everyone feels they got a fair trade for whatever they want, which is usually something nobody else has, or better quality than what is available elsewhere.”

(Rebel):

“We also give a lot of shit away to the locals. If we shoot a wild hog or a deer, we cook for everyone who shows up until it’s all gone. Our barbecues are famous. We also fix fish, ‘gator or frogs when they are available, as well as cabbage palm, which is called ‘swamp cabbage’ here in the Southeast.”

“We like to bring the party with us wherever we go, but the goodwill it generates is something we kind of stumbled onto while we were out on the road.”

 (Jed):

“Nobody with even a little bit of good sense wants to rob or harm us…and if anybody tried, the locals everywhere would come to our rescue (if we actually needed it) because we are loved, needed AND feared.”

(Rebel):

“In fact, about six months ago, this drunk asshole tried to put his hands all over Amy; it was almost sundown…called her a slut and ripped her shirt off…really big guy, a truly intimidating bully…with a very bad rep in that area…got used to getting his way with the locals.”

“He jumped her from behind, but before she could even get up, people came out of nowhere and beat the living shit out of him. They hog-tied him and said they were going to lynch him right then and there.”

“I sure didn’t have any problem wth that; if they hadn’t grabbed him first I would have taken him out right then and there, but Jed stepped up and told them all to stop…the guy was already beat so bad that I doubted that he could have survived anyway, but Jed not only talked them out of it, but then he had Leigh-Ann treat his injuries, set his broken bones and even gave him antibiotics.”

“I thought Jed was nuts at first; called him a pussy for not standing up for Amy…(not in front of anyone else of course) but I didn’t see the logic in doing that. I thought it would hurt our rep, but the guy also had a family; wife and kids, parents, brothers and sisters.”

“So Jed starts talking to what was for all intents and purposes a very self-righteous lynch-mob. The guy was still unconscious and bleeding very badly. Jed thanked them all for standing up to this guy that had intimidated them all for years…turns out he used to be the sheriff in fact…he praised them for their courage, but then he said ‘look…you proved that you don’t have to fear him anymore, but if you kill him, you better kill his whole family right then and there, ‘cause they will want revenge.’ Then he said mercy is a luxury of the powerful and the wise, and how justice is not compromised by kindness, so give him just one more chance to see the error of his ways.”

“But then Jed added that if he steps out of line just one more time, take out his whole family…even the kids, and if they think they can’t handle it, get on the radio and let him know because we will personally come back and do it ourselves…no mercy, no prisoners, no survivors, and zero possibility for revenge.”

“We stayed on until he was well enough to understand we meant business, and made sure his whole family knew the consequences if they didn’t all behave. His parents were elderly, and embarrassed by him because they already knew he was a cruel piece of shit. They were old-fashioned Southern Baptists, so Jed knew just how to  appeal to their Christian values, and the rest of the family was just glad to still be alive.”

“Now every time we go back there, the locals all come to Jed for advice, like he was fuckin’ Solomon or something, but that story has made the rounds all  over Florida, so most people know not to fuck with us,”

“A few have tried…but….(Jed’s voice trails off as he stares at Chiana.)

(Leigh-Ann smiles slightly, looks down and shakes her head, sighs, and resumes control):

“Rebel even does a full-body armor tattoo that involves having the subjects allow themselves to be bitten by a rattlesnake before she soul-gazes into their eyes in a sweat lodge.

“Apparently, it’s part of an Apache warrior’s ritual with just a touch of Yakuza and a dash of VooDoo.”

“She’s become the closest equivalent  to a rock star that these times have produced…so far…except for the ArchAngels, who were already famous.”

Elliott and Chiana exchanged glances at the mention of the ArchAngels; they had become fans of the band before the Armageddon Virus hit the reset button on all Western Civilization up to that point.

(Elliott):

“The ArchAngels!…are they still around?”…I mean, after the shit hit the fan, that was pretty much the end of mass media, I thought.”

(Leigh-Ann just laughed as she shook her head, smiling and wetting her lips with her tongue as she rolled her eyes.):

“Well, yes, as far as national sales of just about anything like that, I’d say you were right, but…but just stop to consider that where they live, they are the local talent…well, there’s a lot more to that story to be covered later. I didn’t mean to take us so far off topic just yet.”  There was a glimmer of a sly smile as she re-directed the conversation back to her original destination.

 

Chazz Vincent

05/13/2017

 

Once in a Blue Agave Moon: “…but wait!…there’s More!

Posted in Liason, Mature Theme, Much Too Good For Children, Novel, Once in a Blue Agave Moon on May 13, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

Chapter Seventeen, Part One

Elliott continued to ponder what Jed had just proposed.

(Chiana):

“That’s a lot to consider, but what you say makes good sense. Based on our own experiences outside the Colony, I have to agree with you as far as what it’s like out there, and you seem to be pretty well connected with the development of the current state of events, which begins to answer the question I raised about why we may need to become involved….”

“But if you will indulge me in no small amount of curiosity…I couldn’t be more pleased to see these new female faces around here…Jed, we understand what you do in your operation, but….”

(Amy):

“I bet you were wondering what we do…right?” Amy’s expression was open and compassionate as she touched Chiana’s forearm and nodded, smiling, as magick sparkled in her eyes..

(Jeanette/Rebel/Rebecca):

“I bet she would…hey Chiana!…wanna watch us perform? We’re not what you would call shy….” Rebecca’s sly grin, followed by a wink might have intimidated some women, but not Chiana.

(Amy):

“Becca!… Come on now…that’s not what she meant, and you know it…don’t be so anxious…I’m sure we’ll get around to that later…(as Amy snickers, which accidentally turns into a tiny snort, a trait of hers that she finds extremely embarrassing, although she manages to transform into a giggle) You’re such a kidder!….”

(Leigh-Ann):

“Lady’s, if I may take over from here, maybe we’ll answer Chiana’s question before sundown; any objections to that?” Leigh-Ann was the most reserved and businesslike of the trio. She had a great sense of humor, but when it came to taking care of business, the nurse/supervisor/mother took over. She was gracious and self-assured, which was a characteristic that had immediately appealed to Chiana, a former nurse herself.

(Chiana):

“Please do.”

(Leigh-Ann):

“You know, I keep telling Jed that he has the easiest part in our whole operation, and every time I think about it, I become more convinced that I’m right, but let’s face it…women have carried the weight of the world since the beginning of time, and that is why we have evolved into the superior version of the human species. I already know that you know that, so I won’t belabor the point…”

“Our trade routes and contacts are a part of the operation that were a product of Jed’s considerable talents, and he gets credit for being the mastermind, and there is no denying his charisma, but he quickly realized that an operation of this magnitude required assistance. Organizational skills are not one of Jed’s strongest assets, and as I recall, neither was Elliott’s, unless he has changed his stripes, right?”

Chiana nodded in agreement as she flashed a knowing look at Elliott.

“Most of the logistics are under my supervision. Inventory, balances and credits, deadlines and schedules get my attention. Even going from a cashless society to a money-less economy still requires records and bookkeeping.” 

“I also take requests if a team member wants a particular piece of gear or some new weapon and make sure it gets translated into a specific  shopping list and assigned to a specific budget.”

“Depending on the merchandise and terrain, Jed usually either drives a military two and a half ton transport truck called a ‘deuce and a half’ or an eighteen-wheeled semi-tractor/trailer combo. Sometimes we take both, in which case Rebel drives one of the vehicles.”

“In either case, we always travel with four motorcycles, and carry the ones not being driven with us, just in case.”

“At least two of the bikes escort the caravan, one in front and one behind. If we have the luxury, a third rider goes on point at least a mile ahead of everybody else. Everyone is wired for radio and video as well.”

“Mordecai either rides shotgun in one of the trucks, in the sidecar, or in the back with the cargo.”

“Usually the lead bike carries a light machine gun like the M4, or a full auto pistol, as well as either a grenade launcher, bazooka, rocket launcher or mortar, plus a chosen sidearm and edged weapon.”

 “The bike following the caravan carries  some form of assault  rifle, a Barrett 50 cal, and a shotgun, plus the usual sidearms and edged weapons.”

“The deuce and a half, the airboats and 4X4 trucks are all mounted with a twin-mount, semi-synchronized pair of bull- barreled M249’s with box-fed belt ammo that uses either a game-boy joy stick or a heads-up display from a helicopter helmet to control aim and fire.”

“On the roof of the semi, we mounted an M2A1 50 cal. heavy machine gun called the ‘Ma Deuce’ , that utilizes similar electronic control as well as a variable nine-power video scope. It has a lethal range of four miles, which if necessary, could keep hostiles completely out of the range of their weapons.”

“We also use night vision helmets and remote cameras whenever the occasion arrises.”

(Jed):

“You won’t believe what you can barter out there, as long as you have what they want. The weapons, the vehicles, the gear, not to mention the food, drinks, and miscellaneous entertainment expenses are all acquired through this business of trading that I do.”

“When it comes to work, most people would say something like ‘I’m not here to have a good time, or make fiends’…but as a matter of fact, well…that’s the only reason I can think of to go to work in the first place, so I make sure that every one of us wants for nothing…until the shit hits the fan, and then we don’t stop’ ’til its over and the fat lady has already done an encore.”

“Plus, there are many places where we bring together all sorts of suppliers, purveyors and merchants to one place at the same time for a trade show that accomplishes two things: first, we get all the vendors and brokers of the Apocalypse together in one place, so that we can trade, and share information.”

“It also gives the locals a glimpse of the closest thing they will ever get to one mother of a monster truck show. To them, it is fantasy entertainment, so we have become celebrities. We also deal in commodities they may want to trade for something we need.”

“Every once in a while, some douche-bag tough guy thinks he can rob us, rip us off, or kill us and just walk away from it with impunity who ends up forcing us to show our real muscle, including a tightly organized  plan with contingencies for every imaginable scenario that might threaten us.”

(Amy):

“We rehearse the routines just like kata in karate. I named it the ‘Ballet of Death’ . It’s really a thing of great beauty…except for whoever sets it in motion, in which case, it’s pretty much their ass. Even then, we try to give them a good show, because it will be the last thing they ever see.”

(Jed):

“Everyone covers everybody else’s back. It’s been an extreme form of overkill most of the time…in fact, all of the time so far, but we have a reputation to maintain, and a clearly overwhelming superiority of force helps keep things peaceful.”

 

Chazz Vincent

05/13/2017

 

Once in a Blue Agave Moon: A Modest Proposal, Part 2

Posted in Collaboration, Liason, Much Too Good For Children, Novel, Once in a Blue Agave Moon on April 7, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

 

Chapter Fifteen

The kitchen, pantry, and dining facility was both unique and ingenious. Initially, it was simply the trailer in which Elliott and Chiana had lived. Before that, Elliott had brought it to the Colony as a hunting lodge.

Now most of it was a very spacious dining room, and the bedrooms were used as a pantry and contained the refrigerators and freezers.

The stoves were in a separate room built of concrete block that adjoined the trailer. Much like homes built in the nineteenth century, the kitchen was built to insulate the heat of the kitchen from the dining room, as well as to protect the rest of the house, should a fire occur.

The back wall was adjacent to the trailer. One side was solid, with the exception of a window. The other three sides were enclosed by garage doors which could be open for ventilation or closed according to the weather. The long side had two very wide double doors that would each have been used in a two-car garage, and each end had one double door. The roof was pitched and covered with corrugated steel.

Inside, a commercial Vulcan stove with eight burners, a griddle, and two ovens had been converted to use locally-produced methane gas instead of propane or natural gas. Next to it was an old-fashioned iron wood-burning stove, which was the original method of cooking used before electricity had been made available to the colony. Finally, a brick and mortar barbecue  complete with a chimney had been built so that it was sheltered from the sun or rain and could also function as a smoker.

The back wall was lined with stainless steel and the floor was poured cement which was slightly sloped towards a drain in the center which ran into a pea rock drain field that also carried water from the gutters away from the house.

A long counter ran along the open side and the pots and pans hung above it. Below the counter, the cabinets were open with no doors. Commercial kitchens also do not use cabinet doors because they obscure the view of what is inside and take up too much room when open. They are also a hazard. Anyone who has ever bent over and stood up into one, walked into one while carrying something or worked in a restaurant can appreciate why.

Sliding glass doors allowed for more than adequate ventilation of the dining room, and ceiling fans hung above the kitchen and dining room, run by solar power and/or batteries.

Whenever possible, every effort was made to minimize the use of alternating current without subjecting anyone to discomfort or hardship.

The dining room table was long enough to accommodate ten people, four on each side, and one on each end. Elliott had made it soon after they moved to the Colony. It was made from local cypress, very sturdy, and beautifully finished.

He was such a good cook that other members frequently would supply venison, wild hog, alligator, fish, or even beef that they had raised or brought in to have Elliott butcher and prepare it for them with the understanding that he also got a share of what they provided for himself. They also frequently ate in Elliott’s home, which they referred to as “Chez Monroe”.

He and Chiana liked the company and enjoyed entertaining. Most of the citizens of the Fourteenth Colony were gracious and sociable in a way not frequently encountered in most conventional neighborhoods, but which is common in campgrounds and trailer parks.

Paradoxically, as much as they valued their privacy and isolation, they also were outgoing and generous. Their community was essentially all they had; united by self-determinism, and rugged individualism; their interdependence encouraged a symbiosis of talents and skills.

Bereft of mass media, passive entertainment and social media, these residents not only became much more personally involved in the essential activities of daily living, but they also generally went to bed and got up earlier, which tended to encourage creativity, arts, crafts and hobbies.

It seemed clear that they wanted for little and enjoyed a far superior quality of life through mutualism than had ever been realized via capitalist consumerism, conspicuous consumption, communism, socialism, or utopian societies that had preceded them.

The longer that they resided there, the less Spartan or primitive their lives became once they were no longer hypnotized by money or the illusion of wealth.

It was not even immediately apparent that this building had once been a trailer. Substantial wooden siding now covered the aluminum skin. A durable hip roof coved the original, and the interior was similarly enhanced with hardwood paneling and floors.

Jed, Amy, Rebecca, and Leigh-Anne were visibly impressed by what they saw as they sat down to a table more sumptuous than any of them had seen since the last Thanksgiving before Armageddon.

They ate, drank and smoked the locally produced Cannabis as they caught up on old news and brought Chiana up to speed as to how this strange band of gypsies were now recruiting them to share in the adventure they aspired to experience.

Chiana was the first to finally address the giant elephant in the room.

“As much as I am glad to meet you all and want you to know you are always welcome here, I think we all know there is an agenda that has prompted your arrival; so what’s on your collective minds and how do Elliott and I fit into your plan?”

Jed was the first to speak.

Chazz Vincent

04/06/2017

Once in a Blue Agave Moon: The Winds of Change

Posted in Mature Theme, Much Too Good For Children, Novel, Once in a Blue Agave Moon, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone on March 6, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

 

 

 

(Chapter Ten)

It was Samhain, a blood moon, and a blue moon, a predictably rare planetary  coincidence of potentially extraordinary consequence.

They rode into the Colony like the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

One man, and three women on motorcycles.

The women called him Jed, and he referred to them collectively as “The Three Winds” or sometimes “The Winds”, or simply “The Three.”

His name was Jedidiah, although no one called him that except his mother, a devout Southern Baptist who had given him the name because according to the Bible, the prophet Nathanial had given it to Solomon at birth, meaning “beloved of Jehovah”, but he was as much a friend of the Devil as of God.

There was something about him that made you want to like him almost instantly. He was completely devoid of pretense or bravado and didn’t seem to need to care what anyone else thought of him, although most people regarded him as kind and considerate of others, which he was, whenever possible.

He was tanned and handsome with a beautiful full head of thick wavy brown hair, which he pulled straight back when they rode.

He was lean and muscular; surprisingly so for a man of nearly fifty years of age. Most people guessed him to be in his late thirties.

He was ruggedly handsome in a way people described as “twisted steel and sex appeal.” He had an animal quality to him, like a Florida Panther. Ruthless.

He could be intimidating at times; his demeanor could turn on a dime and spit nine copper pennies back in your face, or just as likely break into a brand grin so wide they showed most of his nearly perfect white teeth.

His steel-blue/sky-blue eyes sparkled with mischief or could turn into cold piercing ice and if he got that “thousand yard stare” that warned that the reflex arc of survival was about to emerge, even God couldn’t help you if he turned that look onto you.

Years ago, he and Elliott had been best friends, but Jed’s fiancée considered Elliot a bad influence and made both of the men so uncomfortable whenever Elliott was around and incessantly nagged Jed if she even found out that Elliot and Jed had gotten together “behind her back” that eventually, it was Elliott that walked away from the friendship shortly after Jed got married.

One day Elliott just didn’t show up for work. Just like that. He moved to another town, found another job, and changed his telephone number.

Back in those days, Elliott had a reputation for not looking back on anything once it was out of his immediate sphere of influence. Not necessarily with any malice, but this time he did it out of his friendship for Jed.

Once, in a moment of candor he had referred to it as a “mercy killing”.

Neither of the two men had known that kind of bond with another man before or since. They were both well enough adjusted heterosexuals that neither felt threatened by how close they were. In a time when almost all men casually called each other “brother” they were truly cut from the same cloth.

By the time that Jed and Patty got divorced, Elliot was long gone and both men were both so consumed with their respective activities of daily living that it just happened that neither of them made any conscious effort to look for the other, although both of them missed each other and fondly remembered their adventures and good-natured mischief in days before responsibilities or consequences had much bearing on either of their lives.

The was no malice or resentments between them, just circumstance.

As overjoyed as both men were to be reunited, Elliott was more than a little unnerved by Jed’s sudden arrival. Five minutes before, he had gotten word  on the radio from one of the perimeter guards that an old friend wanted to see him.

Given the circumstances of the last year, he was understandably suspicious; by his relatively recent memory, all the people he considered to be friends now resided within the Colony.

When Elliott inquired who it was, Jed asked the perimeter guard to let him speak; all he said was: “Hey good buddy…I been drivin’ a load of post holes and sailboat fuel all the way from Magic City on my way to Shakeytown, and I got me a powerful thirst,…and there’s a little lady with me here that wants to know what a horny sailor needs to do around here to get laid…..”

Before Elliott could react, Jed handed the microphone over to one of the women, who simply said: “Hey Boss…it’s been a long time…”

Imagine getting punched in the gut so hard that you could swear you felt the fist bounce off your backbone and doubled you over followed by a swift uppercut that drove you straight up until you were on your tip-toes.

“Jesus!” was all Jed could say before he sat down and shook his head.

Then he laughed until there were tears in his eyes.

“Well let ‘em in!” was all he could say.

Once in a Blue Agave Moon: Chapter Seven: Dystopia

Posted in longreads, Much Too Good For Children, Novel, Once in a Blue Agave Moon, The Tyranny of Evil Men on September 2, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

 

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
“All machines have their friction; and possibly this does enough good to counterbalance the evil…But when the friction comes to have its machine, and oppression and robbery are organized, I say, let us not have such a machine any longer.”
Thoreau

We all knew the system was broken; that eventually it would collapse by way of its own corruption.
Man’s first misstep was when he traded his instincts for Reason, and became blind to what is obvious to any animal by believing that facts are the sole determinant of what is real, true, or beautiful.
Because we had sublimated and substituted virtually every aspect of real happiness and peace with possessions and conformity, we eventually sensed that there was something wrong…that something was missing, but we didn’t know what it was because few of us had the slightest clue what it was, despite the plethora of clergy, elected officials, police, and various other gurus who would purport to tell us what it was we need.
Our society was supported by an interlocking series of lies that first justified their own existence, and then so obfuscated the truth as to eclipse it, and discourage anyone from looking elsewhere for it.
The idea of questioning those lies and false values was considered esoteric and pointless. Most citizen-consumers were fearful of the consequences of independent thinking, and far too over-stimulated by passive entertainment to even consider solitary contemplation.
A man or woman can study any subject, and if when tested gives the answers deemed as correct by his mentors who are just as blind, he or she is considered educated, which means he or she is just as blind, misguided and just plain wrong as those who would judge them.
To be enlightened, if one chooses to do it by way didactic information, one must first learn it, examine it scrupulously, see the flaws and folly of it, and then decide for themselves what is true and what is truly valuable.
Even this is still only a first step.
Even our entertainment showed the effects. Even our entertainment reflected a cynical view of our government as being so corrupt and sinister as to defraud and mislead its citizens on a daily basis for the benefit of a privileged oligopoly or under the cloak of “national security”; that it was casually accepted and tacitly condoned, and considered entertaining rather than alarming.
The reason for the failure to act upon these injustices lay in the fact that virtually everyone was bribed by the hypnosis of consumerism, in one way or another.
The most popular theme in movies and games of that era involved some form of an apocalyptic collapse of our society.
By way of the hypnosis of television and other mass media, passive entertainment lulled them into tranquility, and promised salvation by purchasing some product to fill the empty space we dreaded to acknowledge.
In order to live genuinely and without deceit, one would have to separate themselves from the source of the deception.
The rash of Alaskan frontier television shows presented as Reality TV was the beginning of the faintest glimmer of recognition by the public that fulfillment was not likely to be found in the lap of civilization despite the Sirens of the Big Lie of proclaiming “Truth, Beauty, and Enlightenment are all well and good, but if you can just get enough power, money and influence, you can buy anything you want…”
The public was routinely bamboozled into voting for either rich and notoriously corrupt leaders or else anyone who claimed to be the champion of the downtrodden and protector of the weak; those who would vote for them a second time, even after betraying their broken promises during their fist term.
As the ranks of the mislead, misguided and ill-connected and marginally educated or literate seemed to grow exponentially they became more and more dependent upon a system that was in fact feeding on them in exchange for the most meager of existences, which worked for only so long as they all spent more than they made and willingly competed to buy ill-designed, poorly manufactured goods that they really didn’t need.
But as most of their lives amounted to equally meaningless existences, none of them knew how to do anything else, especially the work of their lives, preferring to trade their lives for money to do a job for someone else.
As an increasingly more incompetent public school system failed to provide useful learning tools and larger portions of the population grew into dysfunctional adults spawning even more useless, increasingly co-dependent citizen-consumers while the privileged classes enjoyed private schools and paid less and less taxes back to the system they were manipulating for their sole gain, it soon became clear that the system was not capable of supporting itself.
If the rich didn’t pay taxes and the poor couldn’t, the middle class was forced to carry the burden until it became clear that the national debt was becoming unmanageable.
The legislators allowed themselves to be manipulated so as to remove most of the banking and mortgage regulations that were designed to prevent the over-extension of credit that contributed to the first near-collapse of the economy.
Initially the real-estate bubble burst and then the entire market tanked and the government bailed out the banks despite the fact that it would have been cheaper to buy the houses from the banks and let the owners buy them back, rather than face foreclosure.
All those empty homes could have made it a renter’s market, but the banks chose to sit on many of them empty until they were nearly worthless due to dangerous mildew and mold damage.
And we let them do it. It was our money that the government spent to prop up the banks rather than prosecute the lenders and legislators and attorneys who were responsible for allowing the greedy regulations that created the crash.
The middle class was shouldering the bulk of these outrages, and as their ranks were culled, a second even more disastrous collapse was inevitable.
Small wonder that video and computer games devoted to the theme of a zombie apocalypse became America’s favorite genre.
Those games were a substitute for doing it yourself. Virtual visceral fantasy.
It, like pornography, allowed some individuals to escape their otherwise dystopian existence. Harmless distraction to keep you so overstimulated that you don’t start asking questions and stirring up trouble.
Once the world Banking System collapsed due to cyber-terrorism and the nearly simultaneous attacks on Fort Knox, The Chase Manhattan Bank, and the remaining members of the Federal Reserve system turning them into nuclear hazard sites, all world wealth was in the hands of those who had launched the attacks, and public confidence in our monetary system evaporated.
The Arab coalition although united in their religion, as well as their hatred for America and their allegiances were as weak as they had been since the days of Lawrence of Arabia; each tribal king expected to be autonomous and mistrusted the other tribes. That, plus their bellicose propensity for violence and long-standing feuds was as volatile as the petroleum that had made them rich.
It wasn’t long before their own nuclear weapons had turned most of the Mid-East into radioactive glass. America did not have the capacity to launch an attack until after they had turned upon each other.Similarly, as near as can be told, the Chinese, the Koreans, Pakistani, and of course Russians turned on each other and brought the world back to the stone age. Radical Islam eventually achieved their goal of anti-art anti-intellectual, anti-democratic, anti-media, religious fanaticism. The exact details are sketchy, even now, due to the initial chaos created by the Armageddon Virus that had caused the collapse of virtually the entire internet and all of its operating systems.
Fortunately, by this point all world order and infrastructure were disabled, which put at least a temporary hiatus on global warfare.
The resulting riots, robbery, and in some cases cannibalism worldwide that took all of any country’s national net worth, tended to limit warfare to only their next door neighbors, but not much farther.
Ironically, unlimited worldwide warfare had led to more peaceful times than has been recorded in all history.
Of course, it would be temporary. It would only be a matter of time before somebody figured out how to restore some semblance of wealth, power and privilege to an even smaller select few, but the chaos created in the meantime was estimated to have reduced the world population by more than sixty percent, thereby reducing the technological, logistical and nutritional demands of the world to a bare minimum.
Other than the remaining ruling class, those who survived were grateful for even the barest and most meager existences. Now virtually everyone left would be willing to “work for food” and the middle class virtually disappeared, at least for those still addicted to what remained of civilization as they had known it.
The fact was that small but significant portions of America had begun to establish colonies in the most remote locations that were bound together by their mutual strengths, their knowledge, and their talents as well as their worth within their tribe.

This is where the story of Elliot, and the other members of the Fourteenth Colony begins.

 

 

Once In a Blue Agave Moon

Posted in Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Economic Redistribution, Long Form, LONGREAD, Much Too Good For Children, Novel, NSFW, Once in a Blue Agave Moon, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, The Apocalypso on March 20, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

chapter One

Elliott Monroe awoke to the sounds of the generators starting.
As he briefly lay there in bed, he thought about how much the world had changed in the last eighteen months.
Over two years ago, he had read about how cyber-terrorists were launching over thirty thousand attacks against the United States and their allies every month…without success…but…
Much like the theories of quantum mechanics and the origin of the earth, eventually anything can happen, and like the monkeys and the typewriters, eventually they discovered the codes that were capable of deciphering the encryption associated with the operating systems of every computer on the planet; banking, defense, security, even the internet itself.
The consequences were catastrophic and swift.
They had not only managed to withdraw all the virtual monies out of all the North and South American, European, African, Swiss, and Japanese banks in the world, they had also placed a “doomsday” virus into the operating systems that caused them to destroy themselves, and their hardware, as well as all the records of all the accounts.
And when back-up systems and replacement programs were installed, the rest of the internet was so polluted with the Doomsday Virus that they were quickly rendered useless as well.
It took several days for even the best run operations to re-start, only to discover there were no funds in the accounts shortly before they too self-destructed.
Even if you had a printed statement from your bank, they were not being honored because there were no available funds to pay anybody anything.
It was believed that Doomsday was not even a single virus, but rather a series of interlocking programs that spread rapidly through any device that used the internet at all…even if only to use the National Observatory’s atomic clock for time reference standards.
Cars that used Onstar or satellite radio would not even start, or stopped within minutes; some crashed. Planes fell out of the skies all over the world.
Several nuclear power plants melted down. Nuclear missiles went haywire.
Some of the programs had been perfected for years before the comprehensive attack was orchestrated.
It affected the News services so badly that the parties involved had to resort to circulating printed material to even take credit for the attack.
More than ten years earlier, the terrorists had begun a plan that was only waiting for the success of the computer viruses for their initiation. They were in no hurry.
The terrain of the area surrounding the Fort Knox Army base is riddled with underground caverns and streams that permitted tunneling through an area over five miles long from nearby Bardstown to the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox with a minimum of true excavation.
By a similarly ingenious plot, the mazes of sewers, communications tunnels and underground passageways in Manhattan (some dating prior to the revolutionary war) allowed near enough access to the Federal Reserve Bank, the only bullion depository larger than the one at Fort Knox.
Both tunnels ran the last five hundred feet deep below the vaults, working slowly and sporadically to better avoid detection.
The morning of the discovery of the cyber-attacks, at least twenty “dirty” or “salted” nuclear bombs detonated by two stolen B-61 Mod 11 nuclear “bunker busters” and a pair of ten-megaton hydrogen bombs of the Teller-Ulam design from former Soviet sources and several other devices of either Korean, Iranian, Chinese, Pakistani or Indian design under the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox and the Federal Reserve Bank of Manhattan.
Both locations enabled the surrounding bedrock to amplify the effects of the shock waves from the blast and the combined pressure and heat from the thermonuclear blast not only compromised both vaults, but also severely contaminated them with radioactivity.
The heat and pressure was so intense that the other “dirty” or “salted” devices were combined in a chain-reaction not normally anticipated in any previous counter-terrorism models, that assumed conventional detonation of plutonium and uranium, with no concomitant fission or fusion.
The terrorists had no desire to survive the attacks, so no shielding or protective casings were used to contain the radioactivity of the “dirty” or “salted” bombs. It was a suicide mission, which made it that much easier to accomplish.
“All the gold in Fort Knox” (and the Federal Reserve Bank of Manhattan) was now radioactive. The fact that they had been entirely symbolic ever since they had been stored there really had little bearing on the perception of the people of the world.
(Apparently, the terrorists had seen the Movie “Goldfinger,” although they were not interested in any financial gain; after all, within two days they possessed all the net worth of the all major powers of the world.)
They already had plenty of money, but the real point was to take it away from their enemies.
It is estimated that the gold at the United States Bullion Depository (aka “Ft. Knox’) is worth about 175 billion dollars. This is believed to represent 2.5 percent of all the gold ever refined in all human history. The US GDP is estimated at approximately eighteen trillion dollars, and the United States federal budget is set at approximately 103% of the GDP.
The attack was predominately a way of doing severe damage to the confidence of the American people in the liquidity of their government.
After all, most of the net worth of anyone or any entity is based on a combination of faith in what amounts to “virtual money,” rather than cash and the mutual recognition of what constitutes value.
Between credit margins, and speculation, in a cashless society most people rarely ever touch any “real” money. Paper money is based on faith and a promise, but keep in mind that when the economy went from gold to silver certificates to federal reserve notes they no longer bore the promise “payable on demand”.
And let’s face it, you can’t eat gold or silver if you are hungry. The value of gold or precious metals or gems are based on their scarcity, and almost since the beginning of time we have been hypnotized by our desire for them, rather than in any true intrinsic value per se.
And to the radical Islamics, the result of the end of Western civilization was their precise goal. No more Hollywood (or Bollywood), no more televangelism, no more beer or whiskey commercials, no more live lingerie models, no more TV, no more Western aggression; Zionism as a world power would be crushed; no more internet porn and no more Christmas specials on television. No publicly available electricity in the West.
In just two explosions they had bombed the Western Hemisphere into the stone age.
At least, that was the mythology that had become the accepted explanation. Most of the stories that were passed from one person to another verbally were based on speculation, rumors and whatever prejudice, preoccupation, or agenda of the teller.
A few amateur radio operators kept up their own news nets, but no one knew what to believe and if you were smart, you took it all with a grain of salt; after all, no matter what gossip you heard, most of it had no real bearing on your own current state of affairs.
They were all too often just the idle talk of the frightened and the doomed, who would have nothing else to say once the lives they had known evaporated.
North Korea had very little to lose; their governmental leaders lived lavishly, but the mass of people lived in squalor, in silence, and in the dark. Previous satellite photographs of the island of Korea showed a brightly lit south at night, but above the thirty-eighth parallel only a few scattered lights showed anywhere in North Korea.
India and China were similarly affected, but to a lesser degree. For the desperately impoverished masses who had so little to loose, it was a zero sum game.
And perhaps most importantly, No country seemed to have much need to muck about with the rest of the world, which for the most part had lapsed into complete isolationism.
Or so it seemed, until each of the countries participating in the attack on America and its allies tried to double-cross the other. They quickly rendered each other helpless and crippled with a combination of nuclear and conventional weapons.
First it was Russia and China, then India vs Pakistan, and everybody versus Korea.
The Moslems were not bound by national boundary lines, but religion and culture, and initially they stood together. In fact, it was later estimated that the Moslems had actually instigated the conflicts between the other countries with feigned mutual acts of sabotage.
But eventually even the Moslem-ruled countries turned on each other. The same mind-set that had sabotaged Thomas E. Lawrence (of Arabia)’s effort to unify the mid-east was still in effect.
Malaysia was the first to fall; they were the weakest, and the least unified as far as Islam. Once that chain-reaction started, it would have been very difficult to tell who “won”.
Gandhi had stated that “an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind” but obviously, he was wrong…because…
“…In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king”…and that last guy with only one eye could easily escape the last blind guy…(but if you are surrounded by radioactive glass everywhere you look with that one good eye, it’s not much consolation).
Perhaps even more fortunately each had sufficient intel about each other as to quickly and almost surgically attack each other so as to limit any counter-attacks by anyone, so other than some very localized fall-out, it had almost no effect on North America.
Perhaps ignorance is bliss…border disputes in Eastern or Western Europe or Asia had no real affect on someone living in Idaho…or the Florida Everglades.
Elliott had heard stories of people who still chose to live in the cities, bloodthirsty cannibals, burglars, rapists and bandits feeding like vultures on a rotting carcass that was already nearly stripped to the bones.
The trick was to find a place where only certain individuals could survive, and even thrive in the midst of world chaos. The desert, the mountains, the deepest woods, the most isolated coastal regions and their islands as well as the few swamps in North America…and the Florida Everglades, which were really more like a flooded savanna, hence the Seminole expression “River of Grass”.
Virtually all of what constituted an economy was now based upon barter, trade…and theft.
One thing that had not changed was that all too often keeping what you already have can be more difficult than getting it in the first place… “the same as it ever was….”
Those who had something of useful purpose as well as those who could do or make because of what they knew faired much better than those highly trained aristocrats whose careers and knowledge or training were so specialized that they had no survival skills at all.
It was a very bad time for lawyers, public officers, (like judges or government officials), CEO’s, any level of vice-president of much of anything, travel agents, airline stewardesses, motivational speakers, fitness trainers, life coaches, investment bankers, stock brokers, event planners, and pretty much anyone dependent upon performing services for someone else.
State governments were fucked, but the rich and privileged swine who had manipulated them all along just by virtue of what they still possessed; as long as they could continue to barter their influence over goods and commodities, at least had a chance.
The police almost immediately took over most of organized crime, and split what they couldn’t steal outright with those whose mutual interests might similarly prosper in deference to outright gang warfare, which nonetheless still flourished on a regular basis.
Our military forces faced mass desertions, but those who remained managed to maintain a small elite group of forces who operated much like Mosby’s Rangers during the Civil War, ‘’requisitioning” food and supplies as they deemed necessary. All the armed services bases that remained open had to become self-sufficient by hunting, plowing, planting and farming almost every inch of their surrounding land near their bases, including the livestock they now tended.
Elliot was fortunate enough to have worked out a deal with a group of similarly minded individuals who owned a large tract of land that bordered on the Florida Everglades; mostly dry and wet savannas with patches of scrubby timber and wooded areas.
They all had hunted wild hog and deer on those lands together at various times throughout the years. They all possessed and represented a wide range of useful skills. Most of them were what had been called “trades people”.
Most people would have derisively referred to them as survivalists.
Although they themselves had no idea what would precipitate what some would come to call The End of Days, they knew that eventually, something would happen.
They were essentially autonomous, and lived relatively well in an otherwise dystopian and dangerous world.
It was as if the tables had been turned.
Most city-dwellers as well as most suburban commuters not only could not survive outside their protected communities, but they would have little desire to live without the conveniences and trappings that had already enslaved them.
If you can’t seem to get what you think you want, learn to love what you have.

Chazz Vincent

March 19th. 2016

 

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