She walked past his bedroom door and was surprised to hear laughter.
Only last night, they sat together on their sinky-down-cozy sofa, watching the herd violate their country. Americans were attacking America.
They cried together, the Mom and her ten year old. Horrors like this happened elsewhere in this world but never in their own backyard. This is the United States of America. Not a banana republic.
Mom and son are news junkies. They know these things.
‘What will happen to them,” he asked. “Will they go to jail? Will they be fired from their jobs? Will the president get in trouble for asking them to do that? Will they kick him out of the White House and put him in prison?”
“Mom, look at that mob, isn’t that our next-door neighbor, Mr. Smith?”
She answered with conviction. “All those terrorists will pay for their crimes. The police, the courts, congress, and the people will take care of things. That is the way it works in a democracy. Our country will not tolerate actions of this nature.”
“Push our country to this extent, and we will end this insult to everything we represent. The world used to see us as a beacon of hope. We lost our way a few years ago. January 6th proved how far we fell.”
“And yes, sweetie, that probably is Mr. Smith from next door.”
Questions and her reassurances continued till he fell asleep beside her, only to be repeated at breakfast and throughout the next morning. Mostly he spent the day in his room, watching tv and interacting on his phone.
His triumphant laughter leaked from the cracks around his closed bedroom door. Lenny, his mother, entered his room and asked why the happy face.
“Messaging with my friends,” he said. “Mom, did you know rules are for fools?”
He proceeded to tell her how cool the country looks right now. “It is so perfect because anyone can do anything they want if you are rich and powerful enough. You can make stuff up, you can lie, you can trick people, you can make fun of them, you can hurt them. Even, you can kill them. You can do all this, and still, they will vote for you. If you are smart enough and have the bucks, you can get away with it all.”
“You always tell me actions like these have consequences. Mom. You are wrong.”
“Bradley, where did this come from. Your friends?”
“Yes, from my friends, but from me too. Look at the news today, Mom. Sure, people are making a big stink about the swarm of raiders on Wednesday. They agree that the president encouraged it. But when a few days pass, nothing will happen. Just words, mostly. Everyone involved in attacking our country will get away with it. Especially the big guy. To some, the terrorists look like heroes.”
“That’s why we are laughing. Me and my friends. We can’t wait to grow up, make lots of money and start our takeover plan. Maybe own a city or state. But we won’t stop there.”
“We are trying to figure out a plan, a lie to suck in buyers and then sell it for a ton of money. Bobby says tricking people will be easy. And we will never even get arrested, much less be put in jail.”
“If it is that simple to trick people today, just think what we will do 10 years from now.”
“But first, we need lots of cash, so people will think we are kings or something. Then they will bow down to us and let us do anything we want.”
“We will make them afraid.”
© Suzanne V. Tanner, 2020. All Rights Reserved.
- My friends, for the world’s sake, this tale above about a conversation between a mother and her child must remain fiction. The next days will be telling.
- Please allow me a moment to thank you for reading my writing. Recognizing that time is our most valuable asset, I want you to know how much I appreciate you sharing some of yours with me.
Below are links to renowned journalists’ recent excellent articles at the New York Times and Washington Post.
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