I protect. That is what I do. I live in California. This is the year 3000. I not only am the protector, but I am a rebel. I fight with a brisk anger because that is what is inside me. I hate bullies. I am an agent to big companies. I know big CEO’s. I know their grudges, because I kill them. I ride along the shoreline in my pickup truck, looking along the horizon. That’s me out there. I’m expansive. I’m vast. I can do whatever I want. I don’t love, but I do feel. I feel anger. I feel the longing for freedom. I want others to feel the same freedom. I felt it was my time to unfetter these lands. A land of financial gain and financial destruction. I didn’t want to be a subservient individual. I wanted to be a man on my own. So that is why I am here. That is why I do what I do. I murder but it is for a reason. I live for a purpose.
So as I continue down this broken road. The shore line collapses my spirit. I reflect on my life, that is so vivid. I think of the man I used to be. I used to chase the stars and crowd the shores. I used to take the hand of my imagination and see what tomorrow brang. I was searching for meaning. I was a lost star. I was meandering through life, falling under the weight of destiny. I saw a lofty goal to become successful. I wanted to become my dad. He was my all. He acted as a rock. I can get real sentimental, when discussing his importance to my life. He carried me through life. He was never home, but I had always felt his presence. He made me the man I am today. So I continue even further, until I reach my place of residence. It is placed along the shoreline. A small shed, painted with a fresh coat of white paint. I put all my essentials in there. A bed lie in the center of the floor. I had always felt at home when I sat down upon it. When I sat down on the front of the mattress, I looked out the front door, and could see the people cherishing their lives. They skipped in matrimony with the sun, and had caught sight of moon before it ever rose. I wanted that happiness, that freedom. Maybe I have it, but I don’t feel it. My life, was about living in the middle. The path between right and wrong. I reached for my gun case, and pulled out my shotgun. I placed it on my lap and began cleaning it. What a magnificent weapon it was. I had killed three men with this. It was my go to. As I was just about done cleaning it, Ronald, my supply man walked in. He wore his cowboy hat, and jean shorts with such confidence, I never bothered to question it.
“Hey, Ronnie!” I said as I rose and embraced him
“How you doin’ George?”
“My name isn’t George.”
“Was I close?”
“My name’s Red, Ronnie.”
“Well, I’m sorry pal. Let me make it up to you. I’ve got something in the back of the truck for ya.”
He led me out the shed and on the fresh sand. I could feel the rough sand in the sole of my shoes. The burning sun, baking my skin. In the back of his truck was an array of deadly weapons.
“You weren’t lying.”
“Well, Red you deserve the best.”
I walked closer and grabbed an AK-47.
“Where’d you find this beauty?”
“It’s a secret.”
“Alright Ronnie, I’ll get to you one day.”
“Maybe one day, but today is not that day.”
We smiled at each other.
“Well, I’ve got to go. Take care Red.”
“You do the same.”
He drove off, drifting through the sand. These could do me good. I couldn’t wait to use them. I was just waiting on my next assignment. Typically my phone rings non stop, but it’s been quite lately. This makes me suspicious. I walked back into my little shed, to layover for the night. When the next morning came, I heard the seagulls breaking over the shore. I heard the ignition of the many tunnel cars. I’m not one to use that transportation. I guess you could call me old fashioned. I like to keep my head low, but my awareness high. This was my land. I like to think I own it. I control the business that comes in and out. I kill the middle man. The smell of concrete surged into my nostrils. I smelt as well, burnt rubber from the repair shop I passed. The people walked around the city, with their vibrant colors, their ear pieces, and their phones attached to their ears. My truck had failed me and I needed a check up. I drove into the open garage, to be met by Terrance. He wore a conductor hat, and striped pants. He had always wanted to be a train conductor. He was an odd fellow. He had an odd accent as well, that I could never tell where it was from. He always had a lump of gum in his mouth, and was obnoxious with his chewing. He had a certain distaste for my kind. We had a run in one time. I make this business run smoothly. The business of a city, can be evil, but I’m willing to carry it out.
It was a stormy night. I got a ring. It continued to ring. I rose up from my bed. I could hear the rushing waves crash against the shore. I picked up the phone and answered.
“I’ve got a man.”
Those words always triggered something within me, like I was programmed to spark with energy with the utterance of them. A command of destiny called. The man on the other line, was the owner of a big corporation; “Cars and Trucks.” I know dumb name. He made all the profit in the world, believe it or not. That corporation was about the only place to buy a vehicle in a span of a hundred miles. This man,knew me well. When he had a middle man, he didn’t take a liking to, he called me first. He gave me the operational details. I was to bring the man to him, alive. Something I had never done, that is to leave someone alive. He gave me the suspected address. I complied. The address, for some reason didn’t ring a bell. I should’ve known. I rode my truck all the way over to that address in a hurry. I was to impress. This was my chance to get paid big. When I arrived on the scene, a sudden lump in my throat froze me. My palms began to sweat. I was anxious, I was worried. I recognized this place. The shabby walls, the wood panels that overhang from the roof. The flickering sign out front. For once in my life, I stopped. I didn’t want to carry out the job. I knew that man in there. I promised to myself, if this day would ever come, I wouldn’t hesitate to continue. If I ever hesitated to act, to me that would risk getting caught, and I couldn’t get caught. So I shook my head, and continued on my mission. The lighting bolt flashed behind me. I pounded open the garage door.
“Why should I?”
“I’ve got a special message for you.”
“Do I know you?”
“I’m sure you have.”
The garage door pulled open. I saw his boots first under the door. Then his striped pants. Then his ragged shirt. Then I saw his face. Then I couldn’t do it.
“Oh hey Red!”
“What’s a matter?”
Then I felt again. Voices told me to do so. I clinched my fist. He noticed. I knew because I saw fear in his eye. I socked him right in the face, and while he was falling, I grabbed him by the neck. I got a better hold of him, by wrapping my forearm around his neck. I choked him out. I saw the struggle. I felt the pain. His veins pulsing through his neck, and heat radiating from his brow. He gargled through his pain. Then he let go. I held him as he fell to the ground. I wrapped him in a bag, and threw him into the back of my truck, and drove off.
The colors rushed by. Steam rushed past my ankles as I walked down the sidewalk. People chirping, and birds nowhere to be seen. This was a new age. I remember when I was a kid. I saw this new world being constructed. I saw the concrete being poured. I saw the trees fall. I saw my neighbors house go. I saw my house go. If you weren’t connected, then you weren’t alive. You weren’t alive. That’s what defined me. I was the latter. To be in the now was the only thing that mattered. My job? My profession? Well, that part is complicated. It depends on the day. This month, or well how I feel. This time of the year I am typically a photographer. At least people think I am. The hipsters of this age like the sound of it. So they buy in real easy, when I act like I know how to hold a camera and such. I mean, you grow a mustache and they’ll pay you thirty bucks on the spot. It makes it easy when no one really knows your name. I didn’t go to college. Look, I didn’t even go to high school. I dropped out in middle school. I’m so cool. You should see my resume, very extensive. That was my attempt at sarcasm. I’m not very good at it, if you can’t tell. I’m not very efficient at many things. Most people figure out my act in about a week or two.
So that’s the basic run down. Cool right? Want my autograph? The alarm rings. I stir out of my evening attire and decide it’s time for breakfast. I live in the upper quadrant of the busy downtown city of Metropolis. That’s right, I’m freaking Superman. No, of course it’s not Metropolis. It’s New York. I moved out here when I was a young kid, thinking I could go somewhere in life. I saw it before in the movies, read it in the books, saw it in the pictures. My main goal was to write. I write everyday, in my makeshift journal. I wanted to become a best selling author. That’s right, I was a chick magnet back then too. Well, as you can tell this dream of mine didn’t really pan out like I thought it would. I don’t understand why identity is so important in society. It seems to mean nothing. It seems as if everything is so uniform. Everything is so cliche. I just don’t understand. I typically start my evenings with a good ole bowl of cereal, and a side of disappointment. Sometimes I find the first to have run out, then I just end up eating more into my depression. Those days suck. Sometimes, when I get my television working, I like to watch (surprising, I know). I like to watch the people discuss their issues and argue on the unimportant. I heard one lady argue over the color purple. I believe the man on news called her sexist for even arguing over the color. The whole discussion made no sense, but I was intrigued. When I was bored of the spontaneous arguments, I rose from my shaky table and placed my bowl in the sink along with the others. I looked out the foggy window and saw a patch of green grass. It was the last square of grass I know. I refreshes me to see it everyday. If it went away I don’t know what I would do.
I live in a vacant hospital. At least, I hope I do. I’ve been living here for a couple of months. I live off the grid, so I wouldn’t know. I get visits from my good pal Ted. He normally flies through the window, of my room. We have decided along time ago to never discuss the personal details. So the only thing I know about him, is what he decides to tell me. It’s a tractable mold. We can morph the reality, with what we make up sometimes. We question ourselves, if we should give a little more, but we both agreed upon the danger of it. We thought that if a time arose where we were to be kidnapped, or of some sort, we couldn’t put the other in danger. It’s an odd precaution, I realize but we think that there is always room to be precautious. The world has become less, and precautious. The world has become fragile. We have blinded ourselves. I know you might not think it is now, if you are from the past, but now it is a reality. The year is 3000, we are all connected. The cloud. The cloud. Everything is in the cloud. People’s details, deepest secrets. We stay on social media. Uploading annoying baby photos, political rants, and posts about the game last night. Our lives our on there, except mine of course. I made it my goal not to be. The only person I trust is Ted. He knows my name: Bill and I know his name, that is all we need to know. The year has begun to be too gracious in technology, to notice the world. Of course the major problems are gone. That is all fine. No cancer. No world hunger. We are all given a spread amount of financial aid. So we are doing well. I have no take in that. Society is given, through the grid. The grid is my enemy. So I stay clear of it.
So the morning comes. I have eaten my cereal. I have, well, that’s about all I have done. My friend flew through the window. I should probably tell him to knock next time.
“Hey.” Ted says panting
“Hey?” I said with a raised eyebrow
We sit on my sofa, staring at the bare wooden walls.
Check out my new book! Out now: