The face of the enemy…A short story….

“Please, stay indoors. You’re being quarantined for your own protection. We will let you know when its safe to leave your home. Thank you for complying.”

Joe Thunderfall listens to the emergency broadcast and shakes his head. “I didn’t fight over there to be imprisoned here.”  He walks into his living room and sits down at his computer. As he pulls up his blog, he is bombarded with news articles and headlines. This new “super-virus” is spreading fear with every new day. A group of Senators have brought forth a bill to help stymie the bleeding of the economy and Joe chuckles.

“Let the game begin!”  As Joe places his fingers on the keyboard, there is a knock at his door. “Yeah?” Bursting into his house, his 16-year-old niece throws her arms around his neck. “Hiya, unc. What’s good? You hear about the virus? The Senate is going to end this thing with a vote tomorrow!”

Joe snorts. “Oh yeah? That’ll be a first.” Anna looks at her uncle and scrunches up her nose at him. “You have no faith in the government, do you?” A mirthless grin stretches across Joe’s face. “I believe this, Anna. There is nothing they can’t make worse. Anything they fix is completely broken. Tell you what, they’re voting on it tomorrow. You come over and we will watch it. If it goes through, you can throw it in my face.”

“Deal!” Anna and Joe shake hands and the deal is done. “Until tomorrow, Anna. I need to get this post done.” Anna smiles and nods her head. “Just so you know unc, I am looking forward to telling you, I told you so.” Joe laughs and begins typing.

As Joe finishes his post, the news interrupts Five Finger Death Punch and the lyrics to “Wash it all away” is cut off. “We interrupt this broadcast for breaking news.” Joe listens as the reporter explains why the bill which would keep the economy from completely tanking, has been killed on the floor of the Senate. Laughing, Joe gets ready for bed. “Poor Anna, she has so much to learn about life and the government.”

The smell of fried bacon, potatoes, and hot coffee stirs Joe from sleep. Stretching, he can see Anna standing in the kitchen. “Hey kid, what are you doing here so early?” Anna looks down the hall and then puts sugar in his coffee. “There is no school today. Everything is closed. You were right. The bill never stood a chance, did it?”

Joe walks down the hallway, his GI Joe pajamas are almost too small for his enlarging belly. “Well Anna, you must understand this fact about the government. It is comprised of two types of folk, givers and takers. One group of people worked on the bill and understood we should come together in this time of crisis. They are the givers. Then the other side decided a crisis is a prime opportunity to stuff the bill with things they want for themselves. Their motto is, “screw the little guy.” Guess who they are?”

Anna looks at the countertop. She sighs and mutters, “the takers.” Joe puts his arm around his niece. “Yeah. In times of crisis, our elected officials should work together. Instead, they would sacrifice us all on the altar of greed and political gain. When you reach 18 understand this Anna. Hold the government accountable for what they do. Do not, under any circumstance, surrender your personal liberty for any reason. Because once you give it away, you will not get it back.”

Anna nods. “Why are you so bitter, uncle?”

Joe sighs and sips his coffee. “Because Anna, I have seen the face of our enemy and it is us.”

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