Through the Darkest of Nights: Testament XV

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Every few days over the next several months I will be posting installments of a novel about life, death, war and politics in America since 9/11.  Through the Darkest of Nights is a story of hope, reflection, determination, and redemption.  It is a testament to the progressive values we all believe in, have always defended, and always will defend no matter how long this darkness lasts.  But most of all, it is a search for identity and meaning in an empty world.

Naked and alone we came into exile.  In her dark womb, we did not know our mother’s face; from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth.  Which of us has known his brother?  Which of us has looked into his father’s heart?  Which of us has not remained prison-pent?  Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?      ~Thomas Wolfe

All installments are available for reading here on Docudharma’s Series page, and also here on Docudharma’s Fiction Page, where refuge from politicians, blogging overload, and one BushCo outrage after another can always be found.

Through the Darkest of Nights

Fire and Ice

    Shannon glared at Travis as he walked towards her across the hotel lobby. He smiled when he reached her, it was a confident smile, a smile most women found irresistible.  “Hello Shannon.  It’s good to see you.”

    “Tell me why you’re stalking me.”

    Travis’s irresistible smile faded.  “Your hostility disappoints me, Shannon.  I’ve come all this way just to talk to you, and you won’t even say hello.  All I get is a cold stare and colder words.”

    “Get used to it.”

    “So that’s how it’s going to be.”

    “You’re stalking me, Travis, I’m supposed to appreciate that?”

    “I’m not stalking you, Shannon, I’m here because I’m worried about you.”

    “You should be worried about your mental health.  This is insane.  Why are you doing this?  What’s the matter with you?”

    “I love you.  I know you love me.”  

    “Your delusions are of no interest to me, Travis.   Did you call your uncle, is that how you found me?”  

    “I don’t want to discuss this here . . . ”  Travis glanced at the desk clerk and saw him watching them with a look of disapproval.  “There’s a nice bar just off the lobby, we can have a drink and get this sorted out.”

    “I don’t want a drink, I want answers.”  

    “So do I.  But we can’t talk here.”

    Shannon walked out into the parking lot and Travis followed her.  “OK.  Talk to me, Travis.”

    “My uncle called me last Friday.  The DHS has you on a watch list, Shannon.  Giving that seditious speech in D.C. wasn’t exactly the best idea you’ve ever had.”

    “Seditious?  You can’t be serious.”

    “I shouldn’t have to explain this, but it looks like I have to.  Fine.  I’ll explain it.  America’s changing.  The world is changing.  Wealth and power are being concentrated, free market democratic systems are dying and civil liberties are dying along with them.  It was inevitable.  The nature of capitalism, political realities, economic realities, human nature, they’re all combining to produce this concentration of wealth and power.”  

    “It’s fascism, Travis.  No one dares call it that, but that’s what it is.  Through and through.  To the core.”

    “I’m just telling you–”

   “I’m not deaf.  I heard you.  Wealth and power are just being concentrated, that’s all.  It’s natural, it’s inevitable. Well so is cancer after a cancer diagnosis.  The cancer cells concentrate, no big deal, it’s nothing to worry about, they just concentrate into tumors and kill people.”

    “Calm down, Shannon.”

    “These people are fascists, Travis.  So don’t tell me to calm down.  I’m not going to just sit back and watch them concentrate the whole world into a thousand year corporate reich.”

    “When are you going to grow up?  

    “When are you going to shut up and start listening?  You have no soul, Travis.  I look at you and all I see is three dollars worth of chemicals, dressed in jeans and a polo shirt.  Just leave.  Haul your conquering hero ass out of this parking lot, go back to that army base and ride around in your tank, or whatever it is you do when you’re not stalking women.”

    “Who are you to be telling me what to do?”

    “Who are you to be telling me anything?   You’re stalking me like some lunatic.”  

    “Quit accusing me of that, I’m not stalking you, Shannon, I came here hoping to talk some sense into you.  This ridiculous peace activism of yours is a waste of time, you’ll accomplish nothing, except to make a spectacle of yourself.  Can’t you see that?”

    “I’ll tell you what I see, Travis.  I see fascism.  New and improved for the 21st Century, upgraded for modern consumption, malevolent as ever and staring us all in the face.  That’s what I see.  I see sanctified nationalism, demonizing dissent as treason, contempt for human rights, media propaganda.  Everywhere.  Fraudulent elections, corporate power expanded, labor power suppressed,  relentless intrusion of the power of the state.  That’s the spectacle I see.”

    “Well get used to it, it’s here to stay.”

    “No.  It’s not here to stay.  You and your fascist friends will have your spree, you’ll lie and bully and kill for years, but you’ll go down, and I’m one of the people who’ll take you down.”  

    Travis stared at Shannon.  She stared back.  “Tell that to your uncle, tell it to your father, and grandfather.  Tell it to all of them.”

    “I will.  In the meantime, I’ll tell you this, your friend has a rather unsavory past, Shannon.  Would you care to hear about it?”

    “Go to hell.”

    “Very unsavory, as a matter of fact.  My uncle has–”

    “He can fly out here too, as far as I’m concerned.  I have a few things to say to that pasty faced bureaucrat.  He can bring the whole damn Department of Homeland Security along with him.  We’ll sort a few things out, we’ll sort out that I’m not threatening America’s national security, he and his DHS stooges are, and I’ll damn well tell them so.”

    “Brave words.  It’s a pity you still haven’t figured out that words don’t matter anymore, Shannon.   Wealth and power are all that matter.”  Travis lowered his voice.  “Do you know what you’re getting into?  Do you know what could happen to you and your friend if you keep this up?”

    “Do you?”

    “Look, I’m trying to help you, I don’t want you to get into more trouble than you already are.  You’ve been advocating the overthrow of the government.  You’re-”

    “What government?  America has no government.  It’s gone.  It’s been concentrated into a war machine.”

    “Concentrate on this, the United States just rid the world of a murderous regime, thanks to President Bush.  We finally have a government, a government controlled at long last by conservatives, a government run by people who know how to use power, who know  it’s our destiny to expand American prestige and influence throughout the world, who know it’s our destiny to wage this war on terror.”

    “They’ll unleash their wars, create a wasteland in the Middle East, and call it peace.  Just like the Romans did.  War is terrorism, Travis.”

    “That’s nonsense.  War is necessary, it’s–”

    “This one wasn’t.”    

    “Saddam and al Qaeda plotted 9/11, we know that, we’ll prove it to the world.”

    “Well what are you waiting for?  FOX would love to broadcast all that proof you’ve got.”

    “We’ll find the proof, we’ll find the WMD.”

    “You won’t find any proof, there isn’t any.  You won’t find any WMD either, there isn’t any.  All you’ll find is a bloodbath.”

    “You’re just–”

    “A bloodbath.”  Shannon turned and walked to her car.  As she pulled away from her parking spot and drove out of the lot, Travis took his cell phone from his pocket and called her cell phone number.  She didn’t answer so he left a message . . .

There’s a limit to my patience, Shannon.

That limit has been reached.



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  1. There’s some great DD gear there.

    There’s no Rusty1776 bobblehead dolls yet, but I’m sure they’ll go into production soon.  

    • Alma on May 17, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    but I don’t understand this line:

    I look at you and all I see is three dollars worth of chemicals, dressed in jeans and a polo shirt.

    Whats the 3 dollars worth of chemicals?

    • RiaD on May 17, 2008 at 10:44 pm


    most excellently well done~


  2. and that Shannon…well, she’s got it goin on.

  3. other very well, to begin with.  Or, as time went on, they simply diverged in so many ways.  Maybe, in a strange, obtuse manner, Travis, in his mind, is really looking out  for Shannon.

    Also, I find a statement made by Shannon seeming much more like a Jericho statement, i.e, “Haul your conquering hero ass out of this parking lot, go back to that army base and ride around in your tank, or whatever it is you do when you’re not stalking women.”  I dunno, the words seem so much more like those of Jericho than Shannon, but, maybe, she’s developed a tougher “edge,” too!

    Obviously, Travis wants to play everything safe, and in the process, wants Shannon to do so as well.  it does seem somewhat “a-typical” does it not.  Who of us have not heard the same kind of rhetoric?

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