Friday, April 26, 2013

Fiction Friday

"A man who has seen death and survived is satisfied with a flu," Eli repeated to himself for the umpteenth time. He'd read it... somewhere back in college, a little pessimistic gem he'd been more than happy to throw around. He'd never given it much thought then, or at least no more than some self-serving claim that it meant something to him beyond its power to shock. Thank God he'd since gotten perspective.

He'd thought of that little saying off and on since moving in with Gramma. After all, what red-blooded twenty-something wants to spend his days looking after some decrepit relative? Of course things were never all that bad and she always seemed more interested in him going out then he did. "Why would you sit around at home on a nice night like this?" and "What do you mean you've got no plans for the weekend?" And even trying to set him up with the sweet Korean girl down the hall - at least before that last round of INS sweeps. Good, benevolent meddling.

He hated it all, of course. "Jesus, it's none of your business!" and "I can live my own life!" That sort of good natured bickering that no one ever really likes until it ends...

*    *    *

"Gramma!" he called out into the apartment. He stomped up and down the hall a few times, hoping to jar her awake if she'd fallen asleep in the tub again. That had been one awkward evening.

No response. He knocked at the bathroom, still a little weary. No answer. He tried her bedroom - again nothing. He tried his own room - hell, why not - and again not a sound.

"Gramma?" he tried again. The apartment was quiet and static as always, but the old lived-in smell had left. He crinkled his nose, it almost smelled sterilized now. Like someone had been through and scrubbed every inch of the place with bleach.

In the kitchen he found a letter, typed. Gramma was hopeless with a computer - and that typewriter hadn't worked in fifteen years!

"Dear Elly," sweet Jesus, he thought. "After careful consideration, I have opted to return to our Homeland. Israel needs us all in these troubled days and I would be a poor example to you if I shirked my Jewish duty -" Jewish duty? Really? "You are free to make your own decisions but I implore you to follow me as soon as possible. Israel needs strong, young men such as yourself if it is to weather the Final Days -" The fuck!? "Your loving mother, Sheila."

"Her name is Anzia!" he screamed, nearly ripping up the letter. The cynical bastards didn't even bother to remove the Emigration Office letterhead!

*    *    *

"A man who has seen death and survived is satisfied with a flu." Eli understood those words now, at least in a backwards sort of way. It would be melodramatic to call his life up until now miserable, but looking forward to the future - and a future in modern Israel was a death sentence, no question - he'd been very satisfied with that old flu. All a matter of perspective, really.

Finding the plans hadn't been difficult. Even with the libraries falling apart and charging for their internet use, they hardly policed anyone's reading habits. Too worried about stumbling on porn. Eli had stacks of papers, bordering on a thousand, with the information he needed - and all printed at The Commons.

Material... That had been much more difficult. He'd decided from the start it could be nothing conventional. If the bitch weren't close enough he might only singe Her and what would be the use of that? He had to be certain he would get Her - and everyone else in a fifty block radius. Fucking sheep.

Conventional would be too bulky. He'd be stopped for sure. Well, what about... Yes, that could fit right in a backpack, at least according to the sources he found. But the materials... not so easy to come by. Had this been an earlier point in history with more industrial regulations he might have been forced to call it quits - or get a plain old rifle. But thank God or whoever saw fit to place Eli in the same state as a disposal site staffed by cynical entrepreneurs. And thanks also for all the money Gramma had squirreled away throughout their apartment – safe from those Emigration bastards.

*    *    *

"A man who has seen death and survived is satisfied with a flu," had been on his mind for a while, but since setting to work on this... project, he'd been remembering something else. A catchy little song he heard in a movie once. Eli sang it to himself while putting the finishing touches on his bomb: "I'll take you with me to the stars! They're gonna find your anus on a mountain on Mars!"

Buy my book! It's da bomb!

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