It was happening again. The dreams were back. Unfettered by time they came-night or day-not just when sleeping. And to be honest they were nightmares really. The physical pain they wrought on her body made her desire death. In younger days she didn’t understand and no one would, or could, explain it to her satisfaction. No wonder huh? It would take what you couldn’t have to get that job done. Now no other explanation would do; not since she found out the truth and history behind the decision. Maybe that was what brought on the dreams again. It was such a nondescript little journal but the title wreaked of evil: The Degeneration Movement.
It happened in 2033 when the American government finally lost its ‘democracy for all’ stronghold on the world. The mayhem and chaos that was running amok in third and fourth world nations infected and overtook second world nations. Nuclear and biological weapons turned out not to be the true threats after all. Feuled by insurgents and greedy leaders of religious countries that historically hid behind their papyrus piety, these smaller nations were backed and urged to create public demonstrations demanding the downfall of America and Americans.
When it was clear that embassies and American government aide centers in foreign nations were not safe from attack, all Americans were recalled home. Passports were recalled; Americans were ordered home under threat of arrest for treason or suffer sure death when left behind in whatever country they thought themselves to be safe. Many learned the hard way that Americans were no longer the favored child of the world. And as it turned out they were only safe until the expulsions of non-Americans from the US began. The borders that had been left untended for years were suddenly snapped shut with a vengence. Anyone documented as a hyphenated American was sent to a deportation station on the port nearest their hyphenated nation. Mini refugee camps were set up for the hyphenated Americans as they were removed from the country and used again as returning Americans entered the US from their former locations. The evacuation images were worse than those seen from Saigon when helicopters hovered over the roofs trying to take as many as possible to democracy while families decided who stayed behind; elderly pushing babies up toward some stranger in the helicopter. No one, leaving from or arriving to the US was doing so in the luxury of ‘deomcracy’.
The recall was not a smooth process. It began with the D-Commission’s formation of unipartisan elected and appointed officials. Some of the documents she found hinted the downfall began with the unipartisan movement; being a blended RepDem or DemRep or IndiRepDem or for that matter IndiTeaLibDemRep elected official was the wave of the future. Sheesh, indecisive much? Playing both sides, or all sides, government officials began the downfall of the American values with their self-serving bills and mandates, increase of taxes and high end funded programs run by and for the wealthy, drainage of health care and social service programs, lack of education and arts funding, and cancellation of public broadcasting networks. All these played heavily into the dramatic decline of the American way. But the American people were just as responsible. They sat idly by, not voting, not doing anything to keep it from happening, not thinking up anything better–not thinking at all.
Her grandfather’s papers laid the share of blame among many. She could feel his guilt leak from the ink on the pages. His handwriting was clear and manly. A statesman’s penmanship. As secretary to the Speaker of the House he knew all too well what was happening. His handwritten recollection would be grounds for death by firing squad if found, however, her grandfather was a scoundrel at heart. The way he hid the records from discovery were simple and only her boredom pointed out the patterns to her.
It was the middle of a dreary night in the middle of a dreary season in the middle of a dreary life that she found the journal. The pain had sent her to bed; body wracked in pain, head throbbing so heavy it felt like a mountain climber was sitting with the mountain on his shoulders on her brain with his spiked mountain climbing boots pressed against the backs of her eyes for leverage to hold that mountain up. Pain was a nice word for it. The protocol provided medication did little to alleviate her pain but it was all that was available from the Commission.
Now she wasn’t so sure how she came across the journal. Did she dream about it? Can’t be possible. No, must have been some other way. Think. Think. Think. Quickly her head turned in response to the upturn of electrical buzzing alerting everyone that someone was crossing lines. Don’t think. Don’t think. Don’t think. The buzz subsided and the guards kept on driving not bothering to get out of their shuttles. At first she knew she needed to figure out how to control that and mask it better. Early on it was nerve wracking but now she had it down to a science. The journal told her how. The problem now for her was how to tell enough of the others to make a difference and bring individual innovative thought back to America. She couldn’t make the same mistakes her grandfather’s peers made.