There’s no right way to do the wrong thing.
POSSIBLE TRIGGER ALERT
All his life had been in preparation for this moment. From the first time he picked up a BB gun, at the time nearly as big as he was, he’d had an inclination and proclivity for firearms and how to use them. His dad had taught him to shoot, and he’d thrilled to the solid ping when the BB hit the tin cans which they always did after he’d acclimated to the kick of a rifle.
With his skill and accuracy, he’d decided almost immediately the path his life would take. He set his sight on becoming an army sharpshooter, maybe even intelligence or special forces; and he’d succeeded. Considered one of the best of the best, he’d received commendations as well as recognition for his exemplary service. When the military had drummed him out for questioning the forced order to take an unproven vaccine with a dishonorable discharge, he’d been stunned and livid. It wasn’t that he was some religious zealot; only that he wanted the option to choose for himself what entered his bloodstream via injection.
After a couple of months struggling, and watching his family do the same as his father lost his job and his mother her business, he knew what had to be done. One person had started the nation on this downward spiral and that person must be brought to account. This is what all that training had been for. Until now, he hadn’t realized it.
As his blood boiled at the thoughts rushing his mind, he looked away from the scope of his rifle and took a breath. Reminding himself not to neglect his training, he quickly moved back into position. From his vantage on the rooftop, well camouflaged in the darkness, he could clearly see the entrance to the hotel. His reconnaissance had shown this to be the best time of day.
The traitor would emerge from the entrance any moment with his equally arrogant and traitorous wife. With only a few people coming and going, he would make an easy target.
Motionless, he remained in position, eyes fixed on the spot where the target would emerge.
In his usual, feigned ‘man of the people’ arrogance, the ever-present obnoxious grin on his face, he strode onto the sidewalk where a limousine waited, flanked by his private security detail and followed closely by his partner in crime.
He snorted, wondering for a moment if he’d be so smug if the detail around him had surrendered their weapons to this gun-free zone. Then he forced himself to focus.
Calm now and resolute in his mission, he squeezed the trigger, knowing instinctively he’d hit the mark. He was long gone before they even knew their hero was dead.
He watched in disgust for the next two weeks the pomp and circumstance surrounding the burial of the target, guffawing to himself that the evil traitor might be put in the ground, but he wouldn’t be laid to rest. There’s no rest for the wicked, he thought. Further disgusted by how the propagandists who posed as journalists and reporters fell all over themselves to extol his virtues, so called accomplishments as president and then use it to clamor for gun control and speculate on the possibility of a racially motivated hate crime, he wondered how any rational person could help seeing that the man was a Marxist traitor who’d weakened and embarrassed the nation while bowing to and empowering her enemies.
He’d seen the viral videos of the man who claimed climate change was a threat hosting a party where his celebrity friends all came in on private jets. His arrogance that they had no need to mask up like the rest of the country was being pressured to do because of their superior sense and status. What a crock of hypocrisy. Why couldn’t more people see it?
Then he realized that with no explanation, the speculation would continue to spin, the sycophants of the fool he’d taken out continue to screech for his agenda and get it totally wrong. He would have to get his ideal in ridding the nation of the head of the scourge out to the public.
Using old newspaper and magazine clippings, he put together a missive that explained his motives, traveled several hours away from his home base and mailed it to the network affiliate in a large city several states away.
It further irritated him that it was dubbed a random act of vigilantism by an unstable, right-wing, white supremacist. It got minor attention in one news cycle and things went on as they had before he’d taken action.
Frustrated, he ruminated on what to do next. What could he do to get the nation’s attention and see the change so desperately needed?
It was then that he saw another blurb making the rounds on social media. The big mouth, lunatic idiot idolized by the media, though every time she opened her mouth some inaccurate, ignorant rant came out completely off the facts, was in the commentaries again.
When he saw her preening for the cameras at an exclusive, high dollar gala event pontificating on discrimination and oppression while wearing a designer gown, then proudly turning around to show the words “Tax the Rich” on the back, he got angry all over again. First, she’d ripped off something someone else had done in support of a business under attack by leftists and then had the nerve to rail against the very nation that allowed someone like her to rise from obscurity to elite, almost celebrity status. Talk about hypocrisy!
“Tax the rich,” he muttered to himself. “More like sack the b*tch.” Immediately, he knew what he had to do.
It took several weeks for him to find out where she’d be speaking that also had a viable place for him to set up. On the second floor of an abandoned building in her district, he felt comfortable not only to accomplish his mission but that he would be secure enough to remain hidden and then make a clean getaway.
In the park some distance away, a crowd had gathered to fawn over their idol. She didn’t disappoint, railing on about her plan to better the nation and to secure rights for the oppressed.
Blah, blah, blah. He thought. These freaks talk a big game that really benefits them and costs the average citizen — and now their descendants — more and more. What was wrong with these people? Did they really hate America that much? Were they really that stupid? Or was it all by design for their own power at the expense of everyone else? He couldn’t deny that when it came to facts, she was ignorant if not actually stupid, but he also couldn’t deny that she’d achieved a position that had people listening and taking her seriously.
When she got into full rant mode, eyes flaming, nostrils flaring and big mouth open, it was too much to resist.
He took the shot and dropped her mid thought. For a moment before he finished bagging his gear, he watched the panic that ensued. He chuckled. “No deals of any color for you, b*tch. You only thought you’d seen climate change or global warming or whatever they’re calling it this week. It’ll be plenty hot and gaseous where you’re going.”
Since he’d traveled to the other side of the country for this, he took the opportunity to send a message to the major networks. It said, “Wake up, traitors. We don’t want your climate crap, your communist takeover or your condescension. Death to all Marxist traitors!”
Once again, the propagandists barely mentioned it. Another hate crime, they said. Gun control! Gun control! The right-wing terrorists and anyone who opposes us must be re-educated or destroyed! Death to the capitalists! Death to the conservatives! Death to patriotism!
Fuming, he paced in his motel room. What would it take to wake the nation up to the agenda of these traitors and take action to stop it? He considered taking out the big mouth’s little cell group but realized that they were even less out there than the raging radical he’d just eliminated. No, he reasoned, he had to think bigger.
It seemed almost providential when he caught a commentary on his phone that showed the loon from CA bragging about her freezer full of ice cream and visiting a salon, opened just for her and maskless, while the rest of the nation suffered mandates, lockdowns and loss on every hand. And they were supposed to be the guardians of the masses, underprivileged and oppressed? Not only had none of the DC power hungry hypocrites ever missed a paycheck but they invoked their privilege to enjoy luxurious benefits too. He knew what he had to do.
This one might prove difficult logistically, but he knew he’d been thinking too small. His next target had real clout. Checking out of his motel, he started back east. The mission would take careful planning and as yet he had no idea when he might have a shot.
The day before he would get to DC, he shaved and had his hair cut and picked up a full suit from a consignment shop. He couldn’t blend into the crowd there with shaggy hair, beard, and camo.
Already in the capitol a week, he had nearly despaired of gathering the intel he would need to execute his mission. He’d wandered around the capitol area, looking for a way to gain information, eaten in any number of Georgetown bistros and drank in bars reputed to be the watering holes of the movers and shakers.
At the bar of one such watering hole, he had decided it might be time to call it a night when he saw a late comer enter.
Impeccably put together in his moderately expensive suit and manicured grooming, he had the restrained arrogance of someone with position, though likely not as influential as he might aspire to be. He walked easily to the bar and ordered a drink, eyes subtly scanning his periphery.
When he caught sight of the sniper, he downed his drink, ordered another for them both and started around the bar. He smiled as the bartender set their drinks in front of them. “I haven’t seen you before. And I know everybody.”
“Oh?” He replied. “And who might you be?”
Carefully concealing his affront, he replied. “Well, wouldn’t you like to know.”
The sniper shrugged, took a long draught.
“So, who are you?” He miffed, the conversation clearly not going as he’d hoped.
“Capitol beat.” He answered drily, “New to the city.”
“Journalist? Hmm,” He grinned now. “Then I’m definitely someone you want to know.”
Laying a hand on his arm, he leaned in. “Because I have all kinds of contacts and access to inside information.”
Staring down at the man’s hand pointedly, he withdrew without moving or speaking.”
Tossing his head affectedly, he removed it. With a huff, he downed his drink and said. “My mistake. So, Capitol Beat, you probably won’t last long here so I’ve got a tip for you. The Speaker is holding a press conference tomorrow afternoon on the vote coming up for an important bill.”
“Of the House, you moron. Tomorrow at 2 pm on the Capitol steps.”
Grinning into his drink, he didn’t respond. Let the obnoxious jerk think he was an idiot. He’d gotten the information he needed, though shorter time to plan than he would have liked. One thing was sure, the guy was right. He wouldn’t be here long.
Once he’d assured the man was gone, he’d made for the area surrounding the capitol. It wasn’t difficult to find a vantage point that would make any position on the steps clearly visible for him to take his shot. Both times he’d wandered through the area, he had, providentially he told himself since the second time he’d carried his rifle, avoided the security that made regular rounds.
He wasn’t so lucky went he exited the hotel where he’d stashed his rifle on the roof. Comporting himself like a wide-eyed tourist, he pretended not to see the uniform that approached him.
“Hey!” The man called.
Glancing in his direction, the sniper put on his best corn-fed, mid-west naivete. Clearly the guy was no novice. Calling on his military training, he straightened his posture and replied. “Sir?”
“What are you doing out here this time of night?”
“Well, you see, sir. I’ve never been here before. Heard there was a press conference tomorrow and wanted to scope out a good place to see. First time and all, and I’m hoping for a story for the paper back home. Want to be a reporter on the capitol beat.” He grinned, hoping the story would fly and that he hadn’t over done it.
“Wanna be a reporter, eh?” His demeanor softened, taken in by the ruse. “Well, be careful. Some of those news types are pretty aggressive. You won’t get a spot if you don’t show up early. The way some of them jockey for position, you could get hurt.”
“Thanks for the tip, sir.” He gave his best farm boy smile.
“Good luck, son.”
With a slight nod, he started back toward his motel, searching for a cab. His skill level didn’t require much luck. He’d get here early all right but it wouldn’t be him that got hurt.
The wind had picked up slightly but thanks to his sniper training, he could adjust his trajectory to account for it. The shirtsleeves he wore were a bit trickier, since he’d decided it would best serve his escape to wear the suit. In position, he watched patiently as the crowd of journalists and supporters gathered in front of the Capitol steps; their anticipation palpable even from where he was perched.
One thing had him perplexed. In making his escape, what would he do with his rifle? Obviously, he couldn’t carry it with him. There was likely to be law enforcement combing the area after he dropped his target. He didn’t want to leave it on the rooftop for them to find and he hated to lose it, even if it wasn’t the only one he had. It was an expensive piece of equipment. What to do?
It turned out to be the easiest of the three shots he’d executed so far; despite the adjustment for wind. As pandemonium broke out below, he grabbed his gear and descended as quickly as he dared to the parking level on the ground floor. Making sure no one was around to observe him, he stashed his rifle behind a trash receptacle then slipped on his suit jacket and smoothed his appearance.
Walking calmly up the stairs to the first-floor lobby, he made his way into the café and walked straight to the counter. He smiled at the girl behind the counter.
Clearly restraining panic, her eyes darted frequently to the onlookers at the window observing the chaos outside.
“Coffee.” He said calmly.
Her head just bobbed.
Putting a hand on hers, he reassured. “You’re in no danger. This will all be over soon.”
Smiling gratefully, she nodded. “Get you anything else?”
Looking at the menu behind her, he nodded. Tempted to order the full stack, he decided it would be better if he ate like a corporate type and ordered a frittata with turkey bacon. He took his coffee to a table to wait, picked up a leftover newspaper on the table and opened it.
A moment later, some police full of anxious energy strode in. They looked around, decided there was no one of interest in the room and left again.
He could hardly restrain an exuberant grin. Ding dong, he thought. The witch is dead.
To avoid any possibility of being questioned, he’d moved his location out of the city to Virginia. While he contemplated his next move, he watched the news to see what progress had come as a result of his mission. It stunned him that the talk seemed to be less about the target’s death and more about speculation and those jockeying for position to replace her.
He huffed. The mourners for the big-mouth barmaid were still whining and whimpering though she’d only been on the scene a short time. No one seemed to care that this person who’d been in office — he couldn’t say she’d served the nation, only her own self-interest and the traitorous agenda she supported — had been shot down mid rant.
What was it going to take? He wondered. Then, what should his next move be? Briefly he considered the pair of radical socialist idiots from the Northeast but decided they were so old that they practically had one foot in the grave already. Maybe Mr. Ballot-Stuffer Bucks? But no, he decided. Too many other propaganda tools and truth censors; his was just one.
Maybe the gaffer in chief? Tempting, but then he pondered on who would replace him. That’s when he knew: the cackling, clueless fool with no brains and even less qualifications. Once she was out of the way, there might be some real change. Especially since it seemed her ‘superior’ — in position only, they were both traitors seemingly set on destroying the nation at home and abroad — would soon be on his way out, one way or another.
He set about to decide on a plan to recon the mission and take out Comrade Cackle.
Pacing his motel room, fists clenched, he could hardly contain his frustration. It had been several weeks, and he still had found no workable means of access to the target. Seemed she did nothing but give interviews and make a fool of herself in press conferences — indoors.
Constantly surrounded by her security detail, and no wonder considering how low her approval rating was, it seemed a formidable and impenetrable shield. He’d begun to think of her as a useless piece of flesh who’d done nothing but defend evil and perversion while betraying the nation on every hand. How she’d gotten to such a prominent position puzzled him. It had him perplexed and irritated. She had to be removed.
He’d thought about applying for a position on her security detail but knew with his military record and how easily his political views and history could be researched, he’d never succeed. What was he to do? How was the mission to be accomplished?
The more he thought about it, the firmer his resolution settled on the veracity of his mission. It fostered an assurance that his opportunity would soon present itself and that he could not fail.
His confidence was rewarded when he saw on one of the propaganda outlets that she would be needed to settle some vote in the Senate. As president of that body, her traitorous vote would be the deciding factor. It galled him that he was unable to form a plan that would prevent her from casting that vote but he would have to settle for her preening for the press afterward.
From there, the plan was easy. It would be much the same as when he’d dissolved the wicked witch of the west since her posturing would be in the same place.
Poised atop the roof, he waited until the dull energy – even the propaganda puppets appeared unimpressed — subsided and the first empty words passed. She cackled awaiting the press corps questions.
He had hoped to catch her mid-cackle as he thought fitting, but his timing was just a fraction of a moment off. When he had some time, he’d have to work on that at the range. Unable to resist as she dropped to the ground, he lingered uncharacteristically.
At that moment, he heard the unmistakable click of automatic weapons. It couldn’t be, he thought. There was no way…
“Move away from the gun and put your hands in the air.” Came the order and right behind it. “Now!”
His military training kicked in; comply, say nothing, and deny knowledge of anything. Already on his knees, he moved awkwardly back and lifted his hands.
They were on him in a moment, twisting his arms behind his back, cuffing him and dragging him away.
His long-held conviction that Washington had become a totalitarian nightmare solidified when he was taken to an incarceration center with no process, no phone call and no explanation. “What about my rights?” He demanded. “My attorney, my phone call…”
“Terrorists have no rights.” The commando sneered. “You’re lucky you weren’t shot on sight.”
“I’m an American citizen.” He declared angrily. “I’m protected under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”
The young, angry expression, mask-like, came to within an inch of his face, threatening. “You’re a traitor.”
“You’re the traitor. I’m an American patriot.” He argued.
“You’re a threat or rather you were.” He grinned malevolently and then prodded him heavily with the butt of his rifle. “But not anymore.”
He wondered if this was the place where the January 6 prisoners were being kept. Some of his friends had dubbed it the ’government gulag’ as reports of mistreatment had leaked. Bracing for what might lay ahead, he steeled his mind. Part of his training had been what to do if captured by an enemy; he’d been a good soldier.
They stopped in front of a small cell. The guard rattled his gun along the bars. “Got a guest for you, Reverend.”
It puzzled him. Why in the world would they have some preacher in here? Weren’t they by definition people who obeyed the law? At first, he didn’t see anyone; the cell was a little dark.
“Maybe your prayers will do him some good.” He chuckled derisively. “He’s a murderer.”
The cell door had slammed, and he’d taken a step forward before he saw his cell mate.
A diminutive man, who looked like he could have been a hundred years old, scooted forward on the lower bunk and peered at him. Without trepidation or hesitation, he asked. “That true?”
“You’re a murderer?”
He shrugged. “I guess.”
“I’m a patriot. Ex-military. I took an oath to defend my country. I was a good soldier too. Commendations, exemplary record.”
“I thought I should have a say about what was injected in my body, and they threw me out — dishonorable.”
The man shook his head.
“So, what’s a preacher doing in here?”
His new acquaintance chuckled as he shook his head. “I’m not a preacher.”
He frowned. “Then what…?”
“I am a believer. And since I’ve been here, I’ve prayed for and shared my faith with anyone who would stand still long enough.”
“But what did you do to land in a cell?”
“I came to show my support for the president and hear him speak. We were heading to the capitol to show our solidarity for not certifying the election.” He sighed. “I’d never been to DC before so when they waved us into the Capitol building, I went. Wandered through and looked around a bit. Took a couple of pictures on my phone. A few weeks later, the FBI showed up at my house and arrested me.”
“What did they charge you with?”
He shrugged. “Who knows? Some insurrection thing or something. Totally bogus.”
“Doesn’t that make you mad? I mean…”
With a patient smile, he shrugged as he answered. “Men and women who stand for truth have been persecuted and martyred throughout the ages.”
“Martyred? You’re ready to die for… what?”
“The testimony of Jesus Christ of course.” Another shrug. “Do I have a death wish? No. But I do believe that the foundation of this nation is based on the bible and those who are rewriting history, hijacking the nation and promoting perversion are puppets in the end game of God’s enemy.”
The assassin just stared.
“But I’ve read the back of the book.” Another broad smile. “We win.”
“Don’t you want to take action? Take down and get rid of the people who are destroying this country?”
“Nah.” He replied. “They’re just puppets.”
“What do you mean?”
“The bible tells us that we war not against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age and wicked spirits in heavenly places. We pray for the people who are yielding to them.”
“Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. I will repay.” He shook his head. “Their end is sure and very ugly, if they don’t repent.”
“Have a change of heart. Turn from the path they’re on.”
He got quiet then.
“Lights out.” Came the call.
The sleeping pallets were little more than a collection of springs, barely covered and seemingly designed to be uncomfortable. Trying not to move around much, to avoid the loud creaking, he lay on his back unable to sleep. In the stillness, he could hear the muffled murmuring below and knew the man was doing exactly what he’d said: praying.
Even more startling to him, he overheard some phrases and knew the man was praying for him. How could that be? He was a religious man, clearly, and he was praying for him – a man who had killed people intentionally in cold blood?
His mind wandered back to the conversation they’d had earlier. He’d called the enemies of the nation puppets and remarked about their final destination, should they not change their way. As a child, he’d learned about heaven and hell from the few times he’d gone to church with his grandmother. He hadn’t given it much thought as he’d always considered death a long way off and if he hadn’t gotten caught, would have still thought so. And now?
He must have drifted off finally because the next thing he knew, he heard running water. Rolling over, he saw his cell mate splashing his face and using his fingers to smooth his hair back. Groggy, he sat up and shifted his legs over the edge of the bunk.
“Hey.” His cell mate greeted and then with a grin added. “I’d ask if you slept well but…”
“Right.” He replied. “Tried not to disturb your praying with the noise.”
“You know, I couldn’t help wondering. How can you pray for these people? I mean, they’ve locked you up for nothing. Aren’t you mad?”
“No.” He shook his head for emphasis. “They’re just deluded; just unwitting players, most of them, in the end time drama being played out.”
“That’s another thing. You said that yesterday. What did you mean? Whose puppets? What drama?”
“What do you know about the bible?”
Half a shrug as he looked away. “Not much really.”
“Do you believe in God? That there’s good and evil in the world?”
“Yes.” He replied firmly. “My grandmother took me to church some when I was little.”
“All right. Then you know the creation story. That God put His man in the garden, he committed high treason and gave the devil his authority over the planet.”
“But it started way before that. Satan led a rebellion in heaven because he wanted to be God. He was cast out and took a third of the angels with him. Even before he deceived Adam and Eve, God knew what would happen and how the history of the ages would play out. He had it written in the bible so His people could be prepared for what was coming and stay secure.”
“These times are no surprise to believers who’ve been studying the scriptures. Everything that’s happening was foretold: the decay of culture, attacks on truth, freedom and Christianity. It’s the devil’s plan to try to exalt himself as god. It’s where the whole one world, globalist agenda comes from. Him in charge through people yielded to him.”
“These people trying to bring the United States down are just playing into his hands. See the United States was formed on biblical principles – even secular studies have proven that to be true. 34% of the direct quotes in our founding documents came from the bible. The most quoted source. We were formed as a Christian nation.”
“What about the separation of church and state?”
“Not part of the 1st Amendment like people think. It’s out of letter from Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists assuring them that the government would stay out of the church, not vice versa. The founders didn’t want a state church. They wanted no preference to denominations either. People were to be free to practice their beliefs as they saw fit — provided it did no harm to other people.”
“What’s that got to do with what’s going on now?”
“With our Judeo-Christian values, how we’ve been a force for good in the world, our sovereignty as a nation has been at the forefront of keeping that one-world government at bay. The devil’s jumping the gun. It’s not quite time yet, but he’s trying to force it.” He took a breath and continued. “Those of us who know the difference are using our voice to stand up for truth and the continued sovereignty of the nation. We know where the globalist agenda leads. Only the elitists benefit.”
“So, you’re saying that these people, pushing this socialist crap are just following a plan they don’t even know they’re following?”
“Yes. Which is why we pray for them. That and because the Lord told us to.”
He pondered. “You’re praying that they change course.”
With a nod, he kept thinking. “How does that work?”
“We hope they recognize their deception, see the truth and turn from their wicked ways to the light of the gospel.” He walked to the front of the cell to take the trays that contained their breakfast. “So, what about you? What brought you here?”
He waited while the man handed him a tray, took a deep breath and let it out. “My parents love this country. My great grandparents were immigrants. They worked hard and always taught us to be grateful for the opportunities we have here. Having come from nations where tyranny reigned, they were big believers in the 2nd Amendment, as well as the 1st of course and of what they know about our foundation.”
Taking a bite of his dry toast, the other man nodded, indicating he should continue.
“My dad began teaching me and my brothers from a young age to shoot and how to handle a firearm safely.” He sighed. “I was good at it, and I knew for as long as I could remember that I wanted to use what I thought was a gift to serve and defend my country.”
A brief silence.
“I joined the army as soon as I graduated.” He took a bite of his own food, nearly choked it was so dry, and then a long drink of his watery coffee. “I advanced pretty quickly. I was a good soldier. No disciplinaries, commendations for service, attained a high ranking for my abilities as a sniper and got promoted to special forces.”
Exhaling his disgust, he answered. “The jab.”
“My parents taught us to love freedom and resist tyranny – no matter what form it takes. I wasn’t going to be told I had to inject some unproven, possibly harmful substance into my body.” He set his tray aside. “The army insisted because of the government mandates. I wouldn’t submit so I was dishonorably discharged.”
“Yeah. I got so angry, I decided something had to be done. I began using my skills in what I told myself was protecting my nation against tyranny and started taking out the most prominent traitors to our freedom.”
“You became an assassin?”
“You didn’t know?”
He shook his head. “But you know, the leftist beast is kind of like the mythical Hydra; chop off one head and more will spring out.”
“You can’t kill the beast by chopping off a part – you have to go to the heart of it.”
“Truth. People have to know the truth. About the agenda these people are putting forth, where it leads and what truly works.”
“And you do that how?”
“It begins with the bible. The hearts of men can only be changed by the spirit of God. Then we educate them to what our foundations are and why they work. It won’t happen overnight but as warriors for Christ, we keep pressing on.”
“You mentioned an ugly end for the people trying to destroy the nation. If they change the road they’re on, stop pushing this agenda, they can avoid wherever it is they’re headed.”
He smiled. “Not entirely. That’s just the natural consequence but just like everyone on the planet, we’re born in sin and need a Savior. That’s what Jesus died for – to rescue us from sin in this life and the eternal penalty for it in the next – hell.”
“And that applies to anyone?”
“Yes. Anyone who will confess Jesus as Lord, believe he was raised from the dead and follow him.”
He nodded. It seemed a lot to take in. “When do we get a shower?”
“About once a week if the guards are in a generous mood.”
Scowling, he huffed. This might be harder than he thought.
Calling on all his special ops training, he managed to keep from pacing and remain still. Focusing on the stream of speech, which was different than the prayer from the night before, he allowed it to lull him as he listened, even though he had no idea what any of it meant.
The clang of the bars opening roused him and he lifted his head.
“Your lucky day, preacher.” The guard announced snidely.
“How so?” His companion asked.
“Time to go.” Was the reply.
“Go? Go where?”
“All charges have been dropped.” Came with a huff.
“Hurry up before I change my mind and some unfortunate accident occurs.”
His cell mate stood quickly and started for the door. Hesitating a moment, he turned and walked back to the bunk. Meeting the other man’s eye, he said. “Don’t forget what I said and don’t take too long. I’ll be praying for you.”
“Come on!” The guard insisted, grabbing his arm and pulling him toward the door.
Shrugging out of his grasp, he moved out the door and out of sight.
He put his head down again as the door slammed shut.
After several weeks, he realized there would be no new cell mate for him, so he moved to the bottom bunk. It didn’t make sense to climb up and down, though sometimes he did pull ups on the end of the frame, some pushups, and crunches to keep his muscles from going soft.
He’d had plenty of time to consider his situation and what had led him here. While he still would refuse to take the jab, he knew now that his mission had been foolhardy. As much as he still believed that the evil that had worked its way insidiously into seemingly every fiber of the nation needed to be stopped, a single vigilante couldn’t effect that change alone.
Do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.
Where had he heard that before? Had his former cell mate said it? Maybe, he couldn’t remember. But how did somebody do that?
He remembered then something he knew the man had said. You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. He’d also said that the source of truth was the bible. Hmmm, was it possible he’d been onto something? After all, the man was free, and he was still stuck here.
Something else he’d said came to mind. It likely wouldn’t be accomplished overnight. At that moment, his vigor rose. He would need to work out regularly. He had to be strong for whatever might come as he resolved to continue in the fight for freedom and preservation of the nation. He would begin today to prepare.
It hadn’t been easy as he discovered that the little bit of working out he’d done had allowed him to become softer than he would have thought possible. He forced himself to eat every bit of the meager rations he was given and drink the watery swill they called coffee. Working out strenuously and for longer than he’d been, his body now felt good. Energized, he was anxious to get out and back in the fray, though he had no idea what that would look like.
When the guard brought his evening meal, he guffawed. “Don’t know what you’re getting all buffed up for. You’ll never get out of here.”
His exuberance overflowed. “Hey, don’t you know that you’re on the wrong side in this fight?”
The guard laughed. “Last time I checked, I was the one on the outside of this cage.”
“You need to know the truth and the truth will make you free.”
“I’m already free. You’re the fool locked up in this prison.”
“The truth about who we are as a nation and what the Marxist traitors are doing to destroy us and our liberty.”
“What? No attempts to convert me? No Jesus loves you and he wants to save your life blab?” He huffed as he started to walk away. “Poor fools.”
When he woke with a start, his cell still dark, he felt disoriented. His eyes went to the light of the open cell door. Maybe, he thought, he was being released. Could that be possible?
“Get up!” Came the gruff voice of the guard, accompanied by the nudge of what was surely a gun.
Still trying to clear his head, he mumbled. “Wait. What?”
“Your remorse for what you did is touching. Too bad you decided to end it all before you could even be convicted.”
“You’re crazy. I would never…” He rose to a sitting position, thoughts racing for a plan of escape but finding none. Jerked to his feet by the guard, he started for the door.
Stripping the bed, he stuck his foot out just in time to trip him.
Immediately, his reflexes kicked in so that he landed on his knees and not face down.
The guard held the gun to his back while a second stepped out of the darkness and began to loop the sheet around his neck.
“I’m not Jeffrey Epstein. You’re not gonna hang me without a fight.”
One of the guards snorted.
Whoa, hethought. Must be some truth to that conspiracy theory. “You may as well shoot me, cause…”
The noose tightened.
These guys must be idiots, he thought. They hadn’t restrained his hands. He threw his elbow back and landed it in the groin of the one who held the gun. It gave him the opening he needed to jump to his feet and start running. He’d made it about halfway down the hall to the exit door when the first bullet struck his back, followed in quick succession by two more that took him down. There were no lights in the hallway except the exit, but it seemed suddenly that it became even darker around him.
This couldn’t be right he thought, struggling for breath. Amazing, he thought, how your thoughts become clear when your life hangs in uncertainty. He heard his cell mate say They’re puppets whose road ends in a very ugly place if they don’t repent.”
Suddenly, he realized he hadn’t done that. Softly, he gasped. “Jesus, if it’s not too late, please forgive me. I believe… I believe.”
Just as suddenly, the hall around him became light again. Something else his cell mate said came to mind. These people are not our enemies. They’re just deceived. At the same time, it became clear that the fight was not with flesh and blood, it was in the hearts of men.
As stupid as it sounded to his head, he knew he had to forgive them. “Lord, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.”
Because of warriors of righteousness like his cell mate, he knew that the fight would continue and that right and truth would win as it entered the hearts of men; just as it had with him. But now, he could no longer engage in the battle. His fight was over.