Wow, already almost half-way through. Well, I guess not. Nine days to go? I have yet to need to turn to the emergency prompts, though, so I take that as a good sign.
I just whipped this piece up, inspired by the current goings on in Iran. There are some incredibly moving images and stories coming out of there. I can’t hope to do any of that justice with my meager skills, but I was inspired nonetheless.
I tend to avoid political discussions, because for the most part they are losing propositions regardless of ideologies, logic, or reason. But I see things like this and it just blows me away. We may be seeing history in the making. Given that we just had eight years of a president pissing all over the Constitution and nothing happened, I don’t know exactly what it would take to have that sort of political unrest here. I’m not sure if we’re the lucky ones or not.
Just over 500 words.
Augustus Fishke grunted again as a key jammed again. He banged on the side of the typewriter.
“Piece of shit,” he said with a growl. “Bring that flashlight closer.”
Shadows leapt across the dorm room as Iwan shifted to shine the light across more of the typewriter. The machine barely functioned, having been more a piece of curiosity Augustus picked up at a yard sale than something he ever expected to actually use. Iwan’s computer sat shiny and new – and useless. Power had been cut from campus hours ago. The students had tacked their blankets up over the windows so roaming bands of thugs might not see them.
Iwan peered over Augustus’s shoulder as he typed. “Don’t forget the vans. They’re not using the army trucks. Black vans. Like the CIA or some bullshit.”
They both froze at a gentle knock on the door, though of course the police wouldn’t be so cautious or polite. Iwan opened the door a crack.
“It’s Lazar,” Augustus heard one of their fellow students whisper through the small opening in the door. He saw a tendril of cigarette smoke waft through the opening. Lazar had quit smoking months ago. “They’ve taken the Economics building. A few got out, but no one can get in now.”
“How many people in there?” Augustus asked.
“Fuck if we know,” Lazar said, his voice rising in anger. “A hundred? Hundred and fifty? What the fuck? They’ll have us all soon.”
“Easy, Lazar,” said Iwan.
“I…I’m sorry.” The tendril of smoke dropped down below the doorknob for a moment. “My girlfriend was there.”
“Hang on,” Augustus said. He quickly tapped out a few more lines on his report, a complete record of everything that had happened so far. He tore the paper free of the typewriter and carried it to Lazar. Augustus had seen him better. Lazar was run ragged; sweat dripped from his shaved head and soaked through his shirt. His hands shook as he took a long drag on a cigarette that was down to little more than the filter. As Augustus handed over the paper he saw that Lazar bled from a gash on his head.
Lazar folded and tucked the paper into his pocket without looking at it. “I’ll get this to Sloane. The Eco building’s just a block from here. You should get yourselves to higher ground. Ainsley Hall, maybe. The pigs are lazy assholes. They’ll head down here first before they go up the hill.”
“We need to get my hard drive first,” said Iwan.
“Why don’t you rest, Lazar,” Augustus said. “I can take the message-”
“Like hell, you fat bastard,” Lazar grinned. “Already slipped their nets twice. You wouldn’t make it all the way to the Union.”
“You’ll be lucky to make it, that head injury.”
“I’ll be lucky if I don’t.” Lazar tossed the sad remnants of his cigarette. “Like I said, you two better get out while you can.”
“What if we can’t make it to Ainsley?” Iwan asked. “How do we know where’s safe?”
“That’s easy,” Lazar said. “Just look for the buildings that are still dark.”