Confession is good for t.., p.1
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       Confession is Good for the Soul, p.1

           Patrice Stanton
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Confession is Good for the Soul
Confession is Good for the Soul

  a Political-Fairytale from the not-too-distant future

  By Patrice Stanton

  copyright 2013 Patrice Stanton

  Book cover & glyphs copyright 2013 Patrice Stanton

  Thank you for choosing this ebook. Although it is free, it remains the copyrighted property of the author and may not be reproduced, scanned, or distributed for any commercial or non-commercial use without permission from the author. The exception being short quotes used in reviews (though no alteration is allowed). If you enjoyed this story, please encourage your friends to download their own free copy and visit the the About-page, linked below, for more.

  Your support of the author, as well as your respect for her property, is appreciated.

  This book is a work of fiction and any similarities within it to other persons (living, dead, or fictional), businesses (public, private, non-profit, or fictional), places (actual or fictional), or events (current, historical, or fictional) are purely coincidental. The work (and therefore all elements it consists of) are products of the author’s imagination, so are used fictitiously.

  Table of Contents

  Section 1- PREFACE - Guilt can be a good thing

  Section 2 - Better late than never

  Section 3 - Saving the midnight oil

  Section 4 - Silent night, unholy night...the confession

  Section 5 - Time to go

  Section 6 - The wolves on the walls

  Section 7 - Ignorance is bliss, albeit short-lived

  Section 8 - The beginning of the end

  About the author

  PREFACE

  Guilt can be a good thing

  USAFortified Federal Compound, District of Columbia – or Fort Dyke, as the less-fortunates inside (and the outlaws beyond its walls) disparagingly referred to it – had been the first of its kind. Now, of them all, “she” was reputed to be the most secure.

  Within its thick, government-certified blast-proof walls, an admin-staffer with decades of loyal service to the tyrannical Regime has had a crisis of conscience...the crisis being she’s actually developed one!

  Those permitted to live within observed on a daily basis the obvious reasons for a price tag so obscene it still made the most elder ancestresses blush. Those in the middle generation? They at least experienced a flicker now and then, when such problems were pointed out. They’d inherited a tiny taste of the guilt most of their mothers and grandmothers felt. But the younger, still vibrant, generation knew no shame in that regard. Only knew that such fortresses were meant to serve them well. They had a keen sense the self-preservation of their precious hides and lifestyles depended on those thick walls.

  The ruling class, mostly female, weren’t about to give up power; leave and rough it back in their previous home-districts. Now they were masters, after all. Besides, they wouldn't know the first thing about living off the land or at the mercy of a government they'd continued to incubate. A government that’d grown soft-on-the-inside, therefore hard-and-cruel on its face. They were trapped, in essence, by circumstances of the Age they’d been bequeathed, and had enthusiastically perpetuated. Subconsciously they knew, though as gilded as the “inside” was by comparison, still it was a trap; generation by generation their cruel streak had widened.

  They of course preserved sufficient numbers and varieties of house servants, admin-staffers, and breeders. Surely they’d known, deep down, something would upset the balance of power one of these days. Some of the brightest must sense a change in the air, that it has nothing whatsoever to do with climatology.

  Outsiders called the average survival-lottery winners ruling-caste pets. More disparagingly, “minions.” One of those minions - the primary teller of this tale - was up unusually late, burning the midnight oil as it were…

  Better late than never

  She circled the small room. It had been her off-duty world for twenty years. Stepping lightly, she picked out a few choice things; laid them on the narrow austere bed. Didn’t want to wake any of the other resident-workers. She needed no company in the crime, the act of treason she was about to commit. The treason of finally telling the big truth. If, that is, a serial sinner, about-to-be full blown traitor, could make contact with her chosen outside-the-walls confessor.

  She had her sights on the physically-nearest male outlaw-in-chief – an “anti-government terrorist” whose last known whereabouts was within a day or two’s travel. #1 on the Dyke’s most-wanted list and posters, he seemed the obvious choice. She assumed he’d make most effective use of her information.

  Moments before, the traitorous middle-aged woman had pulled a pair of worn brown leather saddlebags from the small closet in her room. She’d “procured” them some ten years earlier, before, as a gift for some so-called superior in the District’s oh, so not-a-meritocracy.

  She couldn’t remember the creature’s actual name, but like so many over the course of her career on the inside, she’d called that one “bitch” too. A lot. The bitch complained that the leather goods (carefully hand-crafted, historically accurate and tonight, eminently useful) were old enough to be officially antique. “Probably estate-sale rejects,” the big-b had said, adding “they look like something a nasty cowboy would use – or had already.”

  The traitor knew it would have been a waste of breath trying to explain to such a sheltered female, that the end-of-manufacturing-as-we-know-it was nigh and that at some point (fairly soon) her carriage’s wheels wouldn’t simply be shot; Hell, they would be irreplaceable. By then the bitch’d be lucky to find a pair of “nasty-cowboy-bags” made out of canvas, much less real leather.

  The numbskull superior, in her inability to peer even into the near-future, dropped them like a pair of hot potatoes. Right back into the hands of the soon-to-be defector. And she gladly scooped them back up; clutched them to herself, and trundled off to stow them, minus the giftwrap, in her quarters. For ten years they waited patiently on a high shelf, for the opportunity to be of service.

  Once the traitor finished packing them with the necessaries for a journey outside the walls she secured the twin brass buckles on each. All that remained was to print out and secure her confession. It was, after all, the reason for all the risks.

  The hour had come.

  Saving the midnight oil

  She worked in the White House’s always hopping Public Relations Office; was one of the most senior staff – meaning she was comparatively old. Fortunately her reputation as a workaholic meant she came and went at all hours. That had made creating the deadly document in the middle of the night relatively easy. She’d hidden the file in the midst of another piece of “ancient history.” Something guaranteed to be of no interest to any of the ditzy staffers: the partially-edited State of the Union she’d written for their Dear Leader.

  It was midnight and she was ready: her scuffed leather riding boots tied securely, her heaviest cape in hand. She picked up the now stuffed leather bags then turned to leave, but stopped, watched the flickering flame of her desk lamp. She really didn’t need to leave it burning; she wouldn’t be coming back tonight. Perhaps ever! Her gut clenched. She took a deep breath; exhaled slowly. Someone else – someone more naive - could have her share of the precious oil.

  She stepped back to the small bedside table and blew hard on the flame. The quarters went black. She straightened up slowly; let her eyes grow accustomed to the natural light coming in from the window. Overcast, the moonlight was bounced around and magnified sufficiently by the clouds. She was confident she’d be able to find her way out of the city; technically her horse would be able to.

  She patted the left side “bellows” pocket of her riding skirt. Among other things i
n its deep recesses, she stowed a small battery-torch – in case. She’d practiced finding her way in the dark to and from the computer room. Several times. She doubted she’d need a telltale beam tonight...of all nights. Only if she heard someone else with “insomnia,” would she flick it on.

  No need to invite disaster now, she thought, I’m so close.

  She left the stairwell and started counting doors: one, two, three. As she came to the fourth door on the right she slowed, watching the blue stripe of light along the floor. The half-dozen computer screens inside emitted a steady combined-glow. Unchanging. No flickers. No human-shadows. Just to be certain she remained in place; listened without breathing; heart stopped mid-beat it seemed; she strained for the odd keyboard tap, rolling chair squeak, or footsteps advancing toward the door, toward her.

  Nothing. No one there. Good.

  Silent night, unholy night...THE CONFESSION

  She went inside silently, found the machine she’d always preferred – the one facing out the window and over the deserted expanse of lawn – sat down and got to work. Quickly she reviewed then finished her tell-all for the outlaw leader…

  They say confession is good for the soul. I hope so, otherwise I’m in for an eternity of trouble. You see, I should have done the right thing, should have sent this to you – or somebody like you that could have done something - sooner. Before it was too late. Like it is now, obviously.

  Are any of these modern machines still working out where you are? Do you even have enough electricity to waste getting messages this way? Probably not anymore, not from what we hear. That means I have to do the second right thing and print this – without leaving a trace, though that’s unlikely - then make the journey to your “last known whereabouts” to deliver it by hand. By my own hand.

  Normally I’d need to get a “Permit for Travel”…or else I’d be Outlaw, too. That’s if I had an official reason and if I there was a spare useable transport. That I, a solo female, could manage. You understand why I couldn’t have a driver. Couldn’t trust anyone else to know what I’m doing, after all.

  Which means that permit would have to be fill-in-the-blanks, which is executive-level. Anything less would expose us both, with an origin and destination required. Shortly I’ll be unimportant; you and your people aren’t. You’re more important than ever. Why? Even the diehards here, what you may have snidely called Fembots, are starting to get it now, now that brownouts are routine and even blackouts aren’t unheard of.

  I tell you all this not to gain sympathy. Seeing I’m a frail human, is no reason for forgiveness. We all are! I confess these things because there is no one here I can safely talk to. About any of this.

  If I did, I would be the proverbial dead woman walking. Then again, as much as these so-called exemplary women have turned into lambs...maybe I could get away with it. Lambs-unable-to-defend-themselves could do nothing much to me. They need their handful of turncoat males (the ones you need to use this to get through to). Those they’ve found willing to trade your outlaw-Freedom for fortified, federal chains. Sure their chains come with regular meals (albeit skimpy), a roof that doesn’t leak much, and work no tougher than what their fathers and grandfathers used to do, once-upon-a-time. (Except those men had chosen their labors freely.)

  Theoretically I could last inside the walls as long as it would take for my forbidden words to be discovered and reported. And then until the guards got me. One who’d stolen sufficient food to retain sufficient stamina and strength...to catch up with me and to keep a grip on me.

  Alright, I’ve used enough ink babbling; put it off long enough.

  I confess…to knowing about what, in public, they called the Good-Man Plan – in private the “Good and Dead Man Plan.”

  I “only” participated because I wanted to keep my cushy job and lifestyle. That and the fact I could never find a man who’d trust me enough to get involved. Otherwise I would have been a traitor to them long ago – back in my youth, when it would have mattered: to your people and to me. Now, in my midlife, when most of us here inside are more washed up, more worn down, and the whole business of America is in a final accelerating plummet, maybe one less minion helping to hold it together just might make a difference. Better-late-than-never, eh?

  But this isn’t about my aggrandizement. For one thing it’s about my failure to see how Good-and-Dead was an incremental thing in the early stages, back before it had a “spoken” name. It was just an evolving accretion of biased laws and statutes, court decisions and their cascading precedents, casually implemented kiss-up-to-women “strategies” used in hiring, firing, and promotion at the biggest, most visible corporations. And of course the early Boys’ Camps, you know, “Where recalcitrant males become responsible men?”

  After all, evolution is natural, isn’t it? So things evolved. All manner of governmental “advisors” catering-to women influenced the creation of brand new Government Bureaucracies. Which meant a myriad of new Laws at the top…which meant millions of new trickle down statutes and regulations impacting even the podunk-iest rural dwellers and their rulers. Most of this mess was directly counter to your liberty, best interests, sometimes threatening your very survival. After all, you’e probably seen the estimates on the numbers of young men worked to death at those camps (before they could “earn” their freedom).

  By the time of your grandparents’ generation, fewer and fewer men wanted anything to do with women. They “went their own way,” without female companionship, on a sort of Atlas Shrugged strike.

  Some, though, couldn’t go solo. If they “got the hots” for some female on a college campus (odds were the guy had his pick, given how few males gained admission), or heaven forbid, they went all the way to Married? Nearly always came down to he-said/she-said.

  And the “She’s” typically triumphed.

  Didn’t matter the venue: a campus “inquiry” or a formal State-governed divorce or child-custody hearing (does any of this sound familiar?). If the XY in question survived the ordeal du jour, on the day of judgment, so to speak, the She’s attorney would see to it the rest of his life would be nothing but everlasting toil, perhaps with the cherry of everlasting shame on top.

  And now I see, my mind being clearer on such things, I should have pitied those men who failed to stay under the State’s radar. No rain, snow, spate of un- or under- employment, nor even debilitating illness could free him from his child+wife support obligations. Plain old alimony? That was no better.

  I’ve read many archived writings. News clips and personal anecdotes where even if the man wasn’t working, and the kids were grown, and his now-ex was gainfully employed…he’d continue to go into the black hole of late payments until the bus to debtor’s prison screeched to a halt at the door of his cardboard-box divorced-dad pad.

  But you know all this. It’s what I hear fueled, and fuels, your fighting spirit, your soul. I, on the other hand, am at an advantage now. It seems I have no soul. I chipped it away day by day, year by year. I didn’t want to believe my kind could be so evil…but I must say it. Put it down on paper. Women can be evil. We’re human after all. The ambient, most insidious kind? To see a “wrong” and do or say nothing. To see Evil, recognize it, and keep on keeping on, by pretending you can’t do anything. So you ignore it, as a child would. Believing in your own personal “reality” (i.e. a fantasy).

  But it gets in your gut and eats you from the inside out. Some of them will never know they’re hollow that way.

  I’m sure this’s all been said before. Too important for it not to have been. Because there were an awful lot of smart men in the world, before. Before the Plan. But here, in my world, students wouldn’t have known about them if they relied only on formal governmentalized schooling. Even colleges were nothing more than brainwashing factories by the time I went, back before you were born.

  Rather, before you mysteriously arrived, born in secret. On a “vacation” that lasted six or seven or eight months, or on a “sabbatical” while
your birth-mother “went on retreat” to write another Master’s or PhD thesis. Ask one of your elders – if you still have any…In their day, my great-Granny’s day, girls went off to stay with relatives in a distant town: to save the family’s reputation. Your mom and countless others like her, went away so you – and other XY’s in your generation – could escape the wildly popular sex-selective abortion madness.

  I know; I know. Back to the Plot, the Plan, the Project. I’m being too much like a woman. Going all over the place except where I said I’d go.

  So with 45% of American men in the privatized prison system, women should have been happy, right? Well, the powers-that-be and their male-lapdogs-in-high-places weren’t. Still too many of you roaming around free. Free to amuse yourselves; free to “strike” and simply ignore women. (Statistically you knew there’d always be some men who just couldn’t hack going it solo.) But a lot of you did, successfully. (Lots of panicky “if-50-is-the-new-30” women remained clueless as to why, as the years passed, even the “finest” among them couldn’t snag a man.)

  Many newly “liberated” men including yourself learned a simple secret, a way to burrow into the psyche of a woman. Learned how to get under a her skin. Could get her red-cape-in-front-of-a-bull frenzied mad. Either: pay too much attention to her (of course she defined how-much was too-much); or flat out ignore her. No need to define “ignore.” Kind of brilliant, actually. Your very own Plan.

  You had to love that irony: opposite male-actions got the female-puppets to dance the very same dance. But, back to my confession…

  Thankfully I can honestly say it wasn’t me who came up with the idea. Radical so called gender-realists in my parents’ (and most of these girls’ grandparents’) generation wrote manifestos and then a lot on the internet about such things. Like Friedan, Greer, Dworkin, and the most insane radial of all, Solanis, who says, in the opening lines of her 1967, SCUM Manifesto:

 
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