“Honestly,” Maggie said. “Who’s going to clean up all of this trash? These Congressmen and Senators sure made a mess in the streets when they shredded those old papers, didn’t they?”

The two were sitting on a bench across New Jersey Avenue from the Capitol Building, watching remnants of the founding documents float and flitter, tossed by a blustery wind.

They were old enough to know they weren’t welcome in that area, but still too young to give a flying fig if anyone cared. Besides, who’s going to arrest them? After the riots, the police had either quit or joined one side or the other. The patrols those days consisted of United Nations troops who wore their body armor and carried full autos. Two old homeless geezers posed no threat. The threat had come from within and now that everyone had picked sides and the civil war was on full scale, if you didn’t carry anything worth stealing, almost everyone left you alone. It’s funny how anarchy works if you don’t play a part.

The crusty pair knew they were in danger, but they somehow pushed those thoughts to the recesses of their minds. Or mayhap they knew full well, but entertained the danger like some 65 year old bungee jumpers.

“Yup, You’ve gotta hand it to ‘em. They sure know how to throw a party.” Then Maggie added, ‘You wanna head over to the park? I hear there’s a card game and I wouldn’t mind going to Andy’s Place to see some Flopping Aces by fire light.”

The old man, who had been quiet to this point, finally spoke up. “Nah, I’m tired and you know, I’m not in the mood to hear Gorges’ Grouse tonight. That guy’s always moanin’ about something.”

Hey, do you remember when I worked for Goomba News Network as a paper boy? We used to run halfway across town to have lunch at Grandpa John’s with that girl, who was it? I’ll never forget old what’s-her-name. Ha! Oh yea, Nice Deb. Anyway, we used to eat lunch at that diner, The Sundries Shack and then run over to Fishersville. Mike always loved going over there, remember? We would play that game YankeePhil made up; Track-A-‘Crat I think he called it, never made any sense, that game.”

“Yea” she said. “It was fun though. One time, I was chasing a ball and I jumped the fence into that little Backyard. Conservative couple lived there. I remember the lady yelling at me, ‘Woman Honor Thyself’ she said. Maybe I should have listened to her. Look at me now. Ah well, I never was The Thinker that you are, Harold.”

“Then how come it’s you that keeps a journal?” he asked. “You remember when we crashed the car into The Foundry? I would have given a thousand dollar bill for Paps Thoughts after we nursed that heap home that night with the busted radiator.”

“Ha! You don’t remember too well do ya?” Maggie corrected. “Pap was drunk and passed out in Carol’s Closet! He was sure pissed the next day though, ‘Not one dollar. NOT ONE RED CENT am I giving you to fix that jalopy you call an automobile!’ he said, and he meant it.”

Harold gave a couple of Sharp Elbows to the side.  “Har! *cough* Quit it. You’ll make me hack up a lung with talk like that. Heh heh.”

“There you go again, trying to bring out My Bossier side. I’m not here to coddle you mister. I’m in survival mode, don’ cha know. Now git yer ass up an’ let’s go. We’ve still got to Discover the Networks around here if we gonna stay alive in this new world. If we were still working for Paco Enterprises, the old man would be havin’ none of your sloth and I don’t mean to either. It’s going to be dark soon and we need some shelter. You know it ain’t safe in that there Capitol Building now that all o’ them Obama flies moved in.”

“Files,” He said.

“What?”

“Not flies, files. The Oh, bama FILES” He slowed it down for her. “They moved those files in there for storage. Don’t you member? That’s why come they got all them extra military types around here.”

“Yea, I remember” She mumbled. “Well what do you want to do then?”

“There’s always the Jefferson Memorial. No-one goes there anymore and I stashed a pry bar over there to open one of the lower sashes with.”

“Well, ain’t you just The Live Wyer! When were you planning on letting me in on this particular Volokh Conspiracy?” She admonished him with a not-so playful slap to the back of his head.

“Owww! Take ‘er easy there Mama, I told you didn’t I? Now let’s mosey. Those camos over there ain’t looking too friendly.”

They both got up slowly, exaggerating their age with the charade of pain that comes with practice. Act like you’re feeble and hurting and you’re not a threat. At least, that was the theory. Problem was it wasn’t far from the truth.

Harold stooped to pick up Maggie’s Notebook from the bench and they turned south toward Independence Avenue. “We’d better get moving” he said. It’ll be getting dark in a couple of hours and I don’t wanna see any o’ them Moonbatterys tonight.

The Conservative Lady began walking beside him and they picked up speed. Neither one turned to look at the guards pacing about the Capitol steps, hoping they wouldn’t follow.

“Do you remember when we had the internet Harold?”

“Yea, we were some blogging fools weren’t we?”

“That we were honey; that we were.”

“Once there were people who advanced the cause of freedom wasn’t there? Right Klik, IMAO, John Lott’s Website, Fausta’s Blog, pamibe, The Anchoress.”

“Can’t forget those excellent writers,” she said.

“Da Techguy, WyBlog, thelotusblog, Liberalguy, blonde sagacity, theblogprof,” he remembered aloud.

“Yea, and the newcomers like Libertarian Buddha and Lilac Sunday showed so much promise.”

“I know babe.”

“It’s a shame all of that is gone now.”

“Yup,” he said. “So it Goes.  In Shreveport, they’ve still got electricity, I hear,” changing the subject.

“Maybe they’ve got the internet there too,” she said.

“Heh, Who are they going to email, each other? No-one else has power.”

“You got a point there.”

They turned west onto Independence Avenue and began the mile and a half trek to the Memorial. The once scenic surroundings, majestic trees and marble facades of the historic buildings had taken on a new meaning, as if to mark the past greatness of America with some cryptic Signal.  94 blocks away, Jefferson waited for them, as patient and secretive, as he was in life. Harold and Maggie walked on astride, knowing they needed shelter before dark. The ones who roamed the night weren’t as friendly as the camos. It was best not to be seen at all after dark.

Just off the street, Maggie caught a glimpse of movement. She tugged at Harold’s arm to stop. They both looked on as a little field rabbit foraged in one of the parks along the way. Maggie wondered what the little bunni made of its new surroundings.  An Amusing Bunni’s Musings of the brave new world, she thought. No doubt the bunni was able to find more humor than they.

The pair moved on, amazingly un-accosted, finally turning left onto Raoul Wallenberg, then Maine Ave, and then right onto East Basin.

There was old Thomas, laid on his side by the rioters or some unknown force of explosion. The once mighty pillars that held his bronze likeness in a cage now lay strewn about and broken like so many logs in a forester’s harvest. Thomas was free and yet remained. It was as if he couldn’t bear to leave the home he’d become accustomed to, much like the people of the country he had a hand in founding. When it came time for them to rise to the challenge he issued 200 years ago, they forgot what price freedom demands.

Lain off to one side, an engraving remained. Words of the great American Thinker, philosopher, Architect, statesman and President:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men. We…solemnly publish and declare, that these colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states…And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour.”

Harold remembered once more the last time he saw the memorial intact and shuddered. “How could we lose our sacred honor?” He wondered

Another dusty panel still remained as well. Harold brushed off the debris.

“Almighty God hath created the mind free…All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens…are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion…No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively.”

“Maybe one day those words will again hold meaning, Maggie.”

They crawled over and under the pillars and stones around to the side of the memorial. Harold rummaged around beneath some brush and produced the pry bar he had promised. They each looked around to make sure no-one was looking on and Harold began working on the means of entrance to their new shelter.

[Note: this is the third and last in a series of experiments in linking (Rule 2). The first two are Robo-Love Experiment #1 and Robo-Love Experiment #2. Please excuse the use of poetic license. No resemblance was meant to any real persons, Maggie especially, it just served as a convenient way to work in your blog title. I hope you don’t mind.

And my apologies for being so dark lately. It’s just my attempt to wake some folks up.]

Comments
  • Bunni July 20, 2010 at 7:58 am

    This last installment is certainly your best, Robot. And, the other 2 were hard to top). What a riveting and interesting look into what America’s Capitol might look like in the not too distant future if we don’t stop these tyrants! Absolutely stellar, you are quite creative, I could see the vast wasteland the 2 old folks wandered, and I’m happy a bunni gave them some humor. We live in dark times, I hope you, and all of us, are waking some up.

    Thanks for linking me, it made my day. Have a good one, yourself.

    • mnrobot July 20, 2010 at 9:21 am

      Glad you liked it Bunni. And thanks for the kind words. Have a most excellent day.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amusing Bunni, Matt Ross. Matt Ross said: Robo-Love Experiment #3 http://ff.im/-nXE0S […]

  • Maggie Thornton July 20, 2010 at 9:26 am

    MNR, I would be proud to represent your spunky Maggie, whether intended or not. At the risk of some saying I’m overly dramatic (maybe not your readers), I believe these are dark times. We face the Lions Den in November.

    In your story, Shreveport still had electricity. I used to think about a terrorist attack on our electrical grids. These days I think about our government shutting off our electricity – just like Saddam did. It proved to be a great way to control “the masses.”

    Thinking back on the bloggers we so admired brought a chill. Your portrayal of terrible times is something we must think about and write about. You’ve done it in a most innovative way.

    Thanks much for the links MNR, and I’ll choose to be your Maggie because she is a survivor.

    • mnrobot July 20, 2010 at 9:48 am

      I like spunky. Glad you enjoyed the story. I almost took out the broken dialect parts and replaced them with more proper English but it started reading too bland. I like colorful speech and characters. This was fun and a challenge too. I may have to try some real short stories. Thanks for the feedback Maggie. Have a great day!

  • Red July 20, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Well done ‘bot! Well done! *clap clap clap*

  • YankeePhil July 20, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I am missing the linkagesmz3

    • mnrobot July 20, 2010 at 10:26 am

      Sorry Dude, you’re toward the end of the seventh paragraph.
      My template is set up so that it doesn’t underline previously visited sites, so it may not be obvious.

  • Red July 20, 2010 at 10:21 am
  • YankeePhil July 20, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Nevermind……. I found it

  • proof July 20, 2010 at 11:27 am

    And I thought I had too much time on my hands! Heh. Good job!

  • Libertarian Buddha July 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I have to say how proud I was to be included as a link on your 3 movenment. Fantastic job, fantastic concept… Keep going dude.

  • Angel July 20, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    luv it bro!..want me to add ya to my esteemed blogroll? heh 🙂

    • mnrobot July 20, 2010 at 12:49 pm

      Hi Angel. Glad you likey. Blogroll? If you’re offering, I’m accepting, but that was not my motive. 😉

  • Jeffrey Ellis July 20, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Heh, nicely done! Best one yet (and not just because of the linky love, thank you!)

  • Agnes Bullock July 20, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Talent on loan from God, most definitely. (and I don’t care if I swiped the phrase from El Rushbo- these three articles are simply works of art from a fertile mind overflowing with genius- )

    • mnrobot July 20, 2010 at 2:05 pm

      Now I’m really blushing. Thanks Ma’am.

  • Paco July 20, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks for the link (and the great yarn)!

  • Red July 20, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Libertarian Buddha said,”movement”. Uh huh-huh, huh…;-)

  • The Conservative Lady July 20, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Thank you for including my link in your story. I’m honored. I’ve read all three posts and I must say you’ve done a wonderful job. The idea of using the blog titles interwoven throughout your tales shows a lot of creativity and writing talent. It’s sad to think these stories are based on what America is experiencing now and may in the future. God Help Us.

  • The Conservative Lady July 20, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Forgot to mention that I shared your post with the TCL FB group.

    • mnrobot July 21, 2010 at 8:41 am

      Thanks for the kind words, and the link! 🙂

  • Trestin Meacham July 21, 2010 at 7:54 am

    You do good work. This gives me hope, that perhaps, one day, humans and robots will learn to live together in peace.

    • mnrobot July 21, 2010 at 11:15 am

      lol Never trust a cyborg 🙂

      • Bob Belvedere July 21, 2010 at 1:40 pm

        It depends on how they are programmed. I know there is a lot of ill-feeling between replicants and cyborgs [and, it should be mentioned, the Borg], but you have to get beyond that bug.

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