I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME
(Intermittent Waves Recorded from the Transformed Heart of a Woman)
AUNTIE YONNY: THE WAR ROOM
Minutes went by. Hal had been watching the clock, not knowing what he was waiting for, then, he decided to look out of the window from where he sat. The color of the atmosphere appeared to change to a mellowing shade of peace, he thought. Tanya's hand had become still and limp, no longer trembling and red from the strain of a shattered heart.
He looked over at Tanya and felt relief because she had drifted off to sleep. Her labored breathing looked like death tugging and pulling, trying to sever her from her body and the world. Hal could tell that her weak frame was fighting back with each pull to stay alive.
Flashbacks of his grandfather's last struggling moments made him remember the pain Tanya Graves and her family had inflicted upon his family. Grandpa Siegfried would reminisce about the past. He talked about sitting at his wife's (Hal's grandmother's) bedside and holding her hand before she died of injuries from gunshot wounds.
Hal's stomach began to twist into knots and tears welled up in his eyes. His grandmother had been shot multiple times as she was trying to escape the crossfire between The New Alternative Republicans Militia (NARM), The People's Republic of the United States Armed Forces (PRUSAF), local law enforcement agencies and the divided U.S. government armed forces.
It was the first day of the civil war and there was chaos everywhere. No one knew who was on one side or the other. Those looking to harm others or take advantage of the situation, roamed and ran the streets, while everyone else was just trying to stay alive.
NARM and PRUSAF were calling for everyone loyal to President Graves to take up arms and kill any liberal, democrat, independent, or republican who stood in their way. People who never should have had guns to begin with, were happy to oblige. An angry and vindictive Graves, wanting to punish everyone who called for his impeachment, did nothing to stop them.
White Supremacists had a field day killing minorities, Blacks, Jews, and those of various ethnicities and religions. Synagogues, mosques, and churches were burned. Rioting, looting, robbery, arson, massive destruction of property, rape, lynchings, assault and all manner of heinous and unspeakable crimes and acts were committed.
Hospitals were over-crowded and understaffed. Ambulances and emergency vehicles were unable to get through or were stopped and vandalized, becoming inoperable. Women and children were killed and burned to death for no other reason than that someone took pleasure in doing so.
Law enforcement was unable to contain the fighting which broke out all over. The National Guard and military was broken and divided. All too conveniently, Graves had deployed many troops to various war zones abroad.
The War Room had been just that--a place to concoct lies and schemes to instigate civil war or the threat of civil war, in order to rally Graves' base supporters to keep him in office.
Hal shook his head thinking, "What kind of twisted, greedy, depraved minds could purposely take advantage of the minds of poor people putting their faith in them to bring them out of poverty, misery and despair? The lives of the people meant absolutely nothing to them. They could care less who was injured, maimed, killed, orphaned, widowed, imprisoned, robbed or ruined forever. They just wanted to use people for their own benefit."
Then he realized his question was an answer in itself. These plotters and schemers had completely lost their minds to darkness. They no longer cared about the truth because, having given themselves over to darkness, there was no longer any truth in them.
"There are animals which prey on and feed off of the weak," he said to himself. "When we give in to evil and darkness, we give up that part of our humanity that makes us like God--our spirit. Those lost souls were filled with darkness, blinded beyond seeing any light.
He wondered, had Tanya managed to hang on to some of her humanity, or, like her father, was this all part of her reality show?"
The thought of them plotting in the War Room to deceive people sickened Hal, but, he couldn't help thinking about it.
"They disputed the truth calling it "fake news" and put out their so-called "alternative facts," which were nothing but lies to add to their cover-up."
Hal began to think about some of the lies, pranks and cover-ups he'd taken pleasure in. All of a sudden they didn't seem so funny or witty. Why had it been so easy for him at the time, but, now, he regretted doing it? Did he want to be someone who manipulated people and provoked them to anger, fear, pride, violence and vengeance? His mind continued to rewind the path of history, while his heart strove to analyze it.
"Manipulation can be unpredictable and people often get hurt," he told himself. "History showed us how easily the supporters in Graves' base had been manipulated and instilled with fear, which led them to threaten violence if Graves was not elected. The War Room Manipulators knew that instilling fear of Graves' impeachment would keep them in fear mode; fear of losing the chance for Graves to fulfill his promises to them; fear and hatred of people who were different from them, fear of losing a dominant and predominantly white society, and so on.
They needed someone and something to lash out at and punish. The War Room Manipulators had to renew a threat of violence and huge losses of votes at the polls for Republicans. Then, Republican lawmakers would be too afraid to act against Graves or abandon their support for him. They would find a way to invalidate the congressional hearings. Nobody would believe a thing they accused them of doing. They would see it as a "hoax" and "witch hunt" carried out by the disgruntled Democrats. The Republicans would continue to lie and cover-up for Graves and his staff as long as the base was riled up.
Graves' sons, son-in-law, Devin Monroe and the Chief of Staff were certain no Republican official would dare suggest, support, or vote on Graves' impeachment. The plan had to succeed because they needed more time to complete their agenda and goals for themselves and the Russians. However, they didn't expect it to be carried out to the extent that it was."
Hal stopped and stared at Tanya, wondering if she had stood with them in the War Room, helping to conceive that wicked plot.
"And as a result of the plot-gone-wild, NARM and PRUSAF took over Congress and made the White House their fortress and headquarters. Their goal was to wipe out the enemy, but, in-fighting over who was in control often meant that the enemy was whoever you chose to label as the enemy that day.
I guess I'd be a goner, because the media was their first target. A whole lot of journalists were brutally murdered. Democratic Representatives and Senators who couldn't get out of Washington were hunted down and assassinated. No reporter dared to venture out to try and cover the carnage taking place, unless they were approved and accompanied by a NARM or PRUSAF soldier.
All major networks and newspapers had been shut down except for the network which supported Graves throughout his campaign and presidency, then, it officially became government operated. I wonder what that was like. I wouldn't have lasted working there. I'm too outspoken. Man, due to the breakdown in communication, no one really knew what was going on, even the NARM and PRUSAF! What chaos!"
Hal's grandfather had told him about the first day of the civil war often. The plan to rally the Base had been well thought out in the War Room; a plan devised to poison the minds of the people with fear and hatred to the point that they would do anything, even give their own lives to keep Graves in office.
Yet, unbeknownst to the so-called populists, what they were really fighting for was the right to keep money and power flowing into the pockets of Putin, Graves, and their billionaire friends.
Fighting went on for months. A few states began to talk about seceding and forming their own country. Russian propoganda was disseminated throughout the country and people began to fear Russian invasion.
Graves began to run the country as a dictator and none of his enemies were spared punishment. He used his power to take advantage of even greater business opportunities, taking control and possession of businesses and institutions which were to his liking.
The true enemy began to reveal himself from the Oval Office, as he finally gained the power that he had sought all along. He used every means possible to restore order, oppressing, killing and imprisoning the very same people who had aided his rise to supreme ruler. He used those most loyal of his base supporters to suppress and punish others.
Russia finally came out in the open as co-conspirators. They boldly ran amuck here and abroad, expanding their territory.
Hal continued to think about the course of history and knew if he was going to retell this story, he was going to have to fill in the blanks and give the readers something new.
Disillusionment soon set in, to no avail, for so did the reality of living under a dictatorship. Then, people were ready to fight for a different reason and a new government.
News soon spread that North Korea had dropped a nuclear bomb and declared war on South Korea. They were heavily engaged in war with the U. S., South Korea, and China.
Slowly, the fighting at home in the U.S. began to die down as people were in need of basic necessities. Signs were posted for jobs to work for the government, aid the war effort and to enlist in the armed forces. Although the country was still somewhat divided, people soon found a common enemy, in the North Koreans, to hate, fight and occupy their time. The media went to work covering the ongoing war and putting a communication system back together.
Underground movements for democracy and peace gained strength and became a resounding voice across the nation. The largest and most effective organization was T.R.U.T.H.H. (Truth Raises Us To Honor and Humility). They boldly took truth to the streets, highways and byways in the face of adversity and violence. Their message was more to make people aware of who they were themselves, their value in America, capabilities and self-worth.
They diverted the negative effects of nationalism and people feeling left out and replaced them with diversity and positive action. They were like a traveling United Nations dispersing provisions that were being traded between communities. They fathered and nurtured the Communities Adopting Communities to Rebuild (CACR) Program, spurring the Period of Restoration.
They helped replace fear with trust and hatred with understanding and tolerance. They empowered and trained people to start their own programs, such as: neighbors sending provisions to neighbors; diversity training; cultural exchange; apprenticeships and on the job training. They helped to start small businesses, rebuild schools and place people in jobs.
By being in direct contact with the people, they became a powerful political voice and a new party in strong competition with Republicans, who had lost all credibility, thanks to Graves.
Soon, unable to gain support from former supporters, who had been violently abused, misused and oppressed, Graves was forced out of office.
Surrounded and outnumbered by heavy artillery and legitimate government forces, NARM and PRUSAF surrendered and were forbidden to own and carry weapons.
"And here I am," Hal sighed, feeling somewhat dismayed, "holding Graves' daughter's hand; Graves, the man responsible for my grandmother's brutal murder."
A sharp blade of resentment stabbed at Hal's heart and he brushed a bitter tear from his cheek with his shirt sleeve.
Hal thought about how his grandfather would choke up with tears in his eyes each time he recounted the first day of the second civil war.
"Gramps said he would never forget that day. How could he? Like many who lost loved ones, he had good reason to remember it very clearly."
Hal recalled the pictures he was often shown by his father of the beautiful grandmother he never knew, the mother his father grew up without, and the wife his Grandpa Siegfried missed up to the day he died.
"On the second day of the war, Grandpa Siegfried, prepared to bury his wife and signed up to fight Graves' Regime. What would he think of his grandson working for the Graves family, now, and holding Tanya Graves' hand? And Rachel, who had lost family too, will she still think highly of me as a journalist? Can she ever love me?
But, wouldn't Rachel do the same thing if she was in my situation? Then, again, Rachel is too smart and level-headed to get into my situation. Still, I know she'd have compassion for a dying woman, no matter what she had done."
He returned to looking long and hard at Tanya, thinking, "One day, it will be my turn. I'll be lying there waiting for death. Who will hold my hand and forgive all my sins and trespasses?
The world never forgave Maynard Graves, but, they allowed him to die in freedom and peace. It hardly seemed fair, but, was it right? He was imprisoned until he became very ill, then, he was released into the care of his family, until he died. Like Tanya, he had held on to life much longer than any thought he would and longer than most begrudgingly wished. No doubt, like Tanya, he had the best medical care and died very peacefully."
Hal looked at Tanya, remembering what had taken place earlier and had to rethink his last thought. Tanya didn't have a clear conscious and was tormented with some of the things she had done and the life she had led. She hadn't forgiven herself. If this was any indication of the stages of dying, perhaps, just perhaps, if Graves was in touch with his conscious, he too was tormented.
"What?! What am I saying? Am I so bitter that I'd wish somebody to be tormented and in pain? But, Graves wasn't just somebody. He was like the Grim Reaper in the flesh."
Hal covered his mouth as if he had spoken out loud. Looking at Tanya, he felt pity for her having such a miserable father. How could she still love him after all that he had done? He thought about how he and most children feel about their mother or father.
"But, everybody doesn't have a father as narcissistic and maniacal as Maynard Graves. Still, it's not right. It's just not right," Hal decided. "Hating and being bitter makes me no better them Graves and those who pushed his hateful rhetoric. Perhaps, I've been carrying around my own War Room inside of my heart."
He looked out of the window again at the peaceful sky and decided it was time to redecorate the room inside of his heart, but, first he needed to remove all the clutter.
Miriam walked in the door. Hal quickly placed Tanya's hand at her side and whispered to Miriam.
"She's asleep. She really needed it. She had a rough morning thinking about some painful memories."
"Oh my, I don't know why she's doing this to herself, but, I guess she has to get it out of her system. Well, we better let her rest. Let's go talk in the other room."
Hal rose to follow Miriam, hesitated a moment, then, turned and covered Tanya's arms and tucked her in.
Published by Mishael T