So, a blog I follow, Fractured Faith Blog, posted a really cool and fun little challenge – read about it here:
Of course, I’m going to participate. How could I not?
What follows, is my entry. And, once again, even it is not chosen, I shall include this ‘short story’ (of sorts) in the book I’m putting together with other such “tiny tales.” Enjoy!
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“The Naughty Wanderer from National Security”
He was just a man. A man working a job. Sure it wasn’t your basic ‘9-to-5er,’ but it paid the bills.
Then one day it all got to be too much – too many citizens-turned-terrorist, too many senseless almost bombings, too many good people gone bad – too much, too much.
And so … he just walked away. Didn’t even pack up his desk. Just left it as is. There wasn’t much of his stuff, of himself and who he was, there anyway. He preferred to keep his real life separate from this place, from his work.
Without a word to anyone, he walked to the elevator, took it down to the main floor, flashed his badge to leave, and exited the building. Never to look back.
See, that wasn’t exactly prescribed protocol. Wasn’t how it was supposed to be done. Not quite. “Well,” he thought to himself, “that was just too damn bad.”
And as he stood there on the cold hard sidewalk, gazing about at all the people coming and going, clueless in their certainty of ‘what was,’ he considered – what to do from here? There were options. Other jobs, for one. Places he hadn’t yet been. Friends to make he didn’t have. Maybe even a real life to be made, with a wife, and kids. Then again, maybe not. He knew first-hand the type of world he lived in, and the unseen dangers which lurked around every corner.
Not being one to overthink anything, he began walking, around the corner of the building he’d worked at for eight long years. And just kept right on walking.
Sure, they’d probably come after him. If nothing less than to ask why. Why? The why should be self-explanatory. What they all did there, their assigned duties, hardly seemed to make a difference. Most days it seemed as though the bad guys were winning. But then, if they didn’t do their jobs, if they didn’t push back against those same bad guys, weren’t they failing those whom they were sworn to protect?
It didn’t matter anymore, at least that’s what he told himself as he rounded yet another corner.
Maybe, it was time to switch sides. Or, simply appear to.
And as he passed by a face he recognized, recognized from a wall of such people he’d been staring at for years, someone who had no idea who he was; he smiled. A slow, sly, knowing smile. Pivoting lithely on one foot, he resumed his walk, following that face. Pursuing a different course, altering the direction of his life, becoming a wanderer in a new, and ever-changing landscape of possibility.