Chapter 5 – The Anarchists


© 2021 Mike Barker

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

The dark figures closed in on the edge of the flames, poised, waiting for the opportunity to devour their prey.

Though their automatic weapons were raised, they held their fire, a sure sign they wanted live captives. Kayla shuddered, No way they’re going to take me alive, she thought. Her heart pounded furiously as she raised the .44 magnum and squeezed the trigger. The top of the nearest figure exploded as the slug sprayed flesh and bone out in an arc. The headless figure swayed slightly, as if refusing to accept death, then toppled out of sight. 

Kayla swung the gun to the next predator, but he fell before she could get off a round. She glanced over to see Noah, who moved in a fluid motion, going from one attacker to the next, as if he were shooting targets on a range. The metallic clack of the mechanism, louder then the bullet. clack, clack, clack, clack, clack. Five shots, five kills. No dark figures remained. He returned the gun to its holster, glanced at Kayla and started walking away from the flames to the back door. She followed behind him, still trying to process what she’d just seen.

They scrambled through the hallway, out of the open back door and into the laneway where Bowie stood huddled against the wall.
“How the fuck?” Kayla was staring at Noah, her eyes wide open. “Where did you learn to shoot like that?”

Noah shrugged shyly, “Call of duty.” he said.

“A video game?” Noah nodded. “But you’ve shot in real life, surely.”

“Lots of times with the rifle,” Said Noah, “But only once with a hand gun like this one.”

video games train shooters

Noah, who moved in a fluid motion, going from one attacker to the next, as if he were shooting targets on a range. The metallic clack of the mechanism, louder then the bullet. clack, clack, clack, clack, clack. Five shots, five kills.

“He shot me,” said Bowie, “Luckily he missed.”

“He just head shot five of those Anti Fascists in there,” said Kyla, “Five shots, five kills.”

Bowie subconsciously rubbed the wound on the side of his head, looking at Noah, confusion showing in his eyes.

“Thos video games are freaking dangerous,”said Kyla, “I remember one of those school shooters doing something like that,” then she looked around, “we better get out of here. There’ll be more of them coming for sure.”

Noah pointed down the street in the direction they’d been walking. “We should keep going this way,” he said.

“Towards capital?” Asked Kyla.

“It’s as good a way to go as any. Away from these Anti-fascists.”

“We need to find some food,” whined Bowie, holding his stomach. “I haven’t eaten for days.” He looked expectantly at Noah who reached into his coat pockets , fumbling around until he pulled out three protein bars. He gave one each to Kayla and Bowie and ate one himself slowly savouring every bite.

“That’s the last of them,” he said sadly.

They started off down the street, chewing the bars as they went. Looking around.

“Hey, I know where there’s a Seven Eleven,” said Kayla as they came to a corner. Pointing down the side streets. “Two streets back that way.”

“I’m with you,” said Noah, his face lighting up.

Bowie screwed up his face in revulsion, “Really? A 7-Eleven?” Sensing a menacing glare from Kayla, he shrugged his shoulders, “Sounds okay, I guess.”

The store was nestled in on the tree-lined street, behind a couple of shrubs. The owner had somehow taken the time to board up the windows before fleeing. Noah and Kayla worked together to free one of the boards, then another. Then Kayla lifted a large chunk of concrete from the sidewalk and hurled it through the window. Clearing the broken glass away from the edges, they climbed through and began moved quickly among the shelves, tearing into cans of food, packets of cookies and chocolate bars. After eating their fill, they sat down wearily on one of the small tables by the counter, each sipping a can of soft drink.

“How come you dress like one of those Anti Fascists?” Asked Noah, looking Kayla up and down.

“I don’t dress like them, they dress like me,” She replied.

“Do you think like them?”

“If you mean, do I hate White Supremacists? The answer is Yes.”

“What about the country? Do you hate the country?” Asked Noah. He glanced from Kayla to Bowie, who was watching the conversation with interest.

“What country? Open your eyes, look around you, it’s fucked. Maybe now we can rebuild it now, with a better system. A fairer system.”

“Like the one they were pushing on us, ‘the Global Restart?’”

She studied Noah for a while, then looked at Bowie. “Do you really believe the Restart was ever supposed to be a fairer system?”

Bowie shook his head. “Not after working for the Cartel.”

“No,” said Kayla. “That’s the whole problem with this country. The majority of the wealth is controlled by just a handful of people. And when those wealthy people are manipulating and pushing us into a new system. How could it possibly be fair?”

“I never thought of that,” said Noah. “I just thought they were all commies.”

“But communism is about the distribution of wealth. How can you be a billionaire communist?” Asked Kayla shaking her head. “No, they were just using us. Pretending they wanted socialism, but they had something very different planned.”

“They played us all.” Said Bowie, grimly.

“Do you believe it ended when we left?” Asked Kayla.

Bowie looked puzzled, “I that’s why they wanted me dead, because we screwed up. You said they were chasing you too…”

“Yes, but isn’t that how they retire all their writers?”

Bowie was deep in thought, “But it got out of hand…” he said, puzzled. “What I wrote was that there were minor skirmishes, but they got them all to re-education camps.”

“All of us?” Asked Noah, incredulously, “To concentration camps?”

“But what was their end game?” Asked Kayla. “Do you really think they wanted us around after that? All the students? All the Social rights activists? What good are we to them once the Deplorables are gone?”

“But you are all their disciples.” Said Bowie, “Their “Greenies.” You all believe what you’re told, do what you’re told.”

“Not “we”, said Kayla bitterly. And it won’t be long until the rest of them wake up. And what use will they have for us anymore? When they have nobody to set us against any more?” She looked from Bowie to Noah. “Think about it. The whole time, they’ve manipulated us by pitching us against one another. They’ve used race, religion. LGBT rights. Abortion. What do they do when one side is neutralised?”

“So someone else has been writing all this.” Said Bowie, thoughtfully. “You might be right about us. We reached our ‘used by’ dates. They weren’t killing us because of the war, it was just a coincidence that it started at that time.”

Kayla raised her Dirty Harry handgun and gently kissed the stainless steel barrel, “Do you think we’re the first writers to kill our minders?” She asked.

“You must be.” Said Bowie, “But I didn’t kill mine. This Deplorable killed him.”

“Still, he’s kind of a cute Deplorable,” she said, reaching up and pinching Noah’s cheek. Noah blushed. She sat back. “Don’t you go getting carried away, boy, I’m Gay. And I’m a man hater.” She studied Noah for a minute, then asked, “you got a girlfriend back home?”

He blushed again, lowering his eyes, “Yeah, sure.”

Kayla laughed uproariously. “Sure you do.” She looked over at Bowie who wasn’t laughing. “You don’t either?”

Bowie shrugged, “Not really.” He looked as if he wanted to be anywhere else but here, part of this conversation.

“What’s wrong?” She asked, beginning to sense something more sinister.

“No nothing. I don’t have a girl. The Cartel screwed that up for me.”


Bowie stared at the floor, silently.
The group were silent for a minute. Noah moved to question him further, but stopped when he felt Kayla’s hand on his shoulder.

“What are we going to do now?” She asked, quickly changing the subject.

“I was going to try and meet up with my buddies in the Militia.” Said Noah, brightening up.

“I’m supposed to be his prisoner,” said Bowie.

Kayla laughed, “Well now you’re both my prisoners,” then growing serious, she turned to Noah and asked“But what good will it do you going there, joining the fighting?”

“To stop them from carrying out this shit that he wrote,” said Noah jerking his thumb toward Bowie.

“But don’t you see?” Asked Kayla, becoming impatient. “This is part of the plan. I don’t know why, maybe they want to thin us out a bit. Maybe they think there are too many people on the earth.”

Noah’s shoulders slumped. he looked confused.

“We could go to the Capital building, see what’s happening there.” Kayla suggested.

“Sounds as good a plan as any,” said Bowie. “Though all the politicians would have run away at the start of the fighting.”

“Let’s go then.” Kayla stood and began stuffing containers of food and drink in her pockets and bags.

“I’ve never been to the Capital building before,” said Noah, an edge of excitement in his voice. He began to follow Kayla, gathering up food for the journey.

They climbed back through the broken window into the smoky rubble of the street. There were no Anti Fascists in sight.

They began walking in the direction of the Capital building. As they walked through the destruction, the steeple of a church began to appear through the haze and after watching it for a few minutes, Noah broke the silence,

“I want to go and pray for a few minutes.”

“The opiate of the masses,” replied Kayla.

Noah turned to her, confused, “What?”

“That’s what Karl Marx said, “Religion is the opiate of the masses.””

“Was he that Commie dude? The one who started it?”

“That’s him,”

“So you Commies would stop religion because you think it’s a drug?”

“I never said that,” said Kayla. “No, but the Church shouldn’t have so much power, I guess…”

“So what do you think happens to you, when you die?” Asked Noah, He glanced at the body of a young Militia fighter, lying on his back, blank eyes staring at the cruel grey sky. “What about him? Is anything left of him now that he’s dead?”

Walking through the desolate streets

He was interrupted by a shrill whistle. They stopped dead in their tracks. Kayla looked around, the streets were empty. A large open space stretched out in front of them, with the church at the far end.

Kayla looked at the body and then at Noah and thought for a moment. She turned to Bowie who was walking in silence. “What do you think, Bowie?”

“We have a spirit,” he replied thoughtfully, “my parents always told me that we’re connected with everything on the earth. The trees, the animals, everything is connected through energy. Our bodies are just vassals, just shells, who we really are, is this energy. So that dead guy is all around us.”

“And you believe that?”

“Yes, I do,” he said confidently.

She turned back to Noah. “So what do you think, Noah? Where is that dead guy now?”

“He’s in Heaven, with God,” said Noah, with an air of happiness.

Kayla thought of Billie and how she’d sometimes felt her presence, keeping her company as she wandered through the war-torn streets alone. It’s not possible that Billie just ceased to exist when that soulless goon had murdered her. She decided.

“I agree with Bowie’s version,” she concluded. “The dead must be around us, connected with everything.” She looked back at Noah, “can’t you feel them. Can’t you sometimes feel the presence of your friend?”

Noah thought for a minute, then said, “but he could be in Heaven and still be with me. It’s not like when you’re alive and you can only be in one place.”

He was interrupted by a shrill whistle. They stopped dead in their tracks. Kayla looked around, the streets were empty. A large open space stretched out in front of them, with the church at the far end.

She turned to Noah. “I think we should walk around the perimeter, try and avoid being seen.”

Noah nodded. “We’re sitting ducks out there in the open, if anybody is waiting to shoot at us.”

They moved quickly toward the nearest building and began to make their way around the edge of the clearing, looking carefully down every street. Into every empty window. It was silent. Deathly silent.

Eventually they reached the church and made their way around to the front door. “I got a bad feeling about this place,” said Kayla, looking around uneasily.

“Maybe because you don’t believe in God,” said Noah. “You have to be careful he doesn’t strike you down.”

Kayla shook her head. Her unease was infectious and they all began glancing around nervously.

“Let’s get out of here,” hissed Kayla, her gun drawn, her eyes searching for any movement.

“Just let me go inside. If we see anything, we’ll scamper.” Pleaded Noah, “We’ve come this far.”

“Kayla’s right,” said Bowie, his voice quivering.“It’s too risky. Something’s not right.”

Noah turned the handle and pushed on the heavy door, which creaked open, exposing a dimly lit, dusty interior.

“It’s okay,” he said, moving uneasily inside. “Come in.” Kayla followed him, her .44 magnum at the ready. She felt Bowie moving in behind her, seemingly anxious not to be separated from the group.

The smell was unmistakable. It reminded Kayla of the day she’d found the Goon standing over Billie, that strangely metallic smell of death. Even Noah had drawn the Glock now, seemingly forgetting the purpose of his visit. As their eyes adjusted to the light, the grisly scene began to materialise before them. It was so macabre, it almost took on the appearance of a Hollywood horror set. The priest in his robes, stretched out on the large wooden cross. His hands and feet were fixed to the cross with wire, his lifeless head, slumped on his chest, blood steadily dripping down his white garments, which had been lacerated around his stomach to reveal deep ugly wounds. His entrails had been removed and they lay in an untidy pile at the foot of the cross.

“Oh God,” said Bowie and he bent over and began vomiting. Kayla grabbed his arm and dragged him towards the exit, her gun raised at the ready. Noah moved back with them in stunned silence. As they retreated, dark shapes began to materialize from the shadows, moving toward them silently like demons coming up from the bowels of the earth. They turned together and sprinted for the door, Noah reached it first, flinging it open. They raced into the blinding sunlight and began down the steps to freedom. As they moved down the steps, Bowie spoke.

“This has been scripted.”he said in disgust, wiping his mouth on his shirt sleeve. “Someone is writing this shit.”

“What do you mean,” asked Kayla. “Why would anybody want this to happen.”

“To get rid of religion. It’s necessary, so they can get it done.”

“Get what done?” Asked Kayla, getting a sense of deja vu.

“Yeah, get what…” asked Noah, stopping suddenly.

Kayla looked out in front of them, to see a larger group of the black clad Anti Fascists at the far end of the clearing, moving toward them, with an assortment of weapons. They had all the markings of a lynch mob ready to deliver brutal justice to their victims. She spun around to look for an escape, but the other group were starting to emerge from the church door now. They were surrounded.

As she scrambled to make sense of it all, Kayla was sure she could hear distorted classical music being forced through loudspeakers. It was so bizarre, she thought her mind must be deceiving her. A familiar tune, from a movie her step-daddy had watched over and over. ‘The Ride of the Valkyries.’



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