Home of the Brave

(Disclaimer: This is not a prediction or in any way my interpretation of an impending reality. Writing is simply how I process the world around me, generally using fiction to unravel my own feelings on sometimes very serious matters. Any semblance this short suspense piece holds to real life is simply a reflection of the times we live in and should not be taken literally.)

Knock. Knock.

The sharp tapping startled her, flicking at the twitch beneath her right eye. It’d been weeks since she’d seen another real-life person. No one went out anymore, not if they didn’t have to. The city guard saw to that.

And who would be knocking?

Delivery services went down after the government finally realized just how wrong they were when they assured everyone the newly mutated virus couldn’t be transmitted through the mail. A lot of people lost their lives over that mistake. Not as many as lost their lives during the government “crack-down,” though.

The city guard operated as an over-reaching arm of the federal government and was formed in response to citizens exercising their first amendment rights by engaging in peaceful protests. Protests that were only a natural response to hundreds of years of oppression.

Flynn wasn’t one of the oppressed, at least not in that regard, as her white skin gave her a certain privilege that her fellow humans of other skin colors didn’t have. It was a fact she was ashamed of, but it was still a fact.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

Flynn inched a foot toward the door. It couldn’t be the city guard. They didn’t knock. Something she knew all too well as an ally of the movement. Her name showed up on an illegally obtained list, next to other people who had taken the time to sign petitions, donate money, protest, or otherwise support the cause. She was a “sympathizer” as they liked to call it. And that meant she, and the other fifty-five percent of the country’s population that had been vocal in their support for the cause, were subject to random home inspections, presumably to ensure they weren’t terrorists. The broken and battered state of Flynn’s apartment, though, suggested who the actual terrorists were.

She grabbed a knife from the kitchen. The city guard had taken her good buck-knife, a gift from her grandfather before he passed. Not that she had ever used the blade for anything other than whittling a stick to roast marshmallows, but it had always made her feel safe while out hiking, and it sure as shit would make her feel a lot safer now.

The knocking grew urgent. Not louder, just more rapid.

Despite her minds apprehension, her body hustled toward the sound. She ensured the heavy chain lock she installed after the city guard destroyed her deadbolt was secure, and cracked open the door.

“You?” Her throat constricted around the words. “What are you doing here?”

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