General Fiction posted March 22, 2014 Chapters:  ...24 25 -26- 27... 

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A eulogy and news of the world.

A chapter in the book Yosemite

The Spirit & Are There Countries?

by michaelcahill

The world is devastated by catastrophe. Survivors in Yosemite try to form a community.
A tense but short battle resulted in two deaths and the campers emerging with control of the Russian invaders. Christine began to say a eulogy of the victims gravesites. Her words served to bring harmony to both sides. We pick up now as Christine continues with the eulogy for the two fallen victims of the hostilities.

The sight of Christine in such a serious state clearly feeling every word she spoke moved the crowd in a way that I understood completely. These were soldiers, real ones and ones made so by necessity. Usually guilt crept to the surface years later after eating its way through a thickened crust of denial and justification. Christine wasn't allowing guilt to hide this time.
She continued, "Even as we mourn for ourselves, for that is what we do, if we are to be honest, we feel you pass among us. We feel you examining our hearts and minds for the truth of what is inside of us. We weep, for we find ourselves lacking. We cower for our unworthiness. We are left astonished that you wash over us with hope and good wishes. We can only thank you and try to be worthy. Take care of these two souls that are already with you, a beloved daughter and a brave comrade in arms. We are left to take care of each other."
She gazed out over the crowd whose eyes fixed on her. Nikolai completed his translation. She spoke once again, "As a tribute to these two innocent people we will now exchange greetings of friendship together. Share the grief together so that it doesn't find a home inside of you. Rejoice in the new friend you have found. Feel the joy of the spirit as it soars upward on the wings of joy."
If anything stranger has ever befallen my eyes I can't recall it. Greetings and hugs were exchanged between Russian soldiers and our militia. Only Putin's would be girlfriend remained as a bitter figure sitting by himself over by an appropriately fallen redwood. Plans and negotiations would still be ongoing. But, Christine had certainly made our first meeting a healing one and a rousing success.
The return to camp became a walk instead of a march. The effect of Christine's service remained enveloping all like a blanket of hope. Would it have a lasting affect? Time would tell. It would not be forgotten by anyone, that was a certainty. Rhonda had rejoined us as though she had never left. Russell asked her about Tonnie and Nathan. Christine, Linda, Lacci and I listened with great interest.
Russell flashed his permanent smile as he spoke, "Where's Tonnie and Nathan, Rhonda?"
It occurred to me that Rhonda always had a kind of smirk on her face. She looked like she thought she was in on a joke that only she understood. It struck me that she may be correct and made me smile. Russell had a similar look. The two of them conversing looked like two intellectual giants engaged in great debate over some topic of great depth. Well, if you couldn't hear their actual conversation that is.
She answered Russell, "Theys both dead as doorknockers. I told them not to go near them packages. But, would they listen? Nooooo. They had to go see what was making all those people fall down on the ground dead. I tried to tell them that they were gonna fall down dead, just like those people and that why didn't they think about it, cause you know all those people were dead and why wouldn't they be dead too? But, I swear theys as stupid as a hen sittin' on an egg. They wouldn't listen to Rhonda, they didn't care what Rhonda had to say. Okay fine. Forget what Rhonda says, go ahead and go down there and die then, and so they goes down there and start lookin' at those boxes and theys all empty and I'm like see I told you there's nothing down there now let's get out of here but they're all woozy like theys been drinkin' liquors and then theys both layin there dead as doorbells. I didn’t go down there cause I figured I'd be dead just like they was. I did the right thing right, Johnny?"
The shock of her finishing her story and the silence that ensued, delayed my response for a moment. Then, my response finally found its way to my tongue, "You did the right thing, Rhonda. You probably would have died too. You were smart in everything you did. You couldn't help it if they wouldn't listen to you. It's sad that they're gone now, but I'm glad you're okay. We'll try and keep an eye on you and you keep an eye on us too, okay?"
She smiled broadly and nodded her head up and down. She continued talking, but I wasn't listening anymore. Someone may have been and if not, it didn't really matter. Rhonda would keep talking anyway. It was great to hear her voice again. I laughed to myself thinking about how funny my brain thought that was.
The trek back to camp proved uneventful. Problems of a logistical nature began to become manifest. They became an immediate priority. Shelter, food and a formal regimen of rotating guards went into implementation right away. Christine's remarkable eulogy had reduced tension between the Russians and our forces considerably. Nikolai had become considered an ally in most of our eyes.
The only true feeling of enemy remained reserved for Missus Putin, the name we now called the still uncooperative general of the Russian forces.
A major threat to stability in my opinion. That is how I viewed him. He continually addressed his former charges and tried to rally them. According to Nikolai he played upon their sense of duty and loyalty to their homeland. This was of grave concern. America remained more than a concept to all of us. America still existed in the present tense as far as we were concerned.

But, did it? There were some soldiers in camp from the United States of America. It didn't seem like the good old U. S. of A. had much interest in their well-being. Certainly America hadn't shown much concern for our living conditions either. My birthday had passed without a card. They let me slide on my taxes. Of course, that was the best evidence right there that America no longer existed.
Linda and Nikolai helped us interrogate some of the Russian detainees. Detainees. What a deceitful word that was. Well, at least we cared enough to try and sugar coat it.
Linda asked questions prompted by me, "What is the nature of the Russian government?"
Missus Putin exclaimed, "They are on their way to destryoy you!" At least that was the translation according to Nikolai.
Carlos quickly gave him an immediate response with his boot. Jen and Lacci drew deep breaths and had their hands on arrows. The other Russians had no reaction. He layed there with a bloody mouth, silenced for the moment. Carlos loomed over him.
Nikolai looked around for a response to Linda's question and saw no one volunteer. He began to speak,"The government is in Juno, Alaska. I believe that it once was the capitol of Alaska when it was one of your states. I'm calling it Juno for your convenience. Of course, it has a Russian name now. Information is not forthcoming and what is divulged is of a suspicious nature. I doubt things are as good as Putin makes them out to be. He would be in Moscow wouldn't he? If there was a Moscow. You're President Kennedy, he would be in Washington, if there was a Washington, no?"
"Kennedy?" What did he mean Kennedy? This wasn't 1960. I needed an answer to that.
Nikolai sensed my shock, "Kennedy, the son of Robert Kennedy. I don't know the politics. With Clinton and Brown missing Kennedy was the successor. That is all I know. But, it is all a mess. I don't know if there are countries anymore. But, they think they are countries. They have resources and man-power. At least compared to us they do."
Christ. It sounded like the 5th grade except there was more than one bully that might be waiting for me after school.



Rolling along discovering a little bit about the state of the world. Suggestions and input always most welcome and appreciated. Thank you for everything so far! mikey
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