Short Story: The price of war

I shouldn’t have to say it, but this is a work of satire. Although wouldn’t it be funny if the idiots on CNN, MSNBC, or Fox reported this as factual? It’s happened too many times to take any chances. This isn’t real!!!

You hear it everyday in the evening news: conflict. In the Middle East, America is the Great Satan. Propagandists are busy indoctrinating their country’s children to hate our country, and the freedom she represents.

The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan may be winding down, but terrorists are quick to fill in the void left in the wake of our leader’s retreat.

North Korea and the mentally unstable regime headed by the sociopath Kim Jong Un are wanting to destabilize the region, and eradicate the fragile illusion of peace.

Now Russia is trying to resurrect their past glory by reviving the old cohesiveness of the Soviet Union, eschewing the democracy that so many lived and died to set into place.

And what of China? India? Pakistan? What of the rest of the world? Who will be the leader building up a cult of personality, whose hubris will march the world closer to annihilation?

The world is indeed a scary place, and more so than it has been since the end of the cold war, and longer since the days of John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev brought the world to the brink of a nuclear holocaust. It’s been more than fifty years since the specter of nuclear war has hung so precariously over humanity.

What can we do?

Hello, my name is John C. Weiss, founder and C.E.O. of Weiss and Fleece National Defense Contractors Inc., with a proposition for our American viewers. The price of peace is at an all time high, and the price of war is sure to bankrupt our government, jeopardizing our sovereignty for the first time in centuries. This is where you can help, and why I’m here calling on you.

As a way to minimize costs for our national defense, I’m asking all patriotic Americans to donate to the Secure Our World Defense Fund. S.O.W. was created with one purpose in mind, to raise funds to build up our national stockpile of chemical and nuclear weapons, as a deterrent to the further escalation of hostilities that heretofore have remained simmering just under the surface, waiting to boil over.

Mutually Assured Destruction may have worked in the past, but it’s high time we build an arsenal that can not only take out our threats, but can also intercept any launch headed towards us, or to any of our remaining allies.  With our Predictive Launch Algorithms, we can now accurately launch a preemptive strike on missile bases in even the most remote of locations.

Further, we intend to build Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, with the names of all our sponsors etched into each individual hull, to let our enemies know once and far all, who paid to kill them, not that they’ll live to read it.

And in desert, we are building a monument, a final testament to the spirit of a race so determined to render itself extinct, that they fought to the death of not only themselves, but to the only known center of life in the universe.

If life does exist out in the cold reaches of space, and in the event they learn to traverse the distances and visit us, then they can witness the monumental stupidity of a race that killed itself, and read the names of the ones responsible. For a one-time donation of $100, you can have a brick engraved on the walk leading to the monument. For $1 Million, you may have an obelisk built in your honor. There are many more options to choose from in between!

Don’t be the only ones left out from this one time special offer to destroy all mankind. Space may be limited, but not as limited as the time of man on Planet Earth. Finance your own destruction. Call now, and the first 500 callers will receive this special t-shirt as a free gift, not that you will have too much time to boast of your murder.

Thank you, and please be generous.

My other short stories

Success or failure: What do I choose?

I’ll never make it as a writer…

Quill and Ink

Quill and Ink (Photo credit: cgsheldon)

I can hear the voices clearly sometimes. You’re not good enough. No one will ever want to read your stuff. Why do you even try? The voices are jerks. I hate the voices in my head.

The voices are my own insecurities and doubts. Fear keeps me from doing what I should be doing to get ahead. The thought of another JOB makes me want to curl up into a fetal position and cry. I don’t want to work for the man. I don’t want to waste my life making another rich while I wear myself out. I don’t want that.

And neither does anyone else.

I see the dead look in people’s eyes as they trudge through the muck that is their everyday existence, and I can see the my own blank stare reflected back to me. Clock in, work, clock out, and then try to salvage at least a little bit of our day for ourselves, and our family and friends. We slave to break even, if we’re lucky. We toil just to put a roof over our heads and food to eat. We break our bodies only to fall further behind in life.

It’s happening. Look at the news. Look at the discontent among the laborers. Wages are stagnant, there is no real job growth, and hours are getting cut. The economy isn’t growing because the wealthy have stolen this country’s wealth and are hoarding it for themselves all the while wondering why they aren’t making anymore money.

I finally got a job and I’m off this week. I don’t go back until next week and only for 14 hours. The following week is about the same, but they scheduled me for a day I’m in class. Sorry, but I’m not jeopardizing my education for a go-nowhere-job where they don’t even care enough to get my schedule right. I did that once and I spent over a decade being miserable.

I’m not saying this to trash the labor force. I’m saying this to trash the employers, which is dangerous for me as I’m in the market to find a real full-time position somewhere. I am beginning the transition from student to employee all over again, and yes it scares the hell out of me.

What can I do?


Keyboard (Photo credit: Quinn deEskimo)

My only recourse is to use the only talent available to me and try to write for a living. Right out of the proverbial gate I’m met with the reality that most writers don’t make a living as writers. I wonder; how many aspiring writers are out there right now, toiling away on their computers, typewriters, and even notepads and pens, trying to write the next big thing? I know I am. I’m one of the invisible group, hoping to be taking out of obscurity and made famous for doing what I love.

Hell, here I am writing for free for myself, just to have an outlet to express my thoughts. I have a very limited readership, and I’m okay with that. Although I do want to grow my audience, my main objective is to write for writing’s sake. I write in order to discover what I believe, to put it into words, in a logical manner, that I can defend if I have to. I write in order to practice putting my thoughts down onto paper, or in this case onto the web. I write in order to learn.

You are my teachers and my evaluators. You who have taken the time to read my thoughts have become my greatest assets. I take my blog stats very seriously, and I take my Likes as a positive sign that I did a decent job. When no one reads my post, I feel that I did a poor job and that I need to do better.

My main problem is that I haven’t been as diligent as I should. I haven’t committed myself to write everyday like a writer ought to write. Be it trash or a masterpiece, without taking the time to sit down and actively engage in this craft, I will end up as a dreamer who wants the stars but remains content to watch them from afar.

But I’m not content. I’m tired of laying on the meadows at night, looking up without trying to reach out for those distant points of light. I’m tired of dreaming the dream that I yearn for, but refuse to pursue. I’m tired of hearing that I can do it, that I have the talent, “if only you’d go for it.” I will go for it. You’ll see.

In the meantime I will trudge along on this merry road, working for the marketplace, selling myself for a meager wage. It’s a sacrifice I have to pay, that I’m willing to pay, but this time I do so with my eyes open, with a plan for the future and a hope that I can escape.

We all have our dreams, and mine is to be financially independent, as much as is possible. If I have to work to enrich some man’s coffers, why shouldn’t that man be me? If I have to wear myself out, shouldn’t it be for my own benefit? In the process, if I am successful, I will end up helping others make money.

I just have to remember this: I need to sit down and write. Success or failure rests solely on my ability to set aside some time to write. Unless I sit down and get serious, I’ve already failed. I don’t want to fail, not this time and not with this. Failure is always an option, but success only becomes a possibility if I not only try but I do.