Lion's Club has its hands on a nuclear device. With
proper bargaining an allegiance might be formed.
"Ok," says Darby. "So the Lion's Club has
we want. So let's think of something they might
The children are assembled in Darby's backyard.
the instruction of Dawson's wife, they sing "The
Caissons Go Marching Along." Everything goes off fine
until Darby's son asks what a "caisson" is. Darby
explodes on him. He sends him back into the house.
"You see, kids," he lectures the children, on one
knee, "it doesn't really matter what a Caisson is. The
important thing is to honor your fathers and mothers.
And especially your fathers."
The children are then led out, through the back
to go back to work cutting out stars for the army
uniforms. Darby is really keen on stars.
I tell him, "But you can't give them to everyone,"
he gets furious.
"Now hold on a minute," he says, grabbing me by
shoulders. "Just whose army is this anyway?" He
doesn't wait for a response. He walks to the porch
door. "I'm going inside for a while."
I follow him into the house.
"Think of the men, General," I say. "Think of our
Darby walks into his living room and switches on
television. "Leave me alone," he says. "Friends is
and I haven't seen this one."
I begin to secretly discuss the state of things
Joranby and Butterworth. "Perhaps Darby is not the
right man for the job," I say. Now Meyers has come
over to listen. "You know, just because you elected
him General doesn't mean it has to stay that way."
"Is that right?" Now McCarlson is interested.
"Oh, yes," I say. "There's nothing that says you
can't hold another election, is there?"
"I mean, it's not like there's a rule against it,
Darby says he's going to call the cops if we don't
get out of his backyard, pronto. He also says we
better fill those trenches back up. He doesn't care
he's General or not anymore. He's still the owner of
the property. He tells me I've ruined everything.
against the very principles of the Revolution itself.
He calls me a demagogue.
I challenge him to spell that.
"Ok, men," I say. "Gather round." They begin to
huddle around me. "First, I think we need to secure
our home front."
"All right," says Ferber. "And how in the hell do
I tell them about my plans for Darby.
Darby has followed through with his promise to
the cops. We cut his phone line, but it appears he
must have used his cell phone. There are sirens
sounding everywhere. An entire regiment has fled out
of panic. The rest are wandering off, a little dazed.
Darby is out on his front porch, pointing at me.
"There he is," he tells the approaching officer.
I take one last look at Darby's house. I can see
kid watching me from an upstairs window. He's crying,
I think, maybe laughing. He's opening the window. He
throws out a paper airplane. It catches in a tree.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marcos, as of the writing of this story, recently moved to Tempe, AZ and works
at a publishing company in the production department.
Mostly, he chainsmokes and takes criticism from his
cat. He has published several stories and poems in
various "little" magazines, but went on hiatus for a
couple of years for multitudinous bonehead reasons.
Lately, he's gotten in the habit of taking a
multivitamin every day for good luck.
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Copyright © 2001 3 A.M. PUBLISHING ALL RIGHTS RESERVED