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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 something we want. So let's think of something they might want."


3:45 p.m.

The children are assembled in Darby's backyard. Under 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 gate, 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," and he gets furious.

"Now hold on a minute," he says, grabbing me by the 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 struggle."

Darby walks into his living room and switches on the television. "Leave me alone," he says. "Friends is on, and I haven't seen this one."


3:50 p.m.

I begin to secretly discuss the state of things with 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?"

"No."

"I mean, it's not like there's a rule against it, or anything."

"No."


4:30 p.m.

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 if he's General or not anymore. He's still the owner of the property. He tells me I've ruined everything. Gone 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 we do that?"

I tell them about my plans for Darby.


5:30 p.m.

Darby has followed through with his promise to call 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 his 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.

Send correspondence to
marcosuzu@yahoo.com



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