Tomorrow We Dance To Freedom

The Complacent Acceptors - X

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That outside light hurts, it's blinding. A merge of colors flowed towards the light that just wouldn't stop shining in his face. The knife was moving closer, closer, as blackness lowered its canopy.

Shaking his head Jim lifted his head up from the grass. He felt hungry, thirsty, and tired all at once. Feeling in his pants pocket after shifting his body on his back he realized that he only had only one can of potted meat left, and no water. Moving up on his elbows he directed his gaze in all directions.

This place was far more inviting than his last dream. Or were they a collection of dreams; the camp with a steel fenced factory, and this more impressionable operation with a knife that just hovered over his head.

Grass covered the ground to the horizon no matter where his scanning eyes landed. The sky was the most brilliant dark blue he could ever imagine. Maybe he was just imagining this new unwanted scene; somewhere, but where was this somewhere?

His clothes hung on him like loose rags fitting a scarecrow. These rags were so dirty that they could simply be called black. He had sores, on his left arm with gashes on his legs that throbbed with deep pain. Those pieces of leather on his feet strapped to his ankles were worn wafer thin.

Jim noticed that his toes were bloodied with scabs that probably covered infection. Not being able to feel his smallest toe on his most exposed foot he understood why after closer inspection - it was practically black. This wasn't good. Was it gangrene? If it were that toe would have to come off.

Shaking all over, Jim found a sharp rock nearby with an edge sharp as a steak knife. Placing his small toe under a flat rock he thrust the knife edged rock down hard on his exposed toe in a single swift movement.

Green goo gushed from the wound where a toe had been; the black thing that had been a toe laid oozing the same goo not more than a few inches from its former foot. The pain was so unbearable Jim let out a howl that if anyone had been around would have given them a shiver of horror.

Finding the least soiled area of his tattered shirt he carefully ripped it out. Knowing that this piece of cloth was probably crawling with bacteria he knew his options were nil. He just covered the exposed stub where the toe had been with this marginally dirty piece of cloth.

Now he needed to find a way to connect this cloth to his third world excuse for shoes. Noticing a wire running through his wafer thin soles holding them to the rope that wrapped around the tops of his feet he loosened from the shoe pulling it from the attaching loops.

"This will work fine. Oh, dam that pain… Must get my mind back on the task at hand" Jim was aware that he might not be able to finish this task before passing out but new he had to if he was going to have the least chance of surviving.

Inspecting the wire he saw that it was really two strands so he elongated the wire to its full length. Placing the wire on the same flat rock that was his prior amateur surgical area he hit the metal with all his might until it broke in two. He weaved a piece of wire of equal length back through where it was in his shoe. The other metal strand his pushed into holes in the cloth covering that he made with the end of the wire. He affixed this wire secured piece of cloth into the loops that held the straps and soles of the shoe.

With this finished Jim dropped exhausted on his back.

"No, No, please no" Jim pleaded while holding his hands over his face in a feeble attempt to shield his face from the blows. Showering down on his head and in his face were the bludgeons of the security forces simply know has "Enforcers". Dressed in full riot gear they descended upon the old mall surrounding Jim and his fellow starving citizens who'd been desperately trying to break into the vacant store.

Wanting nothing more than a few extra bites of food in mouths loosing teeth, in hands with white bones protruding through skin they begged the "Enforcers" to let them please have a few rusty cans. Rusty cans of potted meat originally dredged from the floor of a slaughterhouse. Meat that had been swept into corners after the choicest cuts were carefully removed from the cattle carcasses for the powerful, the connected, and the elite.

If the potted meat didn't kill you it was guaranteed to make you sick but Jim and the others had been exposed to the foulest of food - after a person's dignity was torched to cinders degeneration became you're constant companion. They'd been treated like animals so they were all breathing that rarified air of razor thin sharp edged survival. Consequences evaporate in this rarified air when you're pushed up against a concrete wall by a government comprised of belligerent profit seekers - a society of leaches.

It happened after… The knife came towards his face; no it was his head. Blackness… dark, deep colored lights twist, turns, moves, curls, and bounces off the edges.

"What a splitting headache. Pain…" This pain woke Jim with vomit gushing from his mouth into a pool of black steaming liquid glistening at his feet. The insides of his stomach chunked out his mouth in this black fluid of a slowly passing life. He screamed loud a ghoulish howl fused to his now disconnected voice, now again his, now not his. Somehow cut, a break or short circuit in his mind removed him to a place not of the here and now.