© Copyright 2021 by Ronald Keely
Richard Blunt prefers to be called Rick. He’s a simple man and lives a simple life and he is, for the most part, content. He’s average height, but he weighs two hundred forty pounds and muscular. He regularly lifts weights and exercises his abs and core. He has a graying beard and his balding head is usually covered with a hat. Around town Rick is known as grumpy and anti-social. He doesn’t have a glowing smiling face because he doesn’t see anything to smile about, but he’s not necessarily grumpy, he just doesn’t like people that much. They’re fine for a few minutes but passed that he needs to go. Though Rick stays to himself, he has a few friends who come over on occasion to drink beer or to ask about their lawn mower or snowblower. Rick works on small engines for play money. After he accumulates a thousand bucks or so he heads into Grand Rapids where he buys a new or used guitar. Rick has an awesome collection of guitars and vinyl albums. He has vintage Gibson’s and Fender Strat’s and an array of acoustic guitars hanging on the walls of his home. Once a month a few old friends stop over and jam for the night. It’s the only time Rick drinks alcohol and not much of it. It interferes with his pain meds for his back and he needs those to function. Besides, Rick drank a river of whiskey in his day and figures he’s had enough. Rick has to be careful because his back is in really bad shape and slowly disintegrating. He also has a number of herniations and bulging discs and a bad case of arthritis. If he so much as twists the wrong way, he could be laid up for days.
Rick lives just outside the small town of Morley, Michigan in a house his mother built with old barn wood and scraps of lumber. Mom was so dependent and determined she didn’t need a man to do things for her. In fact, after she had me, she swore off men for the rest of her life. She spent her last days here in the house she built. It’s a modest dwelling with just enough room for a couple or a man and his dogs. Rick loves his home. He has twenty acres of wooded land. He lives alone except for his three Pitbull mixes that he refers to as his kids. Every morning Rick runs his dogs out back and plays fetch in the Tamarac Creek that flows through the property. In the winter months he throws snowballs and Kong’s for them to fetch. There’s always plenty to do around his house like working on someone’s small engine or fixing up the camper he bought for cheap last year. The raised bed gardens need to be planted and Rick would really like to build a coop for chickens soon. There are no rules or schedules in his world. He lives every day differently and never knows what to expect in the future and doesn’t worry about anything from his past.
Rick is not religious and he hates politicians. If it wasn’t for the media coverage of the day, he might not even know about Senator McCackle and how he is collecting and abusing tax payer money. The senator has spent a lifetime fueling special interests and making millions off the military industrial complex and defense contractors. A man like McCackle, who is supposed to be a man of the people, is anything but. The people are supposed to voice their issues and concerns and the senator is supposed to take those concerns to Washington D.C. and work on legislating them until they are changed to suit the people of his state. But this senator, like so many, make back room deals and accepts hush money and huge campaign contributions and enriches his own life while millions of people suffer and struggle to survive. The way this government is set up, the working people get shafted while the politicians and billionaires get more while paying no taxes. Wealthy corporations control legislation in this country and it’s always against the working people who pay the most in taxes. Of course, our taxes and cost of goods go up but the minimum wage stays stagnant and too many people are trying to survive living below the poverty line. Americans rarely make a livable wage but it doesn’t have to be this way. We can rise up! We can voice our concerns! We can vote. But will our demands fall on deaf ears? Because how do you convince a wealthy person to stop gaining wealth? You don’t. Plain and simple. It is for this reason that Rick thinks it is about time we scare and terrorize these politicians and hold their feet to the fire.
When Rick decided to kill Senator McCackle, he was enraged with the news of this asshole’s wealth. Rick had read and listened to story after story about Senator McCackle’s luxury Yacht and his sweeping, fortified horse ranch. His properties in Kentucky, Florida, California and Montana were just too much for Rick to ignore. Rick wasn’t naïve. He knew how the game was rigged against the working class and he also knew there was probably nothing he could do about it in a civil manner. But one thing he could do was to stop the wretched and bombastic politician from ever getting to enjoy his multiple estates, or his race horses, his huge yacht or even his classic car collection. Rick knew only one way to stop the senators exploits and that was to kill him. He would also make sure nobody enjoyed the senator’s spoils by burning his homes and barns and boats if he could. The way Rick sees it, those extravagances belong to him and the people, and we can do what we want with them. The senator wouldn’t have them if not for tax money. Rick considered taking a C.E.O of some Fortune 500 company hostage but every way he sliced it, it was just too messy and would wind up getting someone hurt, probably himself.
Like many folks who live out in the country Rick has a good supply of guns, bows and arrows and hunting knives. He has rifles, shotguns and an impressive array of handguns that he maintains meticulously. They are always oiled and cleaned after a day of shooting targets. He also has various knives for skinning deer, cleaning fish, and for everyday use out in the woods. He always carries a gun and a good knife on him everywhere he goes. This isn’t paranoia it just makes sense to be prepared. If Rick is nothing else, he is prepared. He stores food, water and gasoline for his generator. He cans fruits and vegetables that he grows in the garden. And he’s prepared for almost every situation he could think of. He regards himself a prepper in the sense that he’s prepared for a black-out or grid down scenario.
One day while watching coverage of Senator McCackle on the senate floor arguing against taxing the rich just a little more than the twenty three percent tax they weren’t paying anyway, and objecting to a vote to help the poor, Rick got so pissed off he smashed a well-loved footstool against the wall and had to go outside to get some air and calm himself. Rick had been paying attention to coverage of the senator for the past three months. Every time the politician goes to the floor it’s to boost the wealthy and crush the working class. Rick knew what he had to do. He was planning to go to D.C. but figured security is too tight. Rick thought it would be better to wait in Kentucky for the right moment to strike. He would have a two-week window in which to plan and execute his crime.
Rick asks aloud to his dogs,
“Why do we have this waste of good oxygen in office, when all they care to accomplish is pumping more money to their wealthy donors? Why would a politician, whose worth millions, openly kick down the very people who elect him? Doesn’t he know that without his constituents he would be nothing and wouldn’t have his millions to taut?”
Of course he does, but too often what happens is these dirtbags get so well off and wealthy that they only know the greed. They become completely out of touch and just want more than they could possibly spend. This is the price of greed. This senator thinks he’s untouchable and is free to accumulate as much wealth as he desires without consequence. Rick has news for him and before long will be headed down to Kentucky where he will reach out to Senator McCackle in a literal and threatening sense.
Rick arranged for a friend to come watch the dogs.
“I’ll be back in a couple weeks Jeff.”
“Don’t forget to bring the toys back in from outside will ya?” “Sometimes Diablo brings them out with him, but doesn’t bring them back in.” Rick was yelling across the house to Jeff.
Jeff was sitting in the kitchen swigging a beer. He knows all about the dogs because he’s here more than anyone else. Jeff sometimes helps Rick with small engines if he gets enough orders. Jeff is in his twenties and lives just down the road from Rick. For all Jeff knows, Rick is going to visit some old friends in Tennessee.
Rick spent most of the night before leaving the next morning going over his gear before placing it in the back of his old pickup. The firearms and other weapons are hidden in the built-in tool box in back of the truck. He has everything he needs for camping in a blind site when he gets to Kentucky. He’s going to camp watching the movements of the senator by day, and he will follow him at night as well. He needs to find a pattern. Something the senator does on a daily basis like, eight rounds of golf, or eating breakfast at his favorite bakery. Once he finds a good place to confront the senator, he will simply walk up and finish him, and then get the hell back home. He will have a hoody on and a half-mask on his face to conceal his identity.
My stories focus a great deal on the powers of nature and the determination of mankind trying to alter the natural flow of life. An underlying theme is the death of modern masculinity. Each character deals with societies flaws and norms a little differently but have a problem with the “everybody wins” mentality. Violence is often displayed in its truest form and there are no short cuts to the reality of ugly, violent situations. In this world, there are hammers, who see everything and everyone as nails. Some have good intentions while others have a more deviant agenda. Join them while they travel to new places, map out a strategy and try to make the world a better place.