Knock At The Door
A short story by Shelt Garner
When the knock at the door finally came, I was expecting it. I eyed my bug out bag in the corner. The wealthiest, most powerful democracy in human history was tearing itself apart and I was filled with dread as to the inevitable.
Just a glance at Twitter was enough to give me all the information I needed. My timeline was filled with video clips of America’s last death spasms before the National Divorce we had all heard about finally occurred. Most of the dramatic footage was of a mad rush at airports as people fled states that did not fit their political leanings.
All of this was happening as Blue State governors were having an extended summit to decide what to do now that it was clear that the MAGA state legislatures of swing states that Biden had won would never let his election be certified.
As such, at the moment, no one knew who the next president was going to be. While there were rumblings of the U.S. Military stepping in to keep the country together, no one took these comments seriously.
This was because of how even the U.S. Military was beginning to collapse as the educated officer corp aligned itself with the center-Left, which was beginning to call itself Antifa without any shame. Meanwhile, MAGA leaning enlisted were beginning to demand the military side with Trump, no matter what.
I finally got up from my desk and walked to the front door, psyching myself up for the confrontation that was about to occur.
The door opened to the sight of three armed men wearing the Lion badge of MAGA partisans. I stared at the three men — whom I knew well — while each side waited for the other to say something.
“Jake, I’m sorry, but it’s time for you to go,” one of the men finally said to me.
I leaned on the door, my head down in grief. It had finally come to this. I was on the cusp of becoming a domestic political refugee. My Left-leaning politics were well known within my rural county and, as such, I was facing a moment of truth.
“Man, what am I going to do about my dad? You know he’s in a nursing home. I can’t just leave him. The man is nearly 100 years old.”
“I’m afraid you’re going to have to make that decision on your own. You’re a groomer and it’s time for you to go live with your woke communist groomer friends — or else.”
“What the hell are you talking about, dude? Have you lost your mind? I’m no ‘groomer,’ whatever the hell that means. I’ve done a lot for this community in the last few days as things started to get tense. You can at least give me 24 hours before I have to leave.”
The three men looked at each other before their leader nodded.
“No. Sorry. You have to leave now.”
I nodded my head in agreement and shut the door. I rushed over to my bug out bag and slung it over my shoulder. Thankfully, it was still daylight. The moment I started heading towards the main north-south road near my home, I stood stunned for a moment at what I saw.
A massive horde of people filled the depression where the road was. The sight was the type one might see in vintage WW2 footage of people fleeing the Soviets in 1945. But, here I was, seeing such a sight in rural virginia in 2024.
I started walking towards the massive crowd of moving bodies, looking for a place to squeeze myself into. I finally found a place and began to walk north towards what I hoped was safety.
And, yet, I also had some business to attend to. I looked around the others walking north and saw the fear in their eyes. I wondered if they saw the same thing with me.
I dwelled on what might happen next.
The last news reports I saw on Twitter indicated that the entire post-WW2 liberal order was on the cusp of collapsing, along with the United States. Specifically, it seemed as though China was about to invade Taiwan and the DPRK was set to invade South Korea at any moment.
I stopped cold, thinking about what might happen if the DPRK decided to begin lobbing H-bombs on the USA once the Second American Civil War began in earnest.
After about two miles of walking and brooding with the mob, I was able to push my way through to my immediate destination — the nursing home where my father currently lived.
For a moment, the chaos surrounding me faded. Once inside the nursing home, everything seemed to snap back into place. It felt like summer 2024, before the chaos that began on Election Night happened.
I found my father, as always, asleep in bed.
I shut my eyes, trying to hold back tears as the cold, hard facts of the moment began to sink in. There was nothing I could do but hope that somehow, someway, my father would be safe once the looming Second American Civil War began.
For a second, I thought of trying to take him with me as I headed towards the rebellious Blue States north of Virginia. Then I remembered that Virginia itself was on the cusp of descending into a intercine battle of intra-state warfare.
I decided to stay by my father’s side as long as I could. I knew, however, that that would not be forever.