100 Themes Boot Camp – Day 2 – Power

I realize, at this rate, it will take me two years to complete the 100TBC.  And you know what?  I don't really have a problem with that.  So without any further ado, here is my entry for day 2.  The theme is Power.:

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Something had been bothering Joe all night, eating at the
back of his mind, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.

He tried to recall if he had noticed anything different
today.  He kept a fairly consistent routine;
he didn’t want to forget anything.  After
all, he was Old Joe, the retired bookkeeper, with no family to help him in his
old age.  At least, that’s who he’d been
for the last two years, since he found this nice little town in the mountains.

It had been nearly twenty years since he had been Joseph
Michael Teague, a man of importance, prestige, honor, and power.  He was once an angel, but had fallen from
grace.  Since then, he’d been moving from
town to town, state to state, even nation to nation, trying to outrun his past.

He had to sharp, pay attention.  He never stayed anywhere for long; he had to
keep moving.  He had to stay alive and
out of prison.  One day, he would atone
for his sins; fix all that he had broken. 
But running makes a man weary, especially after nearly twenty
years. 

What was the point anyway? 
He was so old, what difference could he make anymore?

These questions had been haunting Joe for the last few
years, and this town seemed as good a place as any to stop and rest for a
while.  Old Joe, the bookkeeper, was not
a cover as much as it was a new identity.  Joseph Michael Teague was dead; long live Old
Joe.

Today, however, something was different.  What was it?

In this quiet little town, not much changed over the last
two years, probably little had changed over the last twenty.  One would see the same faces day after day,
month after month… Wait, a minute!

There was somebody new today.  A new bagger was working at the grocery store
today, a young woman, maybe nineteen or twenty years old.  She had helped Joe load his bags into his
car.  There was something odd about the
way she looked at him.  Could it have
been a hint of recognition that passed over her face?  Maybe, even a little fear?

“Well, shit,” were the only words Joe could find to express
himself in that moment.  He had gotten
lazy, careless.  Tired.  They would be coming soon.  He had an emergency kit packed, ready to go,
in the closet.  A new identity, keys to
car he kept parked a few blocks away, and a handgun, just in case.  He was not the frail old man that everyone
believed him to be, he could run.  He
could escape and start over again, in some other small, hidden town.

Instead, he sat in his favorite chair, reading his favorite
book, and waited.  He did not move, and
was not startled, when the power went out and his small apartment was flooded
in darkness.  And he did not jump when
they kicked in his door.  With quiet
dignity, he surrendered to the police.

They handcuffed him and read him his rights.  He was loaded into the back of the police
car, in front of all his friends and neighbors. 
As they were leaving, the young officer in the passenger seat up front
turned to him a said, “You are going to pay for what you’ve done, Mister
President.”

“Ah, yes,” said Joe, “I suppose I shall.”

Author: Jonathan David Ward

jonathan.ward@cosmicdogonline.com