The cult section of the literary world


I awoke in a bed.

Anna was sitting beside me. She offered me water.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“You’re free,” she said, motioning toward my feet.

I was free. The cord was gone from my ankle. No more Jeff! I nearly jumped out of bed. But my head was swimming and throbbing and I remembered that I should be mad at Anna.

“You knocked me out.”

“Yeah. You were about to really lose your shit, Donnie.”

“What did you expect?”

“We expected pretty much that. Which is why we had that chloroform ready.”

I just looked at her. I couldn’t believe she wasn’t being sweet and dabbing my forehead or something.

“Donnie,” she said, standing. “In the car… You said you loved me.”

“Oh,” I said.

She took a step toward my bed. “Yeah. And then you went into great detail about sexual acts you wanted to perform on and with me, even after you were completely unconscious. Like, twenty minutes later, even.”

“Oh,” I said.

“Donnie, I don’t feel that way about you. I’m sorry. And I apologize if I made you think I did at all. I didn’t mean to. I want you to know that I’m with Jeff. We’ve been together for twenty years, Donnie. He’s my lifemate. And besides. Maddy is your age.”

“What?” I couldn’t and wouldn’t believe it. “Jeff? But you barely said hello to him. And you gave me nuts. Lifemate? Isn’t that the hippy way of saying husband?”

She smiled sweetly. Like some sort of angel, all understanding and honest and true to herself. I couldn’t stand it. She turned away, and sat again.

I said, “So what if Maddy is my age? She’s pretty and all, but what does she have to do with anything?”

She crossed her lovely legs. I noticed she was wearing a flowered skirt. It was all silky and flowy, and still fit her snuggly. She was so gorgeous.  “She’s my daughter. We arrived at the farm together.”

I propped myself up on my elbow, tired of looking sideways at her. “Wow, what? What did you do?”

“We were caught collecting rain water,” she said.

I nodded slowly. “Ah, stealing.”

“And we had a permaculture garden.”

“Wow. New Age Nonsense and Organics. I’m surprised you didn’t get put on a mining crew.”

Anna laughed. “Maddy and I went to the farm after the mining crew. We were transferred through, let’s say, cyber means, so we could be with Jeff. Maddy’s dad.”

My mouth actually dropped open.

“Okay,” Anna said with finality. “You rest. We’ll send someone along soon to acclimate you, and show you your apartment.” She stood up and walked to the door.


“See you, Donnie.”

I watched the door close behind her, and let my head fall to my pillow.

I realized that I had no idea where I was, as I fell asleep again.


A few days later, I had a pretty good idea of where I was.

Underground, for one thing.

In a rebel base. Which had once been an Army base. The real American Army.

Still a prisoner.

Only this was worse. Because no one trusted me, or spoke to me much. Jeff had apparently told them all I was a Trump Doll, and that was less desirable to speak to or even look at than a foreigner or something.

It suited me fine. I couldn’t believe I’d been taken prisoner by this rag-tag group of pirates and anarchists. I couldn’t believe Anna was one of them. Jeff, totally. But not Anna.

I found out the second day I was awake that Jeff being on the farm was actually planned. He’d been spying. Darik and most of the other workers were dead, as were all the guards, the warden, his wife, his mistress, her mistress, the cook, the mayor, his wife, mistress and hers as well, a barbershop quartet, and a visiting senator with wife and attending mistresses. The whole farm was destroyed. All the crops burned.

I learned this from the ugly girl who showed me my apartment. Des. She didn’t stop talking. But she didn’t actually converse. Just blabbed. Probably would have spoken to a cat the same way.

She brought me food, after leaving and telling me the fridge was full. And then ate with me. Never stopping talking. I learned a lot. Probably more than I was supposed to learn.

By that night I was in withdrawls. I hadn’t had any pot pills for forty-eight hours. I kind of lost it on Des and woke up in the infirmary the next day.

That’s when I met Cas. He was the first in that caveful of snowflakes to talk to me like I was a person.

He was in the bed beside me. He’d suffered a chemical burn and had only just been released after a week. He offered me a cigarette.

I couldn’t believe it. I’d only seen those in old movies.

I sat up in my bed and backed away.

“It’s just a joint, man. It’ll help you feel better.”

I remembered a line from a movie from the 20th century. “No thanks, I don’t smoke.”

“You don’t smoke weed?” Cas asked.

“Weed? You’re smoking pot?!”

“I will be,” he said, lighting the joint.

When he handed it to me, I smelled a sweet aroma. The end of the weed joint was burning. I didn’t stop to wonder about the smell, or the burning pills or how they did it. I just sucked on the end of it like Cas had.

And coughed until I puked a little.

Cas explained what to do.

In ten minutes I was high for the first time ever. I had no idea until then what weed was, what it did, and how good it made one feel until then. Cas explained all about it. Because he grew it. And he promised to take me to see real marijuana being grown as soon as I was back to normal.

Which, thanks to the joints he left me, was the next day.

Cas showed me around his grow. It was completely different from the farm. I was introduced to several people, some of whom were nice to me. He showed me the whole process of growing it, and what they harvested. And sent me back to my apartment with a big bag of buds and a pipe. Smoking it made all the headaches and muscle tension I was feeling from amphetamine withdrawl go away.

By the next day, I kind of liked the rebel hideout. I mean, despite being surrounded by criminals and terrorists who hated America and its Father and sort of me because I didn’t. Despite the contraband, the conspiracy theories, and disdain for suits and ties.

The food was tasty and fresh.

Several people were good looking.

Real weed was really great.

There was every modern convenience. Even TV. But not in every room, like there should have been. There was also a tendency for people there to jeer and curse at the news, or at talk-shows, or realitytube stars. Even Trump Family, The Trumpsters, Trump Mania, Mr. Trump, Trump This!, and Trumpinator 9000 commercials about Trump getting his brain encased in his awesome new mecha-suit so he can live forever.

Plus, there was Cas. Who I genuinely liked.

I began just hanging out, making new aquaintences, considering mates. After a few weeks, it was almost life as usual.

I never saw Jeff or Anna, which was also a good thing about the place.

I wondered why the rebels lived underground. I mean, I knew it was to hide, but I wondered why. Couldn’t they just be like everyone else? Why was it so important to be different, and break the rules, and trample on laws for that matter?

Cas was no help. Any time I started talking about what I didn’t understand about them, he changed the subject. Or handed me a dab, or a doobie.

That’s when I decided to go find Des.

She was in the VR-Cade when I finally located her. Hilariously, I found her because she was the only one in the room talking as I passed. But she wasn’t alone. She had a friend with her.

I asked her if she’d like to get some coffee.

She said she drank tea. And that her friend Lori had to come with us.

It took two cups of tea and not much coaxing to learn all about the place we lived. Lori talked more than Des, but with a terrible affected accent, like she was from the deadlands of California.

“And so soon we’re all just gonna attack. I mean, we’ve pretty much got the whole thing ready to go. A new Civil War. A coup. It’s gonna be so great. No more lies. No more stupid laws that only benefit the elite. Real food for everyone. Renewable energy. Science… No more tweets! Wow. I really can’t wait.”

I told Des that I had an appointment.

She said she’d find me sometime soon.

Lori just kept talking as I walked away. I heard a jabbering duet start, echoing off the corridor walls around me.

I went to my apartment and screamed in my pillow.

It was insanity. The whole scheme. The secret base, the hackers, pilots, the army of hippies, degenerates, New Agers, terrorists, immigrants, Liberals… a new civil war?

I smoked a joint and took a shower.

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