what it comes down to

What It Comes Down To

I’m not sure what my rights are anymore, what with the Secret Provisions Act and all, so when two Navy Seals with slung rifles and packs on their backs showed up at my door around midnight and started flashing wallets full of badges I let them in.

“Gentlemen,” I said. “What can I do for you?”

“Just keep on doing what you’ve been doing,” one of them said. “Act normal. Act like nothing’s going on.”

“What is going on?” I said.

Is that normal?” the other one said. “Asking questions?”

“Well, I suppose not, but –”

“Then don’t ask questions,” the first one said. “We’ll stay in your spare room. We’ve got all the gear we need.”

They marched into the spare room and slammed the door behind them.

The next morning they came out for breakfast dressed in Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirts and pulled the blinds shut on all the windows.

“That’s not normal,” I said. “I never pull my blinds.”

“We pulled the blinds so no one would see us,” one of them said. “These are special circumstances that supersede normal.”

“How long are you guys going to be here?” I said. “I have to go to work. And I write.”

“We know that,” one of them said. “Just keep on writing like nothing’s going on.”

“How do you know I write?” I said. “How do you know that?”

“That’s why we’re here. To keep you writing and protect you until the time comes.”

Protect me?” I said.

“Yeah, protect you. And stop asking questions.”

I was no longer sure which one was talking. It was hard to tell where the voice was coming from.

“All you need to know is we’re here on Executive Order,” one of them said.

Executive Order?” I said.

“Right, Executive Order. Don’t you know about the Secret Provisions Act? Don’t you watch Fox News? You brought this on yourself with all that crap you write. Me and Mike here had to read a ton of it to prepare for this assignment, to make sure you don’t try to put one over on us. There were forty of us who volunteered, but only Mike and me made the cut.”

I stared at them.

“Left you speechless, eh?” Mike said. “Old Bill left you with your jaw hanging.”

Bill and Mike chuckled and then drank off their coffee.

I refilled their cups.

I always knew that some day it would come to this.

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