A blood soaked Arthur IS RISING

Gonzo journalism and fiction is a tricky mix.... Welcome to my razor's edge.


I am an elf in the attic making mind toys with sharp edges; an educated writer who gets good reviews, who you can read for free in the rough form of first drafts on the web, or purchase in a book form.
The best soldier does not attack. The superior fighter succeeds without violence. The greatest conqueror wins without struggle. The most successful manager leads without dictating. This is intelligent non aggressiveness. This is called the mastery of men.


Welcome to you, I am John Scott Ridgway, Novelist, Poet, Blogger, Radio and TV writer and actor... five books, also paint in oils and acrylics. I am poet warrior of sorts, a non violent radical, personally, though understanding of those who choose other paths IN THE EIGHTY PLUS COUNTRIES AT LAST COUNT THAT came in this blog ...

The predicted revolutions in the USA and around the would are going to

be violent in the next twenty years, is what the CIA says. I want them to stay peaceful, which is the only way to win this struggle between haves and have nots. They have more guns, we have more people,, and they include the mothers and sisters and brothers of the people they will ask to fight us.... I think they underestimate the police.

NEVER ACCEPT APPEASEMENT OVER JUSTICE. By any means necessary is the reality. . . the USA can be spared stupid wars, but other countries. . . need different solutions. . .

The number of Countries that have come in to have a look at this blog humbles me. Thank you very much.



PROFESSIONALS, HOPEFULLY, like the police, military, etc...

understanding that violence is sometimes needed

does not mean I like anything about the sound

of fists hitting faces

Boxing is too much for me

make me feel like I am watching

dog fights with toothless pitbulls

"I am an artist first, and a politician second," as John Lennon said.

My intentions are to stop the violence from entering into

revolutionary wars

the CIA


will break out in the next twenty years all over the

world, including here...

But Ill tell ya,

if there is not some redistribution of

wealth here there and everywhere




My intentions is to keep these protests peaceful

so we can win

without bloodshed

Total War for Total Peace

Never incites violence

or destroys property

you should be able

to go to protests with strollers and babies

parents feeling as safe as the police

Now, poetry...

I am too far out into the battlefield to retreat. This CHARGE is win or die...


A blood soaked Arthur has risen

be aware

be very aware

total war
for total peace
is being fought

THERE will be many ways to die
and only one to live
give and give and give
until the worlds downtrodden and oppressed
can begin to forgive
before things get bloody and ruthless
My Peace sign shot full of holes
and my reason ignored
drowned out by the roar of machine guns

You cannot break the golden rule
all the time and not expect
consequences from nature

we will fight for our right to thrive as well
we do not accept your sentence
to poverty so you can earn more
by shipping the factory off to China

nothing this mindgame in america can do to us
can destroy this thing inside that yearns for freedom
enough to die in the name of JUSTICE
generation after generation
from time

No more hyper-reality FOR US. We have already spent too long in an oasis of belief where nothing is wrong, folks... Now, we must face this was all a mirage... and try like hell to get out of this desert... or resolve ourself to the fact that we will leave our children to starve in the barren sands.

There are better ways to defeat an enemy than an outright fight, especially if you are vastly outnumbered, like the Elite. MSM PSY-WAR allows them to control our actions through our thoughts, and basically stop our FORCE from activating. I am not saying we should fight just because we can win, I am just saying we should fight before we lose, if no other option is left us.... because a world is at stake.

  • You are a spark in dry timber, stopped from becoming a roaring flame
    They SET UP LAWS THAT ALLOW THEM TO STEAL. MURDER. BRAINWASH THEIR CRITICS. We must begin to feel challenged now to stop them. Or WE WILL LOSE EVERYTHING. PERIOD. THE SKY, OTHER SPECIES, OUR WATER... OUR MINDS. No more hyper-reality for us... too long in that oasis where nothing is wrong folks... we must face this is all a mirage.
    • OUR LACK OF RESOLVE TO CHANGE OUR WORLD MUST PUZZLE THE GODS THEMSELVES.... how can we be this collectively dum? And if we are....then the brains will be looked to as potential saviors.... when all too often they are just psocyo-paths and stooges and scared folks under the gun who are ALLOWED to CON EVERYONE... FOR THE GOOD OF A

A cruel slap woke me to the PAIN
at the moment of birth;
My first cry was NO
buried in unintelligible screams.
I am a man now.
Now I catch your hand and break all the fingers.

the promise

You must be whoever the enemy fears the least
or fears the most.

No other position is saf

da general

Welcome to the spark that inflames TOTAL WAR FOR TOTAL PEACE.

I am too far out into the battlefield to retreat. This CHARGE is win or die...

THE ELVES ATTIC is stories, poetry, essay's, peculiar events in my life . . . oil painting, articles.

Your patience for bearing with me on my first drafts is a much appreciated kindness. Your worldwide interest is my muse . . .Lately I have been writing a book called Gangsta General x, about a revolutionary in the USA, who is fighting to keep the revolt peaceful as things spin out of control in the states after a famine gets the populace hungry enough to change their society once and for all....

HOW TO USE THIS BLOG: There is a black and white jukebox in the right column that you can shut off, or find songs on.... To listen to the COMEDY SKITS FROM THE SHOW PEACE AND PIPEDREAMS... turn off the black jukebox, and turn on the Green one. I play Moon Bong Haze and Jesus...

I have five majors, five books, two tv shows, a radio show, 76 countries at last count on this site alone, and over a million online readers to my credit. I can't thank any of you enough for all of your help and encouragement over the years; the favors and aide that has been offered me, the trust in my leadership... you are all SACRED TO ME ... even you folks I tend to hate.


Thank you.



They were holding four square blocks.   Shooting anyone they spotted trying to get close to their enclave.

In the buildings across from them were trip-charges set to ignite gallons of kerosene, which poured  down from the ceilings on anyone who tried to make their way through the adjacent buildings...  in the streets were bouncing betty bombs that they took from the National Guard Armory,  small discs that blew off the lower half of whoever stepped on their metal trigger. They went out and set them up three nights ago, after their neighbors fell.   They listened all day as the battle was waged over there... offered what help they could.  Then... there was nothing they could do as they were overwhelmed, and slaughtered for food for the enemies front line....  They waited until dark, after they had butchered the meat and pulled back to the safety of their camp...  most of them.  A few stayed.  They had to clear the area of Hostiles with heat seeking guns, killing through walls with bursts of machine gun fire.  He hated the patrol.  The thought makes a twitch he had recently developed begin to bounce under his left eye.  He preferred looking down through a sniper's scope...  they all did.

 The pact kept them together.   Came after the President gave a speech telling the free-zones that if the army fell they would have to rely on their neighbors, that they should organize by blocks, then link them outward to the edges of town.  They sent out a Contract for them sign over the internet, and they printed them out and signed them solemnly, swearing to lay down their lives for anyone in their sector, to fight to the last person to protect the children.

By then, cannibalistic tribes were roaming through the middle parts of the States, from Tennessee down... all through the middle, land bound states.   People were gathering around fresh water lakes... killing the owners, or anyone else who got in their way... setting up food pens filled with horrified humans.  A bloody anarchy of brutal dictators running what they called Join or Starve Armies...  they bought their way in with ten living humans for slave work or the Fattening Pens.   The brutal forces ruled a patchwork of fiefdoms leading all the way down to New Mexico, where they were building hasty walls of electrified fences to stop entry of the decimated Northerners....    When Mexico closed boarders, some of the more industrious ones started coming for the Great Lakes, the last fresh water there was gonna be, soon... so the rumor went.

"What is going on down there?"
"Nothing too serious."
"They are shooting.  That is serious."
"I'm sorry."   She is intent on both of them keeping their humanity.  Playing out her act for God, not man... as she said.   "The... whoever they are, south of us, they were chasing some... well, kids... they chased them into our perimeter.  After they were shot... they... well, the grappling hooks..."
"That's enough."
"I'm sorry."   He is sorry, too.   He should be trying to shield her from this... keep from her what he could...  He forgets... tells her what he thinks... those days were over.  He had to constantly be thinking about her emotions, not his.  He was okay.  She was... broken, somehow... not as much as some.  Not wanting to die... just... not wanting to live... and afraid, like they all were, of the future...  they were going to die, sooner or later...or something they both considered worse, succumb to their own demons, like the cannibals.

All that was left after the break down were a few islands of Law and Order in Chicago, New York, and a smattering of smaller  cities, a few wilderness compounds.... then one after another, they were lost...  the news reported the areas, told people to evacuate...  at first.  Later, there was nowhere for them to go, and they were being shot on the boarders of neighboring states to stop them from overwhelming their food supplies.  The News and the President began to tell people to stay home and protect their property, knowing that was a death sentence... they'd listened on the news as Detroit, LA, Salt Lake City  . . .   became a litany, a sad mantra for death.  They fell to the hoards and radio contact was lost, or restricted to individuals in vans, up in the mountains;  though they usually went down quick, trading a brief bit of broadcasting the truth for a future,usually, since humans were hunting each other with the desperation of starvation, and could locate broadcast stations fairly easily...   They had heard some of them die....

Then there was just New York, Chicago, and the government station broadcasting.

This morning, New York went out.   The island.... it was said that the bodies piling up, and the sunken boats, would soon enough fill the surface of the rivers, and allow people to walk across.  Must have happened. They half expected the broadcast to come up again with some cult leader claiming NY....  but whoever won was not bothering with the outside world.  More than likely, like the others, they were simply over-run by the starving and desperate surrounding their food...  they would eat each other to survive... and keep up the attack with slaves and mercenaries..  until finally there were no bullets in NY and they'd win.  Most of the city would fulfill their suicide pact....  some, like him, had promised to kill his family and then take his chances dying in the fighting.  He would have a grenade around his neck, ready for the worst case scenario, but some did not have a chance to use it, and ended up in the Fattening Pens anyways.   He did not like taking any chance of that... which was part of why Mary's plan appealed to him.   They should both end it before the actual... end of the compound.   Now, while they could see their defeat in every city that had fallen.

 New York.  That disturbed them.  Some of their favorite performers were there.  All of them had been on the air as much as they could, trying like hell to make things bearable as possible.   Mary was  more effected than she would say.  Speaking about it could only make things worse.

They were alone now.   The last city left intact above Mexico.  No one quite knew where the president was?   He might have been in the mountains, as they claimed, in some un-named place... or he might be in a shelter in Chicago?  Where-ever it was, it was not NY, as some suspected.  The government would give no location, and actually encouraged rumors, to make people think they might be safe enough for the president to stay there.

The ambiguity of the government location also threw  off the civilian army that was said to be hunting for them...  They had a broadcast station of their own, and were busy spewing Right Wing, Racist propaganda, recruiting troops... .    The  White Supremest leaders believed that they were meant to take over the world after the apocolypse, a philosophy born and bred in Idaho,  years before the breakdown, and now spread across the starving masses.   Their leaders wanted to rule...  there were a surprising number of such cults that surfaced, coming out of their bomb shelters with food enough to gather an army in those days.

They were trying to locate the Government shelter, believing, rightly, that the facilities offered the best bet for survival...

Another station was a mad preacher who was flying around the country in a plane filled with gasoline and a radio transmitter.  Half the time he was just babbling, but then he would get lucid, like he realized people were listening, and give actual news.  People kept their radios tuned to various different stations, trying to catch bits of all of them....  He would have too, if Mary had allowed him.  She didn't feel like she needed anymore of a reminder of what was happening than their present situation.  Distractions were impossible now.  There was only the uncaring reality of marauders slaughterring their neighbors across the street and putting the red, dripping meat into Styrofoam coolers stained dark brown with dried blood..

Mostly they listened  to the government speeches, broadcast on wi-fi and the radio.   The soldiers doing the reports sound exhausted, afraid...  sometimes they are so stunned by their own words that they cry for a few minutes.   The entire world is supposed to be able to tune in.   They knew they were a lot of  peoples last hope.  Even though it wasn't much;  everyone knew there was nothing they could do for anyone anymore...
The world broke down around them in what seemed the blink of an eye now... for three or four months they watched the news and prepared.... there was no more going to work..  There was no reason in the world not to spend every second trying to fortify the city.  They stuck together, too... the better angels took over the city for awhile... Until six weeks ago, when the South Side and most of River North  fell, and they tried to swarm up north, where they would have overwhelmed the resources .  .  .  and their neighbors shot down the people who were their best friends six months before.

Countries they had been reading about since childhood had begun to fall into chaos, one after another, as the food shortages started starving off half of the people.... Europe was burning, the victim to a limited Nuclear War between China and Russia that broke out to stop a new missile defense system.    The Irony was the Missile Defense System had been set up by the States, then  was abandoned when spending any money on anything other than food became unlawful for the government.  Both Russia and China took possession of some countries shields.... then fought for a few others.   Eventually they took the risk to use the Missile Shields to hide behind during what they thought was going to be what the news called a "Limited Nuclear War."     The Missile Shield had never worked that well, and failed them both.    Neither country bombed the others home country... just the hosts of the anti-missile system... that seemed to keep the war going on longer, since their own people, were safe -- except for a few soldiers who they deemed disposable.  Neither of them thought ahead to the environmental consequences.   There was no mention Nuclear Winter to come  in their discussions, which were broadcast during the generals hasty trials.  The Russians and Chinese also broadcast their  tortured confessions for the World to hear...  that back in the beginning, when they still held onto a dream of their being some justice at the end of this...

The governments and armies tried to hide their guilt from their people, used the state controlled press to claim that  the radioactive clouds came from  terrorists with Bio Weapons... the people had not believed them in the end.  The USA and other countries made sure the news got out who led us into the chaos...  crowds had descended on the army barracks, and the grunts had just let them pass into the officers houses.  Before order could be restored (however briefly), they put up films on utube of a general being torn apart   with  bare hands.  They were blamed for the very destruction of the planet...  and then anyone who worked for the governments began to be hunted down, murdered, their property conveinantly confiscated by their murderers...  at first, when such things as property mattered . . .   In the most effected parts of the world, the survivors were all mobile now... spending their lives going back and forth being the hunted and the hunter.

The radioactive clouds from the brief, deadly reign of nuclear fire over Europe and the British Isles sent death up into the clouds, then  rained death back down on the crops throughout most of the world, particularly along the Northern Hemispheres, where the trick of just how the winds were blowing that day determined the fate of most of the world.  The countries along the equator held out better, and the rich had flocked there at first... until others began to flood into the areas... great crowds marching shoulder to shoulder invaded the southern cities...  refugee came down the coast from along the eastern and western seaboards trying anything to get to food...cars, planes, balloons, boats, tire tubes, rickety ships...  anything they could use to get away from starvation, or being eaten, or worst of all, the Fattening Pens,   The most lush area on earth was lost to the human influx as surely as if a hoard of Locusts had flown in and devoured everything... until the only thing to consume was each other.

After the army broke up, they saw solders fleeing across Chicago...  as they gave  up their roles  of trying to keep order,  dejected and wounded and half starved, trying to go home to their families and survive... no one else would take them in...   That was what broke them up in the first place... ran out of food.  People started drivng them off when they  tried to confiscate.  They didn't have enough soldiers to fight everyone...and by then no one was giving up anything voluntarily, of course... Confiscation meant leaving towns to starve.   They had Pretty much left the larger cities alone, because of the dense concentrations of weapons, and the effectiveness of street gangs, Mafiosos and others at protecting their territory ...  Chicago's scourge of gangs became their saving Grace in the end... A few right wing militias had organized into small armies, and they were basically taking whatever they wanted as they made their way across the country to the appalachias, where they thought the governments bunker was, to take over the radio and food and shelter, and basically  run the country, and what was left of the world...  a mad dream in those times, when there was nothing left to rule... but they had it, and had it since before the break down, and lived for it like there was some kind of redemption waiting for them... actually believed God did all this to make them rulers...

Racists who only allowed Protestant whites and were brutal thieves and murderers to everyone else....  They came to Chicago's mostly black Southside thinking they would plunder one of the last islands...  twelve year old kids and everyone else who had a gun came out and stood with the cops, protecting the boarders of the city, shooting down everyone who came into their line of fire... after three days, some national army guys hopped up on meth took a tank from the armory and drove right into the middle of the field and began firing rockets into the Racist hoards...  

They left the city alone after-that...    for about three months.....  the Government Broadcast Network made a big deal out of Chicago surviving...  which unwittingly sent thousands more toward them, trying to get into the city of light, as they called the place now.

The hardest part was telling people No, You Cannot Join Us... they knew they were sentencing them to death...  it was even harder when they related to someone inside, and had trekked across God knows what to get to them...  it was like that on every island.  There was nothing they could do....  if they had given into everyone who came asking for help, they would have already starved to death.

   Too many people.  The population doubled... there was not enough anyways... then a disaster...  and everything fell apart.... not enough food for everyone anymore...  simple math.  He tried to imagine half the world starving... the immensity....  many saw these as the end times, the radiation God's way of calling the blessed.  Some of those left behind called themselves the Devil's children and proclaimed they were sacrificing the humans they ate to their dark Angel, and seemed to really believe the Christ had come and gone.

He didn't know much about God, or believe in any way that really mattered... he was a good person, he knew that, and others did as well.   He was hesitant to read much more into life....  though like everyone those days, he prayed a lot.

They had a hard time turning away fleeing soldiers,  men and women they had held up as heroes throughout the years...   they had to drive them off...  kill some..... there was just not enough food for everyone and they had a pact to take care of their own first.

 There is a strange fascination to the violence, for him, and it surprises him... he looks down from the window and see's a few of the attackers are exposed from his vantage point... he knows what he should do... before one of them gets lucky and kills someone inside....  when he gets a shot, he takes it.

 She hates the fighting like nothing he has seen her hate before. He lives on the fifty Seventh floor,   on the outskirts of the neighborhood.   The neighborhood just south of them had fell. The last few days, troops and civilian soldiers were exchanging gunfire with marauders.  The Citizens had been eaten outright, or slaughtered and frozen.   There were a few hundred of them out there.  Recruited by the oldest tactic in the book ---  Starve or fight.  Such groups had broken out spontaneously all over the world as humans became the only source of food for one another....  a dilemma that Chicago had been able to avoid by buying up food supplies well in advance,  and their neighborhood group was well stocked.

 Now they were alone, East Rogers Park 3.    An island surrounded by a sea of occasional enemies.  There were no allies beyond the gates.  Long ago the brutallity of in or out was established.  They had enough food for themselves, to last through what scientists considered the worst of the famine.  Already they had crops growing, and that was what was attracting people with nothing left to lose... there were a lot of people who swore they would die trying to get food before they will allow themselves to starve.  The attitude was admired among some... considered cool.  A popular song came out just before California went saying as much, and put the lyrics into everyones mind...  Kids who should have known better repeated the phrase... not realizing the horror of what they were saying.

They all talked about how they didn't think they had it in them... the first time they killed.  Now everyone over twelve had to man the perimeters, and that meant shooting and killing.  No one wasted bullets.   Usually they were in no danger.... almost always.  Snipers firing on unwary people who wandered too close, or the daring, or the stupid, or the starving.  A few times bands of twenty or more had come, they first one broke through the barricades.. After they were hunted down and beheaded....  He took the heads and put them on posts,  then staked  them on the street corners around their blocks...   They were not sure it would work, but he had read a lot of stories that said as much.

This group they were fighting was beyond stupid.  They seemed to forcing a few at a time to come up and attack.   A lot of them did that.  The leaders stayed back, out of danger... usually slaves.  The attackers looked reluctant and desperate.   There was no way they were getting through the barricades in broad daylight.  Forty or so soldiers were aiming down from every block....  and the skyscrapers on their block towered over the blocks around... that was how they had survived when others fell...  from their vantage point, armed with soldiers trained by Chicago Police Snipers who had extensive military training, they were prepared to take on hundreds at a time, if they had to.  This group was so ineffective that they were holding back on their grenades, and just sniping them off.  Their guns fired through walls, and with the heat sensors, they could see through them too.....

 India and Pakistan had nuked one another, in some kind of bizarre suicide pact, voted on and agreed by both people... they had flocked to the target cities, a holy pilgrimage required by the end times.  What had not been  destroyed by the first nuclear clouds was decimated by the second.   France bombed their own cities in the end, trying to cull the population enough that the military and government in the bunkers might survive.  Others followed.   The mad became normal.

After a couple weeks, Europe consisted of a few pockets of humans, six of which had accessed ham radios and contacted others, back in the beginning, when people could still afford to care, they listened to their woes and thanked God they were in Chicago...  now, they were only concerned about themselves, like everyone.

They knew how lucky they were.  The Presidents home town, with his family and friends, was well funded with security, and food... and they were on the shores of some of the last clean, fresh water on the planet.  The Great Lakes drew people from all over the world.... Too many.   There was no keeping order along most of Michigan's shores...  just mobs, who soon enough banded into gangs, preying on one another because there was no other way to survive.   They had watched this happening of the evening news.  For the first few days, the news helicopters hovered over the fighting on the edges of the suburbs around Chicago, then one was shot down while covering a gun battle between Police and a group with surface to air Missiles who were trying to clear out a neighborhood in south Chicago by the lake.  They included mercenaries hired by three Texas Billionaires to get them the hell wherever they could survive, after their state was invaded by the now food Rich Mexico --  who had learned from their northern neighbors to be ruthless along their boarders toward non citizens.....

California had went off the air ten days before.   The Government, hold up in an undisclosed location somewhere in the bowels of a mountain,  released a statement on The Emergency Broadcast Network saying a well known Celebrity Cult had went with an Apocalyptic Death Wish, after their leader decided he wanted to go on to the next life and leave this one behind, and he declared to his followers that everyone they murdered and took with them would be their slaves for eternity. They all gathered in California, making what they called a pilgrimage to protect their religion,  and the trusted were given vans equipped to look like Mosquito Control,  which sprayed a quick and euphoric death into the atmosphere that spread like a virus among anyone infected.  The mix they sprayed was sticky...  for weeks after the spraying, breathing in the areas caused infection.

He had just Mary to protect, and a dog and cat-- who were now more valuable than anything they owned, with food so scarce, and a lot pets long ago starved and eaten..   Their neighborhood had always been filled with dogs, by the lake with a park and trails.    They  had written into their by laws that pets would never be confiscated for food.  By  then dog and cat being eaten  was just part of the new world in most places....  better manners than fellow humans.  Lately, some of the people in the collective had been speaking up about animals, saying they would need to be sacrificed Before This Was Over.    One family of them lived on his floor.  They were also Human Eaters.  Committed to survival they called it.    Not him.   He would not live like that.   Neither would Mary.  She would starve. Said as much and would.  Same with the animals.  He would sooner feed one his arm to stop it from starving than eat the dog or cat.   It would not come to that...  the attacks would continue, possibly forever.... sooner or later they would run out ammunition.   Maybe... maybe they would survive... for awhile... maybe they would begin to keep people in pens, like they were finding around the country... human cattle.   Not him.

If he took out the family living beside him, there would never be enough votes to get the pet clause changed.  That was their next move, the greedy bastards.   They would let it go as long as the bodies were piling up outside, the people they barbecued in the basement...  He stayed away from that area, merely heard about the smell and that was enough.  He figured if he did decide to do what Mary wanted.... he would take them out first.

She came up with her plan a week ago.  She saw that we were going to fall to the anarchy and chaos... that we had something in a world of people who had nothing... and told him, quietly and calmly, that before the building fell, they would have to shoot themselves.. to avoid being fattened up and slaughtered...  they would not allow suicide, keep them tied up... laying there eating in their own offal.  Same with the animals.   They were a delicacy already out there.   They had all grown hollow and slim on the meager calories allowed.  They would fatten them too, in conditions even more worse.  Forcing them to eat their own ears and eyes and tail... any the parts they did not cook.

He added his plan to hers later in the night...  after thinking about all the people he had killed when he was on sniper duty.... aiming a heat sensitive gun through a wall and firing at whoever came within a block of their haven, hardly ever seeing their faces... ordering mortars on armored trucks trying to break through the defenses....  he realized that life and death were now in his hands.    And the family next door was a danger to all of the pets in the building.    Even more of the enemy than those on the outside.   All the pets in the building could be spared if he just walked across the hall, knocked on the door, walked in and killed them all.   Parent to child.    He would also be making a point that the others who supported eating pets could hardly ignore.   They would shut the fuck up then....   so if Mary made him do it, he was going to fulfill her wish, then walk across the hall and deal with the Smiths.

 He had to take the matter serious as all hell or he would never have considered killing anyone... not the people on the perimeters, not the Smiths... who he had liked before all this started and he discovered how greedy and unthinking they really were.  All of them.  Smug about it.  Like they faced reality and the others did not.... smug cannibals....  for neighbors... something from a cartoon on TV....      Thinking about anything this serious was not something that he was used to.   Before the famine, he was an artist.   As often as not he had been off creating his own world,  beautiful places that flowed from his brush onto a canvas.  He was obscure and compared to now, at least... content.   He would never paint again.  There was no reason.   All he could ever paint was what was happening to him...  and he had no desire to try to make any of his present circumstances look beautiful, and he knew paint would do that no matter how hard he might try to show just the ugliness--not that anyone needed the artists to show them anything anymore.   Those times were over.  Beauty had become... supercilious... like all the lunk heads in the world had thought all those years.

He is high above the street in his apartment, looking out a small slit he had cut in the sheet metal that covered the floor to ceiling window, and most of the outer walls-- they were brick, but after he saw what Mortars did to a neighboring building in an attack, he had paid some of his best canned goods for the steel barricades. They made him feel safe, if nothing else.   There was nothing for anyone to gain by wasting their ammunition firing up at his apartment. No one had....  Bullets were precious...  as were mortars.   He was not a strategic target.  He is eating Old fashioned creme drops.  Had a bag in his freezer.

He has his binoculars focused on a group of seven or so hispanic kids, couldn't be more then eleven or so, trying to fight their way into their territory...  not to conquer, just to escape another group that was attacking them from their rear.... The kids had three back packs, probably food, that the others seemed to want.  The forces chasing the kids were winning...   their whole strategy was to force the kids into their defenses... so they would use their bullets to kill them....This was a trick the marauders had learned long ago, drive enemies into another enemies territory, and make them do the risky job of killing.  The stronger force would be right behind them, with grappling hooks on ropes, to haul the bodies back to their butchers.

He thinks the kids are like Buffalo, being run over a cliff by Native Americans..... wonders if he should tellthe thought to Mary, then decides better.  

He finished the three creme drops he allowed himself.  The candy had cost him a lot, more than he wanted to think about, and a lot more than he told Mary.   He just remembered how good candy used to taste, and how that was something that he enjoyed once and he wanted to enjoy something again.... nothing worked anymore.  The booze was long gone, sex the last thing most of them could concentrate on.  Thank God there was two grow houses in thier blocks, a bonus of more weed than any of them could ever smoke... and something they could sell, when they had to...   in the beginning they used weed to barter, then the stuff became somewhat worthless in the new world.  Druggies wanted heroin, crack, coke... weed wasn't enough to get away.   Thank God it still was for them.  They both kept joints lit most of the day... smoking them like the cigarettes they wished they had.

They defended themselves according to the collectives terms, during their shifts on patrol, and then went off to live in whatever madness was getting them through the night.. and most of there were, assuredly, mad.  Mary was allowed to avoid the fighting, because one in every household was set allowed to stay home...  they knew not everyone was suitable to killing...  and since there was just the two of them, he went.  He wondered if they were mad too?   'Probably,' he told himself...  'probably.'

The kids in the street are dressed in hoodies and loose jeans,  trying to look fashionable, as kids do... even then.   The adults no longer seemed to care much about how they looked.  Suicide was a real problem lately. Not for him.   Until Mary brought this up,  he was going to watch the wheel spin as long as possible.  He hated the life as much as any of them.   He kept a slight fuzziness to the world with pills and weed...  he had never cared for drinking much though others lived on the bottle, or hooch, now that the real stuff was gone.. using even their precious allotments of canned fruit to get a drunk.   He always stays straight enough to shoot, just in case.  Living on the perimeter did not mean he had to always be on alert, but he was... he was afraid of only one thing in the world, and that was the Fattening Pens..

There was never any talk of Mary doing any of the killing.  Not him, not the pets.  He would have to do her first, then the babes.     He knew they would be eaten no matter what he did... the least he could do was let them die feeling loved and special.

They were glad they never had children.  Those who did were in a hell of a spot... they made pacts with each other, to kill one another's families. No one had it easy anymore.  They were a true Democracy, that was for sure.  Everything voted on, every voice equal.  There was something about everyone being a seasoned killer that made everyone else listen.  They had killed one another over strategy in the past....  this was life and death every damn day.

Everyone there feared the pens more than death.  They saw them on the news, at first..  people tied up and force fed pure fat from corpses...  raped and used until they grow too filthy, then force fed by beatings until they gained enough weight for their barbecue.  Fattened Pig they called it.  Better to die.

He takes out his rifle, aims the scope down into the street, gets a close up on the face of one of the invaders.  A she.  Long black hair, nice looking by present standards....  meth has taken her teeth...  sores on her face.  She is crying.  No one seems to want to shoot her.  She is unarmed...  the crying surprises him.  No one cried anymore, really.   There was just.... too much.  For awhile they tried to make sick jokes.  Even that phase had passed.   People were... solemn.  A few parents still pretended for their children to be happy, normal though that effort was rare.  He gets the cross hatch over her face.  "Mary, put on your headphones."   The dog has already run to the other room, after seeing him pick up the gun.

He squeezes the trigger and a font of red blood spurts out of the black cross of scope hairs, drenching the brown skin of her forehead.  He sets the safety on the gun and lays it on the floor near the wall.      Mary is shaking.... she won't say anything... there was no use spreading misery... their rules, someone told him once, were like how people adjusted to prison.   They all knew it sucked and bitching was just bad manners -- spreading misery.

The cat hasn't been eating... and is vomiting too much.  Since the shooting started.   He wasn't used to loud sounds at all... and a gun.  My God, it was loud.   Mary used to put her fingers in his ears... now she was shaking too much, too absorbed in her own private hell to care about the cat.... even their neighbors thought they were being selfish by keeping their pets, though a few others in the building had... even after turning over everything of worth to the collective...  they just became worth more every day as they tried to get enough protein.

"You know, I would sooner eat my own arm than one of them."    He looks at Mary expecting a reply and see's she still has her headphones on.  She is listening to music.. the lines on her forehead seem to dissolve for a minute as he watches her, before she shakes her head like she is waking up, and the solemn frown she had now came back.... her hand goes up to her earphone, hesitates... then goes down in her lap...  she is leaving them on.   He doesn't want to disturb her.   He picks up the binoculars and goes back to the window and a fear comes over of him of his door breaking down, invaders flooding in with knives and their damned blood covered, Styrofoam  ice boxes...   Everyone they killed was sooner or later taken into the compound for the less discerning meat eaters, or hauled away by their comrades... for the same.  Someone over there had a grappling hook on the end of a rope... and had grown accurate over the course of the last few days... weeks?   He is no longer sure how long the attack has been going on...  not a month?

Chicago had held out longer than most cities in the world.  The fresh water in the lake made them strong, and they sold it with the ruthless efficiency the city was known for... watching out for their own first.  For months it seemed like they might just survive intact... then someone or some group got a plane with missiles and began decimating the south-side, coming up from the south....  a group of rouge veterans from a base in Texas that had been fighting the Mexican invasion, and now planned on settling near water....  They had thousands of people with them...  Chicago would have taken the soldiers, just not their families.  That wasn't enough for them...  they invaded.... a flood of refugees came up north from the southside...  That was the first time they had to fight for their food.  Three weeks ago.  Three fucking weeks ago all this shit was happening on TV and Chicago was patting itself on the back...  Now even the Mayor had left, for some bunker where the big shots were gathering.....

The kids in the street were now all dead.   He looks down with his binoculars and watches as grappling hooks come out from unseen people...  avoiding the snipers as they haul in their prey.   Hooks are flung out of their building as well... the corpses leave a bloody trail behind...  he turns away, goes over to Mary and takes off her headphones.   "Honey, this attack is nothing.... okay?   Nothing to worry about today, okay?"
"Hmmm... nothing to worry about.  You are so... "   She is going to make some point but exhaustion seems to overtake her and she looks away.
"You know, Today.  We have to make the best of it.  For now.  We are not going to lose today.  Today... or Tomorrow or next week."
"One of them out there is going to get together an army large enough, sooner or later."
"They will release the Biological Weapons."
"Then another will come."
"I don't want to live in that world.  Surrounded by piles of corpses...  if they die from the gases, and disease, they will not be able to eat them.  Some will.... but, after enough die."
"Are you going to be at the window all night?"
"No.  I just want... anything I can do to help...  I feel like...  if I can stop them another day, I don't have to... you know."
"Oh, will you stop making such a big deal out of that.  Everyone has pacts."
"You don't have to shoot."
"I could."
"No, you couldn't... I wouldn't ask you."
"Thank you."

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one of my very sorry little attempts to show my oil paintings, pets, girl...

a new mural in rodgers park... and picking up poo and sniffing pee

m and i take a trip down to the bean sculpture... here in Chicago...

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Ruby dog fights the mighty dash... click on video to watch at utube

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one war

The collected john scott ridgway

The collected john scott ridgway
a demented little entry into philosophy, humour and redemption.,

the elves attic

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