Red Acorn arrived at the State Hospital in record time with that old van veering around corners, jumping curbs, nearly hitting an old woman shuffling down the street. A red light and horn blared behind him and Red pulled the van over. A police officer sauntered up to the van asking for Red’s driver’s license and registration for the van. Red showed him his driver’s license but the man told him the van was not registered in his name, that it was a state vehicle. Red told him he knew that and a black shirt gave it to him while he took his Volvo. It was for a state program. The police man said he would have to call in about this.
Red was furious. He was in a hurry to get to Dusty. The policeman came back and asked him if he was aware he nearly hit a woman on the sidewalk. Red said no, he never saw any woman. The police man wrote him a ticket for reckless driving. The police officer also told Red to get that bumper fixed on the front of the van and get a window put in the back. After the cop left Red pitched the ticket out the window he was so thoroughly disgusted.
When he entered the Hospital, there were black shirts guarding the entrance, elevators, stairways, and doorways. Red stomped to the check in desk and demanded he see his wife, Dusty Acorn. The woman’s eyes swiveled over to one of the black shirts who came up to escort Red to his wife’s room.
Upon entering the room Red ran over to Dusty enveloping her with his arms but she did not seem to notice. Instead she stared blankly ahead of her.
Red looked up at the black shirt puzzled and the black shirt told Red he had the police report. Red nearly ripped the report from the black shirt’s hands. As he read it he fell into one of the chairs in disbelief.
He jumped up, grabbing the black shirt by his collar, yelling in his face, “where’s my child?” The black shirt pushed a gun into Red’s stomach and told him to back away.
“Where is my son, Nutley?” Red screamed. He whipped around to look at Dusty who still wore a blank face.
“What’s wrong with my wife?” Red demanded. The black shirt left the room and a doctor entered telling Red that Dusty was in shock, perhaps a catatonic state, and she would need to stay there for a little while. The doctor told Red this type of thing happened before when a child was taken for its’ state education. He told Red some of the mothers do not adjust well at first.
Red scowled at the doctor. The day’s exhaustion streamed over him and he knew this all could not be happening. What had he done wrong? What was all of this; this state education, community service, sharing the wealth? When had this begun?
The black shirt came back into the room with a huge wire bound book that was about 8 inches thick. He handed Red the book and told him he had better spend some time reading the policies of Mr. No Blame.
The doctor told him that Dusty would not recognize him tonight, so it would be best if he went home and got some rest. Red kissed his wife’s forehead and left with the huge book of Mr. No Blame’s policies. Red thought to himself how many pages were in this damn book. It felt like it weighed a 30 pounds.
When he exited the hospital, the black shirt who visited him earlier sped up to him in his own Volvo. Red felt a flash of lightning hit his brain and wished he owned a gun. He would shoot that thief on the spot. Red shook at the thought. He never owned a gun.
The black shirt smiled and told Red they were ready to deliver his boarders tonight. Red’s face turned fiery red to match his hair.. The black shirt told him to get into his van and follow him to the Immigration Workers Department.
Once they arrived at this department, the black shirt took him into a room filled with illegals or state workers as they called them. A man called out and seven men stepped forward. Red stared at the seven men, 4 Mexicans and 3 Arabs. What the hell was he going to do with these men?
The black shirt told Red to get them loaded into the van. The men tossed their belongings into the van and jumped in.
The Mexicans stayed away from the Muslims. The Muslims entered the vehicle and one sat next to Red in the front seat. Red felt the hair stand on his neck. He looked at the man and gave him a false smile. The Muslim did not smile back.
Red suddenly realized he didn’t speak or know any Mexican or Arabic. He asked anyone in the van if they spoke English. From the back one Mexican said,” sure Gringo”. None of the Muslims spoke.
When the group reached Red’s house, the black shirt got out and told Red to set the men up in their rooms and tomorrow he would receive further orders. The black shirt jumped back into the Volvo speeding away.
Red stood there, longing for his Volvo. Set the men up in their rooms? The men, meanwhile were jumping out, throwing their jumbled belongings on the lawn. One of the Mexicans threw his empty Mountain Dew bottle and chicken meal box on the lawn. One of the Muslims glared at the Mexican who smiled big and told Red he sure did have a nice place here.
Red opened his front door, never even giving a thought about Jeremy, his big German shepherd inside. Jeremy flew out speeding towards one of the Muslims. Jeremy pounced on him knocking him down and grabbed him by the throat. The Muslim was screeching while Red desperately called the dog off. Jeremy stood over the Muslim growling, his lips pulled all the way back into a snarl and the hair on his back stood straight up.
Red commanded Jeremy to sit. The dog sat, but his eyes burned into the Muslim. One of the Muslims stepped forward and told Red in broken English that they could not live in the house with a dog.
By now, Red was completely exasperated. Red screamed at the Muslim,” That’s too damn bad, ya hear me?” “I don’t care what you think, the dog stays”! Red locked Jeremy into one of the walk in closets next to the kitchen while the men waited outside.
The Muslims eyed him and asked to use his telephone. Red told them no one was using the telephone tonight. Just get in the house he said and he would show them to their rooms. “Their rooms” Red was thinking. My rooms, my house, my dog, my wife, my son, my life!
What happened to all of it? For the time being, he was taking charge. He had more than his share of orders today.
After the men settled in their rooms, Red lay on his couch in his study. There were no beds left for him. He started to doze off when he awoke by the sound of someone speaking nearby. He quietly got up and saw one of the Muslims on the phone in the kitchen. Damn him, Red thought. I told him no one gets on the phone and just who could he be calling?
Jeremy was moaning and barking at the same time, wanting out. Red hushed him.
The Muslim hung up the phone and darted down the stairs. Red went back to his couch, starting to doze when he heard pounding on his front door. Now what he thought? Red opened the door and a black shirt was standing there with a gun. The guy told Red he had to shoot his dog Jeremy. “Oh no you don’t”, Red shouted.
The black shirt told him one of the Muslims called the Complaint Board about the dog and the Muslims cannot live in the same house with a dog. With all his strength, Red punched him in the stomach knocking the gun out of his hand. He picked up the gun while he kicked the black shirt in the stomach and then he brought the butt of the gun down on the man’s head.
Out of breath, Red stood there trembling all over. He heard noises behind him. Turning quickly around, he saw all 7 of the workers standing behind him. The Muslims glowered at him, but the Mexicans were laughing, patting each other on the back. One said to Red,
“Good job, Meester Red” and they continued to howl with belly laughs.
To be continued…………..