Siege

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Lincoln Cross' final journal entry concerning a certified criminal.

Submitted: May 29, 2011

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Submitted: May 29, 2011

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Journal Entry #26

Lincoln Cross, Public Defender

It was a simple cell. No fresh words to describe it. A concrete room with only one exit blocked by a wall of iron bars. The guards in this particular facility were uncommonly rude. I was seated at a chair parked behind a line that at some point was white, I’m sure, and told that if I crossed over I would be shot. At this point, I was more nervous than I should have been. Sticky clothes, white knuckles. That sort of thing. 

A guard shouted into the darkness beyond the bars. It was difficult to make out what he was saying with the sever echo. And even more difficult to tell which side of the iron was the cell. Mr. Davidson stepped forward.

“Hello. How are you?”

“How are you?” he said. I was sure it was a joke. How could he not know what kind of trouble he was in? More startling than that was his appearance. He looked like a school teacher, or a post man.

“Hello. My name is Lincoln Cross. I’m your public defender. Since, you know, you didn’t have an attorney. That’s why I’m here... Mr. Davidson? Bernie Davidson, right?”

“Yes, sir. I’m thankful you’re trying to help me.”

“Excuse me... Not meaning to be rude, but do you know what kind of trouble you’re in?”
“Oh, yes. Very much so.” He was so calm about the entire scene. He was bonded at the ankles and wrists in an unnamed government facility used for holding terrorists waiting to be tortured. And, he was fine. No sweat. No tears.

“Alright... Mr. Davidson, will you please... Can we please talk about what happened?”

“Of course. What would you like to know?”

“Well... What happened? From the beginning.” He took a deep breath. And began...

“I was attending a protest held somewhere roughly in the middle of the Washington Monument and the White House. It was a peaceful protest. We were just trying to raise awareness about silly laws. Government enforced guidelines. Nanny laws. That sort of things. I was just standing in the crowd, listening. I had made a list of things I wanted to see changed in our Government on a long sheet of bristol paper I was looking over. Just imagining a world where these things were realized. It wasn’t so bad...”

“What wasn’t so bad?”

“The world I imagine. We were just standing. Some kid with a megaphone was making other kids chant. I was thinking about leaving, just... giving up. It was more fun imagining a world than trying to create one, but then I saw them...”

His face turned dark.

“Who did you see, Mr. Davidson.”

“Bernie.”

“Excuse me?”

“Call me Bernie. Please.”

“Alright, Bernie. Tell me who you saw.”

“It was a white van with these plywood boards on top. The boards had these little two by two shafts nailed in to make these home made ladder like... things. They parked in the road, and a kid jumped out. Just a kid, wearing a hockey mask, like the Nightmare on Elm Street killer.”

I didn’t find it important to correct him here. He continued.

“He pulled himself out of the window and grabbed one of the plywood ladders before he charged the White House fence. Then the white van just started running toward the barriers, and I knew. I knew what they were going to try. They were going to jump onto the lawn of the White House, but what hey didn’t know was that they were going to get shot. Shot and killed. I had heard later that they were working with the kid heading the protest, but at the time, I just thought they were kids, and I couldn’t watch them die. So...”

“So... you decided to help?”

“Oh, no. Not at all. I didn’t want to help them. I just wanted to save them. I didn’t want them to die like that while I could help. So I just ran at them. I yelled something, like ‘no’ or ‘don’t,’ I can’t remember. But, it caught the attention of some protestors around me, so they followed. Probably thinking it was part of the protest. The van crashed into the barriers, and it was just... destroyed. The driver was dead, no question. The Nightmare Killer threw the ladder at the gate and climbed right over. Some secret service, or something, guys charged the van to check for a bomb, I think and just let the kid hit the lawn. When he landed, he had this look about him, like ‘I can’t believe I’m here right now.’” Who could blame him? What he didn’t know was that a dozen or so more people were about to feel that same way. I turned around to see how many lives I had unintentionally risk, and I saw the entire protest following me. The. Entire. Protest.”

“And... how large would you say the protest was, Bernie?”

“Oh, well, I couldn’t be sure. If I had to guess? Three thousand? And all of them were following me. I hit the ladder, and I thought it would be a simple solution. I was going to grab it when I reached the top and pull it over with me, so me and the kid could get out of there, before anyone noticed long enough to kill us both. But, when I hit the top at least five more protestors were on the bottom, and dozens more were climbing over each other at different parts of the fence. I held the kid’s shoulders and I looked straight at him. You could see his eyes through the mask. I told him it would be okay. About that time, someone, just some random person, was standing on the fence itself waving a huge American flag. They were no threat to anybody. I mean, I suppose they could have fallen down and gotten hurt, but they wouldn’t have hurt anyone else. And... I don’t know if it was a cop or secret service or the President himself, but he was shot. His clothes just burst open and blood soaked what was left. He fell down right next to me and the little kid. More people were pouring onto the White House lawn, looking lost and confused, unbelieving of what they just did. Authorities were stopping who they could, but there were just to many of us. I looked down at that dead kid bleeding on our flag, and I knew what I had to do...”

I had become so invested in his story, I had almost forgotten why I was here.

“Bernie... That’s all quite amazing of a tale, but... I’ll be honest, I am going to need more from the-”

“Please. Let me finish...”

I was shocked. Suddenly, he had become so serious. More than he already was. He looked at me like he knew I was half the lawyer I presented myself to be. He knew he was doomed. He just wanted to tell his story. So, I let him...

“I knew what I had to do... I picked up the American flag, and I looked at all of the people falling onto the lawn from the fence and I heard the gunshots and I saw the dead child bleeding on the grass. I had to stand up for what I believed in. Like I said, it is so much easier imagining a perfect world than creating one. But, I had been given such a unique opportunity, with the three thousand people at my back without even knowing it, the bloodied flag in my hands, and my list of government changes that need to be made in my pocket I had been given a chance no less than perfect. I raised the flag and I just... ran at the White House... I don’t remember if I yelled or cried or did anything special save run with an American flag at the White House. This time, I didn’t have to turn around to check. I could hear thousands of feet charging behind me. A lot of them were much younger and faster than me, so it wasn’t long before I could see them. These special forces looking soldiers just appeared on the roof of the building when we still had awhile to go. They were all obviously armed. Massive weapons. Killing weapons. But, we still ran. And, that was when everything slowed to a crawl. Everything except how I... perceived things, you know what I mean? Like, I could see everything happening slowly. A man on the side of me with a button up shirt bearing a patch that said ‘Ed’ was charging furiously. I remember him specifically, because I heard a shot fired and it must have hit his leg. He dropped and rolled and got right back up and just limped on. Needless to say he fell behind, but the rage in his eyes didn’t settle even a bit. The other side of me there was this young man with the same look. I heard another shot and it took off the side of his face. No question. He was dead. It just made me run faster, believe it or not. Ha. I looked up at the soldiers. I wanted to see their faces and we were close enough to where I knew they could see the passion I was carrying. And, something amazing happened. A soldier, who I’m sure is now in a cell similar to mine for doing what he felt was right, dropped his gun and just... walked away. You see, he knew what we were. Peaceful protestors. We were his neighbors, his children’s teachers, his cell phone provider, his bankers, his everything that didn’t carry a gun. And he had just been ordered to kill every last one of us. He could see the difference between right and wrong and he made this incredibly brave judgement call.”

I could feel the color leave my face.

“Why do you think he did that, Bernie?”

“Sacrificed his entire life for people he didn’t even know? I couldn’t tell you. What I do know, is that I saw the faces of those other soldiers. And it was the same as the one who walked away, only they all made the wrong choice. And they all knew it. Yeah, he’ll be in a cell, and they’ll be home in bed but I can promise you that brave man will be sleeping more soundly than any last one of them. Those other soldiers continued to fire. I could hear the people falling around me, but whenever I looked all of these common working people had this passionate warrior death stare at the White House. No regret. No remorse. Nothing but pure and raw energy. I reached the steps, and I started waving the flag. I turned and saw that ocean of civilians and peppered throughout the minority of authorities trying to do their job as best they could. A man holding a knife was shot at my feet.  I picked it up and I pinned my list of changes to the White House door. And, I just stood there... A pretty large group of survivors came up shortly after, and asked ‘Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s get the door down.’ I shook my head and stood in their way. I told them, ‘We aren’t here to hurt anyone. This is a peaceful protest.’ ‘Are you kidding? They’re shooting us down out here man!’ one of them said. I replied, ‘What do you think will happen if you go inside?’ So, they pushed me down and started ramming the door, and kicking it, and what not. I don’t think they ever actually got in, did they?”

“No. No they didn’t. So you’re saying you did not condone them breaking into the White House?”

“Exactly. I never condone violence of any kind. Listen, I know we were trespassing. And I know how severe of a case this was of trespassing. But, you need to understand that someone was going to get hurt today. Either that boy would be shot down and just be dead on the White House lawn, or I could try to save his life and make a difference at the same time.”

“I... don’t know how to tell you this, Bernie. And it hurts me, because I know your intensions were good. But, you’re basically admitting to being fully aware you were doing all the things they are charging you with. I can try to soften the blow, but the outcome doesn’t look good.”

“Oh... don’t you worry about that. You still don’t understand... I’ve accomplished all I’ve set out to do. They can harm the flesh, Mr. Cross, but they can never kill the man.”

“That certainly is an interesting way of thinking about it, Bernie... I’m not sure I fully understand what you mean...”

“I didn’t think you would...”

At this point, Mr. Davidson reached into his pocket ever so casually and pulled something I couldn’t see out. He threw it in his throat which got me worried for what I hope was no reason.

“What did you just do, Bernie?”

“When I told you I was going to take my list home and envision a world that was mine. All perfect. That wasn’t exactly true. I was going home to end my life, for I had felt it was over for some time now...”

I was, needless to say, startled and I stood up almost to cross the faded line, when it hit me what he had meant before...

“I’m sure you’ve guess, Mr. Cross, that I have just taken cyanide and I will be dead in ten minutes...”

“Bernie... Bernie you don’t know what you’re doing!”

“It’s too late now... The man will live on. At least for awhile. You will continue to hear my name and think of what was done here today. Please, all I ask, is that you see to it my list of changes that need to be made is brought to public light.”

“Bernie...”

I saw no point in hiding my previous association with him any longer. I removed the Jason Vorhees ski mask from my brief case and tossed it to him.

“You saved my life today, Bernie. I wish we could’ve spoken under different circumstances...”

“You... Heavens, child! What were you thinking jumping over that fence?!”

“Inside the mask... You’ll find MY list of changes that need to be made here... You’ll also find they are almost identical to yours. I’ll see to it our wishes are brought to light, Bernie. Don’t you worry...Don’t worry about a thing...”

“It’s too late for worry, child... You made my life one with a purpose... God and I both knew today was my last on this earth. But, you made it worthwhile... You should leave... I don’t want you to see how this ends...”

“Of course... Good luck, Bernie, wherever you’re going.”

“Goodbye, Lincoln.”

So this is my confession. My journal can now only be found in evidence rooms and armored transport somewhere in the D.C. area. I hope and pray, though, that whoever has the rare chance to cast an eye over these pages finds something that tugs at their heart. At their bravery. And at their American Spirit. For those things three live in all of us. And, every now and then, all of them need to be reminded of the man they possess.


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