NOVEL WORKSHOP

The Decay

… in recent years … a gigantic betrayal of the people … now there will be an end to it

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

7

He had talked to Sander. People were annoyed, angry. The hopelessness lay like a hazy blanket over the neighborhood. Several had lost their jobs, and are looking for a new one.

In the house next door, with the Nilsen family, it was unusually quiet. Kevin was not there. Someone further down the street has said that the man has left. Elsa sits back. Someone says she has locked herself in.

It had happened one morning, while some of the neighbors were standing by the mailbox rack. Kevin came at full speed, got in the car, waved to the neighbors and shouted: “Now it’s happening, we will speed things up. We’re going there and we’ll get rid of the criminals, they’ll not get away with it. We’ll fix it, we’ll get them out.”

The mood developed more and more in the direction of unrest, conflict.

Further down the street there was war. Two neighbors disagreed on a fence, one had set up poles. During the night the other tore down what had come up.

They live outside of everything, in a country that people travel from, not to. They had left, settled in an isolated place in the belief that they would escape the rising unrest in the country.

People are pessimistic, they look at everything darkly. The atmosphere in the street is bad. Some women work together to create a meeting place in the street. They go for walks in the hills around the city. They try to live as much as possible as before, but it is not possible to completely shield themselves from what is happening in society at large.

Large ethnic groups are outside. They lack a fixed income, many are financially handicapped, have poor health care, they lack basic benefits.

A man is sitting on a chair in front of his house. He talks to those who stop in passing. Everyone tell about the same thing. The politicians at the highest level, the government, the elected representatives have failed. What has happened in recent years is a gigantic betrayal of the people. But now there will be an end to it.

When he thought back, the memory clearly came back, and with them a bit of the eerie mood he remembered from that time.

Usually he managed to keep them at a distance, the thoughts of what had happened several years earlier, before and during the great pandemic. In several countries there had been a development where there were wild demonstrations, and there was a tendency for serious uprisings. Groups of protesters, and sometimes larger crowds, took to the streets protesting against the restrictions imposed by the authorities in their more and less successful attempts to control the pandemic.

The many restrictions had placed uncomfortable restrictions on people’s opportunities to live a normal life as they were used to. More and more people felt unfree and in some countries a strong dissatisfaction developed towards those who ruled the countries.

Many were negative to almost everything that came from the government. One consequence of this was that one could observe increasing use of threats against politicians and their families, and this led many to resign from political and public office, some because they were tired and weary, others because of the threats that they perceived as very real.

In some countries, most people were able to see what was happening, and many engaged in counter-demonstrations and rallied around the democratic institutions. In other countries, developments were much more disturbing.

War out in the community. War inside the houses, between those who are at home.

People who have chosen each other, have chosen to live together, and then everything goes wrong, everything becomes difficult .

He thought of her. Why was she the way she was. Why did she act the way she did? And he himself — why did he act the way he did?

The last thing he knew. He acted the way he did, intuitively, the way he felt was best for him. He had loved her. And maybe he did.

Why does he love her? Was it because of what he got from her, what she gave him and he gave her. Was it his feelings, this good feeling of belonging with her?

What had happened when that changed? The change came when he slipped away from the positive, where he had a sense of community with her. And then she turned away from him. What is it about then? It was an emotion, it was that you were no longer the one you had turned to think you were.

He wanted to push these thoughts away. It was an unpleasant truth, a truth that was not to be missed. Or was it? Was there a truth one could get past? Is it not always the case that at one time or another, somewhere on the road it happens suddenly. Suddenly and unexpectedly, there is a new realization, a new truth. — I do this — this will be different now, I do it in a different way. I jump into it. I give old principles the trick and invest in new ones. Your old ego gets fired!

One says it’s a truth. The love the two have together is a truth that is eternal. Not to come by. It’s about her and him, and the love they had in the early days. It was love without the selfish element, without the selfish core that is built into this that everything we humans do, we do in self-interest, because we get a good feeling. And it’s always about avoiding bad feelings.

Some are different from what we want, and when we see it, then we become also different ourselves. Is that the truth, the answer? Is this the important thing that we must acknowledge, is this the real truth?

This is the unpleasant, somewhat sad, discouraging truth: Man is first and foremost looking to satisfy his own needs and desires.

But what about all those who sacrifice themselves for others, who work tirelessly for others, all those who have the compassion first, who have the joy of love in them? The altruistic gene that is highly developed in many others. What about these people?

He had talked a little with Sander about it once before. They had discussed what he could do as she just disappeared. When a woman like Sara did something like that — how was it possible? When something like this happened, was it at all possible to trust anyone?

Sander talked about getting involved and doing something for others. He mentioned participating in volunteer work, and said he was among the many who went to church on Sundays — a completely normal thing to do. Many of the same people who were also on shooting practice on Sunday afternoon.

“Do you want it?” Sander asked, taking off the cloth the weapon had been wrapped in. “Take it? No, had not thought… » “But come on, listen now, comrade!”

Sander smiled welcomingly. ‘Look here, take it, feel it. A particularly beautiful weapon. Can guarantee you will not regret it. “

He had not bought a weapon before, and there were reasons for that. One of the reasons was that he did not like to shoot.

Sander had talked about it several times. How important it is to be able to hold a weapon, handle a rifle. Things could happen quickly that made it necessary.

He had come with a rifle that he had gotten hold of. When Sander got it on hand, he had immediately thought it was the right thing for him. He was going to get it cheap. “

“Eric,” he said, “you must have your own weapon. Everyone must have their own weapon. Only then can you defend yourself.“

“But I do not like it.”

“I hear it, but you will get it cheap. You will get it at the same price as I gave.”

Sander looked at him seriously, he looked back, no less seriously.

«A friend service. You must accept this offer. You can give me the money later, it’s not that bad, I’m fine now. Just accept, you have to have it in the closet just in case — you know what can happen. “

Novel fragments will appear here at irregular intervals, as the writing of fiction progresses. For the latest follow me here: https://oivind47.medium.com/

Novel in progress. Comments and feedback are appreciated.

Teacher, author of novels, poetry, articles, essays. Founder & co-owner of Blue Insights. Owner of Medium publications Happy Hiking, Insight. fiksjon@gmail.com

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