Happiness is a Warm Gun
Let me know in the comments if you think this is a story worth continuing. -RW
Ronan Wu hummed the tune to Happiness is a Warm Gun as he approached the large steel door. He didn’t know where he’d learned it. He’d heard of the Beatles, but he’d only listened to their music when forced to, usually in some long line at a government building, and usually as Mu-zak, not mu-sic.
Before he could knock, a view port slid open with a bang. A faint light appeared inside, giving the man’s eyes a ghostly monochrome glow.
“Name and belief.” His voice was a cement mixer.
“My name is Ronan Wu, and I believe --”
“In writing,” he said.
The man growled and closed the view port. At the middle of the door, another port opened with a creak, exposing a stumpy steel shelf that Ronan hadn’t noticed. He slapped down a small, half-used yellow pad and a black Bic pen, unchewed. Ronan took them. The port closed.
Someone approached from the direction Ronan had come.
“Yeah. They don’t want you saying it out here, ‘cause they don’t want any fighting.”
“People are fighting?”
The man scoffed. “Where you been?”
He pushed past Ronan. The viewport slid open, and he handed over a neatly folded piece of paper that he’d carried in his shirt pocket. The man took it and closed the viewport. A moment later, a bolt turned and the door opened a crack. A faint gray glow shone through. The man pushed the door open three feet and went inside.
Just before the door closed, Ronan heard the man behind the door say, “Room 17, down the hall on your left.” Then there was a mechanical grinding sound, like an electric can opener.
He looked up at the camera to the right of the door, high in the corner. There were no lights indicating that it was on, but he was sure it was.
He held the small yellow pad against the wall, looked around, and wrote...
9/19/2022 10:02:49 pm
Whoah- I'm not sure I can guess where this is going... Maybe an allegory involving our "never more polarized" society? I want to read more!
DING DING DING... and thanks for the encouragement. I have to set The Ring Turner aside for 6 weeks (Stephen King's orders) before revising, and I'd go nuts if I didn't just start something new (also his orders), and this feels like a thing. I actually have several pages, but I just wanted to post a teaser.
9/19/2022 10:21:15 pm
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Richard Wiedeman is an instructional designer who lives in Savannah, Texas. He enjoys writing fiction, which he publishes on Amazon, and essays, which have appeared in Dear English Major and the Dallas Morning News.