The sun shone through the windows as Tammy washed the dishes left from the mad rush of breakfast. “What a beautiful day it is out there!“, Tammy thought as she lifted up another dish to be cleaned.
Suddenly, the quiet of her neighborhood was shattered by the shouts of running men dressed in black uniforms. Screams could be heard next door, and Tammy quickly ducked to the floor to avoid being seen. The sound of a door being kicked in, followed by one shout, and then suddenly there was gun fire. Frozen in shock, Tammy could only pray that she was safe.
The phone was a million miles away, or so it felt because Tammy knew that she’d have to stand to reach it. “Please, please, please.“, she chanted as she slid across the floor and tried in vain to reach the handset that was floating above her head. “Why didn’t I grab the cell?” , she mused as she carefully peeked through the doggie door that was at the perfect height.
Tammy could see boots walking past her door, and a pair of legs dragging between two of the officials. “Who are these people?“, Tammy thought as she tried to wrap her head around the events that she’d only ever seen on TV. “They’re wearing uniforms, so it must be ok?” But Tammy had never seen these uniforms before, and listened to her gut instincts telling her to stay hidden.
“Ma’am, we know you’re in there. We’re coming in to talk. There’s nothing to worry about.” A deep baritone shot out like one of those gun shots and she screamed. As soon as she screamed, Tammy knew she’d made a mistake because she was seeing her own door get kicked in. Boots rapidly entered along with more violent yelling, “Did he go through here?”
As Tammy lay cringing in the corner of her kitchen, she refused to raise her face to see her attackers. Somehow, it felt like she could make it go away if she just didn’t see it.
“Are you Tammy Hendricks?” One of the dark-suited officers was crouching down to her level to try to get a look at her. With a quick nod, she answered the abrupt question. After hearing the man order the others to stand down, she slowly looked into the hardened face of the man who was clearly in charge.
“Who are you people? How can you just come in without any warning?” Hysterics made her voice shrill, but the questions just came tumbling out without waiting for answers. Not that any were coming from the man who stared hard at her.
“Ma’am, did you know anything about your neighbors?“, the officer questioned impatiently. Without waiting for her answer, he continued, “We’ve had reports that they’re violating statutes 126.96.36.199 of the penal code and selling illegal and inflammatory documents against our great nation. Do you know anything about this?”
Shaking her head again, Tammy looked at the man in hostility. “Are you talking about the Kahns? Why would you say something like that? They’re wonderful teachers who have contributed so much to this community. What kind of documents are you talking about?” Rising to her full height, she gave all of the men in the room a look of contempt. “They’re science fiction writers as well as being historians. What could they be writing that even approached illegal? I’ve read their books, and they are non-fiction. You know, not real”
The officer shook his head and gestured to one of the men standing near Tammy. “It looks like we’ll have to take her in for deprogramming. Such a shame, since her husband did his civic duty in reporting those people in to the commission.”
Rough hands grabbed her and held her imprisoned, though she continued to fight against the unwelcome hold. “Who are you people? What’s this commission?“, erupted as she felt herself get dragged out of her own home like a criminal.
“We’re the commission on morality, Ma’am. It was passed to help maintain control of the population during these troubling times that are endangering our very nation. We can’t let people question authority if we’re to have law and order. It’s what the majority wants.” The officer stood proudly as he watched another victim of knowledge get taken away. “The people want safety. Well, every demand requires a sacrifice. Even freedom has a price. Our savior has told us that free will comes with limitations. We’re his enforcers.”
A squad of black SUVs left the neighborhood as quickly as they descended. In the quiet, a voice rang out, “Tammy, honey. I came home when I heard about the commotion on the news. Are you ok?”
But there was no answer…