EXECUTIVE ORDER #17,342 ~ 0001 HOURS, JANUARY 1

  Stuart, Florida “Zup, Billy? “Did you see it, man? All those cool army trucks?” “No. Where?” “The fairgrounds. I’m on my bike. There must be a hundred. They’re still coming.” “No way.” “Yeah, way. You gotta get down here and see for yourself.”   ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   Cedar Rapids, Iowa   Sitting in his office, Dan was daydreaming—woolgathering his grandmother would have said. The smartphone on his desk began to vibrate. He kept the sound off, a courtesy to his cubical mates. Yawning, he picked up the phone and looked at the screen. There was a text from his girlfriend. SARAH: “Military trucks driving past.” DAN: “What? How many?” SARAH: “I quit counting. WTF?” DAN: “What kind?” SARAH: “Big ones what do I know.” DAN: “What direction?” SARAH: “Looking. Somebody got out of one. OMG, looking up at me. They are all turning in at—” DAN: “What?” Dan tried to call Sarah. Voicemail, he sighed. After several more tries, Dan disconnected. It doesn’t make any sense. Finally, he took a jacket off the hanger. Trying not to be concerned, Dan knew Sarah wasn’t given to speculation. Something about the text ending the way it did was…

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EXECUTIVE ORDER #17,342

EXECUTIVE ORDER #17,342 By Chuck Waldron   FAKE? IT COULD NEVER HAPPEN HERE, RIGHT?       Stuart, Florida “Zup, Billy? “Did you see all those cool army trucks?” “No. Where?” “At the fairgrounds. I’m on my bike. There must be a hundred. They’re still coming.” “No way.” “Way. You gotta get down here and see for yourself.”   ɸ ɸ ɸ ɸ ɸ   Cedar Rapids, Iowa Sitting in his office, Dan was daydreaming, woolgathering his grandmother would have said. The smartphone on his desk began to vibrate, keeping the sound off, a courtesy to his cubical mates. Yawning, he picked up the phone. There was a text notification. SARAH: “Military trucks driving past.” DAN: “What? How many?” SARAH: “I quit counting. WTF?” DAN: “What kind?” SARAH: Mostly big ones. DAN: “What direction?” SARAH: “Just looked. Somebody got out of one of the trucks. OMG, looking up at me. They are all turning in at …” DAN: “What?” Trying several times, Dan turned off his phone. It didn’t make any sense. Finally, he took a jacket off the hanger. Trying not to be concerned, Dan knew Sarah wasn’t given to speculation. Something about the text ending the way it…

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OUR UNRAVELLING MORAL FABRIC

One way to describe Moral Fabric is to view us, as a society, sharing a standard dignity through high principles making the moral fabric a keystone; keeping the social order maintained and the standards it holds high-together. Now think about ours as a sweater, woven by that great moral fabric, now three hundred and forty-one years old now. In the time since it was knitted by our founders, there have been loose threads, even rips, some people even attempting to tear it apart. Still, the sweater has remained intact. Now, I wonder if that sweater knitted with moral fabric is finally beginning to unravel, along with it, our democracy as we know it. Little did I realize that when I started The CleanSweep Conspiracy, gathering my thoughts, and notes that would eventually lead to the novel, that it was a cautionary tale. When the canary in a coal mine died from deadly gasses and stopped singing, the miners knew it was a warning. Today, with the emergence of an American oligarch tweeting us into a coma, complete with Alt Right support, can we still hear the canary of our democracy? Growing up, my parents and teachers stressed the high value…

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A SCARY STORY: when imagination becomes reality

A Scary story about reality and imagination, or what does a Texas sheriff and The CleanSweep Conspiracy have in common? Okay, writers just make stuff up, right? We use our imagination, sometimes straying into some rather unique cerebral neighborhoods. I’ll admit there are times I like to paraphrase that Las Vegas adage, what happens in my imagination stays in my imagination. I do understand there is often a bleeding between fantasy and reality. I don’t worry so much about reality bleeding into imagination, but when it’s the other way around . . . I think we have enough on our hands dealing with the real. It’s when we have to deal with someone’s imagination it gets scary for me. It seems to happen a lot during this current U.S. presidential campaign. But I digress from my original thought for this blog. I began my notes for The CleanSweep Conspiracy almost ten years ago. I read and heard all the speculation about the rioting that took place in Toronto during the 2010 G20 conference. Millions went into security, hoping to prevent rioting that occurred in previous G20 conferences in other cities. Intense police presence and citizens needing identity cards to go…

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