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Mary's Girl

by Jason Burnham 3 months ago in Short Story

The keys of freedom lay in the smile of a locket.

Heart Shaped Locket by Zimnomel

The beginnings of the Democratic National Workers Party can be traced to May 2013 when the United States Executive Administration systematically waged war on those Journalists it deemed a threat and silenced them without even a whimper of protest from the National Press that hired them. Before then, the Press had been an extension of the Political Parties providing their own form of propaganda and misinformation. 2013 though, was the turning point when the National Press went from being a messenger to an active participant in the direction the United States was to head. The cost was only a few Journalists careers, their lives, and their ethics.

T.J. Wellington

End of a Republic / Rise of an Evil Empire: The Democratic National Workers Party

The end of the United Socialist States of America began simply enough with a heart shaped locket. The locket rested in front of Mary Michelle Shelly on a two by two-foot upright table with a single overhead spotlight casted down upon it in a pitch-black room. The front silver and gold inlaid locket door had been opened and the picture of a dark hair, blue eyed girl of seven years of age was displayed for Mary to see.

There was a squeak of a door opening, the click of it shutting, and then heavy footsteps moving towards her that brought Mary to attention. The person stayed deep in the shadows, allowing the dark to mask his presence, and then after a minute of silence he started with his first question. “What is this?” A black gloved hand wavered just in the light pointing towards the locket resting on the table.

Mary looked down and smirked. Her dimples were the same as the little girls in the picture. “It’s a locket,” she answered.

“You think this is humorous?”

Mary’s grin vanished. Her eyes lifted and glared into the dark. “No, I find nothing about this humorous.”

“I ask again then, what is this?”

“And I’ll answer the same. It is a locket.”

There was a long pause and then the deep baritone voice moved closer and asked, “Who is the person in the picture?”

Mary looked down again. “Oh, that. That is my daughter.”

“Your daughter?”


“You don’t have a daughter, Mary. Your parental eligibility was determined and denied on grounds of socio dissident tendencies expressed in graffiti form and subsequently upon guilt you were sterilized at sixteen.” A paper floated in front of her and covered the locket. It was a picture of a wall with the words: ‘To Speak Freely is the air we breathe and the USSA is the hands around our throat.’ painted on it. Another paper floated down and this one displayed a different wall with different words written on it, ‘Freedom and Liberty was our forefathers’ gift and we trashed it!’. Another paper and this one showcased, ‘Religion is the flying flock, USSA is the hunter with a machine gun.’ The next paper and these words were larger and bolder than the rest: ‘GIVE US OUR CHILDREN, GIVE US OUR FATE!’

Mary swept the papers aside leaving them to fall to the floor around her feet. “I saw a black-market Ovarium who harvested and protected my eggs when I turned fifteen. When I was nineteen, I had the Ovarium reverse the sterilization procedure you did to me and insert the preserved eggs back into my ovaries. I illegally married a man that I loved, had unprotected sex with him, and became purposefully pregnant. I carried that little girl, in that picture, for a little over nine months. I gave birth to her in a rural country farm. She was and is the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and she is mine.”

Besides the heavy breathing nothing responded from the deep shadows.

“You couldn’t resist picking me up, could you? I was gone for what? Eight years. A girl returning from the Farm Region with a history of dissident behavior.” Mary shook her head and said, “But I had to. What kind of world would I be leaving if I didn’t work to undo this tyrannical regime?” She leaned forward, “What is the phrase you people tried to erase from our history and our textbooks? Oh yeah, I remember now. It was, Give Me Liberty or Give me Death!”

There was an uncomfortable silence and tension in the air.

“All children belong to the state. They are property of the government and the Democratic Socialist State community. She isn’t yours. That was a mistake to think so. Where is she, Mary?”

“She is mine!”

“She isn’t. She never was. Just because you believe something does not make it true. Just because you chose to illegally give birth to a pro-term fetus doesn’t give you the right to keep it.” A black gloved fist reached out and slammed next to the locket. “She needs to be screened, deviant. Now, tell me where she is?”

Mary leaned back, whistled, and then said, “Before I do that you need to tell me about the screening process.”

“If it will help to give me the girls location then so be it. If the girl passes, then she will be placed in a Government Institution Learning Facility where she will learn about the ideals of Socialist and Communist conformity, its structure, and where she possibly could find her place in it. Unfortunately, thanks to your interference and heretical teachings the girl will likely need to endure the reeducation process where hopefully your corruption is not so engrained that she will not be considered an abject failure unworthy of continuance. Of course, failure of the screening process would require immediate disposing of.”

“You would kill her,” Mary stated it as a fact.


“I will never tell you where she is.”

“Oh, I think you will. We have ways.”

“I’m sure you believe that. Even if you were to find out where she is the hornet nest you would kick up would be epic. You remember that Congregation that sparked the Commonality War? You guys called it ‘The Atheist Crusade to eradicate the abhorrent teachings of Religious Indoctrination’ and what did that do? You brought the Jews, Muslims, and Christians together in ways you guys could never have predicted. Over three million dead and nothing to show for it except for the fact you guys can’t enter the Mid-West and thousands of your people continue to be nailed upside down on trees, stakes, and crosses in your own city parks. So, even if I were to tell you, and even if you were nuts enough to try and extradite her you would be punished so severely that it might just spell the end of you.

There is your truth. You are not getting her.”

“They will fall. You do understand that don’t you? Every year, we push deeper, our abolition camps continue to grow larger, and more of those Religious Zealot Jihadist find themselves in our hands every single day where they greet an indescribable pain lasting for days before they are staked and burned in a bonfire. You are one breath away from me signing the forms that will put you into what your people call hell. Just tell me where the girl is, the location of the black-market facility, and of course the names and location of your collaborators and I will personally see to your eradication myself. It will be painless and quick. No suffocating gas, no electricity pulsing across your skin, or your lungs slowly filling with water. It would be fast, quick, and expedient. A bullet to the brain and to the heart. I might even be able to make a petition to have even that commuted.”

Mary laughed and stood up. “You think your threats and promises scare me?” She pushed the table to the side and picked up the locket. “I’ll miss you baby girl.” She kissed the picture and then put the locket back on the table.

“Sit down!”

“Eat crap, you commie rat!” She brought her foot down shattering her chair into pieces. Mary picked up a jagged leg piece from the floor and leaped for where the voice had been.

Two shots rang out and before Mary had taken little more than a step she fell raggedly to the floor.

The man stepped into the light, a gun rested in his gloved hand, and the smell of burnt gun smoke and metallic copper permeated the air. He stared down at the gurgling and gasping Mary as her hand postured and bent in an unnatural way just above her head. There were two more gasping breaths and then her chest did one final heave and came to a stop as a puddle of red gathered around her. The black clad man reached over and then picked the heart shaped locket up.

“Really is a shame. I was hoping that I might be able to turn you,” he muttered staring at the corpse on the floor. He bent down next to Mary and stroked her hair. “We have a good idea where your little girl is anyways. Your friends are in custody. Not all of them but I am sure at least one of them will talk and give up the others. That black-market medical facility we shut down years ago. What we did to those people… Not much gives me nightmares but that required therapy. Had we been able to turn you that would have been a tool indeed. Such a waste of potential.”

The far door flung open and the lights in the other room had been turned on. The outline of an individual could be seen standing there his face twisted and scared. “What did you do?” he yelled.

The baritone voiced man glanced over and stated, “You would be wise to control yourself in my presence.”

“No, you don’t understand. Everything was recorded. It is flooding the network as we speak. We are unable to control it. It’s going everywhere.”

“What was being recorded?”

“Everything in this room. Everything that was said. Everything that was done.”

“What? How!” He stopped and looked down at the inlaid locket resting in his hand. The seven-year-old girl, with the curly black hair, stared back up at him. He realized that she now carried the whisper of freedom on her lips and a glint of liberty in her eyes. Mary’s girl, he thought. With trembling hands, he snapped the locket door closed and then the baritone man fell to his knees and cried.

Picture above by Zimnomel.

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Short Story

Jason Burnham

I'm a 49 year old dude that likes to garden and write as a hobby.

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