© Dale Rogerson
Ramon didn’t want to leave the memorial. Every second there was a tribute to his pain. Even at four in the morning, it was hot and muggy. Loneliness was an oppressive blanket. Tonight he especially missed Hector, his laugh, his twisted sense of humor.
“The Pulse” had once been a haven for them and for hundreds of others. Hector was one of the 49 who died. Ramon still limped from the wounds in his leg.
On June 12th of last year, terrorist Omar Mateen took everything from Ramon, everything except his spirit to survive in spite of it all.
On June 12, 2016, terrorist Omar Mateen entered The Pulse nightclub, a popular entertainment venue for the LGBTQ community in Orlando, Florida, killed 49 people and injured 68. The anniversary was just a few days ago.
The haunting image found at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog reminded me of it. The idea is to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 98.
To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.
Image: JPL NASA
From the Flight Log of Freighter Pilot Camdon Rod
Not only am I a moron, I think I’m going out of my mind.
For the record, my name is Camdon Rod and I’m the owner/operator of the jump freighter Ginger’s Regret. Ginger, the woman the freighter is named for, is here too. Well, sort of. Over fifty years ago, a hyperjump accident destroyed her flesh and blood body, but the rest of her stayed here. She’s the ship’s personality. Sometimes, she can become a woman for a while. Convenient since we’re in love with each other.
Sometime ago, I accepted a deal to work for a group of hyperspace beings, illegally hauling cargo for them. I had no choice. They could kill Ginger if I didn’t.
After that, I had to agree to work for the terrorist organization Spire for the same reasons.
I can’t believe I was stupid enough not to see the connection right away. Either Spire is run by these beings, or behind the scenes, they’re manipulating the people who do run Spire.
I just read an article called Remembering 911: Five Important Lessons. It was written by Rabbi Benjamin Blech for a Jewish educational website. The first lesson is “We Are All Israelis”. Here’s the relevant quote:
Immediately after 9/11, the phrase “we are all Israelis” appeared in some reports. But it was soon forgotten or hijacked by other groups and different causes. Yet it captured a profound truth. The enemies of Israel turned out to be the same enemies intent on destroying the Western world and civilized society as we know it.
For years the United States as well as other democracies watched the terrorism and the intifada and the butchering and the sadistic slayings of innocents from afar and thought it had nothing to do with them. Suddenly came the recognition that there is no longer a concept of distance for terror. 9/11 made clear that an ocean can no longer keep Americans safe from attack and that the battle against jihad isn’t restricted to Jerusalem.
It’s not desirable or convenient to certain social and political groups in America to closely identify with Israel, especially with such a potentially inflammatory phrase as “We Are All Israelis”. But here on the commemoration of the terrorist attacks against our nation and our citizens on September 11, 2001, I have come to see that we aren’t “Israeli” enough.
Chaos at the scene of a mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando early Sunday. (UNIVISION FLORIDA CENTRAL / HAN/EPA)
Once upon a time, a story like this would be dystopian fiction. In fact, it’s so graphic, that a science fiction story with this content probably wouldn’t be published until the 1970s or later. Once upon a time, this story would have seemed so unreal.
I’m talking about the Orlando Gay Nightclub Shootings where, according to the CNN report, 49 people were killed and 53 were wounded, all by one man, 29-year-old Omar Mateen. Although mainstream news media has been downplaying the suggestion that Mateen’s being a Muslim might have had something to do with his choice of victims, he telephoned 911 from the scene of the shootings to claim allegiance to ISIS.
What’s more, ISIS claims the nightclub massacre as well, although it’s pretty unlikely that Mateen was directly associated with the terrorist group.
Added to this, the self-professed gay defense organization Pink Pistols has issued a press release condemning the shooter but not firearms, unlike most progressives.
On top of all that, the restaurant chain Chick-Fil-A, which has been criticized in the past because its owners are fundamentalist Christians and oppose same-sex marriage on theological grounds, opened their Orlando location on Sunday (which they never do because of their belief that Sunday is the “sabbath”) and donated free food and drinks to the One Blood donation center to everyone donating blood for the Orlando nightclub victims.