A View to a Kill (PART FOUR): Bullets of Sunshine.By: Brett Redmayne-Titley
Regardless, the denouement of tonight’s final act wound down slowly. The threat that had been Evan Kwik was over. That did not mean the citizens could go home. There was still a message being sent.
The crime scene once again became a hub of activity. Shortly one of the ambulances that had been stationed at the end of the street pulled up next to the front lawn. The sad machinations of the coroner arriving, many very official looking cops in coats and ties, or white shirts with badges, prowling about the house and the yard, huddled, talking in small groups of three or four.
The scene continued for more than an hour. Then, on a rolling ambulance stretcher they brought out, all wrapped in a bright yellow tarp, a sarcophagus. The body of Evan Kwik.
My lack of a sweater, or an escape route, had my teeth chattering. I crawled, checking again for open windows and doors, but all were locked. I was also convinced the cops were waiting inside the house to surprise me as I could occasionally hear movement inside and, I thought, quiet voices.
Getting desperate, trying my next move despite the damn chopper, I crawled along the house perimeter praying for a possibility, peering carefully around the frame of the chained aluminum and glass sliding backdoor just in case a cop was there. Then, the funniest moment of the sad evening.
Don walked right past me, heading for the kitchen.
It turned out, as I sat shivering in the living room warmth, that Don and Jan had refused to leave their home. The sound of their slamming front door and the metal doors of the MRAP was a pissed-off cop being sent away empty handed.
Plied with hot tea and more Xmas cookies, I warmed quickly.
It was 3:45 AM before the first citizens four blocks away were finally allowed to also get warm and return to their homes. Jan, Don, and I spent the next several hours killing time, watching the updates on the news. Strangely, no one from the mainstream media tried to make contact with us. We were already old news.
With their choppers grounded, no info. available, no witnesses, and idle speculation,“the Press” waited for the “official” police story. News crews relocated closer, preparing to create a story from a fabric of the unknown.
By the time I said good night to my hosts the first bullets of sunshine were shooting over the new day horizon. Del Rio was still shut off so I had to take the long way home. That was fine. I was now too tired to care.
I would not be sleeping.
Although all but twenty-five or thirty cops had by now left the scene, evidence of their presence was everywhere. As I walked slowly, slightly dazed in the early hours, yellow “Police Line” barrier tape littered every cross street to our neighborhood. Leucadia Blvd. was still closed, desolate, save for hundreds of red charred stubs from emergency flares all over.
The four local news crews had moved up-close as possible and were now having the various talking heads prepare their live feeds for the 6:00 AM new slot. The message was not yet finished.
All were stationed at different spots, engines running, engineers feverishly working to get ready to go “live”. The two blonds, red head, and brunette looked magnificent as they sipped steaming coffee in lovely winter coats, reading lines from their notes, and updating their make- up. Hair perfect. Standing under portable lighting, front and back, they stood on their spots ready to tell an anxious public a story no one actually knew.
Well, not no one.
It was amusing to listen to them make the story with so little facts to work with. Using police issued statements they prepared to entertain the morning coffee-and-news crowd with tales of police daring-do.
“Just like the press,” I thought, laughing, remembering the sad condition of the once valuable Fourth Estate, now emasculated by their corporate masters. Worse, the Press knew they’d been neutered, had not even fought back, glad to be lead to slaughter for a few pieces of silver. Two centuries of honest First Amendment journalism cast to the sands of time.
Now, this same media gladly leads the rest of their viewers and readers down the same terminal passage.
I hurled the remains of a flare I had been studying, as hard as I could, high in the air.
I should have been freezing, walking briskly, but I sat down instead, dead center on Del Riego St, drawing my feet close, chin on knees, arms wrapped for warmth, eyes closed. Tight. I wasn’t cold. I was mad. Shivering mad. I squeezed. Squeezed myself as small as….as…as, the grain of remaining truth that hours ago was Evan Kwik.
The truth. The punchline. The sickening, saddest joke of a very sad and sickening evening. Evan Kwik was dead and wasn’t nobody going to get to know the truth. The lies, offered as truth, would be for the press to legitimize. The heroes and the villain. The threat had been eliminated. Fear was gone. Order had been restored. Freedom was safe. The press, and the cops, liked it that way, too.
And the public? Well, they got the message. Tonight’s feature…
Evan Quik. He was dead and only one person knew the facts of this Kafka tragedy. The public saw the message. But would they ever hear the truth. No. As goes Evan Kwik, so goes all the stories of importance exposing the nations downhill spiral. Hidden, minimized, distorted, controlled.
Did the public get the truth tonight. No.
Did they want the truth. No.
Did they care? No.
That was the sickest joke of all.
I laughed. Laughed into my knees, squeezing ’till it hurt.
The hardest laughter comes with tears.