Mike Hayne

NYT 18
NYT 2 - 6
NYT 18
NYT 17
NYT 16
NYT 15
NYT 13 AND 14
NYT 12
NYT 11
NYT 10
The Manitou
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Manitou 2017

3163AD Happy, Q walked mid-day on the dirt road. The athletic shoes taken from the officer were high quality. Q also liked the jeans stolen from the laundry and the t-shirt lent by Travis. One day Q would see Travis again and return the t-shirt. However, it was two days since Q got off the bus to save the cat. He reasoned the people at the Masters of Opulence Talent Agency would be careful with Q's guitar.

"Six poets," Ralph looked at the computer relay from downtown, "four novelists, a rapper, two basketball players, and a preacher."

"That's not too bad," Mallory was prepared. "Here it comes."

The bus traveled with its aspirants to fame and fortune, the leaders in their fields, past miles of wheat fields. The road was dirt, and the bus traveled slowly.

Through authoritarian cameras, a privilege for Robertson's gold part of town, he watched at this moment from his abode downtown. This bus would bring fourteen people to be killed and disposed of by Ralph and Mallory. To Robertson, as he watched and listened to these idiots, it was apparent Mallory disliked killing and Ralph enjoyed it.

"You know," Mallory stood ready near the entrance door. Each person from the bus would enter one at a time, "the bosses know what we do."

"They don't care what we do," Ralph was on the opposite side of the entrance door. Alternating one after another, as each entered either Mallory or Ralph would greet the person. Then, one efficient shot to the back of the head and a quick removal of the body. If fourteen arrived on this bus, Ralph would kill seven today. Nevertheless, he could usually do one or two more.

"You like this job," said Mallory.

"Yes. I do."

"I do it because it is necessary."

"This keeps the population under control," said Ralph.

"We are supposed to have another helper."

"We will. For now, let's do the extra work and not complain. I also am curious about that guitar player. What was that all about?"

"All I care about is getting more workers here. I'm under stress. I'm tired, " said Mallory. "I actually wish I could do something else. I feel trapped."

"The bus is here. Can I do the first one?"

"Why not?"

When the first applicant entered, the sound proofed door was closed behind, and Mallory distracted the person.

"Welcome. Congratulations," beamed Mallory.

"Thank you," this was the entrance to Masters of Opulence Talent Agency. The world was a beautiful place.

Ralph smiled and shot the person in the back of the ehad. Cleaning people entered from a side exit. The body and any sign of violence were removed.

"That's one," said Ralph. "If you want, I could do the next one, too."


Robertson ran this section of town. He figured he knew what he was doing; he could accomplish tasks as well as anybody. In this case, inhaling mist and studying the guitar, Robertson focused on the main issue. An applicant had gotten off the bus. This seemed to devalue the bus. One thing could lead to another. If the peasants devalued fame and fortune, that was bound to have consequences, thought Robertson. He inhaled mist. And the consequences were bound to be bad rather than good he recognized ruefully. He hated this particular guitar aspirant.

Senator Jones at age 89 realized that everyone was right. He functioned in a privileged position (although difficult, Jones believed) so Senator Jones at age 89 wanted to change his habits and survive. His survival would benefit the city and the state. War might be coming anyway so that would need to be considered, also, somehow. Senator Jones had one main, current interest: ----- ----- , show business name "Q", an aspiring guitar player fit for Robertson's fame bus. "Most of all," said Jones, "I want Q found. Tell Robertson that Q is to be protected and monitored at all times once he is found."

"We think," said Ralph, "Robertson's using the guitar on TV might lure the guy."

Mallory already finished the last for the day and was closing down. He overheard the inquiry by Senator Jones himself about Q, the vagrant who got off the bus two days ago. By a fluke, aspirant Q, a guitar player, was still alive but nobody knew where the guy was.

Copyright Mike Hayne 2017