Little Red Riding Hood - Part 11

It seemed like an eternity that Red lay in the uncomfortable floor of the car, sweating under the 'special' blanket the Zingels had placed over her. Finally, Dr. Zingel said "OK, we're out of Memphis. You can take off the blanket and come out now."

Red threw off the blanket with a sigh of relief, feeling as if a great cloud of hot gas were escaping with her. She awkwardly pressed herself up from the floor and sat down in the black leather seat in the back of Dr. Zingel's Mercedes. Looking around she had no idea where they were. "Where are we?" she asked, confused.

Dr. Zingel answered, glancing at her in the mirror, "we're going to a very small airport out in Somerville. It's an hour away from Memphis, very far out in the county. No one would ever think to look for us there."

"Somerville?" Red asked. "I thought you said we were going to Florida, to a beach house in Panama City?"

"Oh honey," Mrs Zingel answered, "that was just what we told the police. Once they figure out where you went they'll be looking for us and this car. We wouldn't dream of being in it for 6 hours or so trying to reach a house they know we own down in Florida."

Red looked confused. "So what are we ..."

"We're going to fly, dear." Mrs Zingel answered. "We're going to get into our plane and fly to another place where we don't think they'll be looking for you. After that, we're going to disappear, all of us together."

The violent and very abusive arrest of Mr. Reidenhausen was in all the headlines the following day. The White House and its Department of Justice made sure to 'encourage' all the media outlets to make sure the story received maximum attention. It had been expected that the photos would feature Katie, probably in her underwear and looking humiliated, being dragged to an armored police van in handcuffs, her father in chains behind her.

What was expected was not what they got, though. The photos featured a fully-dressed, very bloody and obviously beaten Mr. Reidenhausen being dragged by men in black armor across his own lawn, a trail of blood behind him. The police resembled WWII-era Nazis, or rather a comic book fantasy depiction of Nazis. And no Katie Reidenhausen anywhere in sight. She had gotten away. The Obamacops had not been able to figure out how she'd escaped the house.

The barbaric and obviously politically motivated arrest of Mr. Reidenhausen, plus the manhunt for Katie, did not go over well with those who were already inclined to distrust the government, and the Obama administration in particular. The Tea Party, Libertarians, Republicans campaigning for the upcoming election, and conservative Christians began taking to the streets, waving signs and protesting the illegal and indecently  brutal Obamacops. Republican political candidates made speeches promising that they would "do something" about the abuse of authority of the White House, the trampling of civil rights, etc." No one was quite sure if they believed them or not.

The conservatives protesting seemed to stoke the flames of the leftist protesters, inspiring them to greater enthusiasm, greater, civil disobedience, greater violence. And despite their violence and illegal actions, because they were members of government-mandated "protected" classes, the police did nothing to stop them.

Waving signs began giving way to Molotov cocktails smashing threw business windows, igniting their buildings on fire. Police cars were overturned and burned. Bombs were planted and set off, killing many innocent people. Leftist groups began seeking out the conservative protests, attacking them with weapons, killing many of the middle aged-men and raping the women. Still the police did nothing.

But the news media publicized the hell out of it all. It was the top story every single night, with carefully sanitized video footage, of course, hiding the worst crimes being committed by groups the reporters themselves sympathized with.

The violence and protesting was truly widespread, but the news media made it seem as if it was everywhere, all the time, and threatening to destroy the country. The reality was that for most people life went on as usual. It was mostly just the largest cities, in the business districts, where things were out of control. But as a famous politician once said, perception is more important than reality.

In the middle of the media barrage of stories and images about riots and violence, interrupting a story on NBC claiming that women were being harmed more than men by the violence, a falsehood that nevertheless increased ratings for the network, came President Obama. He had taken over the airwaves of every network using Presidential authority for national emergencies.

"Hello. I am President Obama. I am here tonight ... in a time of national emergency ... reluctantly announcing a decision ... that the Department of Justice and I have agonized over." the President monotoned in a very lawyerly and halting cadence, hissing his 'S's like a snake.  "I want to read to you from Article I, Section 9, clause 2 of the Constitution, which states, "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it." The Attorney General and I, your President, have reluctantly concluded that the nationwide violence invading our cities has reached a level of rebellion which has indeed placed the public safety at risk. It has therefore become necessary ... that I, your President and Commander in Chief of the US military ... declare a state of Martial Law. Secondly, I regret to say that the Writ of Habeas Corpus is hereby suspended in respect to all persons arrested, or who are now, or hereafter during the rebellion shall be, imprisoned in any fort, camp, arsenal, military prison, or other place of confinement by any military authority of by the sentence of any Court Martial or Military Commission."


There was an audible rumbling among the reporters in the room where the speech was being recorded. The President motion for quiet and continued:

"I assure you, this is not an action that I take lightly. I do not wish to do this. But it is unavoidable. Having said that, I promise you that this state of emergency will not last long. And that I shall order a resumption of the Writ of Habeas Corpus and an end to Martial Law at the earliest possible time. Thank you. That is all. I will not be taking any questions. Thank you."

And with that, he turned and walked out of the room.

The morning after the President's speech declaring martial law, it was announced that the November elections were suspended until further notice, and that no changes in elected positions of government would be made or permitted except by special permission from the President of the United States. Following the announcement, President Obama once again interrupted the television airwaves with a speech. This time he was announcing that due to the national crisis and state of emergency he was taking control of all banks and financial institutions, effectively "nationalizing" them and placing some of his political cronies in charge of them. He claimed this was because banks hadn't been making enough loans available to women and minorities. He promised that with the government in charge of all the banks there would be more loans and that this would finally get the economy going in the direction of recovery.

People began flooding into banks to withdraw all their money, only to be told that all accounts were frozen by order of the President. No withdrawals would be allowed until further notice.

Night after night, there was another speech by the President informing the citizens of yet another entire industry being taken over by the Federal Government. Banks, utilities, oil and gas, etc. It was all nationalized, with the leaders in charge all replaced by friends and financial supporters of the President. Chaos ensued. Nationalized industries began to run erratically, with banks refusing to allow customers to access their own money unless they were members of certain clearly privileged groups, including unions and feminist organizations. Rolling blackouts occurred nationwide as the utility companies fell into total chaos. Gas shortages swept the country, Gas lines formed at any gas station that still had fuel. Most stations ran out and couldn't get more. Only stations owned or controlled by donors to President Obama were able to get new supplies of gasoline. Food quickly became scarce, as trucks couldn't get fuel to deliver to grocery stores.


Red Riding Hood had been driven to a tiny private airport in Somerville, Tennessee. The sun was coming up while she and the Zingels loaded their luggage into the back of Dr. Zingels small 4-seater plane.

"We had expected your father to be with you," Mrs Zingel casually remarked to Red as she stuffed one of her many, many bags into the cargo area of the plane.

Red had been so filled with adrenaline and fear that she hadn't thought about her father until now. Mrs. Zingel's remark nearly caused her to break down and cry. "I don't know why he didn't come" she said.

"Your father told me" Dr. Zingel interjected,  "that if he felt the police might figure out where you had gone, he would stay behind and distract them. He would misdirect them and try to buy you as much time as possible so that you could get away. He swore to me that he would do whatever it takes to keep you from ever falling back into their hands again. He was prepared to fight them to the death if he had to just to keep them busy while you ran to freedom."

At this Red did begin to cry. She hadn't thought about what might have happened to her father. Based on her previous experiences with the police she had no doubt that they would kill him if they were angry enough. They were monsters.

"I'm sorry, Katie" Dr. Zingel apologized "I shouldn't have said that. He simply meant that he was willing to die for your sake, not that he intended to. I'm sure he's going to be OK and we're going to find a way to get him out of here, too, eventually."

The plane fully packed now, they climbed in while Dr. Zingel pulled the wheel blocks away, climbed into the pilot's seat, and started the engine.

It was a long, lonely flight for Red as she thought about her father. And then it occurred to her that she didn't even  know where they were going or what was going to happen next.


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