Little Red Riding Hood - Conclusion

The Obamacops had invaded the Reidenhausens home looking for Katie Reidenhausen, but all they came away with was Katie's father. It wasn't the prize they had hoped for, but it didn't matter now. With the suspension of habeas corpus and the declaration of martial law, President Obama had declared a state of emergency and 'postponed' the elections indefinitely. His power was now absolute, and he no longer needed her to bolster his ratings among those who sided with Wolf.

Red Riding Hood, meanwhile, had escaped the ravenous pack of Obamacops and headed to Germany with the Stingels, flying to Miami where they boarded a container ship bound for Hamburg, Germany. It took 14 days and nights of very uncomfortable, cramped, and boring sailing to reach the port in Germany. Red had packed for a trip, but she hadn't been prepared for 14 days and nights at sea. She was rewearing clothes by this point and feeling dirty and stinky.

"14 days is nothing" Dr. Stingel said to Red as they picked up their luggage and began heading for the gangplank. "When I was a child fleeing Germany, we took a lot longer than that to sail to America. And all we had were the clothes we wore and one change of clothes in a sack. Every night we washed one and wore the other. Every night."

Red just looked at him. She wasn't sure how to respond to that. Mrs Zingel was smiling at Red in an odd sort of way, as if she was anticipating something, like a birthday surprise party or something. They all walked down the gangplank onto the pier together. They hadn't told Red much of anything about what was going to happen once they reached Germany. She had been somewhat in shock throughout the trip, thinking about her father and wondering what was happening to him. And what was going to happen to her.

Dr. Zingel was looking around now, standing on the concrete, which felt weird to all three of them after 2 weeks on a ship. It wasn't moving. It seemed strange not to be moving. Mrs Zingel started to look, too. Red realized they must be looking for someone to meet them. There had been a plan, after all. All the neighbors were involved. Someone must be already here. Red began to look, too, as they all three walked up a ramp to a parking lot. As they reached the top of the ramp, a black Range Rover pulled in at the other end and began driving towards them. It reminded Red of her mother's car. She had always loved Range Rovers for some reason. Red never really understood her fondness for them. They got about 8 mpg and weren't really all that comfortable. They didn't haul as much as you'd think. And they broke down a lot. It never made any sense to her that someone as conservative and boring as her mother would ... "wait a minute" Red said aloud.

The Range Rover drove straight up to them, and Red could see a beautiful blonde woman wearing huge black sunglasses was driving. "MOM!!!!" Red screamed, throwing her suitcase to the ground and running to the SUV. She flung open the door and threw herself onto the woman driving, wrapping her arms around her and squeezing hard. She hadn't cried through the entire voyage even though she felt like it many times, but she broke down now, with huge heaving sobs.

"It's going to be alright, honey" Mrs. Reidenhausen said comfortingly, as she returned the hug and began to stroke her little girls hair. "Everything is going to be OK. We'll never let them take you away from here."

"Mom" Red said through tears "what are we gonna do about Dad? They've got Dad!"  This was news Mrs. Reidenhausen hadn't been expecting to hear.

Back in the United States, President Obama hadn't wasted any time making use of his new dictatorial powers.  He immediately nationalized Ford, the only remaining US auto manufacturer that hadn't been already taken over by the Obama administration and the only one that had never accepted any money from the federal government.  It was a hostile takeover, to be sure, and received a lot of negative press as a result. That is, until everyone involved in reporting the story in a negative way was arrested. After that there were no more negative news stories about it. President Obama then ordered the newly nationalized Ford to be merged with the already nationalized GM and Chrysler. He renamed the combined auto giant The Obama Group Ltd. The company vehicles would wear a badge reading simply "OG."  He then ordered that no more SUVs, trucks or other gasoline-powered vehicles could be built at The Obama Group. From now on, all vehicles produced were to be hybrids, purely electric, or some variation of hybrid electric and or diesel. Also, all cars were to be small, no bigger than a 'smart car', and all must be painted green, symbolizing their supposedly environmentally friendly focus. The President predicted in his now nightly speech to the nation as he announced his actions that his new "Obamacars" would outsell all the previous models of made-in-America cars because, he said, "this is what the American People have been waiting for." He then decreed that no manufacturer would be permitted to sell anything else in the U.S. without a special permit from the EPA.

But the Obamacars did not sell. Instead, older cars immediately increased in value, becoming more and more valuable as people began to realize that there truly would not be any decent cars made or sold in the United States anymore. This frustrated President Obama, as he had always believed himself to be "the smartest person in the room" wherever he went. He truly believed that he knew best what the American citizens wanted and that they had all been holding their breath waiting for him to force those evil, capitalist, white male pigs in the automotive industry to build what the People actually wanted.

Meanwhile, Mr. Reidenhausen was in a federal prison, charged with resisting arrest, assaulting an officer and obstruction of justice for his role in bruising the fists and feet of the Obamacops who invading his home and beat him in his own storm shelter for the crime of being in a house they happened to be breaking into. The charge of obstructing justice was filed because they knew that Katie Reidenhausen had been inside the home when they crashed through the gate, but had been unable to find her. Their eye in the sky had detected and monitored an infrared signature in her bedroom which they knew to be hers. It also followed Mr. Reidenhausen as he ran from his room to hers. It monitored both both of them as they ran through the kitchen and into the garage, where both of them disappeared. But the Obamacops had never been able to determine where Katie "Red" Reidenhausen went after that. They had torn the storm shelter apart, as best as they were able, but found no trace of her.

And that was no accident. Mr. Reidenhausen had one last plan to make absolutely sure the police were not able to follow what was intended to be him and his daughter down the tunnel. He had created a magnesium-based seal around the door. Magnesium being a chemical easily ignited and exceptionally hot when it burns, Mr. Reidenhausen had ignited the seal after closing Red into to tunnel by remote after the Obamacops dragged him out of the shelter and were screaming at him and kicking him as he lay in the floor of his garage. Ventilation fans sucked the smoke out of the shelter and into the air in the backyard as the rapidly burning seal literally welded the door shut, as if it had never existed at all. The problem with his plan lay in how brightly it burned once ignited. The Obamacops had been close behind them when Mr. Reidenhausen opened the door to the tunnel and shoved Katie inside. And, he believed, if he had simply gone into the tunnel with her and then ignited the seal, the Obamacops would have charged into the shelter just in time to see the blinding white burn forming the outline of a doorway behind the supply shelf. Even if they hadn't been able to break through the metal door in time to catch the two of them still in the tunnel, they would have at least known that Red was escaping underground and that they needed to search behind the house, in the direction of the neighboring house, which belonged of course to Dr. Zingel and where they would find his precious girl, Katie, trying to escape with Dr. and Mrs. Zingel. There was simply no way Mr. Reidenhausen was going to allow that to happen. He would give his own life if necessary to slow them down and give his girl as much time as possible to get away.

Mr. Wheelhouse, the family attorney, had been working hard to secure the release of Mr. Reidenhausen, insisting that there was absolutely no evidence against Mr. Reidenhausen indicating any wrongdoing whatsoever. And this was true. But unfortunately, with martial law declared and habeas corpus suspended, President Obama and his unauthorized presidential police force were not limited by any laws. They could arrest anyone they wanted without evidence and hold that person indefinitely without charging them. In short, they could do anything they wanted to and gladly did so.

Back in Washington, in the White House, having failed to convince the American People to buy Obamacars, and instead creating a goldmine in the used car market, President Obama decided that the solution to this minor glitch was to nationalize the oil and oil refining industry, seizing control of all oil and fuel production inside the United States, and then raising the price of gasoline to $10 a gallon. Like everything else he did, when no one else could see his "vision", he simply forced it down their throats. They would surely thank him later after they had all purchased more fuel efficient vehicles approved by President Obama and his radical EPA.

At $10 per gallon, Suzuki quickly became the dominate auto manufacturer in the nation, followed by Volkswagen and its turbo diesel models, and then Toyota. The components of the Prius line of cars ran in short supply when all new car buyers in the United States began trying to buy them and so Toyota was forced to limit the supply. Still, no one was buying Obamacars. Not even $10 per gallon gasoline could convince people to spend premium dollars for a problem-prone, ugly and untested new car.

Like all government-controlled businesses, the government bureaucracy and union inefficiency added substantially to the cost of the Obamacars. A bottom-of-the-line, featureless Obamacar cost $45,000 before taxes. They had a driving range of 100 miles and had quickly developed a reputation for catching fire and exploding spontaneously, even burning down one of the factories where they were being made. There seemed to be nothing smart about buying one of these 'smart cars'.  The failure embarrassed and frustrated President Obama, who tried reflexively to punish Suzuki with penalties and random arrests of American-based Suzuki executives. The charges against them ranged from insider trading to various random environmental crimes, but no evidence was ever presented. As the public began to sense that the big bad Government was attempting to bully Suzuki, it became fashionable to own one. Suzuki actually increased in popularity and sales went up. Ironically, the Chinese government, long infamous for its politically motivated arrests of non-Chinese company executives, issued a protest against these arrests, asking the United Nations to issue formal sanctions against the US.

Mr. Wheelhouse, meanwhile, was meeting with every Republican senator and any Democratic senator who would talk to him. The most prominent Democrats, including Harry Reid, refused to see him. But it didn't seem to matter because none of them could do anything to help. All attempts to meet with representatives of the President in the White House were likewise futile. The only information Mr. Wheelhouse was able to determine was to find out specifically where Mr. Reidenhausen was being held and who was in charge of that facility. By pure luck he learned that Brandon was also being held in the same facility.

With the government taking over all oil production and fuel refining, and President Obama being a militant environmentalist who viewed oil production and exploration as exploitation of the earth, no new drilling was permitted. All fracking was halted. Oil platform companies headquartered in the US rapidly moved their platforms out of US waters in the Gulf and sent them to nearby Cuban waters, signing contracts with China and Cuba and continuing to pump the same oil from the same basic source, only now selling it to Communist governments hostile to the United States. The US, now having increasingly limited supplies of oil pumped up from their own vast resources, began experiencing dramatic shortages of oil and gasoline across the nation. Large US cities experienced daily power outages. Gas lines extending for miles formed at gas stations everywhere. When the stations ran out of fuel, no more fuel was available to resupply. The only stations able to get fuel were chains owned by friends of President Obama. But as the oil industry in general was a target for attack by environmental extremists appointed by President Obama, the number of friends in the fuel industry with connections to Obama were few and far between. Major cities, including New York City, were constantly brought to a complete standstill. Trains stopped running. The only workers in New York City able to get to work were those wealthy enough to afford living space inside the city. Wall Street was shut down, which was just as well since it had no electricity anyway. The inability to trade in New York began adversely affecting people and nations across the globe. Many of the richest people in the world were losing millions of dollars each day. Panic set in.

3 months after President Obama declared martial law, and gave himself dictatorial powers, Wall Street was forced by the constant lack of electrical power to move all financial operations across the border to Toronto, Ontario in Canada. The Canadian government was more than happy to accept the sudden goldmine which had been dropped into their lap, along with the influx of wealthy financial experts who immediately picked up and moved from the New York area to the Toronto area. This meant an enormous loss of tax dollars and influence across the globe for the United States. It was perhaps the greatest humiliation of President Obama's entire presidency. In response, he flew to Scotland for the day to play golf.

Within 6 months of assuming dictatorial powers, President Obama had presided over the single greatest decline in American history. The nation was at a virtual standstill. The government, in an effort to hide the full extent of the crisis, was printing American dollars as fast as possible. But with the loss of Wall Street to the Canadians, the American dollar no longer carried the clout it once did and inflation began to rage like an Australian wildfire through a dry and overgrown outback. America was importing nearly 90 percent of its oil, but struggling to keep its refineries operating to turn the oil into fuel. Farmers were struggling to find fuel for the equipment and as a result America was now importing the majority of its food, too, something it had never needed to do before. As the value of the dollar plunged, the cost of oil and food skyrocketed. Obama's $10 gasoline quickly rose to $50 per gallon. Struggling citizens skipped right past Obamacars and Priuses and began looking to buy motorcycles and mopeds. Bicycles rose in popularity and for the first time ever public transportation was in high demand.

Red Riding Hood, during all this, was settling in at her new home in Germany with her mother. She was attending a new private school, still wearing her signature red hoodie over her school uniform each day, sharpening her skills at speaking German, and trying to live as normal a life as she could under the circumstances. But every night she would ask her mother for updates on the situation with her father. At school, meanwhile, she was studying 20th century world history, paying particular attention to the stories of nations that had been free and then lost their freedom to socialist dictators, such as Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Chavez and Mugabe. It seemed as if South America was perpetually giving up their freedom and prosperity to militant socialists who raped their nations and drove them into poverty after having enjoyed a period of prosperity just prior. It wasn't that Red was so passionate about history as much as it was simply that she was looking for common weaknesses in the dictators themselves, and ways those weaknesses might be exploited to set someone free from their grip. The big egos of these leaders always seemed to coincide with terrible incompetence, as if the worse things were for their nation the more highly they thought of themselves. When she slept, she dreamed of leading a revolution in America, charging into the White House and rescuing her father. Always in her dreams he was being held in the Whitehouse somewhere, usually down in a basement. And she would rescue him and lead him out of there to freedom. She frequently dreamed of her father. And of Brandon.

The American economy was in the toilet. The American dollar was now trading at its lowest valuation ever. The Canadian dollar was king, with $1 Canadian worth $50 US. Western Canada was being greatly enriched by its new found oil reserves while eastern Canada was rolling in money from all over the world as it was now the financial mecca of the globe. In the United States, citizens were suffering from food shortages, water shortages, fuel shortages, constant power outages, and an almost total lack of job opportunities. Small businesses were rapidly driven out of business altogether. Large multinational corporations were either already in the process of or in discussions about moving their corporate headquarters out of the country. Canada was, of course, the most popular choice for relocation. Nationwide, infrastructure was breaking down. There was no money for maintenance. Police, fire departments and other city employees were being laid off steadily. Those who remained were not being paid regularly, with government-issued paychecks frequently bouncing when employees tried to cash them at government-controlled banks. Corruption was becoming a significant problem. Police and fire crews were increasingly accused of demanding bribes before they would do their jobs. Public officials were selling their votes more frequently and openly, as well.

Mr. Wheelhouse had made contact with the warden of the federal penitentiary that held Mr. Reidenhausen. At first he began by simply asking how Mr. Reidenhausen was doing, if he needed anything, etc. But gradually, at the urging of Mrs. Reidenhausen, he began asking the warden himself about how he was doing, whether he needed anything, etc. Mr. Wheelhouse was no novice when it came to influencing powerful men, but Mrs. Reidenhausen had been a master of it, convincing Mr. Reidenhausen that dating her was his idea back in their younger years, even though she had decided she wanted to date him long before he even knew her name. She had met with and sold the Reidenhausen security services to some of the most powerful men in the world, learning their nuances and weaknesses and using her blonde hair, blue eyes and winning smile to blast through their resistance when necessary. She was as expert as anyone at analyzing a government official and figuring out what they wanted in exchange for what she wanted, which was usually nothing more than to sell them a valuable security service. But in this case, what she wanted was something far more important. She wanted her husband back, and she was determined to have him.

The official serving as warden at the federal penitentiary, Mr. Obidiah Franks,  was a distant cousin of a Chicago connection of someone whose mother worked in the White House for President Obama. He was a bit of a challenge to Mr. Wheelhouse. His house was deeply mortgaged, but it was of no concern to him because the Department of Justice long ago threatened to file charges of discrimination against the bank holding his loan if they didn't provide more subprime mortgages to blacks, and so Mr. Franks had never felt obligated to make the first payment on his home. He lived there free of charge. And once President Obama nationalized all the banks it became a non-issue anyway, as his loan was simply 'forgiven'.  He used the money he hadn't spent paying his debts for his home on expensive cars, clothes, jewelry and vacations for his family. He had lived high, and felt that he deserved to live that way forever. He was greatly stressed by the decline in the buying power of the US dollar, though, because he could no longer afford his expensive cars, clothes, jewelry or vacations. And he struggled to find gasoline for his expensive cars. Lately he had been forced to rely on public transportation to get to work on the days he even bothered to go in. All of this, Mr. Wheelhouse carefully noted, and relayed to Mrs. Reidenhausen.

Mrs. Reidenhausen studied Mr. Franks for quite awhile before she decided on her course of action. Once she had made up her mind, though, she set to work. She made a call to an exclusive watchmaker in Switzerland, where she arranged to have a one-of-a-kind Swiss wristwatch made, covered with diamonds and gold. It was so gaudy that the watchmaker had to ask her three times if she was certain this was what she wanted. She was certain. The more obscene and pretentious the better, she said. When it was finished it was so ugly the watchmaker made her swear never to show it in Europe. "Send it straight to America. That's where this monstrosity belongs." he said. It cost $2 million euros and had a diameter of 4 inches. It had to be big to fit all the jewels. It also had an engraved image of Mr. Obidiah Franks in the face, just to maximize the ego-boosting effect of it. Mr. T would have been proud to wear it back in his day. It was pure 'new money ghetto' and no class - exactly what she wanted.

No class
Mr. Wheelhouse, meanwhile, had finally established the kind of relationship with Mr. Franks in which he felt comfortable asking dangerous questions. "What would it take to get you to release my client, just for the day so he can play a round of golf with me and then come straight back here? What could I do for you to make this worth your while?" Mr. Wheelhouse asked, as he unfastened his Rolex watch and began playing with it absentmindedly in full view of Mr. Franks.

Mr. Franks eyes immediately fell to the wristwatch and they seemed to enlarge just a bit as he contemplated his answer. "I ..." he faltered "I couldn't ... I don't know. When he first arrived he was a priority to the President. He would have me arrested if I lost this prisoner."

"Yes, but it's been awhile now and this whole thing has clearly fallen through the cracks." Mr. Wheelhouse countered. "The President doesn't even remember who he is anymore, or why he had him arrested. And as for the boy, Brandon, he doesn't belong here in the first place. Surely my client and his daughter's friend could have a pass for one little day of recreation, just so they can forget their troubles for a bit. They haven't even been to any sort of hearing since coming here. You know they've been forgotten."

These discussions went on over and over again. Each time they met to talk, Mr. Wheelhouse was wearing a new and different wristwatch. Each time he asked Mr. Franks what it would take to get his client and possibly Brandon released on some kind of temporary pass, he would loosen the watch and take it off, drawing the greedy attention of Mr. Franks.

Finally, Mr. Wheelhouse entered Mr. Franks office with no watch on his wrist at all. He placed his briefcase on Mr. Franks' desk and said "I want to make you a final offer, and then I'm taking my family and retiring to Canada and we will likely never have the opportunity to discuss this again." Saying this he opened his briefcase and pulled out the gaudy wristwatch, slowly pulling it out and displaying it to maximum effect on top of the black case, which contrasted sharply with the golden, gleaming watch and made it appear to glow. Mr. Franks eyes fell to the watch and immediately bulged, almost leaping out of his head and raping the watch excitedly. "I'll be honest with you and no games," Mr Wheelhouse said. "I want to exchange this one-of-a-kind Swiss wristwatch for my client and the boy, Brandon. The watch cost $5 million Euros to make and is worth substantially more than that in this economy."

Within the hour Mr Wheelhouse was waving goodbye to Mr. Reidenhausen and Brandon as they boarded an Airbus jet for Germany. It was a simple matter to bribe the TSA agents and convince them that no passports would be necessary. No effort was made to hide either fugitive. It simply wasn't necessary when a bribe could buy access to whatever they needed. They flew first class to Berlin, landing at midnight. Mrs. Reidenhausen and Red were there, anxiously waiting to greet them. Mr. Reidenhausen had barely walked out of the ramp before his little girl had thrown herself into his arms screaming "DAD! DAD! You made it!" She burst out crying.

Mrs. Reidenhausen had to practically pry Red from her father's arms in order to hug him herself. While Mr. and Mrs. Reidenhausen hugged and kissed, Red spotted Brandon standing quietly behind her father.

"Brandon!" she shouted, not having been told that he was free as well and escaping with her father to Germany. She started to run and hug him without thinking twice, but then she paused. It was an awkward moment. Finally she went ahead and threw her arms around him and hugged him anyway.

"I'm not really gay," Brandon whispered as Red squeezed the air out of him.

"What?" Red questioned, loosening her grip and looking up into his eyes.

"I'm not really gay," he said again. "I just said that because my dad told me it would protect me by making it awkward for them to try to make some sort of sacrificial lamb out of me. I guess he was right. It sure stirred up a lot of trouble, although it still didn't make them let me go."

Red smiled a huge smile after hearing this. "Oh my God, Brandon, I nearly died when you said you were gay! I've always had the biggest crush on you." She began to blush as the words escaped her in a rush of 'did-I-say-that-out-loud.'

Brandon grinned, embarrassed. "Yeah, I know. I kinda feel the same way about you. I was gonna ask you to prom, but I kinda, you know, got jumped by the cops before we got to the prom part of the school year."

Red was so excited at hearing this she began to hop up and down, still holding her arms around Brandon, looking like a big blonde bunny rabbit and smiling from ear to ear.

He likes me!
Three weeks after Mr. Reidenhausen and Brandon escaped and fled to Germany, the US military invaded the White House in a 4 a.m. raid that included the cooperation of the Secret Service. Not a shot was fired. No one in the military or the Secret Service had been paid for weeks, and feeding their families had become a big enough issue that quiet rumors of a coup become open discussions of it throughout the ranks of the military, the agents of the Department of Justice, and law enforcement across the country. President Obama and his family were apprehended and escorted out of the White House. An emergency election was called for.  Now-President Joe Biden ran against challenger Mitt Romney, in a continuation of the election that President Obama had cancelled the previous year. In infamous presidential debate gaffes, Joe Biden referred to the United States as "the People's Republic of America" and claimed that Mitt Romney "clearly has no dick."  It was widely believed that these odd statements helped cost Biden the presidency, as Mitt Romney won in a narrow victory.  Slowly America tried to return to normal.

The Reidenhausens eventually returned to their home in the United States. Dr. Zingel and his wife never returned. Red's junior year at Briarcrest felt a bit odd after having lived in Germany in exile. Brandon also returned, having graduated from high school while in Germany. The following year, true to his word, he took Red Riding Hood to her prom.

And she lived happily ever after.

The End
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