It’s getting towards the end of the day. The Blu-Ray pile has Snowpiercer and two Quatermass movies, freshly purchased, waiting to be unwrapped and watched. The beer is in the fridge. I’m about to start putting together the special dinner platter for Luscious and I that marks the point where I wish you all a Merry Christmas and book the hell out until the other side of the festivities.
So, before I go, to say thanks for popping in every now and again and reading my bewildering blether, have a short story on me. It’s not even remotely festive.
Enjoy, Merry Christmas, and see you on the other side.
Perry hadn’t slept in three days. Not since he’d worked it out. Not since the last piece of the puzzle had presented itself, like a full-colour, 3D blow to the frontal cortex and he’d finally, after twenty years, fit the whole thing together. The World Government was real. He’d found them. The masters of humanity: identified; tagged; nailed down. Incontrovertible proof that, despite all the conspiracy theories, despite all the crazy people and the pop culture mockery and the Hollywood hand-waving, there was a secret cabal that ruled the planet. The faces in his folder. The names on his list. They all checked out. They all left trails. It had taken him twenty years, twenty years of playing the game, being the spy in the network, moving up the corporate and military and Government ladders until he could talk to the right people, stalk the right people, track the right people. And find the right people. All in his folder. All on his list.
Three days. He hadn’t slept, hadn’t stopped moving. Constant movement had become his watchword, his way of avoiding surveillance. He knew too much for safety. Who they were. How they did it. Mind control. Perry snorted into his coffee. All those theories, all those lunatic fringes, all those message boards. All correct, without the strength of character to prove it. The Government, the real Government, could do control people’s minds. Were already doing it. Had been for years. Perry glanced around the diner. The only question was how. It wasn’t via the air. He had disproved that theory early. But it could be via contact, via subliminal messages in the TV, could even be something they put in the food. Through food. Jesus. He stared down at the coffee, then dropped the cup in sudden panic, watching the brown dregs as they pooled on the tabletop. Jesus. Through the food. He scrambled out of the booth and strode towards the exit. If they were doing it through food then movement was no longer a protection. It was a weakness, perhaps his only one. Anything prepared by a stranger was suspect. He had to get home, had to barricade himself against the world and work out what to do. He would need to source food, as fresh as possible, prepare it himself to be sure. Avoid processed meals, avoid anything tinned. Wash it himself, prepare it himself. That was the only way to be sure.
There was an ATM nearby. Perry steered towards it, peered at himself in the mirrored surface above the slot. Tired, haggard eyes stared back. He took out everything he had, made sure to keep the receipt. Leave no trace behind. That was the key. He turned the collar of his coat up, shrunk inside. A fresh food marketplace. A new kitchen knife. Supplies. Paid in cash. Talked to nobody. Said nothing. The hot weight of his file under his arm, tucked in against his ribs. Hidden. Safe. Took it out as he strode towards his flat. This, this was the evidence that would bring everything down, would expose the secret masters for what they really were, he thought, tearing it into pieces as he walked. Once this got out the world Government, the cabal, would topple. He dropped the folder into a bin, kept walking, his mind made up. Tomorrow, he would find safe avenues for release, people untouched by the global corporate message, and give them the information, see it released to the public in a million ways. He smiled, relieved now he had reached the endgame, and threw his money into an empty lot.
His flat was cold, dark, all his surveillance equipment undisturbed. Perry nodded in satisfaction. They hadn’t found him, not yet. They were still unaware of his pursuit. He put the food away, crumpled up the ATM receipt and flicked it onto the living room floor along with his empty wallet. Then he moved about the flat, making sure everything was in place: pulling out drawers, overturning furniture, slashing cushions with the new knife. Everything was as it should be. Perry released the breath he had been holding. He knew from long experience that this was the most dangerous time. The job was done but not finished. He could not afford complacency. After tomorrow, the world would be changed. There would be danger then. Those whose downfall he caused would be hurt, and would know his name. But for now he was safe, and undetected. Eat only the fresh food, he thought, draining a glass of beer from the fridge. Stay awake one more night. Be alert until the morning. Then, he nodded as he sat down at his computer and deleted the hard drive, then the secret masters will be exposed. Peace could come to the world, and eventually, to William Perry.
There was nothing left to do but wait. Perry put a can of soup on to boil, then returned to the hallway outside his flat. He made sure it was empty, closed and locked his door, then kicked it off its hinges. Twenty years of careful planning would soon be over. The lie at the heart of the world was exposed. Humanity would thank him, in time, when the cabal was thrown down. People could live free, released from their mind-controlled, drone existences. He stepped inside and lay down amongst the wrecked furniture in his living room.
Tomorrow, he thought, as he plunged the knife into his chest, again and again, tomorrow he would change the world.