Keep it hidden, keep it safe, the day will come when people will want it again.
That had been almost twenty years ago, and Cliff wasn’t certain that his mother’s words would ever come true. He kept the item, the precious item that he’d looked at so often when no one else was looking, under lock and key and on his person as much as he could since he was a teenager. But there were some days when it felt so heavy, as though it had gained weight with each passing day that he’d kept it hidden. But revealing it wasn’t the way to go just yet, especially not with the current sentiment that stood so firmly against it.
Had America gone to hell in the last two decades? Damned right it had, and he had the losses to prove it. As a half-black, half-Irish individual in what remained of America, he’d learned that he would be easily accepted by some if he did what his parents had taught him so long ago, which meant being respectful, honest, and forthright. But if he was caught being nice to said people he was called every vile and racist name that people could think of, and there were plenty since he’d heard a dictionary’s worth in the past 20 years of his life. Then there were the apologists, the anarchists, and those that had believed that tearing down the governmental structure of America had been the way to go. Reform hadn’t been enough, they’d wanted to tear it all down, from the White House to the police force to, well, just everything.
The politicians had fought, they’d tried to quell the fires that they’d started, but it had been too late. The cops couldn’t do anything any longer, as they were just another glorified street gang being paid by state politicians who were taxing their people into oblivion. This was no longer the United States of America. It was still America, but there was nothing united about it. Each state existed for itself and would gladly take what it could from its own citizens, all while denouncing each other and claiming why one state was better than another because of this or that. The worst thing was that due to the so-called government losing such vast control, the worst gangs, Antifa and Black Lives Matter, along with several splinter groups, had finally done what no one else could. They’d abolished the flag, the symbol of the United States, and they’d burned every last one they’d found.
The only reason one still existed, as far as he knew, was that they’d never found the one in his pack. But that particular run of luck felt like it was running out.
(to be continued)