Friday, July 13, 2012

Well, Madtown Mobbers, I've had a lot of questions about my first novel, Skinner's War, so I'm giving you a quick look inside! I copied it from a PDF file, so pardon the strange layout... And remember as you see things that are just happening now, that I wrote this in 1999!

Blood ran off the edge of the stainless steel table. It splattered the
tops of the man’s boots, and pooled in large sticky puddles on the
floor at his feet. He wielded the large knife with surgical precision,
it’s blade glistening with crimson as he went about his work.
His mind drifted as he sliced the tough hide from the flesh,
finding solace in memories of better times. Sure, he had a job,
such as it is, and a roof over his head, which was more than some
could claim, but he was as far from content as a man could be.
His memories often slipped back a decade, returning him to
the little shop where he turned boxes of rusty parts into fire-breathing
steel steeds. To the shiny chrome, glistening paint, and supple
leather that his hands assembled into an extension of his soul. To
the wind blowing through his beard, and the long black hair that
flowed from under the small helmet he wore as he cruised the back
roads, his Avon tires caressing the curves.
Inadvertently, his right hand twisted the knife as his mind
twisted the throttle, causing him to slice through the hide. The
hole was small, but if the foreman caught it, they’d dock him the
price of the hide for damn sure. “Son of a bitch,” he mumbled, “In
a bastard society like this, you can’t get ahead no matter what you
He’d had to close his motorcycle shop ten years before, ending
a life-long dream because the damned bureaucrats in Washington
had decided that motor vehicles were ruining the air quality, so
they had rationed gasoline, and restricted travel to a bare minimum.
No more cruising the back roads and boulevards. No more
trips to the coast for the weekend. Now, you had to have papers to
travel, and those were only issued on an as-needed basis, for business.
He laughed under his breath when he thought about how it
all began.
In the mid-90’s, both major political parties, who had been
the only viable leadership for over 200 years, were embroiled in
scandals the likes of which were never seen before in American
One of the oldest families in the political arena, the Kennerlies,
were involved in drug use, sex with teenage girls, adultery, and
financial double-dealings. Used to the media turning their heads
at the appropriate time, they were shocked to discover that this
newfound notoriety cost them seats in the Senate and the House,
and even forced some of the family into taking private sector jobs.
The Speaker of the House, an abrasive fellow to begin with,
lost the public trust when he was censured by an ethics committee
for financial misdeeds, about the same time the freshman representatives
found their resolve for their “revolution” had melted under
the flood of bad publicity over cuts in social services and welfare
Infighting among the party members was at an all time high,
with senators, congressmen, and representatives criticizing each
other and their own party without regard of what “airing their
dirty laundry in public” was doing to their credibility, and that of
their respective parties.
The White House, long held in reverent awe by most citizens,
was turned into a world class hotel, with rooms for rent to the
highest bidder, teas and private audiences with the President for a
price, and policy made by suggestions from foreign interests who’s
contributions went into the party’s “war chest”.
A substantial number of White House personnel were working
without security clearance because of drug use or criminal
records, and the F.B.I. was used as an internal spy ring to “sniff
out” enemies of the “most ethical administration in history.” (Or
so it was called before the President’s first term in office.)
The majority of the appointees to major posts such as Surgeon
General and Attorney General, and a large number of White House
aides and councils resigned or were forced to resign, as scandal
after scandal was made public.
The lives and business dealings of the President and First Lady
before their election were under constant scrutiny by special prosecutors,
and rumors of their impending indictment were rampant
in the press.
Once more, an arrogant administration had managed to snatch
defeat from the slobbering jaws of victory.
The distrust and revulsion that this obvious misuse of power
and betrayal of public trust instilled in the people of America led
to the rise of a relatively unknown party that was listed on the ballot
in the last several national and state elections as the Ecology Party.
Led by a former Underwriters Laboratory product tester named
Raphael Major, they were never taken seriously by the two major
parties until their upset victory in the presidential election of 2004.
It was a victory that shocked none any more than the bewildered
leaders of the Ecology Party.
Thrust into a position of power and respect that he never seriously
expected to win, and was horribly ill prepared for, President
Major did what the last new President and most of those before
him had done. He tried to amass and hold all the power he possibly
could over the American people.
The new president did not trust the military in any way, shape,
or form. He also viewed the F.B.I., and the C.I.A. with no small
measure of distrust. Therefore, at a suggestion from his advisors,
he founded the National Police Force.
The N.P.F. was an entity unto itself, answering only to the
White House. The rank and file members of the N.P.F. were called
“soldiers,” rather than officers, because President Major knew that
the public held more fear of the military than it did for police
The officers of the N.P.F., who’s highest rank was Captain,
liked the fact that their acts of domestic terrorism were largely
blamed on the military by the citizens. They even received military
surplus weapons and vehicles, and resided at former military
bases that had been closed by cutbacks during previous administrations.
President Major never consulted the Chiefs of Staff, because
he felt that the military was the enemy of the Earth, and only
destroyed the environment. He did not inform them of any changes
in policy, or apprise them of the fact that a whole new pseudomilitary
force was now operating on American soil. His only comment
was “Let those stuffy-assed brass polishers take care of Bosnia
or somewhere, and leave us alone!”
The Ecology Party had originated out of a coalition of ecological
groups operating primarily in California and the Pacific Northwest.
They were opposed to logging, hunting, fishing, off-road vehicles,
and any other use of the outdoors that didn’t fit into the
tight parameters of what they felt were politically correct pastimes,
such as hiking, bird watching, and group sex.
A magnet for not only left wing radicals in the elite environmental
movement, but for the naive members of “generation X,”
who felt guilty about any wrong purportedly done to any cultural
or ethnic group at any time in history, and who saw it as their
duty to right those wrongs at any cost.
Also welcomed to the fold were the militant animal rights
activists, who, after repeated exposure to “Bambi” are convinced
that animals really talk when humans are not around, and also
experience the full range of emotions that humans do.
Since all these separate groups helped to cinch the victory of
the rapidly growing party, President Major felt it was only fair
that each faction had an advisor on his personal staff to assure that
his decisions were balanced in all ways. Unfortunately, he did not
take into consideration the fact that 75% of the American people
were not represented in his cabinet, and furthermore, could not
care less about most of the causes those in his cabinet did represent.
One of the first things on the agenda of the new President was
to call a cabinet meeting to discuss gun control. While previous
administrations pressed their own gun control bills, never in history
did a President have such newly elected support as President
Major now enjoyed.
Senator Barbara Shepherd, also of “Humans for Animal Ethics”
opened the discussion at President Majors’ call of “Ladies
“We, as a society,” she shouted, “Cannot continue to let innocent
lives be shattered by people with guns!” After a sizable round
of applause, she continued. “Last year alone, thousands of deer,
bear, and other species of our fur-bearing friends were willfully
and callously slaughtered, leaving behind grieving loved ones to
cry their little hearts out in the quiet of the forest!”
Waiting for the applause to once more die down, Barbara made
a great show of wiping a tear that trickled down her heavily powdered
cheek with a monogrammed silk hankie.
“The exploitation of animals must not be allowed to continue!”
she intoned, oblivious to the plight of the silkworm that had more
than a passing interest in the manufacture of her hankie.
“We really MUST ban the ownership and use of all guns. Rifles,
pistols, and especially the ones that shoot those nasty millimeter
The President, who was no stranger to firearms, having seen
one as a child, rolled his eyes and said, “Barb, Dear, they are called
“Whatever,” she replied with her usual arrogance. “We really
must be rid of them, whatever they are, once and for all!”

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