By Keith Connaghan-Jones


This day was not different than any other in Dwibe, Iowa. It began with the radio blaring at 5:46 a.m. The rerun of Rush Limbaugh from the previous day jolted Hank out of his fitful sleep. "Do you realize how much money the American people pay the government each year?"

"A hell of a lot of money," Hank shouts back at the radio. As he sits up, Hank pushes the sleeping bag that doubles as his covers, down on the floor at the foot of his bed. Wearing only his generic Kmart boxer's, he trod to the bathroom. Clicking on the light, he squinted from the glare coming off the dull yellow linoleum floor.

Scratching the back of his head, he turned the shower on as cold is it would go. Hanks whole body flexed as he jumped in the shower, the cold water acting as a muscle stimulant.

It was a Wednesday so his routine was different; this was his one-day out of the whole week he shaved. Taking great care not to cut himself, Hank went through the motions of shaving. In the matter of 2 1/2 minutes, he was cleanly shaven.

"Militia Monthly. All right!" Hanks said softly to himself. It was the seventh of the month, which was usually when this particular magazine arrived in his jet-black mailbox. Hank noticed another small brown package in his mail with a return address that he didn't recognize. Immediately he ran to the nearest storm drain. He held the package as still as possible and threw it in the drain. As he walked back to the house he looked around skittishly to see if anyone had seen him.

Opening the door, Hank grabbed the rest of the mail, most of which he ended up throwing away, because he wasn't familiar with the return address.

Once Hank finished getting ready, complete with the Mailman suit and bag, he stepped out of his house onto the front porch. Three steps out, the sweat and paranoia set in, it was a delusional feeling that someone was watching and following him. Slouching over and pulling his color up over his ears he began the 15-minute walk to the Post Office.

The entire day of sorting and delivering mail was again the typical day for Hank in Dwibe Iowa. Constant glances behind, little jumps, all coming from the thought that they are after him. They, being the authorities from Kentucky. Where Hank became disgruntled, killed three people and wounded four. The thought sometimes triggered flashbacks, which would cause Hank to stare into space for a few minutes. The lady yelling, all the mail, it all just started to add up to the point where Hank couldn't take it any more. He took the cold hard steel in his hand and began to pull the trigger. It happened in slow motion, Hank could almost see the bullets flying through the air. The people falling, blood, Hank running.

Every unfamiliar face would send Hank into a fright. To Hank, every new face was definitely the face of an authority out to get him. This is why his postal route was through mostly neighborhoods, where the faces are familiar. He stayed away from the Fairgrounds and the Hinky-Dinky because tourists and non-Dwibes would most likely be there.

Again being a typical day, after his route Hank would nonchalantly wind up in the Wilted Rose. No one ever saw him come or go, but somehow, every night, Hank would end up having a beer and talking with Cletus. Every once in a while, Hank would get up, intending to talk to Madame concerning Doramae. Doramae was one of the Madame's employees. For about seventy five dollars you could do pretty much anything you wanted with her. Doramae would go around with the intent of a saleswoman, trying to sway the men into spending their money. Sitting in laps, rubbing shoulders and brushing hair were all part of the sales pitch. Hank would get up to talk with Madame about three times a night, and every time Hank would end up either getting another beer or going to the bathroom.

Tonight, when Doramae arrived at Hank she produced the usual reaction. Slouching in towards the table he began to tense up. When she left, he would go back to the regular talking and drinking, but keeping a close eye on her movements. Sometimes his mind would wander to the things he would do to her if he could get nerve to request her company. Someone to talk to, be with, sometimes more sometimes less.

Usually after about five beers and two trips to the bathroom, or what ended up being about 10:30 p.m., Hank would leave. This night was different. After two trips to the bathroom and three beers, Hank's head shot up. Hank's steady worried stare followed a white Suburban which drove by, the window of the Rose. Hank, felt it moved a little too slow. Cletus didn't notice this; he was too busy fighting with Hans, the bartender, over an incident concerning the waitress.

By the time the Suburban had passed the Brothel, Hank had disappeared. He was on his way home. Half-walking, half-running, Hank went to his house, all the while slouching and staring at the ground.

Slamming his door, Hank started the process of making sure that the authorities were not going to get a hold of him. He took a grenade, locked it in place and put the pin around the door handle. On his way downstairs, he turned off the lights. He went to the closet to the left of his bed, opened the secret compartment in the floor and pulled out his A-K 47, his Barrette 9 mm and his combat knife. Then he went to his basement window where he could see the front door and half of the front lawn. Gun aimed and ready, Hank sat their the entire night.

"Ask not what you can do for your government, but ask what your government can do for you!" The radio blared.