FLAGS IN THE SAND (SHORT-STORY)

flags in sand

By:Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

PART I

He arrived on the 4th of July, “a hell of a way to spend the independence day of the greatest country in the world”, that’s what the Defense Secretary of the United States, Franklin Benjamin said to himself while visiting a site in the United Arab Republic (U.A.R), where a horrific bombing by Americans and their European and Middle Eastern allies took place.

The incident occurred the day before, on July the 3rd, and killed thousands of humanitarian workers from the United Nations and various N.G.O groups from a plethora of Western nations, who were helping hundreds of thousands of Arab refugees, who were fleeing the bloodshed caused by a war between the U.A.R and the Islamic Utopia (IU), terrorist organization, which was covertly funded by the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) to sabotage Arab nations that did not want to play ball with the U.S. and their allies on political and economic issues, especially when it came to oil.

PART II

As he made his way through the bombed out wreckage, that left the charred remains of humanitarian workers, building and automobile parts scattred every which way. The Defense secretary received a text from his personal assisstant from the White House, that read:

“URGENT! CALL THE PRESIDENT, HE’S FURIOUS AND IS LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO BLAME”.

Franklin immediately took out his encryped-government issued Jet-back Galaxy phone and with his right hand slightly trembling out of nervousness, the Defense Secretary located the name Eric Powers from his contacts and with a deep breath, he pushed the button on his phone’s touchscreen to call the president of the United States of America.

Eric Powers, the 2nd-term president of the United States, was a man many political insiders described as being as rough and tough as a ghetto Detroit pitbull, more conniving than the 16th century Italian political theorist and diplomat Niccolo Machivelli, the writer of the political treatise, “The Prince”. On top of that already wonderful dating profile, it was a common joke that Eric Powers was really a descendant of the green ogre, Shrek, because many people considered him to be so damn ugly.

But, what he lacked in looks he made up with power, the ultimate aphrodisiac, which is probably why is other nickname by some of his female staffers was “the mack who looks like Shrek”.

When Franklin’s phone dialed the president’s number, he knew he could be dialing the number of the United States’ president for the very last time, on his government issued phone, as the Secretary of Defense. Franklin knew the president as being “two-faced” and that he could and most likely would throw him under the bus for this international disaster if he felt he needed to.

“Franklin, you there?”

Franklin replied: “yes, I am Mr.President”.

“How can we make this incident disappear?”, president Powers demanded in a very commanding and intimidating tone to his Secretary of Defense.

Franklin responded: “well, Mr.President…thousands of humanitarin workers from several western nations were killed by us and our allies from Europe and some from the region. We just can’t sweep this under the rug, so to speak, like the time you got drunk at the holiday party at the White House and sexually harassed and assaulted some of your female staffers when your powerful aphrodisiac so to speak failed to put those women under your spell”.

Franklin took a very long and deep breath and then he told the president:

bombing

“hundreds of millions if not over a billion people have seen the aftermath of what happened on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr and Tik Tok and various news websites and blogs, etc. We can’t couldn’t pay off that many people to keep silent, like we did with your female staffers you abused, even if we had all the money in the world”.

President Powers responded in an extremely salty tone:

“you better hope we can resolve this in a way that benefits MY ADMINISTRATION, after all the intel we used to justify the bombing was intel we got from your personal staff”.

As Franklin stood in the scorching Middle Eastern desert sun, his monkey suit soaked in sweat , surrounded by the unrecognizable human remains that were not completely blown away by the airstrikes or eaten by the now fat desert vultures, who were now so full they were unable to fly away, instead they had to slowly walk away.

Out of nowhere, Franklin suddenly got hit with the intense emotion some psychologists refer to as “fight or flight”, when he did something most politicians would be too afraid to do to the president, and that’s call president Powers out on his lies.

“Listen Mr.President”, Franklin yelled…

“This is your fault, neither I nor anyone of my staff told you to bomb anyone. We told you that we had Intel from a usually good source that there could be some terrorists working at the place as a cover, no one said it was a terrorist camp”.

With a furious anger, Franklin said:

“If you even think about throwing me under the bus for your fuck up, I’ll make sure you get ran over with me. Both of our careers will be over, both of our legacies will be destroyed “.

Not only was Franklin shocked that he spoke to the president of the most powerful country in the world that way, but so were some of his staff and other U.S. government and military officials who were around him. When Franklin pushed end call on his phone, everyone around him suddenly and loudly started cheering. No one ever had seen or heard the president, who made generals tremble, be spoken to in such a manner. It was a long time coming, many people, especially the ones around him believed.

PART III

About an hour later, While Franklin was still investigating the bombing scene with top military officials, he received a callback from the president, this time very humble. In a low almost childlike voice, that almost couldn’t be heard on the phone, half way around the world with staffers around talking.

President Powers said:

“hey, Franklin, it’s me Eric…I believe we got off on the wrong foot, were on the same team, so why don’t we use this tragic incident as justification for war, since we know terrorists were in the area”.

Franklin responded:

“Yes, so what’s your point, it’s the Middle East, there are terrorists everywhere “.

With a sadistic and joyful sound in his voice, what he said next would of made Niccolo Machiavelli envious, president Powers said:

“I realize that. Which means that there are terrorists material everywhere, right? So, lets have the C.I.A plant some terrorist material and weapons at the bomb site, maybe some weapons of mass destruction that we stored in some of our military bases in the area”.

With somewhat of of a sigh of relief, Franklin replied :

” you know this is illegal and we could go to prison for a long time if we do this”.

President Powers responded:

“When was the last time, any U.S. officials this high up ever spent a day in prison. It won’t happen, and to make sure this will be classified and sealed for the next one hundred years. So talk to our generals and some of our C.I.A staff in the area, and find a way to get Al-Qaeda material at the humanitarian site, that’s on the U.A.R sovereign soil”.

Franklin interrupted:

“But, U.A.R president Kamal Al Ahmed hates Al-Qaeda, they want to overthrow his dictatorship government and have a new Islamic caliphate.

President Powers, replied:

“I know, just claim they came to some type of agreement to fight the Islamic Utopia (I.U) terrorist organization, which was a rival of Al-Qaeda and Currently at war with the U.A.R, hell you always wanted it that way. Lets not pretend like you don’t have some warhawk in you”.

A stunned, yet relieved Franklin with a huge and gushing smile on his face, told the president:

“I think we can do that”.

IV

A few weeks later, while back in Washington D.C., Secretary of Defense Franklin Benjamin with a cup of coffee in his hand and a new pep in his step, walked pass a newsstand and purchased a New York Times newspaper. He pulled the paper close to his face and read the front page, which read:

“After bombing alleged terrorist base in the U.A.R, White House investigation finds enough evidence to justify full-scale invasion of the oil rich country. It was all made possible, thanks to the hard work of Secretary Benjamin, who was honored and awarded with several medals by the United States president, and who many now believe could be the next Republican nominee for president”.

With a sinister smirk on his face, secretary Benjamin took one last sip of his coffee and said to himself:

“Sometimes you have to turn lemons into lemonade, lemon chicken and lemon meringue pie, because I’ll be damned if I or my family is not going to eat because of someone’s fuck up”.

I Hate These Streets (Short-Story)

We’re All George Floyd

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

I hate walking down this street, I always have I guess, but for different reasons now. I walked this street for years to get to my job, before I used worry about having to defend myself against street thugs, robbers, drug dealers and other criminals. I had to keep my head on a swivel, so to speak, before my head “ended up” in a guillotine. But, at least then I knew who my enemies were and how to avoid them if possible and how to “take them on if necessary”. Now it’s a lot harder, the biggest and baddest thugs don’t wear red of the Bloods or blue of the Crips street gangs. Now the thugs wear the deep-dark blue of the local terrorist cell known as the local police department.

These new thugs (technically not new, the first police were slave catchers) rough-up young Black men and women the very same way as the old thugs. The only difference is they do it with the law behind their actions. Guilty until proven innocent, assuming you can afford a good lawyer, most Blacks in the hood can’t and will be turned into the 13th amendment version of slaves .

For a Black man in America, this gentrification is more dangerous than the White supremacist Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang. Hell, at least the Angels have to worry about going to jail for their crimes and they only really tend to mess with you if you mess with their bikes, money , women, business or fellow members of their criminal organization.

Two weeks ago a young Black man was leaving his home, where he was taking care of his elderly mother. On that day he intended to go to school , afterwards he was going to go to work, before ultimately returning back to his two-bedroom apartment to cook breakfast for his mother and to give her, her daily medication. While he was in his way to class, in this formerly poor Black neighborhood, he was gunned down by the police.

The officers claimed one of these new residents (tech yuppies ) who have helped gentrify the area, called the cops and claimed he had a gun. He did not, he was in a small neighborhood park, texting his mom, asking her if she was okay and if she needed anything.

This protest is not simply about George Floyd, it’s about fighting against a system of White supremacy.

As I look down from heaven and see my elderly mom crying next to my silver and gray coffin in the middle of our local Baptist church.

“To protect and serve, whom?”

I say to myself from my new home in the clouds.

REMEMBERING THE RUDE AWAKENING (SHORT-STORY)

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

At the age of maybe eight or nine years old, I learned that loving someone didn’t mean that you would not betray them. I remember the incident like it happened yesterday, even though it happened decades ago.

I woke up sick one morning before school, vomiting the meatloaf my mom cooked for dinner the night before. My vomit covered the bathroom toilet and floor. I walked down the hallway in our small one-story flat, after leaving the bathroom with a now empty stomach. Afterwards, I knocked on the bedroom door of my parents, expecting to tell them both that ” I was too sick to go to school”. Instead my mother came to the door alone, I assumed my father had already left for work; I figured he probably left early to either go to the wholesale or to wait for early morning deliveries from his vendors.

I told my mom I was sick and I did not feel good enough to go to school, she agreed with me after seeing the vomit on my face and smelling its odor on my breathe. I quickly went back to bed and soon fell into a deep sleep. I felt like I had slept for a couple of hours, when I was awakened by the loud noise of two people, I first assumed my mother forgot something, when I heard the voice of my father, I thought he probably came back to retrieve something for his store.

Soon after, I heard the voice of a woman, but the voice I heard didn’t sound like my mother. I rushed to the bedroom of my parents, forgetting to knock which was custom in our household. What I saw next I will never forget and it still makes me sick to this day; much sicker than I was when I vomited. Hell I would of vomited on my father if I had any left in my childhood stomach. My father immediately rushed to the door, and forced me to leave. I waited outside for a few minutes, moments later my father now fully-clothed, grabs me by the shoulder, looks me in the eyes and tells me:

“Never tell your mother!”

Soon after, my father told me to go back to my bedroom.

THE TOOTH (Short-Story)

missing teet

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

I walked away with one of the man’s canine teeth in my right shirt pocket, of my favorite long-sleeved red and black plaid shirt. I kept the tooth as a reminder, not so much as a souvenir for myself, but as a reminder to the racist creep, who had the nerve to attempt to put his hands on my girlfriend.

“So, please have a seat, and tell me what happened, Mr.Gunner?” the police officer said to me”.

I replied “I left the Moonlight NightClub with my girlfriend at around 1:00 am. A thug, who was hanging outside the club seemed to get very angry when he saw my girlfriend Sara and I holding hands. The sight of an educated black man and his white girlfriend holding hands seemed to make him irate. His face soon turned a fiery red, he got so mad a vain in his neck started beating rapidly and strongly. As we walked down the street, he called me a n#gger and he called my girlfriend a n#gger lover”.

I kind of smirked at the officer and said:

“Being from the Midwest, I’ve been called a n#gger more than a few times, so I did not really get upset, it’s kind of expected, sometimes. But, his words made my girlfriend, become very upset and protective of me. She called him a white-trash, trailer park bigot. In response to her sweet words, he lifted his right hand in an aggressive manner, like he was going to hit her with all of his power. His hands came just a few inches away from her face, but unfortunately for him, my hands were a lot quicker than his, and I knocked him out”.

I omitted that I put his tooth in my pocket, I did not want to ruin the image of us being victims of a hate crime,(which we were) that I believe the police officer had of my girlfriend and me.

“No need to give this racist abuser of women any sympathy”, I quietly said to myself”.

The police officer walked me and my girlfriend over to the frontt of the large gray two-story former warehouse, that now held the Moonlight nightclub. Intoxicated clubgoers were still hanging outside with some of the very burly African-American and Samoan security crew, who were these scary-looking men dressed in all-black with staff written on the back of their shirts in white letters. Those guards secured the interior and perimeter of the club, and looked out for us, just in case the bigot had some friends in the club that we didn’t know about. The lead police officer pulled the Security manager to the side, and lucky for me, he completely backed-up my side of the story.

The police officer looked at me and my girlfriend and said:

You’re free to go.”

The officer then looked at the bigot, who was handcuffed, sitting on the curb, half-dazed with a missing tooth and told him:

“You’re going to jail”

The Cause (Short-Story)

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Kwame Kodjoe, 34 , writer and activist. Kelsea Swanton, 28, psychologist and activist .

Kwame:

Seated across from my friend, confidant, and fellow activist. We are waiting for our meals to be given to us by the waitress, before the protest. With a big smile on my face, I jokingly tell Kelsea:

“You better eat up, you don’t want to go to jail on an empty stomach.”

Usually, she would laugh when I made a joke like that, she loves how I could bring light such a dark situation. But, she didn’t laugh this time, I knew she was still upset, she cried all day when the verdict was announced for the cops who shot the unarmed mentally-challenged boy 22 times. I noticed 15 minutes after the waitress delivered our food, that Kelsea still has not eaten a single thing on her plate. I reached across the large table that was wedged between us in the diner, grabbed her hand, looked deep into her beautiful green-emerald colored eyes, and tell her:

“We are not going to stop fighting, not until we get justice.”

Kelsea:

“I can’t believe that they actually murdered a fucking child in plain sight, and that racist all-white jury said not guilty; I bet they wouldn’t of said that if five black cops murdered a white boy who was mentally challenged .”

I was so emotionally down after the trial, that my close friend, Kwame encouraged me to go to a protest with him. That was a couple of days ago. Now we are sitting across from each other, in this classic 1950’s style cafe in downtown, Seattle. A few blocks from where the protest is to take place. It is in front of the federal court, in the city hall area, where the verdict was announced. Kwame “cracks” a joke, I usually laugh at most of his jokes, but right before a protest, for the brutal and violent murder of a child is a little too inappropriate for me at this moment. Kwame is a wonderful friend, his big brown almond shaped eyes look deeply into my green eyes, he grabs my right hand from across the cafe’s large vintage looking brown table, that looks like an exact replica from the tv show “Happy Days”, and whispers to me:

“We are not going to stop fighting, not until we get justice.”

I am not sure I believe him, even though I so much want to…

The story is fiction, but it was inspired by a real murder trial in San Francisco. I went to the protest and where friends and family gathered to demand justice for Alex Nieto. The story it is based on is in the link below:

JUSTICE FOR ALEX NIETO!