The Second Republic
by Steven Clark Bradley
Somewhere over MinnesotaMarch 6, 2011, 12:58 p.m.
“We want to thank you for choosing AmericanAirlines. We’ve reached ou
r cruising altitude of thirty-
five thousand feet, and we’ve got an hour and
twenty more minutes of flight time. I have turned off the seatbelt sign, but try to stay buckled up when
seated. Thank you.”
For Fred Lockridge, an unbuckled seatbelt was the least of hisworries. Earlier in the morning, he had not thought a thing about thatdead pig that Elmer Risner had dragged into the feed store. To him, itwas another dumb hillbilly showing his stupidity. He had forgottenthat he was one of them hillbillies, himself. So, he got out of there andheaded home quickly because he had a plane to catch.
Fred had found a deal of a lifetime. Some old farmer in southernSouth Dakota announced his retirement and hadhis cows for sell cheap. Fred had his ticket, hischeck book, and hopes as big as the sky that heflew in at four hundred nautical miles an hour.That was then, this was now.
He squirmed in his seat when changesbegan to take place over most of his body. Maybeit was all that walking and climbing steps that