Bradley's Story

From the World of New Beginnings

Brian W. Porter
My name is Bradley, oh, Monig. You'll have to forgive the hesitation; it's been years since I used my last name. Before the death (the plague, or whatever it was) I managed the maintenance department of one of the high priced condominium complexes just northwest of the small east coast city that sits in ruins over that way. Years of hard work gained me the post. In school, I took all the shop classes available. After school, I worked part time for an automobile repair garage changing oil and filters. At my high school graduation party, a friend's father, the head of a private security firm, offered me a job at this complex. He explained that it was still under construction, and in a few years they would have the money and the need for a maintenance person. Of course I jumped at the offer. Decent pay, a chance for advancement, and an atmosphere I knew I'd fit into convinced me I should take the position. My friend's father also said the very early morning hours were a good time to read and learn. The graveyard shift at the gate began my life at the condos, along with management training and other courses. Small repair jobs also helped drive off the boredom that stealthily grew after several hours. Not long after people moved in, I gained a reputation for honesty and quality work. I pick up extra money watching pets and watering plants while people were on vacation or away on business. Over the years, I advanced to day work, then the position for maintenance opened. Of course I got it, and advanced until I oversaw the maintenance department. I still occasionally covered when the guards could not show. Away from work, I had little time and few friends. I found very few people in the world I felt I could trust. Most people were not as honest as me; I couldn't be comfortable with them. I guess that's why I became known as a loner. I found a wife for a couple of years, but all she wanted was more money and to shop forever. I don't think she had love or trust in her. She got rid of me, except for the monthly bill that kept growing every year. The only place I felt vaguely

comfortable with people was the naturalist club. You would say nudist. People there did not pry into your life. You were there, and that was it. Back then, I didn't see a need to keep up with the news either. I preferred reading to watching television, except an occasional movie if I worked the graveyard security shift. Sometimes I'd listen to the radio while I repaired parts at the workbench. I started hearing rumors, people talking and the occasional advertisements for the nightly news and talk shows that mentioned new weapons in the Mideast, chemicals that no one in their right mind would possess. Rumors abounded that the CIA believed one chemical had the potential to be nearly one hundred percent effective, a scary thought for any thinking individual. Yet that came from the CIA who had bungled the Bay of Pigs, the assassination attempt on Saddam, the location of the Chinese embassy, Afghanistan's drug lords, and other missions supposedly good for the world. I'd also heard of terrorists and fanatical Islamic groups growing in the Mideast from these reports. I didn't know what to think. I began to lose sleep worrying what would happen. The easiest solution I could think of was to stop listening to the radio and watching TV. So that's what I did. I went to work and ignored the world. Until that day. *** Other short stories and essays from this author available at Copyright 2010 Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs You may share this work with anyone in any way with the following provisions. You must share the complete work, including the title and this notice. You may not make any changes. You may not use this work commercially or accept payment without the written permission of the Author. Any and all rights and credit are held by Brian W. Porter.

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