… John was surrounded by them. He didn’t know what to do. He felt trapped. They were suffocating him.
Pushing against him… shoving him. Some were making deliberate contact. Vicious b*stards.
Voices shouted out at random.
“Don’t do it!”
“Don’t get sucked in!”
“You’re a murderer.”
“Time copies have rights too.”
One of them – a middle aged woman – looked him in the eye, her own green eyes wide and gleaming. He recognised the reflection of his unshaven, slightly wrinkled face in her pupils. “I know that you’re a good man. You don’t want to be like them, do you?” She pointed at the time holiday building. Her expression was scary and had the character of a fanatical kind of honesty. “We can help you. We can save you. ”
She sounded like so many others that had promised him a black and white answer to a peaceful existence. The irony was that he himself had once been a religious fanatic. At the time, he thought it would solve all of his problems. Only it turned out that he was really looking for a father figure at the time – someone who would accept him and pay him some much needed attention. The “leader” had turned out to be that person, until he found out the hard way that all his “leader” wanted and accepted was undying belief and observance. It wasn’t at all about John and his feelings. That experience had jaded him. As far as John was concerned, all fanatics cared about was saving themselves with their beliefs and feelings of superiority.
The crowd was diverting him away from his destination. John’s knees began to wobble under the pressure of his very real fear. He didn’t feel very stable having to deal with his anxiety in the face of this raw aggression. How dare they? How dare they make him scared! Who the hell did they think they were, frightening him like that? The holidays were legal goddammit! They had no right, no basis, to impose themselves or their morals on… (him) everyone else.
He didn’t want to be saved. He wanted a holiday goddammit and he deserved it… Having to put up with all the sh*t he had to put up with. His job. His meaningless life. F*ck that!
“Get out of my way!” he shouted at them, his voice breaking in mid sentence like a teenager’s. He pushed through them… through the wall of protesters.
Given his tone, the protesters tried to make it as difficult for John as possible to get to the entrance of the time holiday centre. John was running on adrenaline. His face was cherry red. If he hadn’t been so angry and fed up with the world he wouldn’t have had the courage to do it. After all, he had heard of protesters murdering time holiday makers.
Just as he held on to that thought, John was faced with a chilling outburst from one of the protesters. “I’m going to kill you,” the woman whispered. It was the fanatic from before.
John pushed her out of his blushing, steaming face. The expression from his small brown eyes and grimacing mouth was determined. He continued onwards.
Once through the entrance he would find himself face to face with a leader of millions in a matter of hours.
[To be continued… duh!]