'Yes son.'

Today at school we discussed threats and fear.
And those people trying to harm us.

'And? '

A week ago the teacher kept calling them terrorists.
But today?
She said they were extremists.
What's an 'extremist'?

'Someone who spends money we can't afford.
To then squeeze every penny we've got to go shopping.
With it believed I wont see,
New coats, dresses and shoes,
Hidden under the bed.
Wrapped in sheets as if they were mummies.'

So there are terrorists,
Someone tries to hide under our beds?
Wrapped up like mummies?

Don't have that kind of fear, son.
There is only one I know...
Who makes claims to have a doctor's appointment,
But I am willing to bet is at the mall right now.
Making plans where to hide other stuff.'

I don't understand.

'You will my son.
Sometimes I am terrorized I just want to scream.
But I don't.
I pretend I don't notice.
Then I get up slowly to go to the bathroom.
And once inside...I lock the door to pray.

Stop it, daddy. You're scaring me.

'I don't mean to. Trust me I don't.
I wish there was a way,
I could prepare you for that 'look'.
That look that will forever have you hypnotized.
I wish I could be there to cover your eyes.
And tell you to run as fast as you can.
The other way.
But that look that will hook you,
Will have you programmed as if you are a robot.
You can't escape it. God knows I tried. I failed.

I am really confused.

'We'll share notes one day.
But promise me what we discuss,
You will never tell your mother.
She's part of it.'

Part of it.
Part of what?

'The plot.'


'All extremists plot and meet at the mall.'

What about the terrorists?

'Don't worry about them.
I'm sure none of them brag about having good credit.'

Are you talking about mommy?

And don't you dare tell her I was.
I will deny it.
I will deny making you a tuna sandwich.
And will accuse you of drinking all the juice.'

Why is it so confusing?

I wish I had a magic wand,
To prevent you from ever falling in love.'

Daddy, are you here? ~

There's your sister.
Let's pretend we don't know each other.
That's the only way we can protect ourselves.
She's one of 'them'.
Another extremist! '

~Daddy? ~

by Lawrence S. Pertillar

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