Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Last War: Chapter 22, Part 3

“I thought the U.S. didn’t deal with terrorists,” said Metzger when they had sat down.

“That’s what I’m here about,” said York, “The American government can’t afford to keep sending troops here to try to siege you. The president has drawn up a treaty to recognize Washington D.C. as an independent nation.”

“Well, this is highly irregular.”

“These are highly irregular times,” said York.

She placed the hand-written treaty on the tabletop. Metzger scanned it briefly. It was mostly legal jargon.

“Now this says,” said Metzger, “That the United States recognizes the independent nation of the Claw. As such, diplomatic relations have been created. The Claw consists of all the land within the gates and trenches which we have built, not to be extended unless such an agreement is reached. America and the Claw are no longer in a formal state of war, although you do reserve the right to declare war at any time. Your army leaves the gates, and anyone who wants to join the Claw only needs to come to the gates. You won’t stop anyone. That’s it?”

“That’s it,” confirmed York.

“I want reparations,” said Metzger simply.

“Reparations? Are you joking? If anything, you should be paying us!”

Metzger just smiled.

“Remember, you can’t spell “negotiation” without G-A-I-N.”

Sarah smashed her fist into the table impotently. She looked around as if pleading for someone to make sense of things. Finally her gaze returned to Metzger.

"You know, you make me sick. I don't know what kind of a psychopath you are, but to collect an army of impressionable, weak-minded fools, and then use them to commit mass homicide and throw an entire country into turmoil for your own personal gain is beyond me."

"What, you think I collected this army? You think I made the Claw, General? I didn't make the Claw. They made me."


Metzger hastily signed the document and handed it to York before she could say anything else.

"Call off your dogs, general. We're willing to settle for peace."

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