I’ll be mixing things up a bit for the next few weeks as I sprinkle in some fictional fare that I’ve been writing as of late. It will be somber at times, flippant at others, and will consistently be integrating and exploring Neoreactionary themes. If the feedback is good (and please give your feedback on this endeavor, for it will be highly influential on future efforts) I might make it a more regular thing. With this in mind, I’d like to officially present part one of my first Neoreactionary short story: The Shadows on the Strings
It was a cold, wet, rainy day. Jonathon walked along the city sidewalk, raincoat pulled up to his ears, trying to avoid the puddles quickly forming in the numerous potholes dotted throughout the concrete. The recent city reports said that the infrastructure was in “fair condition” and “posed no danger to civilians”. Jonathon didn’t believe it for a second. He knew the guy who had crunched the data for those reports. He knew the numbers had been fudged to cover up.
Jonathon passed a boarded-up building. Two years back, it had been a boxing gym, catering mostly to ex-felons and other individuals with a rough streak and a taste for heavy weights. That alone would probably have been sufficient to get it shut down anyway under the new laws, but it had also drawn fire from local social justice groups for being an unsafe space for individuals of certain oppressed groups. Accusations of “hetero-masculine persuasions” and “perpetuating gendered untruths” peppered the city news-blog, and even the pink sign on the door that said “All Welcome” hadn’t been enough to dissuade the onslaught.
The owner, a gruff old man with silver hair and lighting-fast hands whom everyone knew as “Old Mac”, had been questioned and shaken down a bit, but had managed to avoid any worse punishment than a stiff fine. Still, the gym had meant everything to him in his retirement, and without it, Old Mac had taken to the bottle.
Old Mac had passed away five months ago. Without any known family or heirs, the property had passed into city hands, no doubt eventually fated to become public housing or a community center of some sort.
Jonathon arrived at his apartment complex, a grim-looking building with bars on the windows and barbed wire winding around the drainpipes. The scars on the brick facade were a testament to the ’23 riots, which had hit this part of town heaviest. The ghosts of the past were still depressing rent prices in this area, though the past five years had seen a slow but sure uptick.
Jonathon flashed his ID card in front of the scanner. It took three tries before the machine managed to register it correctly. The door began to swing open, but it barely made it halfway before jamming. Jonathon grumbled, and forced his way through what little opening was being offered. Though he was still on the younger side of 35, time was starting to take its toll. He could have easily slipped through the narrow space five years earlier, but he was no longer as svelte as he once was.
While his body was beginning to slow down though, his mind was as quick and agile as it had ever been. Part of this was almost certainly due to his access to certain black-market nootropics. Though technically illegal, Jonathon had been relying on them since his university days. Back then, they had given him an advantage over his peers. Now, they helped him to merely keep up.
Jonathon trudged up the steps, making his way to his small flat. Most days he would stop in on his neighbor Charles and discuss current events or recent films over martinis, but today he was preoccupied for such matters. Turning his key in the lock on his door, he stepped inside his apartment and went straight to his desk. He rifled through the drawers for about a minute until he found what he was looking for: an old notebook.
It had been years since the notebook had been of any use to Jonathon. He certainly hadn’t picked it up for at least the past decade, yet he had never been able to bring himself to throw it away. Tonight, for the first time, he perhaps understood why…