Excerpt – NaNoWriMo day seven

Just for the heck of it, a chunk of what my keyboard spewed out today for The Warden.

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“I know you’re going somewhere with this. How does what I used to do have anything to do with right here and now?”

Larry got up and started pacing. By now, Den had settled back behind his desk, and he watched Larry do the rounds of the office.

“You have a stockpile of knowledge hidden away in your head, Den. About what people need and how to give it to them. And it’s going to waste.”

“I was hired to rehabilitate non-violent recidivists, not train submissives.”

“I know that. But you told me something, way back, when we were getting to know each other, that you thought most people are submissives, to one degree or another. That’s why they put up with so much shit — crappy jobs, dictatorial bosses, cheating spouses, lying politicians, crowded subways… They don’t have what it takes to change anything, no matter how bad it gets.”

“Larry, there’s a difference between putting up with shit and asking for it. The people who came to me knew they were submissives, or suspected it, and they wanted to get more into it. But there’s all kinds of submission. Some just wanted to be tied up, some wanted to be dominated sexually, and some wanted to serve a master, no matter what that might involve. What does that have to do with my inmates and whether they’re going to go back out in the free world or be sold to someone?”

“Damn! You’re so close to it that you don’t even see it. Didn’t you ever think that maybe a lot of these guys are submissives? Paul certainly is. You told me that’s probably the only reason you were able to figure out how to control him.”

“If you’re saying what I think you’re saying, Larry, I don’t like it.” Den shook his head. “You’re not going to drag me back into that.”

“I’m not trying to drag you back! Look, people paid you good money to help them live out some fantasy. But this isn’t the same thing. You could use the same skills to help these guys come to terms with themselves and lead useful lives. Look at Paul. As far as those guys are concerned, he’s one of the bosses. With you, he’s as meek as a little puppy.”

“Now you’re not seeing it, Larry. Paul is going to stay meek and mild only as long as I’m around to keep him that way. Assuming I could bring out the inmates’ submissive natures — the ones that are truly submissives — nobody out there is going to be keeping tabs on them. Sooner or later, and probably sooner, they’d just go back to doing what they’ve always done.”

“How do you know that?” Larry stood over Den, challenging him.

“Unh unh. You’re talking about brainwashing, not training. I won’t go there.”

“I’m not talking about brainwashing,” Larry protested.

“Yes, you are, in exactly the same way you’re talking about slavery when you say ‘bonded servitude’.”

Larry dropped back down into his chair. “Jeez, Den. Okay, call it whatever you want. But maybe you should put ‘brainwashed free citizen’ up against ‘slave’ and see how they compare for a real person.”

Den looked at his watch. “Didn’t you say you have a couple more wardens to see today?”

“I guess that means we’re through here.” Larry felt a chill. He didn’t want things to end this way.

“Yeah, we’re through.”

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I post each day’s output on my Live Journal blog: http://catana1.livejournal.com/

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