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December 10, 2012 | 51 comments
Chapter 10 of Mr. Tucker’s new novel 2065, which we are serializing, on China’s invasion of Pearl Harbor fifty years after Obama.
(Page 8 of 9)
Newman was stunned. “No ma’am,” he said, his voice laden with irony she probably wouldn’t comprehend. “We wouldn’t make them do anything like that.”
“Alright, I’ll have to see,” she said, gathering up her two charges. As they walked across the parking lot, the two boys turned and stared daggers at the rest of the troop.
No one said anything for a moment. The weather was turning colder and the wind was whipping down from the mountains. It felt as if it might rain.
“What did you say to them, Jose?” Newman asked finally.
“I asked them if they wanted to be Boy Scouts,” the boy replied innocently.
“What did they say to you?”
“It wasn’t very nice, Mr. Newman,” said Jose apologetically. “I don’t think I want to say it.”
“Alright, look, let’s get out there and gather a few more signatures,” said Newman. “Then we’ll call it a day.”
The boys didn’t need any prompting. “Save the Chinese orphans!” they started shouting, waving their clipboards as they scattering toward the growing band of shoppers pushing their carts across the lot. “Don’t send them back to China.”
Their cries immediately caught the attention of an Asian woman in a red dress clicking across the pavement in high heels. Newman watched as Jared stopped her and pantomimed an explanation. She quickly took the clipboard and signed, as Newman somehow knew she would. Then she asked him something and Jared turned and pointed toward Newman at the table. The woman caught his eye and started over.
“Have you been doing this for long?” she called out. She was probably 35, graceful in her gait, with raven black hair. “I’m so glad you’re doing this,” she said, arriving at his side. She came up to about his shoulder. “Are you getting much response? No one seems very concerned about this.”
“People are very passive these days,” said Newman, trying to suppress the frog in his throat. He felt ridiculously exposed in his Boy Scout uniform, but she didn’t seem to notice. “I’m of Chinese heritage myself, as you can see, but I’m not adopted. My family has been here 115 years but still has ties over there. I want to start an organization for these girls. A lot of them are very conflicted about their heritage, do you know what I mean?” She looked up at him with a smile that would melt a glacier. “This whole invasion has been a big trauma for them.”
“Yes, I – I – I work with these boys and a lot of them feel conflicted, too,” he stammered. “I mean about families and stuff. Most of them have never met their father.”
“It’s a lost generation, isn’t it?” she said, casting her eyes about. “And the next one’s going to be worse. I admire anyone who works with children these days, although I admit, I don’t have any myself. Listen, can I leave you my number,” she said, pulling out her iWorld and offering to mate.
“I – I guess I didn’t bring mine,” said Newman, helplessly patting his pockets. “I must have left it in my other shirt.”
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