Tilting at Windmills

 In What I'm Writing


Below you’ll find an excerpt but you can read it in its entirety here.

It was the cable company that tipped him over the edge. Of course, this did not distinguish him from countless Americans whose constitutional rights to reliable cable television are frequently in peril. Don’s conflict, however, distinguished itself from others for the simple reason that there was no resolution. There would never be resolution. The windmills had seen to that.

            They peppered the Tug Hill now, giant white steel trees that loomed over the Tug. The turbines sliced away, lifting their face stubbornly to the Northern sky. There were seventy five now, towering over cornfields or snow or mud as the season dictated. Some thought them graceful, but Don thought them only intrusive and alien. In fact, he looked at them with no small degree of suspicion and did not think it impossible that they were the products of aliens. He’d seen TV shows on such. Back when he had decent reception. Now, he stared out the window at the hulking white towers that were clawing at the sky, cutting their way through the North wind.

            Of course, he had a lot of time on his hands now, time to consider the windmills and to grow convinced that they were the start of everything bad that had happened in his life. The layoff was nothing unusual; there’d always been layoffs. They were told there was a surplus of boxes and they were just waiting it out and Don took the time to clean out the garage and continue his defense of the second amendment. He scoured West Martinsburg with his truck full of signs and was feeling good about things when he got the call. At that point, the SAFE Act seemed the only threat to his way of life.

No, he was as blindsided as the rest of them and the sting was sharper because signs were his specialty and he prided himself on reading them. At first, they were all incredulous. It was inconceivable that the mill he had worked at for going on 30 years, the mill where his father had spent his life, the mill where he’d worked at since he was 17 years old…

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