New York, U.S.A, 1971
Richard “Dick” Miller. An ex-private investigator, ex-soldier and recipient of the United State’s silver star, purple heart and other such pomp. A Veteran with an impressive career of killing nazi’s and a once very experienced P.I was… sitting at a bar, unshaven and drunk half to hell.
The emphasized word to all of the above is “Ex”, now he’s unemployed, homeless, and spending what little money he does make from odd jobs on his sweet, sweet best friend; Jack Daniels.
“Ah, come on Richy. It’s been a year now, when are you gonna get back up on your feet?” The bartender asked.
“Feet? What’s the feet? Why do I need my damn feet, should’ve lost them in the war anyways…” Richard slurred. “Instead all I lost was the skin on my hands….”
Richard was a tall man, pale skin and messy dark brown hair. His face was masked with unkempt stubble and although his clothes covered most of them, his skin was scarred from burn marks across his chest travelling up his left arm and across the palm of his hand. He got these scars from the war and to this day, he can’t stomach the smell of mustard.
“How many years did you fight again? I-”
“4 years! You’re a war hero man, now you’re here acting like any old bum. Where’s your pride man? What if Uncle Sam could see you now?”
That triggered him.
“Sam? Uncle Sam? Well I’d tell ya’ what Uncle Sam thinks of war heroes. I spent half a decade overseas fightin’ the damn Krauts! I killed just as many Nazi’s as the next guy over! And what do we ‘War Heroes’ get when we get home? A few pennies for our trouble and some shiny rocks! All because of those damn spooks in office, taking over our government!”
He was getting very close to rage-fueled-sobriety, and he couldn’t risk that, so he decided to calm himself down. Sitting back down he mumbled
“The shit I saw over there man… And I come back to a home that doesn’t even want me.”
“Now, Richy. Let’s not get political. Them Black folk, they got the right to vote just as any others of us, and there’s not much you can do about it in this here bar. Why don’t you go back to being a- what d’ya call it? Private detective? You were pretty good at that, I heard.”
“Private eye- and because I can’t! They got me, Frank! I stumbled on something too big, huge drug fueled sex-parties hosted by the rich and powerful. I was just helping some wife catch her cheating husband, but I found something that went all the way to the top! Men in suits using new fangled computery thingies that fit in your pocket! kidnapping American citizens! A whole host of government-run front buildings, which who knows what happens in there! It goes all the way to the top, I’m pretty sure that Nixon is in on it! I’m telling ya’ Frank, I was onto something! That’s why they shut me up! My office didn’t just ‘burn down’, they destroyed me. And I know that they’ll do it again if I don’t keep my head low!”
“Alllriiight. That’s enough alcohol for you Richard. I’m cuttin’ you off.”
“Wait, wait, no come on Frank. Don’t do this to me! Just one more drink, you know I’m good for it.”
“You still haven’t paid your tab from last time. Sorry man, but you’re causing a scene, I gotta ask you to leave.”
With the door slammed behind him, he was thrown out.
“*tch* Commies, the lot of ya’!” Richard yelled as he stumbled out of the bar. It was a dark, dreary night. The chilled air fogged his breath as a light drizzle of rain tickled his forehead.
As he staggered down the street, the bright lights of the city all seemed to blend
“Hey toots, what d’ya say you take me for a ride, eh?” He asked, eyelids half shut. His beer breath visibly repulsed her.
“No way asshole, get away from me!”
An old woman standing next to her that Richard hadn’t noticed at first piped up “Damned drunkard. My son is fighting in Vietnam right now, he’s a war hero! Why can’t more men be like him?”
“Vietnam? Poor bastard, just you wait! After the wars’ over the government will chew him up and spit him back out! ‘War Hero’ isn’t a title anyone should want to have.” Richard spit back.
Then passersby started getting involved, cursing Richard out and forming a crowd to push him back.
“Ya’ wanna fight? I’ll fight all of you! Introduce you to Mr. Righty and Mrs. Lefty!” Richard yelled back even as he took step after step behind him. In his drunken stupor he wasn’t watching where he was going as he faltered out onto the street.
Then from the corner of his eye, a car came speeding out and he went flying. He was so drunk he barely even felt it, but he knew he’d been hit. The people on the street were frozen in shock, the traffic came to a standstill.
Richard looked around, confused. People weren’t just shocked, time actually froze. Or at least slowed down so much he could pluck a raindrop out of the air.
He had no idea what was going on, but then he looked down and saw it. Saw him. He saw himself, his body, mid-bounce off the hood of a BMW.
“A BMW, huh? So it really was German Engineering that got me in the end…”
Richard was strangely calm. He felt sober, but not the usual sober that came with waves of pain and anger. He just felt… clear. He knew he’d died, but he wasn’t afraid. He didn’t really have anything left to lose anyways.
As he was taking a look around the last scene of his mortal life, the sky brightened and a silver light filled his vision. He moved toward it. Was he walking? Flying? He didn’t really know. As he passed the threshold, he fell unconscious.