by /BecauseISaidSoToo AKA Daniel Charles Wild
This is one of the many wild tales included in his brand new short story collection, ‘Stories For Imaginary Friends’.
Other TTTV stories by Daniel Charles Wild: https://talltaletv.com/?s=Daniel+Charles+wild
I look at my country – its institutions, monuments, and citizens – differently now, and the rest of the world does too. Now that the literal dust has settled, we can make sense of what happened – almost.
Most of us can remember where we were, when we heard the news. I had just gotten to work, and had gotten an alert on my phone about Mount Rushmore being destroyed. Which, I guess you could say, was fake news, because it was followed by additional news alerts, saying it was an avalanche, no, an earthquake, and then, aerial footage came in, of what it actually was. Mount Rushmore hadn’t exploded, it had stood up. Explosively, violently, shaking off trees, rocks, and huge clods of dirt. It appeared to be a huge robot, carved out of massive slabs of rock, one with four familiar, stoic faces. A huge robot that was, impossibly, now running through the South Dakota wilderness, trailing dust and devastation in it’s wake.
I refused to believe it at first, most of us did. Till reports from other media sources confirmed it, and footage started trickling in, of crushed bodies, cars, homes, towns, and cities. The monster, and that’s what it really was, seemed set on causing the maximum amount of death and destruction possible, and nothing could stop it. It could swat planes and helicopters out of the sky, step on tanks, and dodge rockets. It ignored artillery fired at it, and it moved fast, running with huge strides that crushed the landscape beneath its tread.
I, my co-workers, my countrymen, and the world, watched in horror, as a national monument, perverted beyond recognition, went on a rampage, destroying my fellow Americans, our country, and to some degree, our national sanity. Because, as we watched in shocked disbelief, the mantra that went through my mind, all of our minds, was that this was insane, this was impossible, and that this couldn’t be happening.
But it was.
We all saw the horror of it. Scenes of death and devastation as it tore through an American state, like a knife through skin, cutting deeper and deeper.
And then the news came in of the Statue of Liberty’s forced evacuation, and then it’s explosion. That’s what they thought at first. That it had exploded. A moment later that was revised, it hadn’t exploded, it had launched off it’s pedestal, and was now heading inland. It was at first assumed that the statue was a missile, that it had been all along. A nuclear missile, hidden in plain sight – one that had now been launched by our leaders at the rampaging monster on American soil. Photos and video footage captured it’s flight as it arched through the spacious sky’s, Lady Liberty, torch aloft, her face calm and placid. Flying to her doom, to unspeakable devastation – the horror of a nuclear detonation on American soil.
A lone camera man filmed her landing. It was a live satellite feed and I’m sure he expected to be annihilated in the explosion.
Liberty missed. Hitting down several hundred feet away from Mount Rushmore. She landed in a billow of dust, and failed to explode. I heard a collected moan of despair from my co-workers around me. We had gathered around the TV in the conference room at this point, and we could smell each other’s fear and terror.
And then, from the settling dust – Liberty rose up. We, as one, recoiled from the TV. Here was another living monument, another monster, another horror. But then, Liberty, with a strange stop-motion grace, aimed her torch at the huge mountainous figure looming over her, and from it, she released a blast of blinding light.
She was fighting for us!
She was tiny, a fraction of the size of the monster, but she was quick, she was armed with her torch, she used her tablet as a shield against the rocks the monster hurled, and she kept her distance. She fired shot after shot at the monster with four faces, chipping away at the stone.
It roared with four mouths and staggered backwards, and as it staggered back, she fired again, directly into Washington’s open mouth. The monster, dazed, and flailing it’s massive limbs, fell backwards – flattening the land beneath it.
Lady Liberty strolled closer, tiny in comparison. She raised her torch, aimed, and then – stopped. She dropped her tablet and torch and seemed to clutch at her chest, as though she was having a heart attack. And then, she collapsed at the feet of the monster, which had stopped thrashing, and was starting to roll over. It was starting to rise up.
The nation, screamed in horror, screamed for her to get up, get up!
And she started to. Rising slowly, clumsily, and the monster did the same – but faster. It got to it’s feet too, and loomed above her – it was scarred, but not damaged, and it’s three and a half remaining faces, glared down at it’s tiny, clumsy, struggling adversary.
Something had changed, she was slower now, awkward, and she scrambled away from one huge stomping foot, and barely avoided another swatting hand. She dived clumsily for her torch, and was hit by a massive rock the monster hurled at her. She was damaged, but had her weapon now, and she raised it shakily, and fired it, again and again at the stone faces, fired again and again, till the control room was exposed, fired as the monster lumbered towards her, and as it collapsed on top of her, she thrust a damaged and broken hand into the smoking crater where the monster’s central two faces had been. And as the mountain fell on her, she killed its controller.
Emergency personnel pulled three people from the rubble that day. A crazed loner, who had been hiking, and had discovered the control room for the mountain, the monster, Mount Rushmore.
They had to use the jaws of life to pry his crushed corpse out of Liberty’s grasp.
Inside of Liberty, they found two more people. One, was the janitor, who had launched her, and started the battle. He was an elderly veteran of two wars, and had worked undercover, as the janitor, at the Statue Of Liberty, for over 40 years. At the climactic moment of the battle, his brave, aged heart had failed him, and he’d collapsed in his harness, clutching at his chest – slowly, painfully dying. He, we, had been fortunate though. He had an assistant there with him. A young Mexican man, who had recently become a citizen, and had just been hired as a junior member of the janitorial crew.
He’d been with the old man when the news had broke, seen the old man’s face go pale with shock. He’d helped him into the harness, and when the old man’s heart had failed him, he’d grabbed the controls, asking the dying man questions in broken English, doing his best to understand the old man’s gasping replies, fighting for both of their lives, fighting for ours as well.
When they pulled the men from the rubble, the younger man had his arms around the body of the old man. The younger man had tried to protect him till the end. The nation saw it’s heroes, it’s saviors, birthed from the rubble. One, frail, pale, and sadly gone, and the other, with dark skin covered in bruises, scratches, and blood, and dark eyes that looked imploringly into the reporter’s cameras, as if asking them, asking us, to help his friend, and to help him.
I look at my country differently now. Don’t you?