This is a piece I've been thinking about for a long time and especially after seeing the modern horror-suspense masterpiece The Strangers (Scott Speedman) and couldn't retire from short-story writing without creating this fable...so I hope you all read it and find it worthwhile (and exciting!).

Cheers,






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COPYRIGHT 2020

James and his two girlfriends, Kelly and Brianna, were taking a cross-country road-trip from Maine (New England) to La Jolla (Southern California) in the summer of 2020. James was a liberal and handsome American man and Ivy League graduate. He had two girlfriends (Kelly and Brianna) whom he intended to marry, because James was a practicing Mormon and believed in polygamous bonds in the 21st Century. James, Kelly, and Brianna all met at Yale University where they studied law together before becoming part-time civil rights activists and part-time American 'vigilantes' (using democratic methods in modern networks to fight modern anti-capitalism pirates, tycoons, and druglords). They sometimes carried crossbows with sedative-tipped arrows while infiltrating crime syndicates (in New York and Boston!).

James and his two girlfriends, Kelly and Brianna, called themselves the 'American Triad' (because they were all civil servants as well as outfitted social revolutionaries!). So starting that summer of 2020, the American Triad decided to take time off their 'crusade' and enjoy the spirit and breadth of the country which felt like heaven to them, a 'land of many peoples' that they wanted to foster as heroes and advocates. This 'American Triad' was quite idealistic and even radical in their approach to patriotism, but they wanted the summer and the year ahead to be just about unwinding and breathing in the great American air. James and his two girlfriends, Kelly and Brianna, had no idea they were in for the shock of their adult lives. They were just merrily traveling and daydreaming.

James was very conservative and civics-conscious, though he was fascinated by liberal Robin Hood folklore. Kelly was an attractive neo-classical Hamiltonian Federalist and a fan of Wonder Woman (DC Comics), and she helped a friend run an artistic daycare-center in Boston. Brianna was a musician and legalese wizard who admired folk-tales about redemption and yearning and liked presenting Hans Christian Andersen fairy-tale anecdotes in the courtroom as examples of 'living' ethics. The American Triad was therefore quite an 'iconic' group of idealistic intelligent young Americans who considered modern civil work a reflection of the human wisdom of seeking patriotism in times of social or criminal turbulence. As vigilantes who'd taken down evil politicians and crime-masters in major cities as masked agents of the law, the American Triad exemplified society fitness!

James, Kelly, and Brianna decided to make a long pitstop on their cross-country drive in Texas. They'd already traveled a good distance from their home-state of Maine (New England) and had taken in much of the breathtaking American landscape and traffic hubs on their journal-worthy journey. In Texas, the 'American Triad' decided to stay in a Marriott hotel for a lengthened period of time to just relax in their suite. One week later, during their comforting and luxurious suite-stay, the American Triad got a strange invitation card, slipped under their hotel room door, requesting their honorable presence at a nearby mansion hosted by three wealthy young Texans. The invite read, "We got news the 'American Triad' was staying here and hoped you'd accept this special offer to enjoy the amenities of our Texas mansion during your stay in Texas.

James, Kelly, and Brianna decided to accept the invitation and headed to the mansion indicated on their special invitation card. They were excited to see who'd want to extend this random but hospitable and charming greeting and offer to the three rather controversial, if celebrated, American civil rights activists. They also wondered what kind of liberals lived in Texas who supported their unusual work but were also very wealthy. They could've used the potential philanthropic interests towards their civil rights law-firm too! The American Triad arrived at the indicated Texas mansion which was called the Estate (indicated on the sign in front of the huge driveway leading up to the enormous impressive mansion situated on a hilltop in the middle of a large field really out in an area with not much else around!).

The American Triad made their way up the driveway and to the large to front doors and rang the large doorbell. A very handsome young man dressed like an aristocrat with a handkerchief and gloves opened the door. He introduced himself as Henry. James and Kelly and Brianna were welcomed into the Estate mansion and their luggage taken in by the butler Alfred. Henry took the American Triad into the parlor room and seated them on the large sofa where they could kick off their feet and enjoy Pina Coladas. Henry got them drunk and giddy and explained he'd heard of their extraordinary civil work on the East Coast and learned they were staying at the luxury Marriott in Texas from a friend who worked there. Henry wanted to meet them and consider donating money to their law-firm.

Henry ushered in his two girlfriends, Cynthia and Clora, who were both relatively young (25-26) and quite attractive. Henry told the American Triad that he, like James, was a polygamy-endorsing Mormon who intended to take two women as wives. Henry joked to James that surely he recognized the modern sociocultural value of celebrating alternative peaceful religious values in democratic America, even in the rather conservative heart of Texas. James realized that Henry was a lot like him, though he was slightly more eccentric and bubbly! Henry showed James his prize fencing trophy from Princeton and his stunning winning saber-sword, much to the smiling delight of James, who'd been a winning fencer himself at Yale. Henry and his two girlfriends (Cynthia and Clara) gave the American Triad a grand time at their Estate mansion, and James and his two girlfriends confessed they were 'head-over-heels' entranced and enchanted by their Texan hospitality and luxuries and found them to be beautiful people.

JAMES: Where the hell are we, Henry?
HENRY: Can't you see you're tied up in my basement, James?
JAMES: Why is there only a neon blue light on, Henry?
HENRY: I've bound the 'American Triad' for a special testament!
JAMES: What do you want?
HENRY: As you can clearly see, Cynthia and Clora have tied up your gals.
JAMES: Are they alright, you sociopath?
HENRY: Unwind your temper, James, because this might be your final night.
JAMES: What the hell are you trying to prove?
HENRY: Can you admit you were charmed by our Texan hospitality?
JAMES: Perhaps; so what's the deal with his psycho-neon stunt?
HENRY: I'd like you to admit to your gals you wanted my gals.
JAMES: Sexually?
HENRY: Of course.
JAMES: Why?
HENRY: Like-minded people in shared spaces feel drawn towards each other.
JAMES: Is this some kind of antisocial experiment?
HENRY: The 'American Triad' are idealists, but are you confident?
JAMES: What're you daring me to reveal to you, Henry?
HENRY: I want to know...if you're spiritually content.
JAMES: Look, Henry, I admit the stresses of our work make us a bit anxious.
HENRY: Does this make you yearn for some kind of 'otherworldly' escape?
JAMES: The American Triad is not shirked by civil duties and hard labors.
HENRY: You sure you didn't even think of making love to my gorgeous gals?
JAMES: I intend to marry Kelly and Brianna.
HENRY: If I offered you the chance to make love to a Clora now, you'd refuse?
JAMES: Under the threat of death, Henry?
HENRY: Tell you what, I'll let you and your gals go...escape!
JAMES: Oh, if we keep our contact a secret, right?
HENRY: That's right; you keep this all hush-hush.
JAMES: And?
HENRY: And when you return to work, you write a book or article about us!
JAMES: That's it?
HENRY: That's it!
JAMES: What will this 'work' represent?
HENRY: I have this theory that society work is like glass, James.
JAMES: Glass?
HENRY: Yes, and it 'shatters' upon thoughts of escape.
JAMES: And you think it'd be clever if your theory is proven by our shared writing?
HENRY: Just a theory, James; just to see if social customs are molded by the audience!
JAMES: Alright, Henry, let us go, and I'll keep your secret and write your article for review.
HENRY: Awesome; you've done splendidly and offered courtesy and maturity.
JAMES: Great, fine; just to ask, what'd you done if I didn't?
HENRY: Why, James, I thought you'd guess correctly that we'd have burned you alive.

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