Mini-mini-sequel to lyn's "Victims of Mythology." You should read chapter 6 (at least) for my story to make much sense. (Remove spaces around periods.)

http:/archiveofourown . org/works/364092

lyn has another story in the same "dystopian timeline" (her words, not mine!) right here on FanFiction. It follows the above.

www . fanfiction . net/s/6808647/1/Bonno_Kuno

Ella

No, that's okay, honey. Your English is just fine. I'm enjoying this. I don't get to use the mother tongue near as often as I'd like to. We'll go over the transcript later for anything you don't catch.

So today's Kevin Flynn Day. Poor, poor Kevin Flynn. Is that what this is about? Like I give a flying fuck. [laughs] You should see the look on your face! I'll explain the expression later.

Okay, Miss Oral History Student. Let's get on with it. Is your machine on? Here goes. I am Mrs. Ella Lee, nee Ella Mae Anderson. My sister, my twin, was Emma Sue Anderson. Our big brother, John Jacob Anderson Junior, was seventeen when Clu had him killed.

Our parents were John Senior and Ruth. Mama called Daddy 'John.' We all called John Junior 'Jake.'

I'm the only one left of that nuclear family. As far as I know, there's not even any extended family left. You know, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins. It's just me and my kids and grandkids and now a few greats with a couple more on the way. And I'm so, so grateful for them. I'm better off than most of the human race of that time.

We were ordinary people. Not like the movies they had then, with the latest model cars and a McMansion house and a vacation home. A swimming pool? Forget it! We had a struggling restaurant. The one house was falling apart. A "fixer-upper," to use a polite term. We had a ten-year-old car. I know the thing was at least a year older than Emma and me.

We were nine when Jake was murdered in the fucking arena. Murder. It was murder, pure and simple. Jake didn't do anything to die for. He was a good boy.

I try to remember Jake the way he was. I don't want to make him into a plaster saint. Emma and me bugged the shit out of him sometimes. Why should he be interested in hanging with little girls? Horny teenage boys aren't into babysitting. He was more interested in the waitresses. He wasn't that thrilled with restaurant work. But he was a good boy. He worked hard. And I see now he was pretty damn patient with Emma and me. He was a cut-up — that means something of a clown, a joker. Funny as hell, and bright too. And brave. He proved that at the end. For all the good it did, but he died a man. Guess that's worth something.

I'm all right. I'm sorry. It's still hard to talk about. Goddamn. Sixty years ago. It's just … when you're little, you don't know what's going on. No, that's not right. You don't understand, but you do know. Usually better than the grown-ups do. You can feel it. I remember the feeling of … two-dollar word here … surrealism. Like there was no way in hell this could be happening. But somehow it was. And the feeling of fear. Like a fog in the air, always there. Like a poison fog.

We actually saw him close up. Clu. Me and Emma and Mama and Daddy. Clu and his wife came to see Jake's … ID disc procedure. Sweet Jesus, I'll never forget that day. I wish I could. The grown-ups … counting Jake, he was like a grown-up to Emma and me … they were all scared shitless. Including Mrs. Clu.

God, she was so beautiful. Beautiful and … and good, like an angel straight from heaven. I shouldn't call her Clu's wife. His captive, more like it. Slave, eventually. He broke her eventually. Being scared was nothing new to her. She was still herself then, though. She was trying to be calm and comforting without saying the wrong thing.

Didn't matter. She took notice of Jake and was kind to him. That's why Clu killed him. I figured that out later. Clu trumped up some bullshit charge and sent him to the Games. Murder. One of so many millions. How many tens of millions? Hundreds of millions? I'll let you history students do the counting.

I curse the name of Clu. May demons feast on his flesh in hell.

I know now that Mama gave Jake up for dead after Clu's little morale visit. Her face … I remember … she knew that we were marked. Goners, all of us. But she had desperate hopes for … she hoped against hope that she could at least save Emma and me. Or at least one of us.

Only one way there was any chance in hell of saving us. We were targets, the whole family. Might as well have had bull's-eyes hanging around our necks. She had to get us out of Clu's territory. Only two ways out: north to Canada, south to Mexico.

She couldn't go with us. She didn't dare gamble on sending us both in the same direction. She sent Emma north and me south. Then she blew up the restaurant with her and Daddy in it. Propane-natural gas combo. No bodies left. No bones or teeth. Not even fucking DNA left. I bet they saw the fireball in Little Rock. So the goddamned quisling authorities thought we were all dead.

No, Daddy didn't know a thing. He never would have gone along with it. I loved him, but … he was a man, you know? He had to think he was in control of things. He couldn't face the fact that there was no future for the business he'd slaved at for fifteen years. No fucking future for any of us in his beloved hometown. Because it was in Clu's territory.

Took me years to figure out how Mama did it. She handled the money. It had to have taken their life's savings, every red cent. Useless bribes to worthless men. And … fuck. Might as well tell you. You're interested in the truth, right? Aren't you, honey?

Sexual favors. Mama whored herself trying to save us. Something else I figured out eventually. It worked with me. Should I thank God for that? At least it worked with me. I don't know what happened to Emma. Last I saw of her was when Mama unpeeled us from her neck and told us to be good and not look back. "Don't look back," she told us. "Don't ever look back."

I'm sorry. Sixty years. You'd think I'd be out of tears.

I still wake up some days and think it was all a dream. For a minute I think I'm back in Saint Louis, and it feels like heaven. We're all together and happy. Even with the crummy restaurant and crumbling house and rattletrap car.

Shit. Nobody has cars any more. Nobody but Party nomenklatura.

Don't give me that look. I'm old enough to say what I think. Boo, forbidden words! Nomenklatura, apparatchiki! This is China, girl. Old broads still have clout here. That's one of the old ways worth keeping.

Main reason I hate Kevin Flynn is because there's about nothing left of western civilization. The Israelis hung onto part of it. Gotta give 'em credit for coming up with the Clu bomb, virus, whatever the hell it was. Maybe there's some of Australia left. Maybe. No, I don't count the goddamned Russians. Pigs. Fuckers never tip, and they'll stiff you if they get half a chance.

Kevin Flynn Day. What a crock. I mean, am I supposed to give a shit that Kevin Flynn gave his life to take out Clu? Big deal! He sicced Clu on humanity in the first place. Thanks a lot, boy genius. So he tried to make up for it. Who cares? He didn't pay the price for his mistake. Planet Earth paid the price. Ten years of Clu's reign of terror. So a seventy-year-old man martyred himself. Like he had much time left. Day late, dollar short, Flynn. Too fucking late for Jake and Emma and God only knows how many other poor souls.

So here I am, age seventy myself. Not much time left myself. I'm an old foreign devil. Fluent in the dialect of Shanghai, been here over fifty years, but I'm still an alien. None of my grandkids speak English. I'm an alien to my own grandkids. We have our own struggling restaurant. Our own falling-apart house. And I'm better off than most humans who were around when Clu busted out of the server.

Yeah, I'll light candles today. I'll ask Baby Jesus and Mother Mary to look after Jake. I'll ask Jake to look after my family. I like to think he does, because we're all that's left of him.

Flynn? Ha! [spits] I truly hope that there is a hell for Kevin Flynn to rot in.