I feel the crushing weight of some mysterious force, perhaps regret, upon my shoulders as I take in what has become of my once thriving town. Businesses are boarded up. Disrepair has set in. The laughter of children is but a distant memory. Since the 19th, when Duane Frierson's desperate warning came to me via a ramshackle old Ham radio I hadn't used since Carter was in office, the town has been under martial law. Once the meatloaf flowed like wine around this place and now the streets are stagnant.
But what is done is done. As I stand here, about to make perhaps the most important announcement of my career, I begin to look towards the future. But the past weighs so heavily on my soul.
Lost in thought, I went back to the events of the prior evening. Brim Pinkerton, only survivor of Frierson's volunteer rescue team, appeared at my back porch. Covered in blood, with a number of deep flesh wounds and missing an eye, and carrying the limp body of Duane Frierson, Brim was only able to manage a few words before collapsing: "It's over Spooner. Duane did it. He's saved us. He's saved us all." I stood there feeling helpless and watched as the last few ounces of Brim's life essence oozed onto the ground beneath him. Duane stirred.
"I bet the old coot didn't see that coming. Why wouldn't he listen? Whyyyyyyyyyy!"
I tried to comfort Duane the best way I knew how. But the Rum Turnip burned his throat, raw from days without liquid nourishment.
"I told him to head back Spoon Man. He found me just outside of their ammunitions storehouse. It was all going according to my visions. But he wouldn't budge. Said somebody had to look after me. Look after me? That old codger thought he was looking after me. Damn fool. The others were long dead. Storch and Breech made it past the perimeter defenses. They hid in some trees while the patrol went by but the boy's got torn to ribbons. They didn't have a chance. Death Brigade found 'em soon enough though. They fought hard, I'll give 'em that. But what could they do against a full Brigade with a complement of badgers. They were dead before they hit the ground. Brim found me just as I was going in. I guess they found him before the storehouse went up. I didn't expect to make it out alive. I guess I owe him my life Spoon Man."
Duane went on to reveal the dastardly plan that the turkeys, and their badger accomplices, had set into motion. Beneath our very feet, he revealed, are a number of fortified tunnels, years in the digging, that were earmarked for rapid entry into the city. They had figured out a way to circumvent our perimeter defenses. They were to unleash their fury upon us under cover of darkness, the badgers going in first followed by the Death Bridages in a two tiered assault meant to confuse us. They had been stockpiling weapons for months. It was the weakness in their plan that proved to be their downfall because Neither turkeys nor badger are able to operate firearms or small explosives because of a lack of an opposable thumb. Duane was able to infiltrate their storehouse and destory it, along with the turkey and badger high command which was holding a strategic planning meeting in the adjacent room.
Chaos ensued and Duane was able to use pilfered weaponry to finish off most of the remaining Death Brigade and a large portion of the badger infantry. Some survived but in numbers so few as to virtually destroy any ability for a counteroffensive in the foreseeable future. The last thing he remembers is a large explosion behind him and wave of warmth hitting him from behind. The next thing he knew, he was laying on my back porch next to the corpse of Brim Pinkerton.
Reality came rushing back and I placed the megaphone to my dry lips. The townfolk soon gathered around me and I related Duane's tale.
"Much thanks to Duane Frierson for all of his hard work. We have some work ahead of us here in Belvidere as well. We will have to fill in the tunnels with concrete and get this town back in order. Martial law is lifted. The curfew is no more. The meatloaf rationing is cancelled. Gorge on Ronda's savory meat product to your hearts delight my fellow citizens of Belvidere. A new day is upon us!"