He’d always been a bit odd. Not to say that he looked different, or that you could see the evil lurking inside. No, he was that special breed of monster that hid the festering thoughts he harbored. In fact, if you passed him on the street, you wouldn’t have any idea of who he really was.
It was only in the pages of his journal that evil lurked on every page. To read even one day’s entry would tell the reader all they needed to know. Oliver wasn’t stupid or slow. He was calculating, shrewd, and mean to the core.
Clark Kent didn’t exactly lurk in the darkness, but it was different with him. Anyone who looked closely could see Superman in his words and actions. But that wasn’t the case with Oliver Spencer. His dishwater blonde hair and non-descript eyes didn’t call any attention to him. And he never spoke his mind in public.
But after the incident, many people would claim they always thought he was someone who could cause a problem. Though, none of them claimed the incident would be as significant as it was.
Life in the United States was brutal that year, as it had been since the year of the pandemic, but no one was prepared for what would come next. It was unthinkable that one person could cause so much upheaval.
Akin to believe Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin of John F. Kennedy, people would forever think about July fifteenth of that deadly summer and wonder.
Was it possible for one man to throw the country into darkness and chaos?
While the summer of 2020 was brutally hot, every year after was increasingly so. Despite rumors that global warming wasn’t real, record temperatures raged across the United States and other parts of the world. Rolling brownouts left folks warmer than they’d like, but it gave everyone a chance to run their air conditioners – if they had them. Living without an air conditioner through the summer months was deadly. Several senior citizens were found dead in the sweltering heat of their homes. And then there were the babies whose inner thermostats couldn’t make the necessary adjustments. As always, it was the oldest and youngest of the populace who suffered and died in vast numbers.
In that deadly summer of 2030, many massive fires roared across the southwest and destroyed thousands of acres, along with many homes. The nightly news was full of horror – death and destruction, along with mass demonstrations in major cities. The television screens across the country showed mass suffering.
However, not many people watched TV that year. They were too busy trying to keep cool and keep the sparks and ash off the roofs of their own homes. No one and nowhere was safe.
And when the country was plunged into darkness, the chaos that ensued left more people dead than all the years before combined.
Oliver watched his television, though. Miraculously, he had power, air conditioning, and access to his cable. Though there wasn’t any news broadcast on television, cable stations brought information to the airways, along with the radio.
His self-satisfaction filled his heart with joy. He’d done it. Just as he’d planned.
Back in the summer of 2020, when a maniac was at the helm of the country, and no one was keeping him from tweeting nonsense, Oliver formed his plan. Though he was only ten years old, he began a scheme to plunge the entire United States into darkness. He wanted to cause the same for the whole world, but power grids weren’t joined over the oceans.
As a senior at MIT, Oliver majored in Electrical Engineering. It wasn’t by accident that his major taught him the ins and outs of how power was distributed all over the United States. And he managed to put himself right in the middle of the program to connect all the power grids across the country.
Though the idea wasn’t ever thought of before, engineers knew they had to find a way to control the distribution of power. As the drain on the systems raged with every season – it was either extremely hot or drastically cold, science did their best to find a solution.
The scientists believed that the rolling brownouts used in almost every sector weren’t enough. If all power stations across the country were connected, the grids could be set up on a rotating schedule so that everyone was allowed the same power times.
Currently, any large cities deprived their citizens of power for more extended periods than more rural areas of the country. Outcries from New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago echoed across the airwaves, and protests were turning into riots.
By 2030, the presidency was stripped of most of its power. No one would forget the damage done during 2020. Too many good people died, and when the incumbent wouldn’t leave the White House, Congress stepped in. Everything changed after that.
But no one was sure if things had changed for the better.
Oliver saw the changes as positives. After all, by allotting more power to the Governors of each state, it made his plan much more accessible. Forty-eight governors were actually easier to convince to act than one crazy president.
He and the students working with him convinced the nation that one central location for the power of the United States would allow for not only better coverage, but better management.
And Oliver held all the power – not only the physical asset but the concept. As the summer of 2030 came to its hottest point in mid- July, Oliver knew it was time. Time for him to teach the entire nation a lesson.
As a ten-year-old, he saw Americans as greedy, selfish, and narcissistic, and while he and his mother sweltered in their apartment that summer and froze during the next six winters, his plan became an obsession. A need that would give him great pleasure and put the United States into chaos never before experienced.
When the temperatures recorded all across the southwestern states were over one-hundred degrees, Oliver told the members of his team to go home and get some rest. He pointed out that for the next ten to twelve weeks, they wouldn’t be able to take time off, and so, his people clocked out.
As he sat in front of the control console, Oliver’s smile spread wide. It was time. His plans were about to come to fruition.
With his left hand, he slid all the controls on the left forward, and his right hand did the same to the ones on the right. Within seconds, the building shuddered into silence, and all the lights went out.
Oliver used his cellphone to find the exit, and after climbing the stairs to the roof, he walked outside.
A cacophony of sound met his ears. The blaring of horns and the gnashing of metal could be heard all around him. Nothing could be seen because it was too dark. The pollution blocked any natural light, and the lack of other power sources kept generators from starting.
He sat on the lawn chair he’d place on top of the building. He closed his eyes and listened. Oliver could only imagine the sounds of the dying – hospitals without power would see many deaths.
Slowly, he lifted his arm. His Glock would keep him from the suffering he loosed on the rest of the population. His work here was done.
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Nice piece of speculative fiction. Very dark, but in a good way. I would have liked to see you delve further into Oliver's character and motivations.
Thank you for reading. Oliver is so dark, I'm almost afraid to delve too deep into his psyche.
Wow, you certainly painted a picture. Oliver is terrifying, and I liked the comparisons you used. I would like to know more about Oliver's motivations. Did something happen to his mom? Was there one incident or maybe an event that you could write about as historical, like the crazy president doing something that in the end caused him to lose something that maybe sent him over the edge? Oliver is obviously really dark and not quite right, you nailed that. Maybe that's the point, he just wants to hurt, and in this story he definitely did that....
Thank you. Oliver is a character who hangs out in the recesses of my imagination. I hope someday I can bring him completely out into the open.
I love the depth and character development of Oliver!! Amazing job! Keep it up❤️