Across this once proud land, from sea to shining sea, the small American town was the epitome of peace and prosperity marked by a moral tranquility that was a blessing to its hardworking inhabitants. Now these idyllic settlements of law abiding  natives are besieged by forces alien to their life style and are threatening to cast their way of life into the forgotten halls of history. In the typical small town of Watertown, Iowa its citizens live in fear faced with the seemingly unsolvable problems of roving drug gangs, foreign influences of strange music imported from large urban areas, bizarre dress and an indecipherable lingo spoken by its youth.  Fatal drug overdoses and murder complete the picture of the demise of small town America. The mayor of Watertown, Mike Benzene who is serving his seventh term sums up the current situation, “This was a nice town but now it stinks like a rotten bratwurst. Our city was founded by the German and Irish but now just anybody thinks they can come here”. The words from the stocky butcher turned politician are filled with an undisguised vehemence. “We aint gonna  take this s__t sitten down” he added. Indeed, veiled threats and rumors of righteous retribution are now spoken openly at the city’s churches and taverns. “We will begin our crusade to rid the streets of these demented  debauchers of family values” according to Dr Doug Digiwictz , a prominent urologist and member of Healing Waters Baptist Church.


Friday night used to be a special time in Watertown as the stores would remain open until 9 PM and the city’s downtown would be flooded with excited shoppers. Young teens would stroll the streets casting coquettish glances at the drivers and passengers of the cars that ‘dragged main” while rumors of beer parties that seldom materialized were as numerous as the complaints  “It took me five minutes to drive thru town” spoken by the elderly drivers. The many farmers still wearing their bib overalls and trailing a faint scent of the cow barn would search for bargains and then retire to their favorite tavern for “a-shot-an-a-beer” and a friendly game of  “schofkopf” or sheep’s head, a popular card game.  Now a trip into town is not even considered by these hard working tillers of the soil and the streets are deserted long before the stores close.


Courageously the city is fighting back to restore peace and quiet with its own brand of justice. The Posse of the Righteous, a closed society of concerned citizens, has begun to sanitize the city of the malignant forces that has been a curse on this God fearing town. “We will flush these sinners into the sewers of Hades  and regain our Kingdom”  pontificated the Rev Karl Kantzkoemen, pastor of  the Faster Healing Waters Congregational Church and the reputed leader of the posse.  A tall, thin man of many words but only one opinion he is already seeing the fruits of his labors as the disappearance of numerous acolytes of the unclean will  attest. But is it to little too late?


On this Friday night at 9 PM in a one room apartment above the Kreuetzkraemer funeral home and hardware store a lonely figure cautiously approaches the window overlooking a now empty main street. Her cat, suspicious and wary stares at the woman as she parts the dingy grey curtain and with eyes of 82 years she  peers thru her spectacles and witnesses an act of depravity that the spinster teacher had only heard in  a whisper in her more adventuresome youth. Mesmerized by the scene taking place in the shadows she can only stare in horror. Finally she frees herself  from her frozen terror and as the cat hisses and retreats under the sofa she grasps the phone and with her trembling fingers dials 911. The line is dead.


It is now morning and the town is as tranquil as the many cemeteries that surround it. But for how long? When will the citizens awake and find their city gone, another casualty of this nation’s march into electronic obscurity.

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