Our children, their future, their world.
“No! It’s going to eat me,” my eldest girl complains from the living room behind me. Raucous laughter erupts from all three kids as the shark on the TV gobbles up the hangman’s latest paper victim. While I work, I watch and listen to them on screens in my office. Three innocent kids well cared for, well protected and with little experience of a normal everyday life. But then again, what is normal?
This Bitsinickname for The BITS Inspector life is so ingrained in me now that I hardly remember if I have ever had a normal life. But, of course, I know I haven’t—otherwise I couldn’t have become Bitsinickname for The BITS Inspector. I do, however, sometimes wonder…
Closing my eyes and relaxing back in my comfy office chair—as I often do—my mind wanders out onto an intimidating, bustling street in the middle of a monstrous metropolitan city. Hundreds of pedestrians swarm past me as I walk slowly, looking around, trying to imagine how I would feel in this normal life. But I cannot.
A woman, dressed for the office, pushes a baby buggy with one hand while hanging onto a small boy with the other. She’s limping, and the grim expression on her face screams physical pain. The boy begins crying hysterically, but the woman just shakes his hand harshly, lacking all compassion. She continues pushing the buggy without stopping or comforting the boy. Looking into her eyes, I see she is staring dead ahead, challenging death to a duel, searching for the place to die, and to rest. The agony of her pain is nothing compared to the misery and anguish of the life visible in the black depths of her stricken gaze. My heart goes out to the woman, and to the boy.
As I turn my head back from following the woman’s path, a giant man stands stock-still in front of me. I come to an abrupt halt. The layers of dirt on his face are ground in deep. I can smell the old urine that’s stained his pants. His huge body obliterates the sun and smothers me in his cold shadow.
In a reflex, my brain instructs the BeastBitsi's all-powerful mega confuzer (computer) to Bitsi-Lite(similar to) satellite scan the ogre. The Beast is ever with me. Within two seconds the data flashes over my eyes. He has twenty-two electronic wallets strapped to his body. The total balance is nearly seven thousand DOLLIESdollars. Unexpectedly, the dressed-as-homeless man also has a powerful LASAROMICan inferior power source - similar to laser pistol in his pocket. And it’s armed, ready for action. His fingers are wrapped around the gun, also ready.
“He’s released the safety!” the Beast yells in my ears. Why the hell did he do that? I wonder. Does he think I might attack him? Chills shiver down my spine while hot panic rises from my gut.
The man shoves his wrist in front of my face. An electronic wallet shows ZERO as the balance. “I need CASHany form of money: paper, plastic, whatever,” he says bluntly.
Terrified, clueless, and desperate, I couldn’t care less what he needs. I quickly duck down and over to the left, under his extended arm. I trip over my unsuspecting feet, and while I stumble, an oncoming passerby rams hard into me. We both nearly fall from the collision but recover quickly. Then I push out even further to the left, this time dodging the on-comers. Glancing back, I see the big man has already moved on with the flow of the crowd.
What in Lord-ITLord-IT is the name of Bitsi's best friend’s name just happened? I ask myself. Was this guy begging? Or was he robbing me in broad daylight on a densely populated street? I wasn’t sure if I should feel heartless and guilty, or lucky to be alive.
I contemplate this while also wondering how to get the hell out of this place. But then, in a wild swirling switch of scenery my mind whisks me off to a dark and almost deserted stretch of tarmac. And to my absolute horror, my wikidswife and kids are with me.
A few old, flickering street lights cast shadows in the many potholes along the path we’re walking. I still cannot see the hotel I’ve been sent off to for the night. The Asian airport I remember landing in is almost a kilometer behind me. I’ve been here before, and I didn’t like it then. I like it even less now that my family is with me.
It’s late, dark, unbearably hot and humid, and there’s a long way to walk to the hotel. The kids look exhausted and my wife is obviously worried and coming fast to the end of her patience. Strangely, yet fortunately, the only luggage we have is my business backpack and a small trolley-bag for my clothes.
Not far off there are two parked cars facing in our direction. All their lights are on, so I guess the engines are running.
“I hope they stay there,” my wife says. She also doesn’t like it here. I simply nod my head, trying to hide my worried thoughts. But she’s not fooled. Then suddenly, confirming our fears, four nasty-looking guys appear from the dark void behind the reach of the street lights over to our left. They are clearly heading us off.
“What now?” my wife hisses.
Before I can respond, a bomb explodes some short distance behind the four sinister characters. Then another. The unsuspecting thugs disappear into the night. More explosions begin over to our right—but a little farther away. In the light of the explosions, two crowds become visible. Rebel crowds running toward each other. The explosions have caused them to start shouting and chanting insanely. They start shooting. We are standing in the crossfire, in the middle of what will soon be a small but nevertheless deadly battlefield.
“Run!” I yell, dropping my trolley-bag and picking up our two smallest kids. Turning to make sure my wife is with me with our third child, I start running, constantly checking on my wife.
All three children are crying. The two I’m carrying bury their faces in the nape of my neck. The oldest girl shrieks in my wife’s ear: “What’s happening, Mummy?”
I start screaming at my mind: “WE SHOULD NOT BE HERE!”
Responding immediately, my over-active brain conjures us over to a voyage on an ocean so deep and vast that it dwarfs the mega-ginormous whaling vessel we’re standing on. We’re still carrying our children in our arms. I wonder if we’ll ever be able to put them down. They experienced the change of scenery with us and are now looking around, trying to understand.
Hanging above the deck, down one side of the ship, a huge whale is caught in a combination of nets and lines at the end of harpoons specially designed for murder. The slight movement from the wounded animal clearly indicates the end.
“Mummy, is it dying?” asks our oldest girl. “Yes, it is,” my wife responds gently. My ‘baby’ girl screws up her face, stares at the poor dying ocean wonder, and starts to cry.
“Look over there!” my boy exclaims loudly. And we all look. Twenty-two whales are lined up down the deck, ready for processing.
“Are they dead?” asks the eldest.
Our youngest girl answers coldly: “They’re all dead.” Then she buries her face in the nape of my neck once more, and with an understanding way beyond her years, she begins to sob like an adult mother that just lost a child.
“Hey, you! What are you doing here?” shouts an officer fiercely pointing at us from the deck above. “Bring them here!” he commands his men. Six crewmen charge at us and begin roughly shoving us in the direction of a ladder. My frightened boy tightens his hold on me. Within seconds I can feel his pee soaking into the hip of my pants.
Enough! STOP! I yell at myself, pushing the stop-button on my imagination. Returning to the safety of my plush office, I force my eyes open and turn the chair to look through the glass walls at my family. They’re still playing happily in the living room.
My god, I think to myself, I can’t protect them from the harsh reality of this world forever. And this somber realization has been with me since they were born. Can it be true—that my only option is to prepare them for the worst? For the possibility of a hard and painful future, a future which again repeats the many histories of the world—both recent and ancient. We have evolved from ape to so-called civilized man. But we’re still destroying our planet, our most precious resources. We still fight each other to the death when the coin gets low, when the chips are down, or whenever we feel we have good reason. Will we ever be able to change?
I pondered these things in the quiet of my office, silently ranting and raving at humankind—myself included. Words careered off the pages splattering the reader with filth that even they possibly didn’t deserve. But finally I calmed down a little and formed a semblance of order out of the broiling thoughts and feelings. The idea of Bitsi’s World—although it wasn’t called that back then—was born.
Just one person out of many billions surely has no chance of changing anything. But if no one ever tried, nothing would ever have changed in the past, or would ever change the future. So, I decided I would do whatever I can to contribute my part to giving my children, our children, a better future.
Through my novels, with my small voice, I will say what I have to say, take a good look at how we have lived our lives, and positively influence whatever I can—while thinking only of our children, and their children’s’ children, and their future world.
But nobody wants to read a boring essay!
So, buckle up! And get ready for an action-packed wake-up call brought through a series of thrilling BITS Inspector novels!
I hope you enjoy,
Want to know more about such things as wikids or DOLLIES? Or who, or what, the Beast is? Get The ABRIGD and find out. It’s free.
Want to read more from Bitsi? About his family, his life, his best friend Lord-IT, and more about his mission? Check out the first of the series of BITS Inspector novels—A BISI Day!