Life Arts

Short Story: "Signing Statement" (14th in a series)

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message P. Orin Zack     Permalink
      (Page 2 of 4 pages) Become a premium member to see this article as one long page.
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Author 15981
Become a Fan
  (13 fans)
- Advertisement -

"Please. I insist."

Her face fell and she balled her fist.

He slid his hand toward hers. "Please. You're having a rough enough time as it is."

She sat quite still for a long moment, breathing shallowly and scanning the room. Bits of chatter rose above the scratchy trade unionist song playing on the overhead. It was just one more detail that set the FW Diners apart from anything else. The staff spent their time cultivating a sense of outrage among the customers, using the company's situation to encourage people to speak out about injustice elsewhere. It was what had attracted Leetha to the FW, and why she had accepted Marlowe Swaine's offer to share a table. But talk was just a starting point. They had engaged one another, and she wondered how many of those around her had done the same.

When Leetha again turned her attention to her tablemate, he was writing something in a small notebook. She raised a few fingers tentatively. "Thank you."

He stopped writing. "It's nothing you wouldn't have done in different circumstances. And it's part of the process."


Swaine closed his pen in the notebook and set it down. "Sure. Reversing the alienation that's been forced on us. Building community. If we're ever going to do anything about the social engineering that's been wrapped around us like a security blanket, we're going to have to reach out to one another, stand firm against the threats we're sure to face. Because that's all they really have, when you come right down to it. It's all just threats."

- Advertisement -

"What is?"

"We were talking about taxes, right?"

"Sure, but...?"

"From what I just saw, I'd say you just reached the end of your rope. I mean, hitting the limit on your last credit card, and being out of cash, even though you're still working. All that's really left to choose between is destitution and bankruptcy. And like so many others, you got there by following the path that had been laid out for you by all the institutions you thought were there to help. Only they're not."

Leetha relaxed a bit, distracted by conversation. "I tried so hard," she said. "I paid all my bills, did what I could to keep my interest rates down, but the rules don't make sense any more. It doesn't seem to matter what I do." Her finger hovered above the maxed-out credit card. "They sent a letter, changed my terms. Raised my interest to over thirty percent. But I hadn't done anything. I wasn't late. I didn't miss a payment. So why'd they do it?"

- Advertisement -

"That's actually a good sign, believe it or not," Swaine said with a humorless chuckle. "It means they're desperate."

"They're desperate?" she said incredulously.

"That's right. The credit card industry has been playing millions of people along on a combination of gambling and psychological warfare for so long that they've dug a hole they can't get out of. At first, there was at least some relationship between your actions and their response. Special charges and changes to your interest rate were all based on rules you could understand and abide by. But with all the bank buyouts and back-office deals, that changed. They made it so that if they had a business relationship with some other card company, so did you. Miss a payment on one bank's card, and the others hike your rate."

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

Ever since I learned to speak binary on a DIGIAC 3080 training computer, I've been involved with tech in one way or another, but there was always another part of me off exploring ideas and writing about them. Halfway to a BS in Space Technology at (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Short Story: "Health Care Reform"

Short Story: "Terrifying Vindication"

Short Story: "Forced Inquiry"

First Followers; and Tiptoe-Caused-Avalanches of Change

The Dance of Consent

Short Story: "Logical Conclusion/Full Circle" (parts 1&2 of a series)