Thomas Schuster

An Excerpt From My Ongoing Work, “To Always Be Alone”.

“Thomas,” he called                                                                                                                               “Mr. Montage, what’s wrong?” The leather soles struck the floor as the supervisor shifted his position.  He reached his hand out, took the paper, and unfolded it.  He pointed to the output quota, and looked back at Thomas.                                                                                                         “I believe that you will need to hire more men.”  He spoke quickly, and rather uneasily.               “I don’t fully understand sir.”                                                                                                              “The war has already significantly increased our output in every department.”  He lowered his voice, “But now…three days ago Wilson urged Congress to declare war on the…Germans.”  His voiced paused, and began again cautiously.  “Yesterday, Congress voted in favor of it…military action, Thomas.  We have another army to supply.”  He sagged against a worktable, as if a great load had been lifted from him, and had emptied him of life.                                       “Didn’t President Wilson promise to keep us out of it—”                                                                   “Of course!  He’s always promising things like that; trying anything that seems to please people.  We should never allow men like him to be elected to a second term!  Hughes would never have stabbed us in the back like this, or, at least we would have been given some notice.  Now we have been requested to double or triple our output immediately!”                                             “I don’t think we ever had a feasible chance of staying out of it.  At least not when Americans are being killed. Anyway, we did our best.  Beyond voting for him, what could we have done?”  Mr. Montage hesitated, and looked away.  Thomas laughed, “Didn’t you vote for Justice Hughes, Mr. Montage?”                                                                                                                                       “It is my own business.” He retorted.

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