If you do a Google search for “Charles Robert Olevsky,” nothing will come up. Well, maybe by the time you read this they’ll have indexed this particular content, but aside from that, my name has been absent from the Internet. I lead a dull life. I’m a daytrader. Upper-middle class. No family, few friends. To be honest, I’m a homebody. Life’s just easier that way.
Last night, on a whim provoked by boredom, I did a Google search for my full name. I expected the usual nothing. But that’s not what I encountered. There were hundreds of thousands of results: news articles, Wikipedia entries, social media mentions – even pictures. But they weren’t pictures I could ever remember taking part in. And I looked much older; at least 20 years. I was surrounded by uniformed men carrying weapons. In a confused and moderately terrified frenzy, I clicked the top article. My blood ran cold.
“Charles Robert Olevsky, founder and leader of the New White Dawn Militia, announced today the successful completion of his campaign to eliminate the ‘immigrant threat’ from the Southern United States. This was the largest of the NWDM campaigns, resulting in the deaths of 250,000 immigrants or perceived immigrants. Following the overwhelming successes of the most recent NWDM actions and the lack of intervention by the US government, it is believed Charles Robert Olevsky will continue pushing south into Mexico.”
With trembling hands, I zoomed in on the photograph of me. On my wrist was the same watch I always wear. The one given to me by my father. Minutes ticked by and I read more and more about the atrocities I’d been accused of committing. Mass murder. Systematic rapes as terror tactics. Torture. Every victim was innocent.
There were videos of me from the early days of the NWDM. Propaganda videos. Someone recorded while I walked down the street with an assault rifle slung on my back, intimidating and beating everyone who looked like they didn’t belong in that particular area. Each video featured me committing different acts of violence. I performed the acts with a calm demeanor and spoke to the victim like a patronizing father explaining to his child why he had to be beaten. As the videos went on, I began killing them. When the families ran to the corpses of their loved ones, I shot them, too.
Before I could finish the video, my Internet connection died. I felt unbearably nauseous and dizzy. Guilty, too. That man couldn’t be me. When my connection reestablished, I tried to resume the video. It wouldn’t go. I closed the browser and tried again. When I typed in “Charles Robert Olevsky,” nothing came up. All Google showed me were other people who had either “Charles” or “Robert” or “Olevsky” in their names. Nothing mentioned me.
I opened my browser’s history and clicked the links from the last half hour. Each one was a 404. There was nothing. I started to think I was losing my mind. But then I remembered the pictures of me wearing the exact same watch I’ve worn for the last 30 years. The videos, though, were what shook me to my core. Nothing about my actions in them was anything like who I am as a person. I glanced over at the side of the desk where my printer stood. The package housing Rosetta Stone’s “Learn Spanish” sat on top. I thought about the scenes of those hideous videos. I started to cry. Every time I talked to one of the people I brutalized – every time I mocked them as they bled out, I spoke in perfect Spanish.
3 Replies to “Charles Robert Olevsky”
This was one of my favorites of the 4 or 5 I read this morning. Obviously, you have a gift for writing flash fiction and surprise endings. Very cool. I’m trying to work on shorter pieces, as most of the things I do are long form fiction. Share some hope: is there any (hope) of making a living this way or do you have a day job? Thanks!
I feel like I’m missing something in this one. Did he get brainwashed by Rosetta Stone?
I remember reading this one ages ago. I’m absolutely certain this isn’t a new realization, particularly given the current situation in the world..
But this story now has a much more profoundly chilling effect upon rereading. A horrifying feeling of prophecy. I honestly had to double check the ‘date posted’ a few times to make sure it wasn’t more recent than I remembered.