stories

The Last of The Smoker - Chapter 2 - page 2

"Why are you complaining? What we have been trying to do is protect the anti-smokers."

"But the smokers are the minority now."

"Smokers were always the minority. Our organization defends the interests of the majority."

"Oh, really? So you always side with the majority, then?"

"Of course we do. Don't be so stupid."

There was nothing for it but to protect myself. No bill had yet been passed outlawing smoking, but in protest at this, the lynching of smokers grew hopelessly frenzied. I strung up barbed wire around my house, ran an electric current through it at night, and armed myself with a re-powered pistol and a Japanese sword. That day, Kusakabe, a painter who lived in a town nearby, called me. He had once enjoyed smoking a pipe, but as he was no longer able to get hold of any tobacco he was making do with ordinary rolled cigarettes. He had become a frequent subject of media reports now that he was one of the twenty or so smokers who remained.

"Things are really terrible, aren't they?" he said. "I've heard that there is going to be an attack some time soon. The press and the TV people are going to stir up the Anti-Smoking League and get them to set fire to our houses, then film the whole event for the news."

"Jesus!" I said. "If they get my house first, can I escape to your place?"

"Sure, and I'll do the same. If they come here first I'll drive over to your house. Then we could drive to Tokyo. I have a safehouse there, and friends who can help us. Since it looks as though we're going to be together to the end, we might as well smoke ourselves to a magnificent death in the capital."

"Agreed. We'll die in glory so that textbooks in the future will say "Even in death, they did not let their cigarettes slip from their lips."