It's 12:45 AM, and the state government in Minnesota has been shut down for 3/4 of an hour.
The first three minutes were pretty uneventful. But at 12:04:11 ,a orange glow rent the southern sky, followed by flaming debris dropping from above.
By 12:08 mobs of howling, starving state workers and clients began prowling the street, beating passersby in an orgy of starving desperation. Led by a former barbers' licensing official named Barbarossa, they left a wake of bodies, blood and trash in their path.
At 12:11, a group of vigilantes led by a freelance jingle arranger, Jeff Blumstein, organized in the Metrodome parking lot. They confronted one another on the Nicollet Mall, in a battle that left most of the city flattened and blazing from gas leaks and arson. Barbarossa's hordes threw Blumsein's army back; the survivors slipped across the Central Avenue bridge, seconds before decay caused by 15 mintes of neglect (from lack of state engineers) led to the bridge's collapse in a gout of spray and rust dust.
It was :25 after when the first civilians, food stocks exhausted, tentatively approached Barbarossa looking for food. A brutal black market erupted; Barbarossa's men traded food for sex, comic books and union contracts.
But the atrocities grew out of control; by 12:30, pyramids of human skulls started piling up at key intersections. Worse, even Barbarossa began losing control of his mob, finally being killed at 12:38 by a coalition of even worse former state employees. Their minions divided Minnesota up into dozens of competing parcels of turf, where their soldiers drove packs of human shields into their enemy for laughs and, later in the minute, for a supply of flesh on the hoof to assuage their hunger pangs.
I am in my basement, a shotgun in my lap, watching the city burn in the distance. A pack of marauders was looting my neighbors - until a pack of wolves in turn ate the bandits.
I'm saving the last shell for myself.
If anyone alive reads this - we tried. We really tried.
God have mercy.