US Army Retired

US Army Retired

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Why I Wrote Blood in the Meadows

First of all, I need to explain why the “meadows”. The literal translation for Las Vegas is “the green space,” or more simply, a map notation to show water. But, in order to make it more attractive, early settlers called is “the meadows”, a misnomer as all that was here in the valley were scattered places where water gushes up from the desert.

When 9/11 happened, I like most other Americans, thought about terrorism and how open our society is to such attacks. There were, of course others before that, but we all seemed to brush them aside as acts of deranged monsters.

I was also aware of other terrorist acts in Europe, The IRA, The Red Brigades, and others. Those were far away and surely would never impact us here on US soil. Right?

I have always been amazed by the openness of Las Vegas. Tens of thousands freely move about with little or no close surveillance – or so we see. Almost no uniformed police and the casino security guards do their best to remain unobtrusive. And what criminal activity that occurs is kept from public view or occurs in the neighborhoods – away from the glare of neon lights.

I think I first became concerned with the lack of safety when I drove the city bus. Especially when driving up and down The Strip. So many people. And so few security measures. During certain hours, traffic is so dense that emergency vehicles are almost barred from reaching some Strip locations. And downtown is almost completely blocked off to vehicle traffic.

A perfect situation for someone determined to create havoc. To kill or maim many unsuspecting people.

I put a lot of thought into how terrorists would attack and the ideas I came up with frankly frightened me. It seems too easy. I also hesitated to write about it, wondering if some nutcase or fanatic might actually use the ideas as a guide to commit such a horrible act.

But, I'm a storyteller and found myself unable not to do so.

As with all stories, characters play an important role and there was no doubt that my main character would be an ex-soldier. Why not? One can only write with certainty something one knows about. The remainder of the characters came from my knowledge of Las Vegas and the easy availability of certain goods.

Is the story plausible? I'm afraid so.

I hope you will read it for yourself and pass on your judgment of it.