For Better or Worse (Ch 4)

“All better!”

Pulling her arm from out of the tank, the little girl slides the lid back on her glass habitat after setting down the little newborn she’d taken out the night before.

“Those nutrients will make you a super pet!” She shouts, watching the parents finally reconnect with their baby.

“Anyway,” the girl says, sounding bored, “What are the rest of you guys up to?”

Stepping over a few feet to observe the little colony of creatures, she scratches her head.

“Why do you all keep doing that?!” The girl cries. “Stop splitting up!”

Since she first got them, the creatures have shown a tendency to huddle together in small groups. Some are lighter colored, and some are darker, and they seem to prefer grouping with those they resemble. 

“You guys are sooooo weird,” the girl says to them. “You know you’re all the same little things, right?” 

Looking back to a bookshelf against the wall, the girl grabs the instruction booklet that came with her pets’ terrarium. Opening it up, she turns to the pages that cover their interactions with one another.

“The creatures will have a tendency to keep close proximity with ones that look most like them.” She reads. “Do not worry if they display this behavior, as it is expected of them.” 

Taking a moment to look at the tank again, the little girl shuts the booklet.

“Huh! Well I guess it’s normal after all, weirdos! But just so you guys know, I think that’s pretty dumb. You’re all made of the same stuff.” She says, sliding the booklet back in its spot on the shelf. “Anyway, its sleepy time! Good night little ones.” 

Flicking off the light, the girl throws the wide veil over the dome and crawls into bed.

For Better or Worse (Ch 3)

“Aw, yay!”

The day after disposing the dead creature, the little girl is pleasantly surprised to see that two of her pets have had a baby. Standing over the dome with a wide grin on her face, she looks down at the two tiny creatures nurturing their teenie, fragile newborn.

“Good job, you two! I hope the others take after the example you’ve set.” The girl coos, giggling as she watches the little family huddled together in the corner of the glass enclosure. 

“Oh! But wait!” She says, remembering the chapter in her booklet that teaches how to properly take care of the creatures. 

Sliding the lid open, the girl reaches down and grabs the newborn pet, pulling it up out of the dome. As she does so, the parents become visibly distraught, running to the edge of the glass as they watch the little girl carry the baby across the room. 

“It’s okay!” She shouts back at them with a smile, seeing their distress. “I’m just making sure she’ll grow up nice and strong!” She adds, placing the small newborn in a separate, much smaller container. 

Obviously not comprehending the reassurances of the girl, the baby creature’s parents remain at the edge of the glass for the remainder of the day, helplessly peering across the room at their new offspring, wishing they could be together. 

For Better or Worse (Ch 2)

“Rise and shine, everyone!”

Quickly pulling away the large veil covering the girl’s terrarium, she excitedly greets the occupants inside.  

 “I bet you guys are hungry, aren’t you?” She asks matter-of-factly. Walking to the small closet in the corner of her room, she grabs a packet of food and a pale of water.

“And it looks like your lake is almost all dried up! You guys must be thirsty!” The girl exclaims, ripping open the food packet as she pulls back the small square door at the top the glass dome. 

Holding the packet over the center of the little community of creatures, the girl shakes it until all the tiny morsels of food have fallen out. Watching her pets scramble toward the newly dropped food, she smiles as she pours water into the side of the dome where a pond-like crevice has been dug.

“Drink up, teenie weenies!” She cheerfully says, closing the lid.

As she places the water pale back in the closet, she notices that one of the tiny creatures is laying underneath a group of mini tree-like plants, not moving. 

“Oh no!” She cries. “Not again!”

Placing her hands on the glass to lean over the dome, she looks down at the recently deceased pet.

“I told you all to stop fighting!” She tersely shouts. “Why can’t you just get along?”

Returning to the closet, the girl reaches in and grabs a long, skinny pole with a tong on the end. Re-opening the glass lid, she nabs the dead creature and chucks it outside her open window onto the lawn below. 

“If I find out which one of you keeps doing this, you’re gonna be in big trouble!” She asserts, holding the tong up. “Now ya’ll behave while I’m gone!” 

Closing the lid once more, she puts the tong back in the closet, exiting the room to spend the day outside. 

The Revolt Returns: 9

“Hey guys! Has anyone seen my jar of annoying whispering wisps?”

Approaching the Lenghornian village’s central meeting area, Dustin the Determined asks his co-workers where his pets might be.

“Oh yeah, we actually threw them out.” Chris the Comical tells him. “They all died. Did you not feed them?”

His quizzical stare slowly fading into a devious smirk, Dustin chuckles under his breath.

“Wait. Those things eat? I thought they were like…spirits or something. Well maybe not spirits. But ghosts. Or demons. Or something like that. Ya know? Like sometimes I wondered if they were even real cause sometimes I think I see things that aren’t there and then I’m like”

“DUSTIN!” The servers collectively shout, ending the rant and refocusing his attention.

“Forget them dude. They’ve joined our fallen comrades in peaceful slumber beyond the veil,” Chris assures him.

“Huh. Imagine that.” Dustin dismissively says, shrugging his shoulders. “Sucks to be them! Stupid wisps.”

“Right.” Chris says with a subtle laugh, putting his arm around Dustin’s shoulder to usher him into the meeting that was already taking place. “Johnny, please continue,” he says, looking toward the slightly introverted, usually soft spoken Giver of Speeches.

“Anyway,” Johnny the Jovial shouts to the villagers, “here is the plan. Our Barfly Gnat scouts have caught wind of Spam’s battle plans. We must break this wind! Let me tell you, faithful companions, these are sinister plans indeed. For Spam intends to secretly use her brainless Chilian soldier-slaves to mount a massive assault on this very village. But this shall be merely be a diversion for her true intention: sending her disgusting, uncontrollably hairy minion Will the Wolf to assassinate our village leadership!”

“GASP!!”

Collectively inhaling with such ferocity that Jade the Painfully Attractive Lade’s server apron almost falls off, the Lenghornians express disbelief of their oppressive manager’s intentions.

Confidently raising his hand, Johnny the Gentleman calms his loyal subjects.

“My friends…” he softly asserts, using his other hand to unsheath a blade so powerful it nearly blinds the crowd, “worry not. For I wield Steakscalibir!! I shall embark on an epic mission along with our brave cohort Dustin the Deft and end this treachery before it has a chance to take root!” He shouts, raising the fabled blade in triumph.

“HUZZAH!!” The Lenghornians cry in excited elation. “All hail Johnny! All hail Dustin!!” They cheer.

Glancing over the crowd to witness Brittany the Beautiful deliver a patron’s Blue Moon well after the beer’s expected arrival time, Johnny returns his gaze down to his fellow servers as he gracefully nods in appreciation of their support. Subtly glancing at Dustin, he slyly winks, smirks, and nods in silent acknowledgemnt of the legendary quest on which they shall soon embark.

A quest, as it were, which will define the future of the Lenghornian village for ages to come.

On the Eve: 6

King Jordain

She knows exactly where my heart lies. Buried deep within that sheath of angst, she knows the truth.

She knows I cannot raise my blade to her. This foolhardy campaign is fueled by her insatiable desire for revenge; her misguided malfeasance. Yet reality continues to elude her. The entirety of her army’s morale rests upon the simple assertion that I, King Jordain, committed the treacherous act for which I was accused. Why choose now to invade – does she wish to reunite East with West? Her accusations, ones which she herself believed to be true, were the very catalyst that ripped these lands apart to begin with.

And now, here I sit with the watchful eye above penetrating my soul. On my honor, woman, nothing occurred between the vice-regent and myself those many years ago. This divisive plot was a meticulously crafted story by that scum of a Hand, Ulric. The same Hand who deceived her, my Queen, for all these years. Slicing his throat was the greatest gift our God could ever bestow upon me, and for that I am eternally grateful.

We will hold these lands. God willing, we will reunite.  Jocasta shall at last hear the truth.

The Revolt Returns: 8

“Hey, what was the name of that new girl again? You know, the brown haired Lenghornian with the exquisite…personality?”

Back in Spam’s newly reconstructed Tower of Management, Will the Wolf ponders the assets of a Lenghornian newcomer with Chilian manservent, Quesadilla.

“I know not, my Lord.” Quesadilla replies. “I am but a lowly Chilian. Our ribs and terrible 2 for 1 specials in those tiny mugs pale in comparison to you Lenghornians. You know I am not savvy to such information. I am nothing if not a loyal subject of my dear, sexy Spam.”

“Ah, valid point, peasant.” Will says. “Perhaps I shall raid their pathetic village and take her for my own. Show her how a real wolf gets down,” he growls with a creepy glint in his eye.

Suddenly, a female voice echos from an adjacent chamber.

“I would find that most unwise, my hairy lover.”

Waltzing out of the nearby walkway, a majestically sexy fox with an inexplicable aura of sophistication joins the pair.

“Assuming, of course, you intend to keep that wonderful wolf manhood of yours attached to your body,” she adds with a wink.

“My love! You know I jest,” Will the Wolf says with a subtle adjustment of his woolly pants, effortlessly concealing his embarrassing blood flow as his gaze glides up and down Celeste the Sultry’s painfully attractive body.

“That’s what I thought,” she says with a smirk and a peck on his wolfly cheek. “Alas, where is our leader? Surely its time to finalize our plans for the assault on the Lenghornian village.”

Interjecting, Quesadilla angrily answers her query.

“Our beloved leader is seeing to her commitments in the North, fox,” he says with an annoyed glance toward Celeste.

As a dedicated Chilian, Quesadilla is fiercely loyal to none but his offensively nasty restaurant. Spam, being the conniving woman she is, wooed the slave and his compatriots through an ingeniously crafted plan to gain Chilian support. Simply put – she informed their corporate management to take the beef bacon ranch quesadilla off of their already disgusting menu. After her suggestion led to quadrupled profits, the Chilian constituents fell right into her perfectly placed trap. As intended, her army swelled and she inherited the mindless servant that is Quesadilla.

“When does she intend to return?” Will the Wolf asks, smoothly deflecting the obvious resentment Quesadilla had directed toward his foxy lover.

“Our liege is scheduled to grace us with her return on the ‘morrow,” the manservant sneers. “Now, you must excuse me. I am required for other, more pressing obligations. Since she has graciously deemed me worthy of such responsibilities,” he adds as a not-so-subtle slight toward Celeste.

Exiting the chamber, Quesadilla hobbles toward whatever tasks he undoubtedly had just made up. Left alone, Celeste grins as she hops into her lover’s hairy arms.

Turning her head toward the sky, she smirks.

“Its time to end this chapter, I think,” she creepily says to me. “I know you didn’t really develop the plot in any meaningful way here, but I’m seriously jonesing for this guy’s…service,” she says with a soft laugh and nod toward the wolf of her dreams.

Wondering how the hell a fantasy character became aware of its omniscient Godly creator, the author types the last few characters of his entry, closing the cover to his laptop with a confused, blank stare on his face.

Love & Loss: 12

My dearest Adalasia.

You changed the world for me. There are so many things I want to write to you that explain how important you are. But my words would never do it justice. I found myself when I met you. You were the most important piece of my life. I love you. More than anything in this God Forsaken world, I love you. 

I’m bleeding, my love. I was shot as I ran toward the bakery when I heard the Germans were launching their attack. I’m not going to survive. My body is resting upon a small hill of broken cobblestone. I am going to die. This I know.

I beg you, whoever finds my body, deliver this parchment to my Adalasia. Please. Axis, or ally. Please. Give this letter to my love so she knows how much she meant to me.  

She changed my life. 

Adalasia. I love you so, so much. Please don’t forget me. You are my everything, and if there is another side to this life, I will do everything in my power to find you. 

Please, my love. Remember me.

Love & Loss: 11

I can’t do this.

I can’t. I’m so afraid. They’re here. The Germans. They’re retaking the city. They’ve launched an overwhelming counter offensive to regain control of Sicily. I’m so scared. I don’t know what to do. My God please help me. Please, I’m begging you. I can hear the gunshots outside. I can hear the footsteps of the German soldiers. Oh my God please don’t let them find me. God, if you’re there, please, don’t let them find me. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die. 

Underneath the register. Hiding. That’s where I am. Please find me Adam. Please. Make them go away. I can’t do this. I can’t let this be the last night I ever see. Adam please help me. Oh my God Adam where are you? Please help me. Adam I love you. I love you more than anything.

Oh my God. They’re coming in.

The Revolt Returns: 7

shhhhhhh letusoutofthisstupidjaryouslickhairedmaniac shhhhhhh

Back in the Lenghornian village, Dustin the Determined is carrying around his jar of wisps like a trophy. Easily entertained, he looks at them with the grin of a school boy looking at his first bowl of sea monkeys.

“Ha!” He laughs. “Stupid wisps. Bet you wish you hadn’t made fun of my hair now, huh?”

shhhhhhh pleaseletusoutforreal shhhhhh ithinkcarljustfartedanditsmells shhhhhhh

“Nope.” Dustin says, setting the jar down on the windowsill of his plastic straw hut.

Chopping lettuce in an attempt to help the brainless cooks keep the salad window stocked, Dustin hears a knock on the door.

“Dustin, we have news from the East!” A soothing female voice shouts. “Come, join us in the square!”

Pointing his knife and squinting at the wisps as to say “behave while I’m gone”, he sets the blade down and joins Stephanie the Sweet outside. His curiosity stirring, the pair hurriedly make their way to the center town square. Finally reaching the rest of the villagers, they settle into the crowd. Standing center stage behind a podium, Connee, The Fairy Queen of the House of Front, announces the grave news.

“Lenghornians! I come to you with news of utmost treachery! Our Barfly Gnat scouts have caught wind that Spam intends to overrun us with an army of Chilians from the East!”

GASP!

“This cannot be!” Jade, a girl that everyone obviously wants to “get to know” says.”I thought our Eastern Border was protected by the Calver army!”

“Alas, my dear,” Connee begins,”just because they are next door does not mean they have the capabilities to protect our lands. In fact their burger patties are far too thin to shield any of the Chilian siege weapons. We cannot count on them.”

“She speaks the truth.” A soft, reserved voice says from the back of the crowd. Stepping forward, Johnny the Gentleman offers his services. “Dear Fairy, allow me to raise a regiment of Lenghornian Revolters. We shall defend the realm until our dying breath.”

“Huzzah!” The Lenghornians cheer, patting Johnny on his firm buttocks.

Nodding her head and waving her tong wand, Connee manifests a leather tunic and suit of armor for Johnny, which he assertively grabs and straps on.

“You will need this as well, my Knight.” Connee says, handing Johnny a gleaming silver serrated steak knife.

“Steakscalibur!” Johnny says in astonishment. “Where did you obtain such a legendary relic?”

“Alas, my dear, twas easy for a Fairy of my level.” Connee says with a snide grin. “Come! Accept that which I bestow!” She shouts as she hands Johnny the beautiful blade. “You will lead your fellow Lenghornians, along with Dustin the Determined, to victory! I have read the prophecies. They tell a tale of a massive battle to come! We must prepare!”

“Huzzah!” The crowd shouts. “To war!”

 

 

 

The Revolt Returns: Ep 3

Shhhhhhhh “someonetellthisguytogetthehelloutofourwoods” shhhhhhh

Furthering his trek deep into the Forest of Broccoli Florets, Dustin the Determined looks back toward the small group of annoying will-o-the-wisps that has followed his journey with ever-watchful, glowing eyes.

“Shoo! Stop following me you stupid butterflies!” He shouts as he adjusts the monocle on his eye which is designed to reveal the lost colors of Xavier, the Rainbow Unicorn.

Shhhhhhhhh “wearenotbutterfliesyouslickhaireddummy” shhhhhhhh “wearewispssssss” shhhhhhhh

The luminescent group hisses back at him, their wings continuing to flutter amidst the forest’s eerie breeze.

“Whatever, weirdos.” Dustin whispers to himself. Bending over to pick up a fallen branch, he reaches into his leather tunic’s pocket and pulls out the small Zippo lighter he uses to light candles of Birthday Sundae’s he normally gives to Lenghornian patrons. Setting the end of the branch ablaze, he suddenly jerks around, engulfing the group of whispering pixies in a fiery ball of wonder. Watching their bodies burn until they are a heap of smoldering corpses on the forest floor, he smiles to himself as he holds the flaming branch out to light the gradually darkening path ahead.

“Good job, Dustin! Stupid butterflies.” He asserts.

“Thanks, man!” He replies, patting himself on the back with his free hand. “Alright. Wait, what are we doing here again?”

“Oh crap.” He says, halting his pace to scratch his slick-haired head. “Ummmmm I think we were looking for something. Something…let’s see. Something red?”

“Red! I think you’re right. Or was it blue?”

“Maybe it was both?”

As he continues his questioning…of himself…another group of wisps flutters by, horrified at the pile of ashes before them.

Shhhhhhhh “ohmygodheykilledfrankandsueandcarlandjohnandwhatthehellbrowhyyyyy” shhhhhhh

They hiss, quickly flying away to avoid being turned into a similar heap of death.

“Anyway, I think we were looking for like a horse or something.” Dustin’s endless conversation continues.

Suddenly a mysterious voice from beyond the avoid can be heard from the treetops, jolting Dustin back into focus.

Dustinnnn….. The faint, female voice whispers. Look to the Eassssssssssst….

“What the hell?” Dustin says, looking up at the nothingness above him.

The Easssssssssst….. The voice continues.

“Who’s there?!” Dustin shouts, still looking to the treetops.

Seriousssssssly. The EASSSSSSSST!!!  The now-impatient voice bellows. It is I, the recently departed soul of Miranda the Frequently Checked Outtttttttt…..

“Oh, damn! Miranda?! Why didn’t you say so?” Dustin asks, still looking up.

Shifting into a terse, normal voice, the soul of Miranda the Frequently Checked Out shortens.

“Good Lord, Dustin. I said look to the freaking East! You totally ruined my sexy mysterious spirit-voice.” She impatiently says.

“Oh, right.” He says, shaking his head to snap out of his daze.

“No, its actually to your left.” Miranda sighs, most likely rolling the spirits of her eyes.

Turning to his left, Dustin finally spots a glistening shimmer of rainbow colors through his magic monocle, partly hidden by the trunk of a nearby tree.

“Hey!” He shouts. “That’s what we were looking for!”

Quieting down into her sexy voice of phantom mystique, the hissing soul of Miranda announces her departure, her voice slowly fading away.

My task is completeeeeeee. Farewell, faithful Lenghorniannnnnnnnn……

Walking to the missing colors of Xavier the Rainbow Unicorn, Dustin bends down to scoop them up, sealing them inside the empty can of peppercorn filling he has with him.

“There!” He proudly says to himself with a grin. “Time to head back to the village!”

“Way to go, my man!” His alter-ego affirms. “Hey, did you remember to bring the ocarina so we can beckon Norm the Steed?” He asks….himself.

“Crap!” He shouts. “I knew we forgot something. Oh well. Hey, lets capture some of those stupid wisps and bring them back as pets.”

“Great idea!”

And so, carrying the fabled colors of Xavier the Rainbow Unicorn, our hero begins the long, arduous walk back to his beloved Lenghornians – can of captured wisps in stow. He has accomplished the first quest bestowed unto him with ease.

We can only hope his good fortune continues, for there are vastly trying times ahead….

 

 

 

 

Good & Evil: Chapter 14

Well well well, what have we here? Does he love her? What do you think? She’s going to be mine. Sort of an odd term to use, right? Almost sounds like he views her as property. Property he doesn’t want to share, as it seems.

So, here’s what I wonder: does Mikal love Estella? How does he even define it? If Estella’s future was brighter, hypothetically, with someone else, shouldn’t that be a good thing? Because when you love someone, its unconditional. You want them to be happy don’t you? Or is love only present when it serves our own ends?

Its a question that could persist forever. And truthfully one for which I doubt we will ever have a really good answer. Because no one wants to admit these things, for some reason, but they’re true. I think its safe to say that Mikal is only going to “love” Estella if she loves him back. Which clearly she does, based on previous readings.

Either way, he’s a sneaky little bugger isn’t he? Manipulating the manipulators.

Good for him.

Good & Evil: Chapter 13

She’s going to be mine. I cannot stand the thought of Donavan having her. I must find a way to convince them that I have become Good. That I’m pure.

Today I spoke with the Overseer. I told him how much I appreciated this process, and for opening my eyes. It was something I believe none have done before me. I must do what is necessary to convince them that I am good. The rest just complain, they sit back and they plot their ways of how to break their system. They always fail. They never succeed. It is so much easier, to me, to navigate this system and act the way I am expected so I can turn my misfortune into opportunity. Yes, I will use their system against them. I will make it my own, and through my efforts return to my love…my Estella.

Good & Evil: Chapter 11

A curious thing happened today.

I was visited by a Younger who had just completed his Filing. He has graduated from his childish status and was Filed Left to become a Contributor. I recall him approaching me this morning, slowly opening the door to my office as he peered inside with a strange glint in his eye. It was most odd. But he excitedly sat down and actually thanked me for my duties of being an Overseer. He told me he appreciated the Filing and that he now understood why he was Filed Left. He told me our process has opened his eyes, and made him realize what true “purity” is.

It is strange. I cannot recall a time before when a child who was filed Left showed such gratitude. Without fail, my experience with those who are Left has been one of contempt. After all, the process is designed precisely for that very reason. They are bad people, therefore their response when being Filed Left is that of contempt and resentment. Those who instead appreciate our process, and are good, would see their Filing as a lesson, and would respond positively – which is precisely why they are Filed Right to begin with. Isn’t it clear that one’s internal thought process and response to adversity defines one’s true moral value?

The Bad deserve to be Contributors. This is known. They should produce consumables and services for the Good, until it is they who grow to be Good. But it is for this that I am at an impasse. This newly Filed Contributor has shown the trait of one that is good. Has our process failed? Have we condemned someone who is Good? He is the only positive thinker in a group that has never failed to foster anger, remorse, and contempt.

What can I do with this Mikal?

 

Good & Evil: Chapter 9

Oh, what shall I do?!

There must have been a mistake. I cannot accept this. Mikal has been Filed left! I shan’t see him again, and my heart aches when I think of it. All this time we’ve spent in anticipation, patiently waiting for the day when we would be Filed together. How could this have happened? He is pure! More so than me, I know it!

I asked Father what could be done. He says there is nothing we can do to change the decision. Mikal will live a life of production and servitude. It isn’t fair! He always did what was right. Always! How can they possibly say he was not pure enough? He was more genuine than any of the others. And there are so many who were Filed right who are surely less so than my Mikal. 

Oh, I know not what to do. My heart yearns for him. The constant pain I feel when he occupies my thoughts is just unbearable. 

What can I do?

The Revolt Returns: Ep 1

“It cannot be so!”

High atop the hills overlooking the Lenghornian Village of Servers, Cedric the Everhigh gasps as he hears news that Xavier the Unicorn’s coat has lost it’s color.

“Its true!” Wails Rachel, the Host Who Must Not Be Flirted With For Fear of Boyfriendly Retribution. “I just saw him gulping water by the oasis, his coat was completely gray!” She cries.

“This is unacceptable!” Cedric shouts as he exhales a cloud of Keep Kush, stimulating the olfactory senses of his counterpart. “Without his colors, Xavier’s urine will no longer be able to resurrect our fallen heroes! We must commission a team of scouts to regain our rainbow unicorn’s color!”

“Yes, we must!” Rachel says, nodding in agreement.

“Come, we must make the announcement.” Cedric asserts, beckoning Rachel to follow.

As the pair descend the hill and make their way into the center of the Village, Rachel begins to bang on the doors of her co-workers.

“Guys! Town Meeting! We have something we need to tell everyone!”

Wiping their eyes as they emerge from their plastic straw huts, the servers congregate in the center of the Village. Unsure of what’s going on, they group around the recently erected statue commemorating the Battle for Free Servitude – when the District Manager was sprinkled with Prairie Dust and transformed into a chocolate dessert, ushering the dawn of the New Age.

Nudging him to the front of the group, Rachel tells Cedric to share the news.

“What up folks? Big deal here.” Cedric begins. “Listen, we got a problem. Our boy has lost his colors.” He says, pointing across the grassy meadow at the plain gray unicorn peacefully sipping the water cascading from the oasis’ small waterfall. “Ain’t no idea how this shit happened, but it happened. And we need to get them back. Cause you all know what dude’s wiener water can do to those who get themselves kilt. Plus, he’s done a lot for us, so we owe it to him.”

“How could this be?!” Asks Connee the Fairy. “Xavier’s flow is the only way to bring back our departed from beyond the Veil!”

“That’s right!” Cedric exclaims. “So we need to get the colors back. Who’s down to go?” He asks, panning the group.

*Blank stares and blinking eyes as heads slowly turn toward Dustin*

“Ugh, seriously guys? Why does everyone always make me do the stuff no one else wants to do?” Asks Dustin the Frequently Undermined, as he looks at his fellow servers with disdain. “Whatever. I’ll freakin’ do it. But someone else is doing my side work tonight.”

“Great!” Brittany the Buff cheers. “But where will you begin your search?”

“I don’t know.” Dustin says. “You know, maybe I’ll start by the oak trees. Or maybe not. I don’t know. But maybe I will. You know, the oak trees probably have colors somewhere, cause like, the leaves are green, right? Green’s a color. And that’s what we need. Colors. Like the ones on the rainbow. Rainbows have all the colors. Sometimes I think it’d be cool to ski on a rainbow. And then”

“DUSTIN!” Rachel shouts.

“What?” He responds.

“Find Xavier’s colors.”

“On it.” Dustin says.

Off he rides, saddling Norman, the ever faithful steed as they gallop toward the oak trees to begin their quest. Uncertainty hovers over the horizon, for there have been whispers of a new village uprising far to the North. One thing is for sure, however: fate has much planned for our hero, Dustin the Determined.

Good & Evil: Chapter 1

I can’t believe this is actually happening!

Well, sort of. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been waiting for ages, but tonight…well, tonight is just filled with excitement! Father says I’m sure to go Right, which makes sense because Mother did too. He told me when she went through the Filing that she was ninety seven percent pure. Ninety seven percent! Can you believe that? I bet I’ll be lucky to be in the eighties. 

I should probably be trying to get some rest, but my eyes are wide open right now. I cannot stop thinking of the ceremony tomorrow and how beautiful my gown will look and how proud Father will be and of oh the so many things that are going through my head right now! 

I hope Mikal is Filed right too, I can’t imagine what I would do in his absence. He and I have spent such a long time as Youngers together and I cannot fathom a life with him not in it.

——————–

**A message from the author**

I have a long term goal of building a Reading Sanctuary to dedicate to my mother, who passed away in August of 2015, at my local library. My writing is the means through which I would like to achieve that goal.

If you enjoyed this post or story, please share it with your friends. All of the clickable buttons below will link to various social media platforms.

Thank you for visiting my site and for your support. I wish you all the best 🙂

Sincerely, 

Matt

Good & Evil: Chapter 4

Here we are again. Told you I’d be your guide, didn’t I? Let me guess. You’re curious as to what the hell is going on.

Well, here ya go.

When earth was finally stripped of her last bits of natural resources, people descended into havoc. There was a several year period where human beings reverted to their primal instincts, completely shedding cultural “sophistication” and acting like animals. Quite literally. And it wasn’t even due to the fact that we’d run out of oil. It was simply because we did nothing to prepare ourselves for the inevitable shortage. The masses looked to global leaders as enemies, power hungry sociopaths who controlled the industry so they could line their pockets. 

The social collapse wasn’t based on lack of oil. It was based on revenge. Revenge on those who said we would never see this day, that by the time oil ran out we’d be using something else for our energy. No, the collapse wasn’t driven by the knowledge that there’s no more fuel. 

It was driven by hatred and malice for the leaders they trusted.

——————–

**A message from the author**

I have a long term goal of building a Reading Sanctuary to dedicate to my mother, who passed away in August of 2015, at my local library. My writing is the means through which I would like to achieve that goal.

If you enjoyed this post or story, please share it with your friends. All of the clickable buttons below will link to various social media platforms.

Thank you for visiting my site and for your support. I wish you all the best 🙂

Sincerely, 

Matt

Good & Evil: Chapter 6

Well he sure doesn’t sound happy, does he?

Rightfully so, I may add. Not that my opinion matters, of course, but it’s there nonetheless. But I digress. After all, you don’t want my opinion, now do you? You want context. Here you are.

After the collapse we spoke of previously, the world took awhile to get back on its feet, so to speak. Chaos and depravity were the trend for quite some time. Until, that is, a group of leaders came along and seized the opportunity which was laying there for the taking. The chance to rebuild the world, from its deepest roots all the way to its highest levels. And so they did.

Again, it’s difficult to organize the precise events, since it was so long ago. Not to mention that truth is difficult to decipher through the biases of historical record keepers. But the basic story is this:

Four people had a vision for the world. So, after a lengthy battle to the top of society (or what was left of it), they organized the entire globe’s population into self-sustaining, strictly governed semi-cities. Each with its own Enforcer to ascertain that the constituency obeyed the doctrines passed down by the Founders.

The hate-inspired diary excerpt you read a moment ago was one of the people who caught the short end of their society’s stick. 

You see, the Founders tapped into the brightest minds of their time, and with the help of some records salvaged from the World Before, were able to pinpoint the chemical processes in the brain that cause individuals to exhibit (what they interpreted) as benevolent actions. Of course this also meant that they were able to isolate the chemicals that caused people to exhibit malicious behavior.

Thus, armed with the knowledge obtained from monitoring their citizens via devices embedded at birth, they rebuilt civilization on the simplest of frameworks. At the tender age of sixteen, all members of society are ushered through what they dubbed the Filing. Those who have “purity ratings” over 75%, that is 3/4 of the chemicals produced by their brains lean toward benevolence – are filed to the Right. These members of the community move on to enjoy the more luxurious positions that life offers. They receive higher educations, frequently obtain prominent political status, and maintain voting rights. Those who are not fortunate enough to display these levels of benevolence, however, are filed to the Left. They are separated from their Right peers and live lives of manufacturing, service, and production. Their daily social interactions vary substantially from their old schoolmates, something which we will undoubtedly get to at a later date. 

I expect you, my friend, to form your own opinion of this system as you learn more and our relationship deepens. 

Such is the world. Until, of course, it’s not.

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**A message from the author**

I have a long term goal of building a Reading Sanctuary to dedicate to my mother, who passed away in August of 2015, at my local library. My writing is the means through which I would like to achieve that goal.

If you enjoyed this post or story, please share it with your friends. All of the clickable buttons below will link to various social media platforms.
Thank you for visiting my site and for your support. I wish you all the best 🙂

Sincerely, 

Matt

Good & Evil: Chapter 3

It happened! 

Just like Father said, I was Filed Right! And sure enough, my purity score was in the 80s…but so what?! I went Right! Oh this truly is the best feeling ever. 

Now I must wait and see if Mikal will be joining me. He has to! He’s one of the purest boys in our whole annex! He’s always helping people and doing everything he can to be as pure as possible. 

I wonder what job I’ll take, now that I’m Right. There’s so many exciting things I could be, I just can’t decide on one! Maybe I’ll join the theater. I think I would love a life on stage! Or maybe I’ll be a teacher, I could help our kids appreciate how wonderful our community is! Oh, there are so many options I just don’t know what to do with myself. 

I hope Mikal joins me soon!!

——————–

**A message from the author**

I have a long term goal of building a Reading Sanctuary to dedicate to my mother, who passed away in August of 2015, at my local library. My writing is the means through which I would like to achieve that goal.

If you enjoyed this post or story, please share it with your friends. All of the clickable buttons below will link to various social media platforms.

Thank you for visiting my site and for your support. I wish you all the best 🙂

Sincerely, 

Matt

Currency: Chapter 1

So I think I’ve decided to write currency out on my blog, since I’ve taken such an interest in it. Perhaps later I’ll wrap it into a book, but I like the suspense of periodic installments. Plus this way its free, which is always a plus.  First chapter below. Warning: might be a bit weird.

The Beginning

Chapter 1

It’s happened again.

Barbado continues to approach our village, offering goats to us. He seems to think that the goats are worthy of replacing our swine. I fear he will come with the others soon, wielding spears to take our stock by force. Giving him our swine for the goats, he says, is the only way to prevent this. He calls it a “trade”.

The elders have told us that if we heed Barbado’s attempts, we will weaken our supply of livestock. They say the meat from our swine is necessary to feed the village. Yet I cannot help but wonder if his proposal is worth considering. The hunting season is coming to a close, and it has been fruitful one. We have amassed more livestock than we will likely need for the winter, and the elders plan to use the surplus for breeding. I find it difficult to understand their assertion that Barbado’s proposal is ill advised. Surely the extra swine can be spared, as they are our most plentiful stock. Our goat supply is lacking. The women continually comment on the low supply of milk being produced for the young ones.

I find myself asking why we must safeguard our swine so closely if we can replace them with the goats. Barbado’s idea is a new one, surely, yet it seems to help both of us. Our village can use his goats to produce the milk we need, and his people would surely benefit from the meat of our swine.

I am convinced that our elders’ judgment is clouded. I must do something to preserve our milk stock. Am I misguided for this? Will the Gods punish me if I break their will? I know not. We have survived here for generations, and this land has been bountiful.

Yes. I must do this. We need the milk. It will help our village. Our women. Perhaps even our elders will see the benefits of this “trade”. I must find a way to contact Barbado.

“Rickar, come! The beasts await!”

Tru is right. The feast is tomorrow and I must make the preparations necessary to welcome the winter. We do this every year. I find it tiresome. When the autumn colors give way to the pale white of winter, the village feasts upon the hunting season’s yield. One, big meal to welcome the cold that is to come. As a young one, I never understood why we celebrated the beginning of such a harsh season. Why do we celebrate that which helps nothing? Sometimes the others come with their spears and take things during the coldest months. People, even. The winter is a dangerous season, but it begins with a feast – and I must make preparations. But I cannot forget Barbado’s proposal.

Walking into the swine-hold, the pigs look healthy. This is the best yield I have seen. These pigs will be more than enough. But we need milk. I heard Tru’s mate say that we don’t have enough milk. I need to speak with Barbado. How can I, though? I am a mid-tender. Not an elder, not a leader, as I would like to be. Barbado is a chief. How can I speak with the leader of an entire tribe? I must find a way.

“C’mon Rickar, hurry up! We need to prepare them for the feast tomorrow.”

“Yes yes Tru, I know. I am trying to decide the best one to slaughter for our Eldest.”

The Eldest is the leader of our village. He has done magnificent things for us. We have had seventeen seasons without incident. He has always assured we have plenty to eat and drink.

It is night now. The elders do not know of my plan to help the village. We must have milk. The young ones will surely expire if they are not tended to properly. I am packing what I can for my journey to Barbado’s village. I know it lies in the west. The elders say his lands are littered with game and fruits. Perhaps I can take something back if Barbado allows it.

I shall take five pigs. That was the request Barbado offered. It is good that the swine are not tended to throughout the night. I would have difficulty obtaining them if a mid-tender were present. The pigs are used to me. I tend to them every day. I have picked the five. It is good that they are not alarmed.

We are walking. I am unsure how far west Barbado’s village lies, but we are making a steady pace. I fear that my journey will be intercepted by the fanged ones. They have been absent for weeks, but I have not ventured this far out of the village before. The pigs are behaving. They follow me as if I’m a shepherd, but they do not know what outcome lies ahead.  Nor do I. Barbado told us he needed swine, and we have plenty. I believe it is just to take these pigs for goats. Their milk is needed. To “trade” them, as Barbado says. The wind is strong. I must continue.

“Stop!”

Wait. There is a voice. Have I reached the village?

Whispers. They’re surrounding me. I do not want to turn out like those that explored. They never returned.

“Rickar?”

He recognizes me. He saw me tending to the swine, he must have, and learned my name.

“Barbado?”

I must kneel. That’s what we do when we see a chief.

“Come Rickar, we must speak.”

Speak? He wants to speak with me?  I did not think this would happen. Five pigs, five goats. That was his proposal. Stand up! I must follow him.

“Rickar, sit down. Tell me, why are you here?”

What do I say?

“Barbado. You came to our village and offered your goats to us. For our swine. I….fear our elders are not prepared for the winter. And that your proposal was the right one.”

He’s staring at me. Right into my eyes. Sitting there, on a log, leaning over the fire, just staring.  Why?

“Rickar. You have done your village a service. Now, you must listen. Take the goats, the ones just over there, to your village. Tomorrow, during your feast, make certain that your elders know how plentiful their stock of swine is. And then you show them the seven goats I have just given you. You tell them that were it not for those seven goats, that half of their babes would expire before winter’s end. And you tell them that this “trade” with Barbado is what kept them alive. Do you understand?”

“I understand, Barbado. Thank you. For the goats.”

“Go, son. Go before the fanged ones come out!”

I must go now. Seven. Seven goats. It is more than I had planned for. But tomorrow I will surely gain the favor of the elders.