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At the forehead I said, "Father."

I was standing on the side of the highway when the explosions started. To the south, in the distance I assumed to be Sacramento, enormous poppings and booms were heard and towers of black smoke darted into the sky. I instinctively began to make the sign of the cross, slowly at first, whispering "Lord have mercy." As the explosions increased in intensity and repetition, so did my prayer and the rapidity with which I made the sign of the cross. No one knew if the explosions were caused by bombs or an industrial accident of some sort. As long as the explosions sounded I did not cease my prayer. The valley sky darkened with soot. My arm grew sore from the fervent, repeated motions and my throat was parched by the hot air.

At my lower intestine, the seat of the passions, I said, "Son."

Earlier that day I had retreated to the last stall in the women's restroom at the data-processing center where I work. Hot, desperate tears spilled silently from my eyes. He only weighed one hundred pounds, she was only 32.

At my right shoulder I said, "Holy."

Seven hours later as I drove home from work I saw a bulky man jogging with a small, caramel-colored terrier sprinting ahead of him on a long leash. I was amazed at the speed with which the small dog propelled himself along the sidewalk. He was not trotting, but leaping. I laughed with a buoyant and unexpected joy in my heart. It was a much needed respite from the every day road kill that would always bring a lump to my throat. By the time I reached the next stop light I was weeping, again.

At my left shoulder I said, "Spirit."

The boys who had left him naked and bleeding in a cornfield did not feel any remorse at what they had done. When someone suggested they apologize to the victim's family the boys became indignant. "This is the truth of how we felt at the time we kicked him in the head," they scoffed. At the trial, the defense called upon a bio-anthropologist from the university to testify to the irrepressible, primal instincts of alpha males and the innate, biological urge to eliminate weaker members of the pack with whom they compete for food, jobs and trucks.

This was the beginning of the time when the bees began to die.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 24th, 2007 05:28 am (UTC)
I just finished reading One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez so this post was inspired by that, mixed in with nightmares both real and imagined.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 24th, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks
Sure, that would be fine by me.
Jun. 24th, 2007 07:11 am (UTC)
Yes. I'm not sure of the picture or context either but it doesn't matter. Amazing writing.
The way the "sign of the cross" is played out ... I love this.
Jun. 24th, 2007 08:50 am (UTC)
You're my kind of writer. I did miss those writing exercises you would post on your journal.
Jun. 24th, 2007 12:46 pm (UTC)
Jun. 24th, 2007 05:14 pm (UTC)
beautifully written.
Jun. 24th, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC)
This is fabulous. I think I've read everything Marquez ever wrote, he's a personal fav!
Jun. 24th, 2007 06:02 pm (UTC)
What do you think is his best work?
Jun. 24th, 2007 07:18 pm (UTC)
can I have multiple answers?! For the depiction of the latin culture, 100 years of solitude. For the most amazing characterizations - Love in the time of Cholera, and for a great story with lots of good mystery and twists and turns - Chronicle of a Death Foretold.
Jun. 24th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you
Jun. 24th, 2007 09:01 pm (UTC)
Really unique and intriguing. Tell me, am I going crazy, or was this posted once and then changed a bit and posted again?
Jun. 24th, 2007 10:51 pm (UTC)
You're not going crazy.
Jun. 24th, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
I really liked this. You did a beautiful job of creating this tragic urgency. I often wonder myself if I'll look back on the bee die-off as the beginning of a new era. Scary.

One question: the alpha male defense - did the defense REALLY use that at the Matthew Shepard trial, or is this creative license on your part. If it's true, I'm just bat shit incredulous that a defense lawyer could actually use that BS and still sleep at night.
Jun. 24th, 2007 10:59 pm (UTC)
That part is entirely fictional. And it wasn't Matthew Shepard I was thinking of but this man: http://www.bloomingtonalternative.com/articles/2007/06/06/8379
Jun. 25th, 2007 01:44 am (UTC)
Magical realism or, god I wish I could write like that.
Nice piece, well executed and all that. Wish I was more literary so I could wax eloquently on your work. Do send it to the Sun.
Jun. 28th, 2007 04:23 am (UTC)
Good stuff here.

(I thought Matthew Shepard at first too.)
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )