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The Telling - The Crust and the Rind


It was the end of the feast. The spilled wine, dried blackening the linen. Spiders found homes in the upright goblets. Tarnish left its mark on long untouched cutlery. Motionless spent wax encrusted, crystal bobeches, like frozen bulbous ice caps. The wind made the only music as it labored to restore the land.

The fluttering pages of a journal told the story, but there was no one left that knew what the markings on the pages meant. No one to see the pages. There was no one near, to breathe.

Once the curtain of the third act was pulled back, the end came quickly. Those angered into madness poured through civilization destroying thousands of years of progress. It started with the trials. The handpicked judges were predisposed to a whisper in their ear and the greasing of their palms. That made the wave of blasphemy against science easy. All studies and research were brought to a halt – all science was proclaimed inconclusive.

Society then turned its back on young women in their darkest hour. In despair, they went into the wilderness seeking a nonexistent home.

Advances in medicine ground to a halt. The callers from the Temple steps pronounced that only those worthy would receive medical attention in the future. This resulted in fewer and fewer people arriving for treatment. It was soon discovered that the revenue from those still arriving was insufficient and the system ground to a halt. Hospitals closed. Universities closed. The young and affluent that could afford to go, saw no point in doing so.

The callers from the Temples waved their arms and shouted to the crowds. It is the intellectuals causing the troubles within society. A call for the burning of all books went out, and armies of the damned went forth and carried out the bidding of their masters.

We cannot afford the luxury of art. There is no need for an education. Education has led to the social classes that we must dismantle. Education makes you unhappy in your work. You see how much trouble that social classes have caused our great nation.

The decline continued.

Lessons were learned too late; those governing without funding public works, soon found their cities crumbling. Their population soon began rummaging through mountains of human refuse for food. With nothing left to steal, the government soon disappeared.

Many battles were fought, slowing the push through the heartland of the army of the damned. Without customers, the factories closed; the farms were cleared, cleaner than a swarm of locusts. The Great Civil War raged.

It has been determined, that all is lost. There is no winning.

The armies of the damned will be here soon. The remaining thinkers have determined they cannot be stopped, but we can still strike a final blow. The remaining food is poisoned or destroyed. There will be nothing left for them once they have finished with us. It will be a hungry victory.’

The fluttering pages of a journal told the story. The wind rearranged the pieces of what is left behind. Erosion shifts the mountains of chemically produced packaging that still chokes the birds. A bird carrying a melon seed dropped it in a field. Vines slowly fought their way through hard soil and crawled in all directions.

Far to the south in a village at the bend of a river, a woman squatted, grinding wheat into flour. The roof of their hut was newly thatched and worked well enough to keep the rain out. Adobe served as the walls of their hut and oven. The dog the couple rescued, at the time of their exodus, gave birth to a litter of pups.

The couple was allowed to stay in the village, because the woman knew how to turn goat milk into cheese and how to harvest yeast to improve the baking.

In the dark of night, the children gather around the man who pointed at the stars. He talked in a language they do not understand. He told them the names of the constellations, and smiles, knowing the knowledge would go no further than his own mind.

The woman amused herself by writing with a stick in the dirt… In the Beginning. Then she rubbed out the words with her bare foot and ate a crust of bread and took a drink of water from the dried rind of a gourd.

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