I am a Monscindogen. People hate us – mostly in Tennessee nowadays – but they don’t know us; we keep to ourselves. We just do what’s in our nature, have for over a hundred thousand years, maybe longer. First I know was in the Ukraine, maybe Africa before that. Then over to the British Isles while some went east, Mongolia, China. They crossed the Pacific, stopping on islands, then in Peru. Some came down from Siberia to North America. We’re not miners, we’re not religious, it’s just in our blood. All we care about is cutting the tops off mountains.
Jack and Molly were starving. Recently incarcerated for schizophrenia, and without an automobile, they were clearly on the outside looking in. They had been trying to get food, but it seemed you had to have a car to get any attention at the drive-up window. They hadn’t had a meal since the institution, where, along with food, they got the drugs that eradicated their moth delusion. The hospital pronounced them cured, let them out into the world, but ever since no one seemed to notice them or even to hear them when they spoke. Now they could feel their wings.
When the vast armada left its dying home in search of a young one, they were infused with hope and excitement. Their elaborate biotechnology had given them fleets of huge biocraft for transport to the similar but distant planet. Travelling just under the speed of light, it didn’t seem long to them, but it was millions of generations back at home. Finally, they landed on their destination.
They were shocked to find the new world huge, much bigger than expected; unable to dominate, they stayed in their self-propagating ships contemplating their error: apparently, size reduction from near-lightspeed travel is permanent.
I knew it. I knew it would play out this way when they invented Facebook. I knew it even back when they invented the Internet. The whole network of Reality Control invented by the Defense Department. They already controlled the world the old-fashioned way: guns, tanks and bombs; now they’ll control it the modern way, through minds — for the believers, that is. But everyday more are leaving Facebook, leaving the Internet. Now they’ve walled us off with their Rainbow Barriers; as if we’re gonna be deterred because fortress walls are pretty. The damned Unicorn SS doesn’t fool us either.
“Simba, what lies over this ridge?” asked Sir Randolph of his safari head. “Might it be Where the Elephant Goes to Die?”
Simba’s eyes crinkled a smile. “Yes sir, this could be the place.” For seventeen months Sir Randolph had searched; success was now in his grasp.
He plunged excitedly ahead into a strange vista: sky suddenly black, clouds forming a tunnel to a distant star. Randolph saw no elephants as he felt himself inexorably sucked upward. In horror, he heard the fleeing Simba call from below:
“Sorry sir, this is Where People Go to Die.”
They’re tearing down my old house, the house I grew up in. I had to see it one last time. Everything looks so much smaller. Of course, my room was made smaller when they built that stud wall to divide it in two; my little sister was going to need a room. Mine was ugly, but it had the window, hers had the pretty wallpaper that I coveted. She didn’t care about the wallpaper, she wanted to see, to be, outside. When she died they kept everything the same, me in the ugly room, hers a shrine to someone else.