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HAYWIRE Issue 10 Fall 2017

HAYWIRE

HAYWIRE Issue 10 Fall 2017 Grass by Paul Friedrich, 12a Carriages uselessly heavy, dead wiring think yourselves those higher entities. It was you, contained within, a relic of a time gone by that at least your people that made those stories stories leaves only the aftertaste of an enigma. That’s all by doing something as simple as splitting an atom. my thoughts could produce when contemplating The grass is always greener on the other what I now know to be the ruin of an early car. side -- or less radiated, as would be more befitting I’ve learned about many things ever since I crossed the situation, I can’t quite remember -- the elders of the sea on a trawler, hidden between rotting barrels reeking of fish and dry, wooden crates that tor- the meaning of that: grass. I felt the dew-wetted, my tribe told me. On this side of the sea I learned mented me with splinters and contained biscuits. ductile blades you have known from your earliest I know your fascination with it and honestly, it bores me, yet I will indulge you yet again. seem very strange to you, children, unimaginable days for the first time at age twenty-two. That must Yes. The people on the other side, my people, live even. But it might just serve to demonstrate to you in tribes. Hunting the mutated remnants of animal the injustice done to me when the ancestors of the life, gathering berries, roots, scavenging the crumbling monuments to our past for any artifact that missiles onto mine. And over all those years since men this side of the sea fired thousands of nuclear may still be of use. And always the hunger for the it was not that they forced us to live like cavemen stories the eldest among us knew from their mothers and and fathers and those before them. They by two decades, or even that they killed billions again, nor the radiation that shortened our lifespans told of a time when we lived in castles, ate food that that one cataclysmic day half a millennium ago that came to us, rode horseless wagons and drank water without dysentery. They told me that the people simple fact that they took away the solace of wit- makes me hate them most, no, it was the grass. The across the sea still lived that way. That we had been nessing these blades of green hope rise again from punished for our sins by a higher entity, the exact the dry, rotting carcasses of their snow-smothered nature of which each self-proclaimed bard fabricated between their dentureless, old, fuzzy jaws, were committed on them last year. Human exis- brethren every spring regardless of what atrocities wrinkled and spotted and drooling as they talked. tence can be meaningless, our progress void and The older a member of the tribe got the our race extinct, yet the grass will always grow less they believed the stories, leaving such amusements to the young. To tell the truth, however, there is no grass. And for that I thank your fathers. back. So it seems to you. Yet where I come from, they never really got very old anyways, so it never lasted long before they gracelessly exited this myself with the oblivious fortitude of nature in the I thank your fathers for my inability to comfort life amid their own blood and excrements. I’m face of the realization that there is no higher entity, sure your education taught you what radiation no justice, no meaning. Because if there was, the does to the human body. Just as they taught you world would not have taken the turn it did just because some men had nukes and the others didn’t. your stories. The tales of the wildlings across the sea, the inferior, backwards barbarians. You must -fin- 4

HAYWIRE Issue 10 Fall 2017 Art by Riva Greinke, 11d 5

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