Now and then I'll post a new bit of my short fiction.




After the war every acre of farmland for miles around was bought up by a development corporation with an eye toward the future. This was the time to act. This was how you seized an iron from the fire and used it in whatever fashion irons were used. Who needed farms in this age of mechanization? What was farming if not archaic? Though a generous person might consider using the word quaint.

The development company drew up plans. It secured the necessary permits. The time of change arrived. Hundreds of fields were plowed flat. Down went the barns and the silos. Fences were plucked from the soil like weeds. Rambling houses where generations of families had lived, tilling the earth. . .these were mowed down by monstrous tractors and bellowing backhoes. The farms had existed for more than two centuries. And how long did it take to erase them from the world? Days. You’d think maybe longer. But no.

A new crop appeared. It seemed magical. A crop of houses. Wow.

Though not actually magic, of course. Only the feeble-minded believe in such puffery. It was simple economics. The war had come to an end and the returning soldiers wanted somewhere to live. Wanted? They needed. They had gone to war as young men. They’d left the homes of their parents. It wouldn’t do to return to those same homes, those rooms with small beds and postered walls. Even if the soldiers returning from the war wanted to reclaim their childhood rooms. And none of them did.

Economics is largely based on mathematics. Everyone knows that, right?

Consider the war as A. Consider the soldiers as B. C was the life they’d been dreaming about for years while wading through mud and killing the enemy. Consider the enemy as E. So B killed all of E and came home looking for C. They pursued C to the neighborhoods that were once farms. They knew nothing about the ghosts of cows and soy beans. They had their own ghosts with which to contend. These would be the ghosts of E, slain in multitudes on the battlefields of countries far away.

E, truth be told, was also only looking for C. Sadly, E was destined never to find C. This was because they were the bad guys.

B found C. B got married and built families around themselves. Families = F. They had children. These would be G. C watched G grow up and produce grandchildren, H. After a long row of years B used up all of the C that had been allotted them. B waved goodbye to G and H. B exited C and entered the realm of I.

Death = I.

When B entered I, G and H typically moved away, looking for their own version of C. G and H held fond memories of their homes with B. They generally had respect for what B had gone through during A. They were different from B, though. Most of them were never to experience the trials of A. All J knew of A was what they read in books or saw on television. For them A was something that existed on the printed page or in small black-and-white rectangles in living rooms. G and H could never fully comprehend how much B had given during A in order to achieve C and make life possible for them. G and H weren’t being rude or thoughtless. They had their own concerns. There was important business that needed tending.

The era of J had begun.

Adjustments had to be made.

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