This is a story about a...no. No, it isn't. A story has characters and a plot. What do these fragments represent? Characters, surely. But plot? Perhaps about as much plot as plastic shopping bags swirling around in a dust devil. This is what happens when ideas come without focus.
It is a wonder to me how the human race, and in specific the human that is me, manages to survive these days. I have written of this before, many moons ago. Existing in a flurry of information, data, numbers, feeds, stats. How do we keep our eyes on the road when the road is overlaid with avatars and sigils that have no bearing on the task at hand? I ask myself this on a daily basis and give thanks that I have driven many miles without hitting anything or anyone.
FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT A REALLY DEEP HOLE
Kola Superdeep: no, it is not some weird Japanese soft drink. It is a borehole completed by Russian scientists after beginning drilling in 1970, ultimately reaching a depth below the surface of the Earth of 40,230 feet. That is a deep hole, folks. It is called Kola because the Soviets established the drill head on the Kola Peninsula. Some facts:
Latitude and longitude coordinates:
Why they did it: Because why not?
FLASH FICTION FOR YOU!
He was imprisoned for the crime of being normal, without formal charges or a lawyer. A rented mule. They beat him like a rented mule. He bore the stripes on his back for decades until one day the scars turned him inside out. It was then that he saw there had been a hole in the bars the entire time of his incarceration. His blood is on the steel to this day.
DAY 18,263 - THEY SUSPECT EVERYTHING
The experiment is not going as hoped. En masse the Others are expressing doubts about Subject's humanity. Trending data suggests that the mask is faulty, or that the laboratory-applied veneer of civilization is sloughing off. If such deterioration does not reverse itself, our attempts at integration will be exposed. This represents a potential setback of years.
An emergency meeting of the Human Reorganization Committee has been called. We cannot risk the loss of decades of painstaking work.
WE ALL COME FROM DIVORCE
"We all come from divorce!" he says. "This is an age of divorce. Things that belong together have been taken apart. And you can't put it ALL back together again. What you can do, is the only thing you can do. You take two things that ought to be together and you put them together. Two things! Not ALL things."
-Wendell Berry, in The Seer
LOVE IS THE HAMMER POUNDING OUR ANVIL HEARTS
I saw a murmuration of starlings against the sunrise on the morning I sent her home. They fluttered and swirled, living pennant in the hands of a master gymnast. It is not often that the universe stirs the spiritual in the cold stone of my heart, but that morning was different. My regret, beyond the usual, was that it was a machine to which I entrusted the star of my soul and not those starlings. I have no doubt the birds would have cared well for her. The machine I grudgingly trust, a melancholy but necessary trust.
Wonderful they were, those plump sparrows frolicking in the fountain below the balcony of the inn. How alive they must have been to leap headlong into chilly water on such a crisp fall morning! A New Mexican cerulean sky and argentine light on the Sangre De Cristo implored us to do the same. Briefly a sparrow fluttered in my heart, warmed by sips of tea.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING, THE UNITED STATES IS EXTREMELY LUCKY
According to a number of sources, there are an estimated 110 million anti-personnel land mines left in the ground around the world. 110 million. That is roughly one mine for every 52 people on Earth. In more colorful parlance, that is a shit-ton of land mines.
It is a safe bet that none of those mines is hidden in American soil. Think about that the next time you go digging in your yard to plant some flowers or vegetables. Sustenance without fear of getting your legs blown off.
THAT WHICH I HOPE IS TRUE: STARDUST AND ROSE PETALS
Little breathy gulps as the child feeds in your arms. The scent is in the sweat, the taste of it is dark and burnt sweet in the back of your throat. Do not bother coughing, convulsive spasms will not clear it. Not that it should. The one true remedy is to drink deep of this bright matter. Swallow that, earthlings, it is the proof of life. Gazing deep into those eyes of indigo and coal it will be inescapable from you that the child and yourself are made of stardust and rose petals.