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 Short Story

Plant Life

By Donald J. Berry

The colour green was a rarity in the new world of 2057. Grey and silver structures ruled over most of the land. Grass, trees, and plants were all things of the past, as far as the new government was concerned. The rulers of the last 50 years hitherto felt that with an abundance of tall buildings one could move on further and forget the past. In their minds the past held little that could further mankind; it was fruitless and unnecessary.

However, there was still another world of others who felt the government were best considered insentient; it was almost as if the government’s job was to encourage all men to be stoical. The other side of society who were thinkers, writers, and even bums, all retreated to an arcane world. Their world was lush with greens and wildlife. This was, as far as they were concerned, their reward.

The only problem plaguing this getaway was that it was often, in some places more than others, inundated with rebellious teens that were getting away to pursue activities of intoxication, sex, and vandalism. The only authority figures were haphazard citizens who cared for the land they held onto so dearly.

The two main figures who were best known to keep things balanced were Richard James, a man rushing with benevolence and good humour, and his eccentric friend Jack Thunders. From appearance alone, these two looked like complete opposites; Richard looked like your common man with short and styled hair and a rough face that stuck out from his sky-blue eyes; Jack had an appearance of a logger that was complete with work shorts, a plaid shirt, and an old and uneven truckers hat. Despite this, they were best of friends, and both lived by the same ideals and values.

Although Richard and Jack were the closest of friends, they had little time to see each other during the week, for they were busy with work; so they set aside each Sunday to meet. During their meetings every Sunday, while others were in a confined church--including the mutinous youth--,Richard and Jack spent all day in the rich land they loved so much. They would go through their day by walking through the trails, often going off route to explore arcane scenery, and taking notes on what was missing from the world they had to live in for rest of the week.

Every time they walked these trails they’d find new things. One day while walking on the main man-made trail, Richard and Jack stopped completely dead at the sight of a 5-foot snake. The snake’s skin resembled a deep lake at night--pitch black with flickering reflection. Running straight down its back was a radiant yellow line that was brighter than any natural colour either had seen. They continued to watch in stupefaction as the snake slithered persistently over mans’ creation in order to reach its natural home. Richard and Jack could immediately relate.

“You’d never see that in the city. I wonder how many people are unaware that something like this exists,” Richard said in his usual stern voice.

“I wonder. You know what? I bet you there’s thousands of those things, hidden away, deep in this green world, plotting a take over of the world,” Jack replied with a jovial smirk.

“You can’t be serious?”

“Why not? There’s very little land like this these days and you never see them in the city and they must be constantly mating. Think about it.”

“It does make sense but they would never be in a position to take over.”

“That’s obvious but one can dream,” Jack stated with an ardent smile.

It was these new discoveries that they would make each Sunday that made life pre-eminent. They felt so strongly about their grand Sunday that when rest of the week came in and piqued lonely thoughts they felt unlike themselves. The headaches, anxiety, and awkwardness that came from 5 days of city work left both entirely exhausted and forlorn. Sunday was the only thing that brought them back to life. But what does man do when he loses his Sunday? What does he do when the one last real thing in his world is polluted?

Donald J. Berry
Copyright 2005
Listed 07/26/2005

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