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“We’re just going to look around for a bit . Have to be back at station by two. If you think of anything, this is my number.” He hands it to me on a scrap of paper. Paper from the old world. The world I died in. The world that gave birth to me. “Stay as long as you like!” I grin and wave like the village idiot . I go inside to pray with Elijah. We pray to the stars. They are our gods. “Men far away,” whispers Elijah, “protect our souls, and our bodies, in our coming endeavors, give us the strength to heal the people, and give us knowledge, from your endless tome, so we can teach them the ways of the sky people like you.” I make dinner for the two of us and then I go outside to call my mother. Our green country is special. Every peasant says this of his country; so, that is well, and I am no exception. I am a willing prisoner of my scrap of the Earth, for enslaving oneself freely is the best use of freedom. To decide to never return from your former life, and give everything to this. War makes new men from old ones, with me too, and this is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it has made me strong, and new. A curse because I don’t remember what it was that I did. If new enemies come, it may be they remember me, and I will not them. But I will see the recognition in their eyes. That , at least , I have not lost . And I know, better than some, how to defend our valley. Not with guns, but with song. Elijah is running. Sometimes I am running too. Killing. In dreams. My body here is an afterthought; a dwarf. These leavings they pieced together. My face they preserved, but I am slow. Recognizable, but slow. And Elijah is not patient . Nor am I. “Elijah!” He’s gone, over the hills. Every night we hike them, looking for the enemy. We’ve not yet seen them. Nor am I entirely certain what I will do if we do. We can’t leave yet . We have things to do. We have to see what Mandera is. And where it’s coming from. I’ll have to see. To see how it affects the song.

27

I know that our green country is luckier than many; we escaped the nuclear fallout and other poisons and so it is for that reason that our valley is so heavily occupied now. Its beauty, like that of Africa, is a curse. I am a king; I’ll wear the curse. Become it . Endure it . Write it down. I should tell you what our songs do. It may be yours could do this too, if you desire it . My mother told me when I was a boy that the world was being remade, and I needed to help her. She told me that we were an ancient people, from far away, and that we bear a message, whose nature is simple: transformation.

EAST COAST INK, Issue 010: FRESH  

We recently experienced the damage a relatively small fire can do. It's amazing how you can take the steps to prepare for something and stil...

EAST COAST INK, Issue 010: FRESH  

We recently experienced the damage a relatively small fire can do. It's amazing how you can take the steps to prepare for something and stil...

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