Wednesday, March 15, 2017

So someone suggested to me I should start posting my creative works here. Maybe get a following. Maybe force myself to stay on some sort of schedule. In either case I hope you will find some purpose in these works. It was my MIL who once said if you're going to write, make sure you have something to say.

So without further ado, here's what I got to say:

When Wars End
There is always war; somewhere. Some are just lucky enough not to live there at the time. To the city dwellers still snoozing their alarm clocks, it didn’t feel like a country at war. The sky was still dark, peppered with the few stars that filtered through the city lights. Store shutters jerked open, creaking as though awakened from a restless sleep. Eventually the sun made its welcome appearance among the yawning celestial objects- ready to retire from a night’s shift.

None thought this war would take long, if they thought of it at all. One side had morality to their advantage. The other, had morality and numbers. But after 10 years and no side more the winner, both countries began to feel the strain of limited resources. In the past, a great power would sweep over a decrepit empire until it too became decrepit and was conquered. Today wars were fought between superpowers in their prime, at least the wars worth reporting. But the essentials of war were unchanged. Today’s countries at war were both used to gluttonous and pampered lifestyles. Clothes were made in ever bigger sizes to accommodate, while soldiers (out of sight, out of mind) ran low in supplies.

That was when LongLast saw an opportunity for wealth and made its valiant effort to help redistribute resources from gorging mouths in safety to troops under constant threat.
            “Look great and eat as much as you want.”
            “New non-biodegradable solution for when you’re craving more after meals.”
Unlike most diet fads, this one worked, and importantly didn’t require anyone to move a muscle, unless it was in their jaw.

Longlast made huge profit margins, in the meantime. It became a house staple. Doctors hailed it as the wonder food to feed the nation. “A cure to obesity!”
Longlast expanded their market worldwide and even found a demand in the nation warring against their homeland.

After such an ongoing successful business, Mr. Long and Mr. Last joined in conference to discuss expansion plans. “Our goal was to help our troops, how are we doing that if we give the same product to the enemy, so they divert more for their military force?”
“Brother,” Long pulled Last in close and walked him to the floor-to-ceiling windows.
“You remember when we were younger? That little town we grew up in? The 1st time I flew in a plane was when I realized that at 30,000 feet I couldn’t tell the difference between that hopeless little place and the big cities.  You’re thinking too small. We’re all one, in the end, aren’t we? There is no enemy really.” Long chuckled and gave Last a wink, “After all, it would only be fair for your name to come 1st in the brand this time, eh?”

Mr. Last stared out the window at the empire they had built. It was only a number of years ago he spied out a different window- smaller without a view- wondering if he’d ever find a job that wasn’t at the rundown supermarket. The rundown supermarket, where the only thing super about it was it still stayed in business where nearly all other ventures collapsed.
“I’ll chew on it” said Mr. Last at last.  Money had no allegiances and under the new name (because politics and marketing) LastLong expanded to enemy territory.

When LastLong came to the market, the leaders couldn’t be happier. They read all the health reports about LongLast (LL) but couldn’t get access to the patent documents. Now they too could depend on more supplies going for their war effort.

Unexpectedly there was another benefit to the product found worldwide: population control, especially of the lower classes who were loyal LL shoppers-- mostly because of cost, longevity, ease of transport and lack of other products sold in their areas. Scientists noted the rise in the upper and middle class, decline of the lower class and touted LL with even more rigor for closing the gap between the rich and poor. Due to its sweet taste it was also highly addictive. Then again sugar, alcohol, and cigarettes always shared a separate fate compared to those other ill-fitted drugs.

Unbeknownst to the makers and suppliers, LL began to cross-contaminate other food chains. It was only when the elite were diagnosed with malnutrition that the cries of protesters, who had long been outspoken regarding their decimating populations among the lower classes, was taken up by lobbyists in suits. Papers were scrutinized and found to have conflicts of interest (though these were always reported but not found to affect the research). Independent research was conducted, retracting much of the interpretations found in earlier statements.

Mr. Long and Mr. Last could not much reflect on this state of affairs as they too were being treated for malnutrition.
“We couldn’t know” they thought as their bellies ached and they slacked in their bed exhausted-- even after a full night’s rest.
The world was dying from malnutrition and starvation but everyone ate at least 3 meals a day. In fact, more bellies were filled than before LL.

With leaders hooked to IVs reports and updates were slow in coming. Still there was dusk and there was dawn, despite the problems of humanity. Soldiers received little news from their loved ones, if they were still alive to send news. After many months of silence from their governments, the two leading generals met with booming voices and laughter. Soldiers became hopeful about peaceful resolutions. Some looked over enemy lines to find an image not unlike their own gazing back. Had the generals not been in uniform, passersby would not have been able to tell one from the other. But in the end talk was moot, both pointed to the last papers they had been sent.
“We have our orders,” they buzzed and the stampede of bullets resumed.
When next it rose, the sun laughed over the steel empire shining beneath. And somewhere in the middle of nowhere, a lone supermarket closed its doors.

Copyright YZ 
I'll be the first to admit this blog can get melodramatic.

There, now you're (or am I still the only one who reads this?) forewarned.