Wednesday, March 19, 2008

After the war.

The peak of the blood-red barn only barely managed to stand out against the fleshy sunset sky, but he didn’t care to notice. He saw only the thin, wriggling-worm path stretched out beneath him and the loneliness of seeing only his two feet beating the dust. The old man looked up only once, and, seeing how callously the worm squirmed its sharp way into a puncture in the barn’s carcass, dropped his eyes again. He entered through the wound, flipped the switch, and like that, he forgot again. Scratching his head, he slumped onto the bale of hay to his right and gazed thoughtlessly straight ahead. The cows began to line up on either side of his vision, hoofed militias set on mooing the other side into submission. First one side would start, then the other, and the old man found himself sleepily cheering for the side he had traditionally milked. Finally their barrage of complaints jolted him awake. He had come here to milk them. After he finished with the cows that were his comrades, he paused, shook his head, and milked the enemy forces. As he heaved the overfull pails back to the farmhouse, the combatants’ milk sloshed and mixed in their galvanized containers, spilling dark splotches onto the red, parched earth.

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