Wormwood

Published in Flash Fiction

Is there anything where of it may be said, See, this is new? ... Ecclesiastes 1: 10

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There went out across the land a pale horse ... and the name that sat upon him was Death, a grievous wailing and gnashing of teeth rising up, all manner of abomination being visited upon the earth--

Pride and prejudice, the wickedness of man; greed; envy; jealousy and rage. Despots, Rulers, Kings and Queens--an economic meltdown. Famine. Wars, and rumors of...Nuclear Armageddon. Weapons of apocalyptic wrath--

Terrorism, unclean air--plagues and pestilence--lies and spin. The filth and garbage of humanity piling up--not to mention the cosmic hand on the reset knob pushing towards the big one--earthquakes; volcanoes; increasing storms, a rising tide; asteroids and radiation--an imminent polar shift, from primordial bliss to desolation row in less than ten-thousand years--full-circle, life veering far from The Meaning--the pollution of mind and body, sex and soul grim reflections of the dirty, dying woebegone world.

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In those final days--(were that they be shortened), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was ordained the task of preserving mankind, or more particularly life itself--and truly in faith, who better to deal with the situation, after all, those two realms, air and sea, are pretty much requisite to all of most of everything else—well, there’s the dry land, and wetlands too, equal in the circle, but think about it--would you really want the Bureau of Land Management ramrodding the show?

Imagine...

Every living entity, two after their own kind, male and female them, from trees and mammals on down to the microscopic--each pair of twisted double helix decoded-to-be-encoded into the synaptic labyrinths of the Automated Replication Capsule--reduced to mere numbers in the machine--digitized, saved, and launched in space--for it would not be possible for any sentient being to escape with the DNA (although there were intrigues, assassinations, deception and wars as to ultimately who's genetic samplings were loaded), the vessel wasn’t that vast, besides it would serve little purpose. Big Blue-2, the micro-mini-mainframe now controlling all of life had deduced: with no viable planet to be part of, to love and revere as a mother, long-term existence in the cosmos was impossible, nay hopeless--emotionally, logistically, and perhaps even spiritually--

In the fullness of time, when light again divided the darkness and all things had been made clean, BB-2 was programmed to steer the craft back to terra firma, the timeline could then commence, and all would be created once again--

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Generations into that savage dawn, as humanity emerged from the cliff sides, the lust for gold and idols already weeds in the garden, a mystic trekked into the wilderness yearning for WHAT IS--following a Voice from on High--

“You’re right,” the Voice thundered, “They’d never believe such a tale--

Try this! Call the Automated Replication Capsule an Ark, forget the details, tell ‘em NOAA was a man … Keep it simple Moses, maybe this time they'll finally get it...”



By the way, earth is 4.5 billion years old--


written winter 2001





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