GIVE ME FIVE BEES FOR A QUARTER











{December 27, 2008}   Glass houses

“These are tough times to be living in, my friend,” Jackson said, tossing me a cigarette. I lit up and looked at the sky, inhaling.

“I know,” I said. “We need to be prepared for anything.”

“I hear that, brother,” Jackson said. We were down at the quarry again, stocking up. I picked up a rock and studied it, turning it over in my hand.

“Do you think these will be enough?”

“Shit Dan, look around you. We got more rocks that we could ever ask for!” Jackson laughed, flicking some ash from his cigarette. “When those greenhouses come down, you and me are gonna be ready. We’re gonna be fine.”

They fell from the sky in droves, sparkling in the morning light, casting great emerald shadows and farting that noxious, lethal gas. Humanity stood unified in its bewilderment, but not Jackson, and not I. One by one we took them on; shattered their bodies with rock after rock until they were fine splinters of glass, crunching beneath our boots.

The world went on as it had before, and people quickly forgot the mistakes of our past. Within a few short months of The Greenhouse Effect, as it was known, people were rebuilding them. Tighter control measures, stricter security and endless red tape, sure. But I knew it wouldn’t be enough to contain them. Jackson and I went back to the quarry to stock up.

“See, we never learn,” Jackson had said, tossing rocks into a wheelbarrow while I got the van ready. “Gotta have our tomatoes all year round, can’t live without our precious tomatoes, they say. Fucking lunatics.”

“The developing world is our problem now,” I said. “It’s all the refrigerators. Freons, Jackson. More than you can count. Before long the greenhouses will be back at full strength.”

“I know, buddy, I know. But we’ll be ready, won’t we?”

I picked up a rock and smiled, sadly.

“Yes. We’ll be ready.”

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