Forever Home

A one sentence story.

East of a little town and down out past the hedges and burrows and scarlet-veined ivy there are two tobacco brown rivers that slit the soil and as they roll off into a backdrop filled with innumerable golden bushels of wheat and grain and pebbled soybeans there lies a treasured slice of triangulated land that sways rhythmically and sweet beneath the swarms of larks and teals and red breasted mergansers and they all funnel into a conflux where starlings swirl and trails amalgamate and muddy waters gurgle and here the earth inhales as farmers till up bronze and silver dust that seeps low and thick and leisurely with low pressure fronts arriving now and then and bringing with them a hollow feeling now and then akin to that uncanny calm before the storm that sears your nerves extraordinarily sensitive and carves your insides out and dilates your pupils as you cast them out upon the windswept cash crops that caress the jagged spines of carcasses that are strewn amok among the countless chinked and serrated arrowheads of which the farmers have sifted up as if they were artifacts of lost and incinerated souls and here beyond the beams of combines that move so slow they look like the silhouettes of toys you can catch the glimpse of an incandescent plume rising high on the land’s southernmost rim completely nitric and looming and obscuring the horizon while it smears the distant view of some poor ripped and mutilated flesh that drips with dripping drops of blood drip-by-drip-by-drip-by-drip into the soil until it becomes so densely saturated and infused with blood that the soil is glazed with only the deepest hues of crimson but the crimson grows deeper still into one shade short of black as the elongated shadow of a towering road sign inches over it and hovers like the octagon of an apocalyptic eclipse while a half smoked cigarette with its filter stained red with lipstick tumbles down into a ravine with its every ember glinting as if some ghost were actively taking a drag off it and it comes to rest beside a handful of cows that graze and huddle dead eyed and playful and unassuming and as the dripping blood glistens in little rivulets that sweat and fuse with dew to produce prismatic steam that wafts up from fallen leaves and jimsonweed and blades of uncut grass the cows strangely begin to congregate around the cigarette which still bellows with a barren burn though not a single suspect smoker is in sight and one by one the cows begin to low and look back and forth to one another and stare at the cigarette passively with sunflowers bursting flamboyantly behind them silent in the dusk though you could imagine if they could speak and there are lovers parked not too far down the road who whisper with flickering anticipation and notice nothing before them but the relentless thrash of time as they await the sun to sink westward and bring the night so they can gaze at the fantastic stars that will soon dance and fracture in the reflections of their spiral eyes which are also galaxies of their own design that streak with microscopic stardust along the fathomless vaults of their own dark inner heavens while they unwittingly weld their hearts shut spark by spark until they are astrally castaway into the never-ending life defining consequences of the coming unforgettable night that will rend over the long run equal amounts of massive pleasure and suffering while the barbs surrounding them and the barbs that strangle them from loving freely and truly and without limit throughout that delicate and irredeemable time hang dull and oxidized with stiffened spools and clefts of wool left glued here and there from the viscous serum oozed out from the lacerations of prey and predator alike and as the fields all around start to burn you can feel a trembling roar begin to ripple down your spine with the robust and vital sensation that only the most arousing expectations can summon and sustain and as the firmament reigns on with gunshots reverberating amidst a sky of wispy clouds all wayward signs seem to point here to this very venerated and impossibly beautiful coordinate east and down of the little town where sits nothing but a faded stop sign half devoured by rust-riddled holes shot out by the blast of a man who at the time was a young cartographer of the heart but is now old and dead and the stop sign never did anything to him to deserve that blatant buckshot save serve as a mark of civilization in a land with no need for it since the lonesome intersection was passed by only a handful of motorists a day each of whom over the years had absentmindedly ambled through this unparalleled trek of land including this late mapmaker god rest his broken soul but every one of them had automatically and more accurately programmatically stopped at the stop sign and stared and looked both ways to see that it was only solitary dust that crossed the gravel minimum maintenance road but still every time without fail the motorists would give the dust the right of way and as the dust dispersed and settled and new dust formed they all began to feel something mysterious dispersing and forming deep inside of them that seemed to poke around for portals in need of calibration until they each began to feel the rigorous and synergetic schisms of something churning indescribable changes within them that made them all in the coming days dispense of their old selves as if they were worn out and no longer relevant snakeskins and they all became narrowly and obsessively focused on the single critical question of why they hadn’t stopped there in that land and hung their hats and called it a merry day in the first place and they had all like atomic clockwork begun to ask themselves at the break of each new splendid rising sun how on god’s green earth could they have been so hapless to have let themselves press on that day when they’d been surrounded by all that staggering beauty and anything and everything to each of them soon became a mere retrospective shadow of that seismic inner moment and ever and spectacularly after once they’d allowed that truth to ferment and that memory had become something that bubbled like champagne in the crystal vessel of their mind’s unsinkable eye and their lives were all swept inevitably away from the sacred time they spent in that sacred space the stop sign ceased growing infinitely smaller behind them and began to grow infinitely larger before them because they had all begun to approach it from another angle in another dimension until it possessed them wholly and without doubt and none of them were ever the same again because they all knew that they’d been conquered by something absolute and pure and immeasurably special that had no bounds and could never be contained and though most of them thereafter never returned physically the memory had haunted them like the warm torment of something they could only feel and never touch which resided in the silent gaping holes that antagonized their each and every earthly delight until their souls were slowly devoured and spit out covered in a chemical concoction that petrified them into that bygone but somehow miraculously retrievable moment when they’d been ignited with a blaze of indestructible love that would never be extinguished nor allowed to burn dry and whenever and wherever they’d stopped and stared and looked both ways from that point forward whether it was by chance or choice or circumstance they were always struck with the eternally recurring question of why they hadn’t stopped in that land of otherworldly beauty long ago and they all savagely tried to navigate their way back to it and though most of them had failed the hope was never lost on a single troubadour who made that lengthy quest that someday they would once again attain the brilliance of that lost blessing and some of them did indeed attain it and those who did all said later when they were very old and wise and extremely teary eyed and smiling with a heartbreaking quiver that despite the clear improbability of reverse engineering that magnificent moment in time it had always been the slim possibility of their ultimate dream becoming true that kept them moving wildly and unmistakably onward and it wasn’t until they had finally returned to the starting point of their greatest odyssey that they had known within their heart of hearts that they had come to the place they were meant to build a life and so each of them upon their final return dropped to their knees and unraveled and exhaled and kissed the ground and called that land forever home.

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