Article in Arts / Literature / Science Fiction & Fantasy
Science AND Fiction ... a future parabol(a)

Fragment of Writing Discovered in the Rubble of Washington, DC, Dating from the “Age of Greed,” 21st Century by the Old Reckoning

The hand is an unsteady cursive. The scrap of paper seems standard copy-paper stock, like other samples we have analyzed, measuring four inches wide by just under three inches high, torn raggedly down the right-hand side, upper middle right to lower left, no apparent path to the tear. The ink is likely from a “ball-point” pen (?), faded but still dark in spots. Water stains suggest that the paper may have been wet through but crumpled at the time so that ink color is variable. No identifying marks of any sort have been isolated, as of this writing, at least. Photographs are not yet available.

Apparent lines are marked with simple ellipses … . Conjectures for partial lacunae are included inside [ ] and italicized. Missing words are conjectured in boldface in the right-hand margin; these words are only conjectures. The search continues in the area for other fragments, which may shed further light.

Resources and equipment for proper archeology continue to be scarce or strained. Still, we are committed to preserving and studying every fragment discovered, in the hope of better understanding the condition of Gaia before the RUIN.


T[hey] hurled hand-axes […] at each other

Ser[iously wound]ed a[nd …] ?*
He dropped to one knee before they rea[ched] him
Drew his boot [knife] out, s[lit] his wrists, then his […] neck
They were […] late to wipe the [smi]le [off his f]ace too
They […] his body every […] savaged, way they could
But nothing they did could […] the smile erase
[…] beheading even
[fragment torn here]

?* Indecipherable marks
R Allen Shoaf Identity Verified

About the Author 

R Allen Shoaf
EROTIC RECKONINGS, my second volume of poetry, can now be purchased from New Plains Press or from Amazon. My third volume, PIED-PIPER PHILOL

Recent Content by R Allen Shoaf

For the love of roses

In addition to singing (Bach, Mozart, Schubert, and others), I grow roses for pleasure. Today is cloudy and overcast in north central Florida, but some of my shrubs are nevertheless showing in glory. I'm going to try to add some photos here. I hope they load and that you enjoy them.

Curiosity: A Remedy for Dogmatism

A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age Jimmy Soni, Rob Goodman New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017 ISBN-10: 1476766681 ISBN-13: 978-1476766683 Curiosity: A Remedy for Dogmatism Every digital device in use today bears the stamp of Claude Shannon's genius. From...

"Our Fake Democracy" by Timothy Egan I've been reading and re-reading Mr. Egan's NYT piece. As a teacher of reading and writing for 43 years, I am very impressed by Mr. Egan's eloquence and accuracy alike. I take the occasion to recommend this particular instance of...

The Romance of Entropy

“Everything in the future is a wave, everything in the past is a particle” — Lawrence Bragg

A Problem of Translation

Problem technical? Or moral? Perhaps both?

The End of Empathy

"Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens" (Michel de Montaigne, ESSAYS, Book 2, Ch. 12. “Apology for Raimond Sebond”). ... "Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum"--So great the evils religion can trick men into. (Lucretius, DE RERUM NATURA 1.121)

Latest Thinking in Arts & Entertainment
Latest Ebooks