Excerpt: The Factory




I guess you could say I grew up backward. Although, I read all the old, beat-up books in the commissary. I mean all of them. I was at the top of my class, which isn’t saying much. Mostly I just walked and played in the woods, alone, drinking out of clear streams that came from springs inside the mountain. The sanctuary was surrounded by a gate made from rusty aluminum panels, lined with barbed wire on the outside, which ran haphazardly between twenty-foot wooden poles driven deep into the ground.

“ Our great Father, you see, guided the first elders to protect us,” one of the current elders said at our thrice-weekly assembly of the congregation.

We sat in chairs scattered around the inner yard under a red cloth covering, that stretched from one side of the gate to the other. When the sun shone through, it looked like everyone had been dipped in the blood of the Lamb. Children sat with their parents, so as not to be a distraction, and everyone shared between them the five Bibles that had been salvaged from the End Times, that the community was very proud of. You could check them out of the Commissary, and it was from this book I learned that good and evil were very mixed up together. The great warrior kings, ordained by God, seemed to pillage and slaughter randomly whenever they felt like it, and it wasn’t quite clear why God had chosen them over their enemies. Sunday’s were the worst. I had to wriggle on the hard chair for two hours on that day.


Excerpt: The Factory

George Clausen, The Village at Night

Toward town, there are more white stripes, on blacked out street lamps and the occasional signpost. We tie one on at an open place, packed wall to wall with locals, RAF, and staties all jumbled together, everyone hovering around the only place in town with light like a bunch of moths. Tomorrow we fly to our new home base.

“Our new home, honey,” McDowell, our waist gunner, shouts drunkenly in the ear of some poor local girl. His arm is limp around her shoulders. “And you are my new wife!”

We are holding each other up on the dark journey back down that dusty road, stumbling, cursing, numb and afraid. There is not a car on the road.

“What the holy hell is that, Sergeant?” Christopher says to me. His fingers are digging into my shoulder. I’m not sure if he’s holding me up or the other way around.

Something white is coming through what sounds like tall grass, making a swishing noise. Another mile down the road, the horrifying whine of engines blows on the breeze like a banshee from RAF, where our beds will be tonight.