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by Richard Tornello

The Left-overs or maybe it ain't so bad

by Richard Tornello

They were the left-overs, the ones who managed to find life after all the death. They existed within They didn't care. The earth was plentiful, the seasons always warm, never too cold and nobody ever bothered them. There was nothing but desert surrounding them, and that was surrounded by a great ocean. It was a natural barrier. The left-overs inherited a pretty nice place considering the structural situation.


“What do you believe?” shouted the small group of shaman standing upon the raised dais.


“We’re sheep,” the Left-overs all responded. “The book tells us so.”


The shaman looked over their assembled flock nodding approvingly. The shaman gave the left-overs what they needed psychologically, a source of belief. None of the sheep could read but the shaman.


The very few smart ones, both male and female were culled from the general population and after years of schooling, were raised to the level of shaman, readers of the scrolls. Scrolls were vestiges of books pasted on top of other material from days-gone-by and rolled up. It was the only way to save what once was.  It was the only source of knowledge in a hodge-podge glued together sort of way. Physics and a cook book could be glued together. It was the shamans roll to figure the collective meaning.


“Yes you are sheep. You are my flock to protect. Now go back to your homes and have a good hearty dinner and procreate. Go do IT. We need to insure the survival of our community. The birth rate is below the number that we can sustain ourselves. We need more children. In-put equal out-put.  The Book says IT is the 2nd Law of Dynamics. Now go do IT!” The Book or scroll to which the shaman were referring was a combination of pages from an old Betty Crocker cook book, The Joy of Sex and some pages from a Stephen Hawkins book on quantum physics and the origins of  black holes all glued together. What that combination lost in common sense was more than made up in originality.


That evening and many others were good for many. The shaman had ordered IT and the assembled flock went at IT and did IT with gusto.


The next morning and many after that were slow-starters. Who cared, the earth was plentiful with huge crops that grew like magic. But most everyone of child bearing age had smiles on their faces. Even some of the older ones found time and energy to practice what was preached. A few months later the results began to show. 


Nine months later plus or minus a few, a new bumper crop of sheep were born. All the shaman were satisfied. Their survival was insured.  The left-over sheep were not the brightest of what was left of the human race. The sheep made for an excellent life for the few smart ones, the 2% or so hand picked to shepherd these beings.


And it was in the shaman’s interest to keep things as they were. Without the benefit of the sheep, the shaman were a doomed class and vice versa. It was said among the shaman in order to maintain peace and harmony and their positions within the society.


The evening of the Celebration of the New Sheep a huge fire was made. A never ending cornucopia of food and drink was passed around, guaranteeing a bumper crop of sheep in the allotted times. All were invited. Every member of the community took part including the shaman. The strong drink made them woozy and the fire kept the chill of the evening away. Everybody was warm and toasty. The sky was clear and star filled. It was a beautiful and wonderful night.

The shaman had a number of sayings. And for this celebration, the Celebration of the New Sheep, they said it was best to save and serve the Left-overs warm each and every day.


And so IT still is.

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by Richard Tornello

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