Ants, Grasshoppers, Magpies.

From dailyprompt: “The future is now,” misc. post-apoc, well, apoc, the same setting and Foundation as The Cathedral (LJ Link) but some time earlier and from a different POV.

The future is now. We spent our whole lives, as our parents and grandparents and so on did, planning for the future, building the world around us as best we could, “giving back to the community,” the way people would have said a year or two ago, building up our own fortunes only to carry others along with us, in the best tradition of charity and, at the same time, in the best paths of cleaning up your own backyard first. That is: we made sure we were well off, that our neighbors were comfortable, that those in our town weren’t going hungry, and that those in our county did not starve.

And amid all that nest-feathering, we put away for a rainy day, planned for a dry season, put a little of our wealth aside in jars in the back yard and boxes under the mattress; we squirreled away supplies and never threw anything at all out that we or our descendants might use.

We were the world’s biggest pack rats, saving everything we could get our paws on in case of a long, cold winter.

And now? Now we’ve reached that winter. We’ve come to that point we were reaching for, our family, our Foundation, our mandate. And here I am, ankle deep in paperwork while outside our gates, our neighbors risk starving. And the biggest argument I’m having with the rest of the family?

Not how much should we share?. That would make sense. But can we dig into the supplies now, so that we have something to share with those who have not saved?

Ants, grasshoppers, snakes and scorpions. We talk about animals, but no-one is brave enough to say magpie while we cling to our shiny things, merely because they’re shiny.

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6 thoughts on “Ants, Grasshoppers, Magpies.

  1. Oh my! I like the animal analogy – it really sells the piece. And I can see this. Arguing about if the supplies should be opened. Clarify here: that those in our town weren’t going hungry, and that those in our county did not starve. You seem to be saying the same thing – not going hungry = not starve. Or At least I think so…

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