We had all these kids uprooting trees. We provided chainsaws. They sent chips of bark flying, catcalled to one another, egging each other on. I’ve killed more trees than you, they would say. After Charlie tripped and fell on the circulating blade, the teeth ripping into his chest and face (it would leave quite a scar) the kids decided the chainsaws were too bulky and, ultimately, too dangerous a tool for deforestation.
It was Murdock who suggested pesticides: Arsenic Oxide, Corbofuran and DDT. One particularly innovative, aspiring scientist decided to mix these three solutions for maximum efficiency. They devised a plan. Some of the children would refill the backpack sprayers, others would be charged with the responsibility of traipsing through the forest, bathed in rays of light, spraying the roots and leaves of vegetation. Three kids breathed in too much of the concoction and died before we could call for help. We dumped their bodies in the river and counted our losses. Murdock took it especially hard. That’s when gasmasks became a requirement, as outlined in Section 6.01 by the CDC (Children’s Destruction Cabinet). Inspired by their comrade’s sacrifices, the children continued on in full force, flying through acres a day, spraying pesticides everywhere, everywhere. But it still wasn’t enough.
Murdock, after a rough campaign, was elected president of the CDC. He acquired this position through strong rhetoric laced with fear of Mother Earth, a totalitarian bitch. His campaign coined the slogan “Forests in Flames.” The kids dumped the remaining two tons of pesticides into the river and filled their backpack sprayers full of gasoline. Speakers were erected on the back of pickup trucks and bicycles. Ellie Goulding’s “Burn” reverberated throughout the woods, and the voices of boys and girls could be heard singing, “We got that fire, fire, fire. And we’re going to let it burn, burn, burn.” They began calling themselves Prometheusians and believed they were defying the gods, believed they could eradicate Demeter totally and completely. The first fire was a great success. None of the children were injured; however, a retirement home, situated on the edge of the woods, burned down; roasting grandmas and grandpas inside. Murdock promised these were not only acceptable casualties, mere collateral damage, but a victory. The old, he said, need to make way for the new. Applause roared through the logging/fuego/demolition camp. Following Murdock’s address, old people were routinely lynched, labeled as oxygen thieves who’d had their time in the sun. This, somehow, bled into the eradication of retards: kids who didn’t masturbate. This period was referred to as the Great Glorious Reign of Murdock.
Franklin, a brilliant history student, after a night of exhaustive self-pleasure, dreamt of a dark green jungle, AH-1 Cobras thwacking the air, M16’s firing into rice patties, paper villages, human meat, and of a thick, luminescent gas rolling through bamboo before exploding into beautiful flame. Franklin, naked, with a hard on the size of Vietnam, ran to Murdock’s tent and prophesized. The implementation of Agent Orange ensued en mas. Agent Orange presented certain challenges. One of the mathematicians miscalculated and sent a squad of pilots to the wrong coordinates, resulting in the demolition of a local town. Murdock enlisted help for damage control. One of the English kids teamed up with Franklin (the closest thing they had to a political science expert) and co-wrote a speech. The CDC did not make mistakes. The bombing was a premeditated, well-thought-out, highly calculated decision and signaled a new era.
Atomic bombs collided into Asia, South America, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and both of the arctic polls. The CDC determined that the world was now, at last, uninhabitable. The CDC constructed the Santa María 2.0, a spaceship capable of sustaining all of them indefinitely. The plan was to go to Mars and start anew. The day of liftoff, Murdock asked if I’d be willing to demonstrate the finer points of copulation. I illustrated, with Mrs. Rayburn (the health teacher), how semen should be ejaculated into the ears, the nose, and mouth. They thanked me and headed off into space to divide and conquer.

Seth DuWayne Slater

Slater writes poetry, short stories, and nonfiction. His writing is gritty, humorous, and unapologetic; painting the beautiful and ugly in equal light. His work has appeared in Trans Lit Mag, TreeHouse: An Exhibition of the Arts, Bird's Thumb, The Commuter, Canyon Voices and The Tower Journal. Slater has work forthcoming in Metonym. Slater is completing his MFA in Fiction at San Diego State University and interns for Fiction International.