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Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

Living on the Edge of Civilization

Posted Monday, January 17, 2011, at 2:25 PM

(Photo)
The gloomy office of the North Stoddard Countian lies silent on Sturdivant Street at the far northern edge of civilization. Beyond these streets, the earth drops away to plunge the unexpected traveler into the jaws of giant sea serpents and unimaginable horrors.
Reporter suffers slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

A cold rain beats down on the windows of the newspaper office in the far distant reaches of North Stoddard County. The dim candlelight reveals a lone figure, seated forlornly at an ancient MacIntosh computer, straining to see the words appearing on a 12-inch screen. Vicious feral labs roam outside the office, waiting for a scrap of human flesh.

This is the long-forgotten outpost of civilization, lost in those flat reaches of former swampland, abandoned by all rational human beings who have fled to warmer climes, where birds sing and humans gather to party and experience the joy of human companionship.

Yes, this, my friends, is the office of the North Stoddard Countian, staffed by a withered creature with whitened hair and bony fingers. Wrapped in the rags of her trade, she pecks away at her ancient writing device, composing obsolete words which no one ever reads, voicing outmoded ideas long forgotten, falling into decay.

One lone line of communication would have alerted the poor creature that today was, in fact, a holiday, a time to stay in a warm home with her cats, far away from the bitter winter frost.

Alas, this was not to be, as all the happier humans in the office to the sunny south abandoned their posts and left the ragged Advance ghost reporter to wander aimlessly through the empty streets, looking for a crumb of news, a shred of human decency in a cold, barren world.

The inhumanity of man knows no bounds!


Comments
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[Show most recent comments first]

The best response is to wait until the biggest day of the "news year" to take an unannounced day off work. Don't bother letting anyone know, by the way. In the meantime, go home and build a fire for you, the kitties and anyone else who happens along.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Mon, Jan 17, 2011, at 3:33 PM

I agree, gonenow! If Madeline is going to be a true orphan, and nobody cares if she eats worms or drops off the aforementioned end of the earth (between Advance and Marble Hill), she should just do as she pleases!

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Jan 17, 2011, at 6:30 PM

Hey worms may be a delicacy in some countries, we just haven't been adventurous enough yet to try them 'deep fried'. In the mean time how about some delicious chicken dumplins and homemade cherry pie to lighten your day. Topped with a new and exciting bottle of wine from Texas.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 8:21 AM

"...words which no one ever reads..."?? You know better; we love your only semi-obsolete words!

-- Posted by gardengirl on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 8:17 PM

Oh my, I love this. "vicious feral labs," "seated forlornly at an ancient MacIntosh computer," and "wrapped in the rags of her trade?" Sheer genius!

-- Posted by Eliza on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 10:22 PM

Hahaha! Eliza, you are a true connoisseur of the written word! I feel sure that those three particularly apt phrases are Madeline's favorites in the blog, too!!

Nothing like self-pity to prod a writer to write lofty, colorful phrases that roll trippingly off the tongue!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jan 19, 2011, at 9:13 AM


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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net or by phone at 573-722-5322.
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