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Living on the Edge of CivilizationPosted Monday, January 17, 2011, at 2:25 PM
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.
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!
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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 email@example.com or by phone at 573-722-5322.
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