Friday, November 15, 2019

Tauy Creek Digest #57: Foreheads and Rocks

Years ago...

"So it is ordered," the voice boomed. "Those in the east shall be provided with rocks from the west to wrap their string around. They shall be provided free, just like the prosthetics for those in the west" The voice came from a tall man, surrounded by other men and some women. Their foreheads hung over their eyes creating a neanderthal-like look but their foreheads were really prosthetic foreheads that they wore over their real foreheads. In the west, large, protruding foreheads were considered a status symbol.

In the east, status meant rocks but they were few and far between there. Wars had broken out between the east and west over this. Prosthetic foreheads could be manufactured but rocks could not. The east wanted rocks and the west had them.

"We shall not let the playhouse fires be in vain," the voice continued. "Let these rocks bring an unending peace to the west and to the east."

For several years, peace covered the east and west. The east was happy with having endless rocks to wrap their strings around. The west was happy with their prosthetic foreheads that they wore on their real foreheads. "Why must we be at the mercy of the west?" complained one of the leaders of the east. "They hoard all the rocks and we have to beg for them."

"Everything is going fine. Why should we rock the boat?" another leader asked.

"I see what you did there," the first leader smiled "but we should have control of the rocks. We are the ones that use them and want them. The west manufactures their foreheads and then gives us the rocks like they're doing us a favor."

"What do you suggest we do?" a third leader asked.

"We take our rocks and show them what we can really do with them," the first leader chuckled.

It was a warm, sunny day when someone first saw the wave of people coming in from the east. A light breeze was blowing and all-in-all it was a very nice day. A good day to be outside. At first, no one know what was going on. Why were all these people heading toward the west? What was it they wanted? As they got closer, the westerners noticed that the easterners were swinging their rocks above their heads on a string. All the rocks moved in unison, which was impressive if a bit scary.

"Howdy, neighbor," greeted one westerner. "What brings you all over here?"

A rock flew hard into the man's prosthetic forehead, breaking it and embedding in his real forehead. He dropped to the ground, unmoving. "Your prosthetic foreheads are no match for our rocks that we have tied strings around," someone shouted from the crowd.

"We have to stop the ones who want a rock to wind their string around," a westerner said in the capitol building for the west.

"With what?"

"With the only weapons we have," he replied ominously.

"You don't mean? We all hoped it would never come to this."

"To the armory."

The west now had their own army. Men and women alike, their prosthetic foreheads glinting proudly in the sunlight, went to the armory to obtain their weapon. A thin five-by-eight piece of wood with a large nail protruding out of it. The westerners began approaching the easterners. The boards could block the rocks being thrown but were best used as short-range or close-up attacks. You would think the easterners would have the advantage with having rocks as a long-range weapon but the westerners were more skilled in the boards than you'd think. Because of these boards, they were a free people.

"Burn the playhouse!" an easterner shouted.

"Burn their foreheads!" another yelled.

The armies collided. Rocks, strings, boards, and foreheads all created a cacophony in the streets of the west. Those not a part of it, watched in horror.

"Why are they doing this, Daddy?" a young child asked. The man had not grabbed a board as he was the only one who could care for his son.

"I don't know. They want to stop us, who want to wear prosthetic foreheads on our heads," he said. "Don't worry, though. We've faced worse."

The battle continued through the afternoon and into the evening and night. It seemed as if no one was gaining any ground. Dozens of bodies--from both the west and east--were strewn around the immediate fighting area. The westerners weren't sure why the easterners were attacking and, to be fair, the easterners didn't really know why they were attacking.

A flare caught someone in the west's eye. He turned and looked to see the playhouse burning, flames erupting from the windows and roof. Everyone stopped to look at the carnage. It reminded them years ago of the playhouse fire that they vowed never to recreate. They all stared in awe, unmoving, putting down their weapons, the battle--between those who want a rock to wind a piece of string around and those who wear prosthetic foreheads on their heads--becoming a stalemate.