Casey Skaarsgard

mountains & telephone wires

None but I had ever voted. Most of us, my kin, believed we had deserved the government we got. Choosing our leader to lead us was against the bone. It cut against the grains of many of my centuries. I did it myself as a lark, thinking to myself that I was placing a bet on a piece of penny candy, really. I bet, I thought to myself, that if I write this name on this slip of paper and push it through the slot, that I will pick a candy of this flavor. And, I thought to myself, if I write a name that differs on this same piece of paper, I will pick a candy of another flavor. I was instantly apprehended by the authorities as to having no right to be there at all. To vote was prohibited. And they said it was all owing to a mix up which, they insisted, pertained to my nationality. When I insisted back to them that it wasn’t that at all, they laughed; it was the border, I exclaimed. “It is the border!” I said to them. And the whole bunch of them tossed me and my heavy pack onto the track. It was the last time I would attempt such tomfoolery, and would go live by myself within the pine forest, among women and men of my kind.

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