The Meeting, 1989
The clatter of chairs was resounding as the officials sat down at the immense wooden table. After a moment of stifled coughs and shifting chairs, the room was again silent. Then came a pounding of a gavel upon the wood.
“Today we call to order PTA meeting number three hundred and ninety-eight,” said a stern looking official at the head of the table.
A wizend man to the right of the stern official continued, “We will be discussing the construction of a new college in Sweden. It has been a point of hot debate, but due to the… rather ‘illustrious’ state of the nearby colleges, we decided last meeting to provide slightly cheaper education to our high school alumni. Now, the only problem is the lack of tangible funds to construct the campus. We already have a million dollar deficit, so…”
A silence, as the attendees pondered the implied question presented by the wizened man.
“Any ideas?” he finished.
More silence. Suddenly, a hand rose from the crowd.
“Since bake sales and fund raisers are a bit too… lowbrow for this district, why not capitalize on those annoying coupons?” said a meek old woman.
The ‘coupons’ this old woman discussed were actually the remnants of a simpler time in Sweden. During the last world war, the town of Sweden used coupons to trade and buy items from each other, saving their money away in safes for harder times. This created a mini-economy amongst the citizens as they bartered off their remaining goods. The coupons eventually lost value in the community and were simply discarded. A local ecologist noted the strange behavior of Sweden’s local qwerzogs; quite frankly, they collected them in droves. Other wildlife picked up the habit and kept the multitude of coupons. These relics are highly sought after by museums and WWII enthusiasts, and if portrayed as incredibly rare, could be sold for millions of dollars.
The meek woman continued after the initial silence. “What I mean is, to make money off of those, collect them from the citizens at a coupon stand on the grounds of the campus. Since our town is big into hunting, they’d take them off the corpses of the wildlife and give them to us. We’d remove the animal problem AND build ourselves a college!”. The idea was met with a resounding applause and a general air of approval. One man’s stifled cries of “But won’t we risk the extinction of the Qwerzogs…” were ignored as the claps continued.
“We have it then! we’ll start next year after the college plans are finished. This concludes the meeting.”
The Fields, 1989
“BUT WHAT ABOUT OUR KIDS!?” The sound of several angry beekeepers rose from a crowd.
The local bee farm had decided to shut down. Sweden was already suffering financially and it didn’t need any more honey then it already had. The bee farm was one of the biggest in California, but its honey was of a lower grade then other bee farms in the country. Therefore it exported very little. Sweden’s local government also had restricted the capability of the farm’s production, and the citizens of Sweden had voted 93-7 to lower the price of the honey. Hundreds of bee keepers worked at the farm, because there was nowhere else to work in the area. In the state of economic hard times, being fired could mean losing everything.
“Please clean out your lockers and leave. I will officially declare Buzzy Bee Farms shut down. We will release the bees, and tear down the factory. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the company. Every employee will receive their last payment in the mail tomorrow. Goodnight.”
“My god, I’m gonna have to go live in the freaking woods. We can’t afford to move!” said a sobbing woman in the crowd. Others tried to comfort her, but they knew they were in the same boat.
The Beach, 1989
The cold, unforgiving waves beat down on the coast of Sweden as a boat came to rest in the docks. Several sailors leaped off onto the wooden dock and started to slowly walk back home. They seemed rather jolly, if tired. “Gee whiz, I can feed my family for a year!!” exclaimed an eager, young fishermen to his older friends. The waves continued to beat down on the barnacle encrusted boat. On the side you could barely read the faint red lettering: “U.S.S SWEETY”. The captain then stepped off the boat, brushing off his coat and putting his hat on the nearby rack. He sat down on the edge of the dock next to a nearby man. With a sigh he pulled out a large stogy and lit it up with his lighter. The captain leaned over to the man, tapping him on the shoulder. He quickly pulled out a large writing pad and a pen. The captain began to recant the last trip to the man, as if expecting him to document it.
“Write this down for me, will you? Our last trip was bountiful, but too bountiful. Us crab fishermen bring in about one hundred a day, but we easily brought in thousands! The ship nearly tipped over. Even after we had them aboard, they thrashed and even killed each other in some sort of crazed frenzy. I sense that the migration of the sea crabs has been extrapolated due to increased breeding. What could be causin’ it, you never know. I saw some suspicious corporate barges heading out to sea. Maybe they be dumping chemicals?”
The man ripped off the sheet and handed it to the captain. The captain threw his stogy into the nearby trash bin. He bought some fishing line and a candy bar from a man behind the counter of a dock general store, jumped into the boat and slowly coasted away back into the open sea.
The Mountains, 1989
An unforgiving wind sped through the rough, weathered mountains. The trees on the mountains swayed loudly, but otherwise the mountains were silent except for the occasional qwerzog call. A small river rushed on at the base of the mountains. At the top of the largest spire, a man sat alone at the edge of a dark cave.
The young ecologist pulled out a small tape recorder. “For the record,” he whispered,”Qwerzog activity is unusually quiet. I have come to investigate the activity of these strange quadrupeds. How they came to these moutains is seriously beyond my understanding. It is strange that they appear slightly before the destruction of these same mountains. Maybe they don’t realize the danger within these big yellow vehicles?”. Suddenly a clatter came from below. The ecologist stopped the tape and produced his binoculars.
Two qwerzogs were fighting below, near the stream. Strangely, due to the topography of the land, some of the ocean feeds into the stream, creating a peculiar infinite loop between the stream and the ocean. The qwerzogs fell into the water, continuing to fight. One of the qwerzogs slightly changed form, and with a burst of energy struck down the other qwerzog. He took a few sips from the stream, again changed form, and crawled back into a nearby cave.
The ecologist produced his tapes again. “Again: how the creatures came to these mountains is a mystery. Maybe by inspecting the body of a freshly slayed qwerzog I can learn the origin of these ‘freaks’ of nature.”
After quietly and surely making his way down to the base of the mountain, the man examined the body of Qwerzog. Again, he produced his tapes. He whispered to avoid detection. “This qwerzog appears to be of mountain lion origin. It also shares the skin of a snake and the horns of a goat, as well as other mixes of genes that were possessed of the previous wildlife. I wouldn’t know for sure, but I’m pretty sure that the water in the str-AAAAAAAGH!”. A qwerzog jumped from the nearby cave and struck down the ecologist. The qwerzog sunk its fangs into his back and then slowly dragged him into the cave.