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The Semelparites

The Semelparites

We went to the farm in the morning after all the screams. What we found looked like a swamp. Bubbling pits of sulfurous liquid covered the area. Trees were splitting and breaking apart in the wind like sandcastles struck by the tide. If it weren’t for the disintegrating farm, no one would have believed anyone could live here. I painted that barn last summer. Uncle Alexander had given me twenty bucks. Now the paint was bubbling and peeling like sunburnt skin. All around, there were holes as though massive maggots had burrowed up out of the ground. My dad took one look in those holes and ordered me back to the car. We never even checked if Uncle Alexander was still there.

—Journal of Scott Mercer.
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