Hungry Town, part 2

I live in a hungry town, and I was wrong about how the town would satisfy its hunger when we elders were the only ones left. It didn’t let us die. It won’t ever let us die. Instead, it lets outsiders in more often. I don’t like these outsiders. They aren’t like the ones the town let in before. These ones are loud, brash, aggressive. They speak of developing our town. Of building things called high rises, condos and skyscrapers. They speak of fast food, and mini malls. They laugh at our mention of Gods. People don’t believe in Gods anymore, they say. We need to let go of these silly superstitions, and become part of the modern world, they tell us. I don’t understand why the town let these people in.
The town doesn’t tell us when its hungry anymore. Now people just…disappear. We haven’t had to draw straws, haven’t had to process anyone in a few years now. I am relieved by this. I’m not sure how we ever would have explained to these outsiders why we were drawing straws. Why they had to draw straws too. Why we were placing raw meat into potholes, and broken bones into holes in yards. Why the holes disappeared by dawn. I don’t think they would understand. I think they would try to hurt us. The way the missionaries hurt the little girl.
The outsiders tried to establish a police department. Everyone who put on a badge was taken by the town. We heard their screams. Anyone who tried to find them also disappeared. We heard their screams, too. But the outsiders didn’t learn. Next came a fire department. The town took them too. The town doesn’t like people trying to take its jobs from it.
The outsiders tried to build their buildings. All the construction workers were taken. The town doesn’t want to be changed. We told the outsiders this. They laughed.
The ground bleeds when we plant our crops now. Tests are run by the outsiders. We know why the ground bleeds. We know the outsider’s tests won’t return any answers. Not answers that they want, anyway.
Some of the outsiders don’t like it here. Attempts at leaving are made. Do they think that we haven’t tried that? The town doesn’t let people leave. It hasn’t since it became hungry. No matter how hard escapees try, no matter how hard they run, or how fast they drive, they always end up back in the middle of town. Direction doesn’t matter either. They don’t like this. They should accept that they belong to the town, and that the town will never let them go. If they follow the town’s rules, and follow our customs, they’ll be allowed to grow old, to have children. If they don’t, they will feed the town. And more outsiders will replace them.
Someday this town will no longer be hungry. Someday our Gods will return, will cease our town’s hunger. Someday I will be able to atone for killing the little girl. For killing my daughter. It was my idea to go along with the missionaries. My idea to wait until they left, then return to our own ways, our own Gods. That’s why she’s dead. If I hadn’t bullied the others into going along with my plan, she wouldn’t have died. And I wouldn’t have had cause to perform the ritual that caused this town to hunger. I wouldn’t have had cause to use my daughter’s flesh, bone, and blood to gain my revenge. I would never have needed revenge at all.
I live in a hungry town. And it’s my fault that it’s hungry.


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