An Homage to The Hunger Games – Microfiction

Two A.M. The farm family is roused inside the remote cottage by the sounds of  running engines and the glare of headlights. Father, mother and three children fuse in the living room. A banging fist. The farmer turns the knob and a tsunami of soldiers flows in and around the family knot. Others move to the kitchen, the hall pantry, throwing open doors.

“The law says no more than seven days of food. I could arrest you for domestic terrorism.”

 The children, now crying, cling to their parents. Soldiers box up food and shuttle the boxes to waiting trucks.

“Farming is our livelihood. It’s what we’ve done for generations. What are we to eat?”

“The law says no more than seven days of food.” Soldiers exit. The food is gone. Silence, except for children’s sniffles. Father’s eyes are hollow. Children’s eyes are fearful. Mother’s eyes are knowing.

 Hidden away in the rafters, there are strings of jerky, dried beans, fruits and vegetables. Mother is both squirrel and ant. Her family will be fed.

Copyright 2012

7 responses »

  1. Nice! Your story is eerily reminiscent of my upbringing, when we had to rely on barges of food delivered to us on a monthly basis… Storing and freezing was not just an art form but a necessity. Once a month: FRUIT! Oh happy day. 🙂 There were even soldiers involved, LOL.

    • Fascinating. Where was home at that time? In the US, there are many remote or farm communities where the residents grow food to feed themselves for months at a time. This story explores how laws can be illogical in certain settings. What may apply in an urban setting, where supplies can be diminished by hoarding during a time of emergency, is harshly punitive when applied in a different setting, such as against families like yours. Thanks so much for commenting!

      • Most definitely; our situation was akin to what you describe in the more remote areas of this country (or internationally, from what I’ve learned from friends raised abroad). One had to learn how to prepare foods for weeks/months on out, as we were never sure when we were going to receive “X” type of vegetable, canned good, meat, or the like. I was raised on an island in an atoll in the South Pacific, in Micronesia — think where Amelia Earhart was lost. To this day, I’m stunned when I enter food stores in the US. I just can’t get over it, even as an adult.

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