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  • Monday, March 13, 2006

    Village of Children
    By Sean Ripple

    On January 11 2009, United States Army General E.M. Calton was awarded two medals by the U.S. Government honoring his services in the Galbeck War. Photographers took pictures to document the event; news cameras captured clips of the medals being placed around his neck; journalists wrote stories about the ceremony.

    Two days later, General Calton, now simply "Edwin," decided to go on a long walk around his neighborhood. It was snowing in a typically brutal way for mid-January in Alexandria, Virginia. He paid no mind. Curiously enough, neither did his wife. Edwin walked for an hour before he broke from the residential streets that labyrinthed about the secluded housing development. Each step off the road became quieter, the thin glaze of ice over the snow breaking softly with each step. He stopped in the thick of the forest and began to disrobe, his 55-year-old frame still exercised and firm. Thirty-seven minutes passed before the cold penetrated. Its first and only entry point was a thought signaling that his body was suffering. He allowed the thought to repeat itself without taking action. He was demanding that it reveal more, that it betray its source, admit its purpose.

    Before Edwin died three days later from hypothermia, a fantastical mode of thought took over him. It started with a pillar of fire in the center of a village of children who spoke the word of God with such joy, as he had never heard. They called to Edwin, asking if he had kissed life with destruction. He wanted to lie by saying "No," but before he did, tears fell from his eyes to the earth and the pillar of fire spoke.

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