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We’ve Burned

We’ve Burned

We’ve burned the furniture and started on the books. Luckily there’s a small library within our palisade. The fuel trucks are still smouldering in what the map calls terra nullius. The UN is no help. We were able to clear the orphanage. The toddlers thought it a big game but the infants are not okay. Yesterday we had to repel a scavenger group near the East Gate—I think they were Australians—and one woman was helicoptered out in the night. Something’s not right, but the agent offered coupon codes for our trouble. So glad we chose the tinned goods and wild game option. The pool was not as advertised. We’ll be home Tuesday afternoon. So sorry you couldn’t come with. Next year we’ll do something family friendly—maybe Guernica or Sarajevo.

Copyright © Todd Besant. All rights reserved.

This story won the third prize in the 14th Annual Geist Postcard Story Contest.
It first appeared in Geist issue 109.

This story was submitted, and rejected, for consideration for the 2022 Fractured Lit Reprint Prize judged by Meg Pokrass. Read the rejection letter!

Best paired with Столичная, icebox cold.

Reprint and reproduction rights for this story are available for purchase. Contact me for more information on Anthologies, Course Packs, Reading Comprehension Exams, Translations, and Dramatic Adaptations

All material, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © Todd Besant. All rights reserved.

Image copyright © Photo credit: christian kurz on Visualhuntom, used under Creative Commons 2.0 licence


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Of average vanity

Todd Besant is a publisher, editor, reader, writer, occasional author, introvert, secret blogger, stargazer, freethinker, powerlifter, kitchen dancer, podcast enthusiast, and car singer.

He is overly fond of fine pencils, cool notebooks, pocket knives, waxed canvas shoulder bags, Moscot eyeglasses, coffee, bourbon, flat caps, clothing for shorter men, manipedis, and men’s grooming products–especially pomades, face balms, and under eye treatments. Todd is of average vanity, that is, very.

Todd is taller online, inordinately puzzled, comprehensively skeptical, increasingly alarmed, and as analogue as possible under the circumstances. His creativity is informed and driven by an avalanche of failure. Todd’s favourite words are louche, bare, frowsy, oubliette, chemise, thicket, snug, bristle, mound, abandon, frisson, and restraint.

He is the descendant of colonialist settlers and lives on Turtle Island on Treaty 1 Land that is the territories of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Lakota, Inuit, and Dene Peoples, and on the Traditional Homeland of the Métis Nation, in Winnipeg, MB, an inflexible colonial city mired in the still damp clay bed of a proglacial lake created during the Holocene Glacial Retreat.


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This blog is written and produced on Turtle Island in Winnipeg, MB, on Treaty 1 Land that is the territories of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Lakota, Inuit, and Dene peoples, and is the Traditional Homeland of the Métis Nation. All material, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © Todd Besant. All rights reserved. Header photo credit: darkday. on
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