The rattle coming from the bones in the back of the truck was disconcerting. There were too many, and they were piled higher than the standard three quarters full designated in the "Transport Document." They were stacked so high that every crater in the road hit by the thread bare tires meant fibulas, shinbones, and even cracked craniums went careening onto the surface. Granted, it was a job in a land where shackled employment was rare and death commonplace.
"Give me a land of freedom without chains to keep me in the yard of the powerful." This had been the cry of an earlier generation who'd halfheartedly endorsed change but refused to revolutionize or raze the institutions mired in corruption and gerrymandered political machinations.
Back then there was a government - actually, never really, just a shadow dictatorship driven by dysfunctional corporate megalomaniacs. These soon to be feudalistic lords circled the wagons and left all of us outside their walled palaces, to die a slow withering death, all in the name of feeding their insatiable desires.
Marches, speeches, promises from politicians with over stretched lobbyist feeding tubes, a myriad of compromises, and of course the simpletons whose comprehension of complex issues was limited to how much beer and chips remained in the cupboard & fridge - all this gush of discontent was easily washed away or crushed underfoot by the descendants of our business/government ultra-capitalist lords.
"Damn-it Frank, slow this wreck down or we'll lose all the bones on the road!" He was always racing to get these deliveries to the grinding mill so he could thrust his gnarled bony hand out for his extra LSB. Hell my stomach would also growl more fiercely (than usual) in anticipation of this extra morsel, but loosing most of our load on this 'moon' path wasn't worth the time saved if we were docked - then we'd only get half a dingy white brick.
But it did make your mouth water; this mix of finely ground bone powder with just a little drop of sweet corn syrup. Just watching these squares shoot out the other end of these huge conveyor belts was enough to make your lips pucker. The sign at the end of each belt proudly proclaimed "Labor Slave Brisket 1A - Food for The Eons."
It was kind of odd that the labor slaves in the CorpGov gulags died at the same rate that they must have been consuming their fellow workers who'd fallen with bones protruding, sores festering, and blue tongues wagging sometimes no more than a week before. But oh well, this was "just the way things were - no changing them" as Jerry the emaciated bone receiver at the mill was always quick to point out.
How could you complain; at least for Frank and I resting comfortably on our spring sprung white foam erupting truck seat life was a grand piano with an extra "Labor Slave Brisket" allotted for our efforts and plenty of Sterno for cheap highs. What else could a working stiff want in a world where streams coursed with toxic waste, temperatures regularly shot to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and the only colorful grandeur was visible from afar in the castles of "The Rulers?"
Frank was a numb stump away, where I was just a dreamy intellectual who'd managed to stay alive, if you called this living; this mangled, rotten, puss filled ruin we'd allowed ourselves to be dumped into headfirst.
Screeching bellows howls, and gleeful belching sounds of a now mostly devoured generation still made its eerie shimmering presence felt at nightfall. Sleep hardly ever came when you had a prune sized stomach aching for something approximating food - not this white cannibalistic wastage that erupted 24-hours a day from a greed festering world.
Yes, mine was the Who-yaw generation; we were the ultimate spectators in a spectator society scrupulously adhering to the irrelevant sensationalism pandered by a corporate media machine. It had been an organism populated by media parrots spewing out mind melding mush that kept all of us sleepy minded sheep grazing happily.
"By the way, what did our lords eat?"
Just up ahead was the nexus of human wastage - the supreme bone-grinding factory rising what must have been four stories high and covering many square miles. It never ceased to amaze me, this technological marvel where all roads led; to this black hole sucking from all directions resting on a land left uninhabitable - utterly desolate.
We were a dying race. Our food being chucked out the end of this massive hunk of metal affixed to a barren world - a world greased to benefit our evil masters.