The News

by themapofantarctica

They sat on the hill and looked out from beneath the branches of tree. They wore bomber jackets and jeans. James smoked while Dylan peered into the cloudless sky through large dark eyes. The pair had walked up here largely in silence, familiar with the drill. They talked about music.

Have you noticed how no one sings about dying anymore? Said James.

Yeah, now that you mention it. Dylan nodded, his eyes scanning the landscape.

It’s just not on the agenda. Barely a thought is dedicated to it. He paused. People are too concerned with their phones.

They both laughed softly and looked at the trees.

Is it not credible anymore?

What, death? Asked Dylan.

Yeah?

I guess not. We have immortality and war instead. Technology and fame.

War?

Yeah. Not here, I know, but war certainly. He blinked and spat at the dry earth beneath the tree. If there is war then there is certainly no death. Anywhere. Not even in the news that’s nothing to do with the war.

Is it not because we are immune?

There was a pause.

Maybe, he said, but if that were the case I wouldn’t think about it all the time would I?

True, said James.

And let’s face it, people are actually dying.

People just don’t mention it, he said, starting to get the idea.

Exactly.

They were both immersed in the conversation. Utterly trusting in one another’s beliefs.

James continued to smoke, inhaling deeply before asking a question.

Do you think the reality of war has become too much for the human
imagination?

Yes.

That the atrocities that happen far exceed the cognition processes of our own minds?

Yes.

Do you think that attempts at controlling the problems are failing because even people at the top have lost faith?

What’s faith got to do with it?

They both sighed. The wind blew effortlessly across their faces lifting some leaves up from the grass.

How the hell did it begin? What started this? Asked James.

Silence.

The atomic bomb, I guess.

Neither of them said anything.

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