KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 2: Winter 2015
Micro-Fiction: 222 words

Outside Out and Inside In

by Bruce Holland Rogers

The turnip seed in the ground was only a seed until water crossed the border between soil and seed. Thereafter, all kinds of distinctions were violated: air and water crossed from their own country and swore allegiance to sunlight, which made them naturalized sugars. Minorities emigrated from the soil, but were for the most part relocated far from the frontier. Calcium and magnesium found neighborhoods of their own kind in the leaves.

Say what you will of a civilization that makes so few distinctions between self and other. It worked. All summer, domestic production rose.

And you are no respecter of boundaries, are you? Consider your Anschluss of the turnip, how at the height of the turnip’s development you knocked down the gates, how you incorporated all that was turnip within your own jurisdiction. You built infrastructure with the turnip’s stockpiled treasures. Everything held by the central bank fueled your furnaces.

Whatever you are thinking right now, you are thinking with the life savings of others, whole races of immigrant nations. Depending on your policies, some of your annexations may have absorbed complex economies not so very different from your own.

You have grown rich, but your borders are long. Long, too, is the list of fallen empires. Even now, Goths and Vandals assemble, overlooking your capital.

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