On my never ending search for the news with a ruse, I wandered up to the Molten Core Science and Research Center located upstate near Pickens.
After traveling a long way down a one lane road, I came to a dead end with a small, paved parking lot. There was only one other car. A winding path led me through an uncultivated landscape to the mouth of a large cave. I hadn’t brought a flashlight and hesitated to advance. I could hear noises coming from the cave, but they were indistinct, something that sounded like faint electronic beeping mixed with human muttering. There was a large rock so I decided to sit and wait.
Soon a man appeared, emerging from the darkened mist with a small black box, the source of the beeping, that displayed intermittent flashing lights in many colors. The man was staring at a gauge on the box and would have run right into me if hadn’t coughed purposefully. He looked up.
“I’m looking for secrets to the unfolding universe,” I told him.
He was a short, bearded man with a visor cap, spectacles and a red crayon stuck behind his ear. “I understand,” he said. “You’re the fourth one today.”
He pushed a button on his box and what looked like a large rock swung open like the door of a big bank vault revealing a well lit laboratory cluttered with electronic gear and file cabinets. “Things are not as they have always been,” he told me. “The earth is in a delicate balance. Here, let me show you.”
He led me to a dining table in the center of the room set for four with plates, crystal, silverware, napkins, even candles and a flower arrangement. “This is what we researchers call the status quo,” he said. He took the edge of the table cloth in both hands and grinned up at me, eyes twinkling. “Ever seen this trick?”
He tugged at the table cloth and everything on the table overturned and went clattering to the floor. “I never could figure out how to do it,” he exclaimed, shaking his head. I helped him pick everything up and return it to the table. Only one glass had broken. We put new water into the flower vase. “Forks on the left,” he cautioned, as we reset the table, “knife blade inward.” He made sure everything was precisely in order. “The world is in a delicate balance, nature, the oceans, the atmosphere, and also the affairs of man. And these may be the most critical because they affect all the rest.”
I began to ask him a question but he shuffled me out of the room, pushing me with his down turned palms. “Now, off with you, I have work to do.” I left the cave and walked thoughtfully back to my car. As I opened the door, the scientist appeared at the mouth of the cave and shouted after me, “be careful who you vote for.”
Check out Larry’s poems and stories and a full archive of Pseudo News articles at his blogsite: sinksgrovepress.wordpress.com
– Larry Berger, HashtagWV. October 2016