56 - Chosen One


The village big screen television has broken, and although you are only fourteen harvests old, the tribe has nominated you as the corpse-bearer. When the announcement is made, you roll your eyes and sigh.

“This is so gay,” you say in a loud grumble, drawing out “gay” so long that one might think you forgot how to end the word.

“Hush,” says your mother, the tribal Matron. “Being the corpse-bearer of the sacred television is a great honor.”

You scoff at your mother’s suggestion. “Honor? Why don’t you let Yongo lug a useless two-hundred pound piece of plastic through the woods to the TV burial grounds, if it’s such an honor. Being corpse-bearer is gee ay why homosexual.”

“Yongo has been chosen to be Harbinger of the Upgrade, as you know, my son.” She says while she gestures at Yongo, “He has his own sacred duty to perform.”

Yongo sits in a chair at the front of the meeting hall, is heavily muscled and good-looking in a way that can only be described as unfair. He smiles and winks at you while your mother is talking. You hate Yongo so much.

What?" His ‘sacred duty’ is going to the Best Buy website and telling the truck when to show up! This ritual is balls.

Conda, the village witchdoctor, interjects. “The corpse must be born, young one. The Network must be appeased.”

“Shove it, Conda,” you snort. “Just because you fucked my mom on top of a pile of dead chickens last night doesn’t make you my dad. The Network is gay and eats tons of dicks.”

Conda begins to raise his ceremonial bone towards you, but your mother pushes his hand back down. “You will bear the corpse of the television, and that is final,” your mother scolds. “Also, stop using gay as a pejorative.”

You don the ceremonial girdle and gloves and retrieve the blessed dolly from the witchdoctor’s tool shed. Before you pick up the corpse of the television, you offer your little brother a ride. He is initially wary of your generosity, but eventually accepts after you tell him “Come on, it’ll be fun!” four times.

Your brother stands on the foot of the dolly and you begin to run full speed towards the cliff at the edge of the village, intending to give your little brother the scare of a lifetime. As you near the drop-off, you push the grips forward and come to a hard stop. You misjudged the distance to the cliff edge, however, so your brother goes tumbling over and falls to his death. None of the other villagers see this, and it is later considered an accident.

You decide to play it cool and act like nothing happened. You pick up the TV from the village longhouse and begin to dolly it down the steeply sloping path toward the burial grounds.

The entire village lines up along the path as you exit the village. You take a hand off the grips to flip them all of as you pass. As you pass your mother, who is shooting daggers at you with her eyes, you lose your grip on the dolly. The television tumbles down the sloping path, busting into several pieces.

Your mother winces then covers her eyes in shame while Conda, standing next to her, lets out a high-pitched scream.

The gods are not angered by your desecration of the corpse of the television; in fact, they think that ritual is dumb as hell. They are extremely pleased by your sacrifice of your younger brother. The harvest the following fall is the best in years.