The workers climbed in the scaffolding, attempting to bridge over a small section of the construction north of Matamoros. They lacked the marvelous tools and technology of the previous century, and the wall resisted their simple hammers and chisels. Without explosives, the current plan called for going over the top, but progress was slow and food supplies short.
The Monsanto plague wiped out the breadbasket crops and worked its way into the soil and ecosystem. The dust clouds made the construction effort more difficult.
All of the remaining arable land on the continent lay south of the Folly, in Mexico.
They say Widow Walker stormed down to drag her husband back from the riverboat dock where the gambling and carousing went on every Friday night. She pushed grown dockhands clear off the pier into the river, the silly ones that tried to stop her, the Pinkertons and roustabouts. Then she stared down the bullyboys guarding the entrance to the Golden Nugget riverboat, and them hardened hombres backed down whining like whipped dogs. The real trouble started when Widow Walker found her husband drinking with a different painted floozy on each knee. That’s the night Haunted Pier burned to the waterline.
Inspired by this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt:
Alexavier Shaw paced restlessly while his Expert System recounted the details of the morning’s stock trading. He was worth another billion, just another day in the penthouse.
The bar was out of Scotch, so he happily clutched the excuse to take a walk.
While returning, he encountered an anomaly; an ancient wooden door in the concrete canyon. Through it, he could see a field of wildflowers and hear birds. A circus caravan wound its way up a hillside and calliopes played in the distance.
Shaw grunted and pushed the door shut. He’d return to counting, because nothing counts but more.
“So there were gathered together a harlequin, an astrophysicist, and fifty nude women on bicycles?
“Wasn’t that a strange thing, in the Seventies?”
“Not exactly common. It made a massive outcry in the newspapers at the time, but the excitement died away quickly. The interesting bit, to me, was that the nude ladies were actually trying to win the bicycle race.”
“So, who did win?”
“Florence Dollenberg, from Merton. She received a congratulatory handshake from the Prime Minister.”
“Heath, Wilson, or Callaghan?”
“Oh, I think I see your error; the Eighteen Seventies. She was congratulated by William Gladstone.”
Still confused? Take a tour with me back to the seventies…one of the seventies anyway.
(Fat Bottomed Girls and Bicycle Race were generally played together, and flipsides of the single. Freddy Mercury is the Harlequin, and Brian May the astrophysicist. That big-wheeled bike was contemporary in the 1870s…nude bicycle racing maybe not so much.
Herding the tours onto the bus is less than spectacular, I suppose. Every group seems to have one particularly large, aggressive guy who had beer for lunch. The Family Units are all right, as long as their kids don’t scream too much.
But the pay is sweet, fifty grand per load, and it’s easy enough to drive another group out to the desert and have another “breakdown.”
You’d think they’d catch on, just from the name. “Tour Beautiful Fly Canyon.” Flies and the undead go together like helpless and tourist.
Sometimes when you’re chasing love, it seems like the whole world is on your side. Spring is in the air, the birds sing, and life itself dances in its most glorious poetic forms. You’ll trade anything you own for one more touch, another taste, another chocolate-caramel moment frozen in time.
They fade as the morning blossom begins to wilt, the bright petal’s edges curl and brown. Of course, there can be nothing so sweet without its tiny stings. Should we complain because roses have thorns, or rejoice that thorns have roses?
“Sure honey, whatever you say. You still need cash.”