Trapping Notes. Part Three.

Daniel Xonedu.  71.206.373.672. 

The Global Record.        Friday, October 9, 2128

 desert war

 First credible chills of the season to be felt on the skittish breeze. I have been out and about to the river with Giles, casting some lines. The reports from the Saharan front, the apparently infinite ferocity of the kamikaze teams hurling themselves like moronic lemmings across the desert, have infected our jaunts.

The isolation of our river bank has been invaded, once more, by the threat of a war. We make our vows as we lumber through wilting pastures that, since we are old men, we must enjoy the time we have left before the slumber takes us. We must leave behind the upheavals of the world.

But this war, indeed all the wars that ever have been, are like sharp and spiteful pebbles that have wormed their ways to lodge in the sole of our shoes.


The Masters Of The Jihad have kept their promise. They have dispatched high level envoys to neutral territory on the Aran Islands to discuss mutual interests in the Fission Facilities. The Guardians of The Committee, however, saw fit to respond with low-level bureaucrats; toothless, clawless eunuchs, their every movement controlled by their superiors.

How can one expect to slap a neighbour so rudely and then to sit down and debate shared hedging?


I stare out over the flashing river, waiting for a fish to bite. I seek to train my ears to listen only to the raw empty silences of the spaces around me. I choose to attend for the far cry of the eagle, or the sough of the Hare. I close my eyes and concentrate on the air caressing the hollows of my cheeks, or playing against the thin skin of my eyes.

But yet the image of carnage returns.


The men and women, children really, whose bodies I have tried in vain to hold together, like big bloody jigsaw puzzles, while I waited for medical teams to land out of darkened skies. More children in sterile suits who will lift the sopping pieces out of my arms. Others who will pronounce them as dead.




There are so very many of us. My great-grandfather would have gasped in disbelief at the vast numbers of us that swarm across the crust of the earth. Like as many maggots over a haunch of meat. Endless millions and billions of beating hearts.

Perhaps, after all, it’s not natural.


Giles informed me yesterday of an extraordinary communication that he happened upon while perusing the web. I laughed aloud when at first he told me and refused to believe him. Last evening, however, I did a bit of delving myself, and, to my surprise, my neighbour was correct! Recently, medical personnel have reported to the Central Therapeutic Authority in Helsinki of a strange medical phenomena that has begun to turn up in surgeries across the globe. What is quite extraordinary, in this age when we have grown accustomed to unusual plagues, is that exactly the same symptoms are replicating themselves instantly in places as far asunder as the Americas, New Zealand and Japan.

The condition afflicts exclusively the male, and in the sincere hope that you are not presently at table, I shall briefly describe it. The patients, poor chaps, report blood-loss through the aperture of the penis, then the gradual shrinking of that member back into the body over the course of four days, whereupon the bleeding ceases.  Thereafter the penis regenerates to its normal dimensions, again over the course of another four days. The patient then reports himself to be perfectly well on a physical level, though, naturally, there is significant psychological malaise.


Physicians have been quite unable to explain what could possibly be causing this pathology. The first reported incident was logged to the Central Therapeutic Bureau on Friday September 18th. The Guardians of The Committee have not as yet issued any statement. We must wait to do as we’re told.

Once again, I find reason to be consoled by my elder years. .


Daniel Xonedu. 71.206.373.672

Retired Colonel of the Northern Armies

Retired Professor of Divinities, Princeton University


Generally just Being. Nothing in particular, no claims to fame. I like gardening and the sea, nature, art in all forms from poetry to films and everything in between, and being in the company of my family.

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