There is Something Rotten

Image copyright: Amy Reese

Image copyright: Amy Reese

We live here, they live there. They live there and we’ll keep them there. Here is for us, only us. There is for them.

They wish to be here. Of course they do; here the land is fertile, the climate generous. There it is not so. There are plagues, there is war, there is where they must be.

They wish to be here. Of course they do. But we will put up fences, build walls, dig ditches. Razor wire. At the gates we will have guards, guards with hard hearts.

They will not be allowed to enter. Not without money.

Written for Rochelle’s weekly 100 word challenge.

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30 Responses to There is Something Rotten

  1. Martin Flux says:

    I suspect you wrote this piece as a somber reflection of the current situation (mainly) in Europe. But because of the use of there I couldn’t help but read it as a political satire – so much so that an image of Hitler giving a speech flashed through my mind. And that – for me anyway – evokes a powerful (albeit perhaps unintended) message.

  2. rgayer55 says:

    I can’t wait for the musical, THERE. Sort of a mixture of Hair and Les Miserables except for livelier numbers and sloppily performed dance routines.

  3. Loved this piece, Patrick. I was reminded of the Great Wall of China. All the Mongols had to do was bribe the guards at the gates. Well done. 😀 — Suzanne

  4. That last line..perfect!

  5. The “theres” worked well for me, perhaps because you’d already changed the format. Very poignant piece, this.

  6. Amy Reese says:

    It’s sad it’s such a relevant piece. I wish it weren’t as in I wish this wasn’t true. Very well done, Patrick. I think it would go over well as a spoken piece, too.

  7. Alice Audrey says:

    Maybe we should send some seeds there.

    Great story. Come see mine here.

  8. Dear Patrick,

    The rhythm is well done and the message reads loud and clear. Not sure about ‘there’. It seems to be quite deliberate and it works for me. There’s us and there’s them. Well done with an acerbic edge.



  9. First of all… living close to the Kingdom of Denmark… (a Queendom actually today)… I see those barbed wires… and today when they have a new law that they should confiscate the gold of refugees… there is something rotten… in many places.

  10. gahlearner says:

    Last line is a killer. I don’t think there are too many theres, they build the fence. But what waitingforaname said sounds good. More paragraph breaks would emphasize the separation.
    It’s a great piece though, very poignant.

  11. lillian says:

    I do agree about the over use of “there.” That said, you’ve captured the us-them mentality and stubbornness of those who would shut out humanity. Sad piece. Sad days.

  12. I’m torn on this one. I like the simplicity and repetition, but as I read the “There it is not so…” line, it struck me that you may be overusing “there.” I understand why, though, and wonder if maybe a change in format – more paragraph breaks – would give each “There” more emphasis and a greater overall impact. Yeah, I’m thinking more paragraph breaks would really strengthen this piece, especially since you are trying to make a distinction between Here and There.

    Of course, this is just my opinion, which you can take or leave as you see fit. It’s your story, not mine! 🙂

    • I’ve been thinking about this and trying to understand why I wrote as I did. And then I recall that it’s really a performance piece – meant to be read out aloud. So trying to bridge the gap between your suggestions and my original intention, I’ve italicised the ‘there’s but not changed the paragraphing.
      Yours was an interesting comment and gave me real food for thought, so thank you for that.

  13. ansumani says:

    This piece captures what’s at the heart of the the immigration debate. Good one.

  14. Historically that’s been one of mankind’s favorite tactics

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