Copyright © 2010 -2016 Jess Mowry
PRINT ISBN-10: 0-9980767-9-1
PRINT ISBN-13: 978-0-9980767-9-9
EBOOK ISBN-10: 0-9977379-0-5
EBOOK ISBN-13: 978-0-9977379-0-5
When All Goes Bright by Jess Mowry: all rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work by any means, except short excerpts for use in reviews. The Kindle edition, to date, is the only legally authorized ebook or web-accessible edition of this work. If you find this book being offered anywhere else, either as a download or to be read online, it is there without the author's permission and in violation of copyright law.
When All Goes Bright
Not quite in the center of Africa lies a tiny land called Kiwanja whose people have lived in undisturbed peace for many thousands of years. Though the British once colonized this land, it was never considered valuable enough to be brought into the 20th century, and was granted its independence after World War One. But times have changed in the outside world: satellites spy on everyone because anything that isn't possessed is a threat to those who don't posses it. But one thing that hasn't changed is war.
Thirteen-year-old Dakota is the son of Nathi, a Kiwanjian bush pilot who flys an ancient C-47. Dakota himself is skilled in take-offs and landings from dirt airstrips in the dead of night, skimming hilltops to avoid radar, and dodging enemy aircraft. Dakota has only known war in his life; war in which children kill other children commanded by adult "generals."
One side wants to rule the land and supposedly bring it into the future, the other claims to be fighting for freedom and the traditional way of life, but both bring only terror and death to the innocent people caught in the middle.
Who started this war, and why? Dakota doesn't know. He packs an AK-47 and, with his father, smuggles weapons by air to the freedom fighters.
Meanwhile, in the United States, Nicole Neale, a divorced single-parent with an almost-thirteen-year-old son named Zack, fights a civilized kind of war to keep her job with a small corporation that manufactures many things from boys' action-figures to military uniforms... though much of the work is done by children in dirty, third-world sweatshops.
Except for encounters with road-rage on her daily commute, Nicole's enemies usually aren't violent, but they still lay mines in her road to success.
Will winning her war in boardrooms save her son from what seems like enslavement to television video games, empty material values, the lure of money, and possibly drugs?
And, why should her company, subsidized by the U.S. Government, have any interest in Kiwanja and want to send her there?
When All Goes Bright
It could have been called a not-quite land.
It was not quite in the center of Africa, though far enough south so it wasn’t steamy, and yet it was not quite a veldt. Although it was tiny in terms of a nation its borders had never been quite defined – some said here at this river, others said there at those hills -- for its people knew when enough was sufficient, and when more than they needed was too much to have.
The not-quite land wasn’t much of a prize when the Europeans came to steal. It was too far away from a river or coast to be a convenient source of slaves -- who inconveniently tended to die if marched for hundreds of miles in chains -- and it didn’t have anything valuable, such as diamonds, gold, or oil reserves.
Since the land contained no treasures and its people couldn’t be profitably used, it was merely taken because it was there and anything that wasn’t possessed was a threat to those who didn’t posses it.
Some said the French had first stolen this land, but were not quite sure what to do with it. Then, as a sort of colonial joke, they had bargained it off to the British for someone else’s purloined home.
The British loved to colonize -- at least they did at the time -- because even possessing a land of no value meant one less threat to their empire.
It was rather like moving into a house with a family who already lived in the attic, and of never taking the trouble to go up and make their acquaintance. Whoever they were they caused no disturbance and never complained if the roof might have leaked. And while it was true they didn’t pay rent, they never asked for anything, like running water, electric lights, or telephones to call their friends, so they weren’t a bother to keep.
One might have imagined a retired British Major reading his paper in robe and slippers and hearing something go bump in the night. He might pause for a moment, puffing his pipe, and wonder about those people up there, but perhaps it was better to just let them be. It was, after all, a tiny place and couldn’t be used for anything useful.
One day the Major passed away and left the house to his children. He hadn’t done much to keep it up, and repairs would have been quite expensive. Besides, there was nothing of value inside and the neighborhood wasn’t desirable. No one else wanted the useless house, so it was returned to its free-living tenants.
So the not-quite land was forgotten again, and decades passed away in peace while the rest of the world made various wars that came in many sizes. But, far away was a powerful land that still believed that what wasn’t possessed was a threat to those who didn’t possess it. Worse, its people had never been taught to be satisfied with what was sufficient. They were only five percent of the world, yet they gobbled up twenty-five percent of all the world possessed. The purpose of power was power (they said) and the more you possessed the more you should want because that was the natural order of things in the way their children were taught.
The house of Earth could not be enlarged, but its wealthy children demanded more room, or at least more possessions to put in their rooms, because that was the natural order of things in the way they had always been taught.
So, they started to think of remodeling, and so began to measure their house to capitalize on its limited space and demand that everyone pay rent.