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Jay Cliff

“It could be,” he said “that all things are sacred. Every moment. Every breath. Every: person, bird, bug, cat, pig, flower, mushroom; all of it!—what if it’s all beautiful? What if it’s all sacred? And this world, that we are killing, is a slow hanging of the self? The stranglehold on mother nature is suicide. It’s our slow suicide. How could it be anything else?? You see it? Don’t you see it?? We are not separate from it, but a part of it.”

His cat—who was lying on his bed, licking herself—looked up and blinked at him for a moment.

“I knew you’d understand. I could live as minimally as someone could, and it wouldn’t do shit. The only way to save this world is to do it together. We are not powerful enough alone. Hell, we probably aren’t powerful enough together. But it’s the only chance we have. We all have to change our path. We can do it, can’t we, Thea?”

He was pacing the room, his arms flailing about, and his eyes were opened a little wider than normal. He was manic. And he was practicing for a bigger audience, that he hoped to have some day.

“If no one else is going to do anything, then I’ll do it. I’ll bring us together. I’ll save this planet. What choice do I have, Thea?? It’s either that, or watch the world slowly sip on the poison of modern arrogance! I’ll do it! I Promise you!”

She was back to licking herself, and didn’t look up this time.

Jay Cliff was a 14 year old American.

“These big corporations, and their media, don't give a shit about this planet. It’s always up to the current generation to fix the mess left behind by the last one; and look at how bad this mess is this time! ‘Mother Nature’s Vengeance’ that’s the next era we are about to enter. She’ll tip the scales. She’ll balance it all out. That’s what she does. But it won’t be the rich, or their businesses, that suffer; it’ll be the poor and defenseless that do.”

There was a poster of a waterfall through the lens of psychedelics on his wall. A big bookshelf sat below the poster. He had a small bed and one window; which a ray of sunlight shone through, and hit the middle of the room.

Jay was on track to graduate high school next year. It was assumed that he would be able to get into any college he wanted to after that. He didn’t know if there was enough time for college now, though. He knew that the world had to be saved right now. Plans of gaining a following had been running around his head for the last two years.

Three years ago, in the city of San Francisco, an earthquake—followed by a tsunami, took the lives of 800,000 people. Jay’s dad was one of them.

The disaster in San Francisco was just one of the many that hit the west coast.

“No one seems to care! They tell us that they can just relocate us, but that is only after an area has been devastated. It’s backwards! They say that it is a small price to pay for the comforts our technology brings us. They tell us that if we buy this car instead, that it’ll make a difference. But it doesn’t! It just gets worse! We have to do something right now, Thea! You and me! How do we gain a following? Social media hasn’t been great to us. And no one locally takes me seriously at my age. Mom and Chris don’t really get it, either. So, we need to get people to change how they live. How can we do that in America?”

The cat got up and stretched, before jumping off of his bed. She rubbed her head against his leg, before heading to her water bowl.

“You’re right, Thea! Honey! We use honey to attract people. I’m sure a good plan, and some genuine honesty and kindness, will work! It has to be clearly the opposite of what we oppose. They stand for money, lies, poison, control, and death. We’ll stand for honesty, truth, kindness, love and life! We’ll put that on some posters and make a few shirts, and I bet we'll get a few people at our next meeting.”

He sat down at his desk and began to type furiously at his laptop; his eyes, inches away from the screen.

“Alright, now we need to figure out how we get everyone to change how they live . . .

So, how do we do that? You’d think telling them that we are committing a slow suicide would be enough . . . but it doesn’t seem to be changing anything. We need a new narrative. And how are we going to do this without money?”

There was a knock on the door.

“Jay, dinner is in 5 minutes. It’s vegan Mac and Cheese. Make sure to wash your hands.”

“Sure, mom.

“Every time I sit down to write this manifesto, I get interrupted by some damn ritual of life. There’s no peace here, Thea. We need a new headquarters. I am hungry as hell, though. Saving the world is stressful sometimes.


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