The Fear of Monkeys - The Best E-Zine on the Web for Politically Conscious WritingThe Dusky Leaf-Monkey - Issue Four
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The Dusky Leaf-monkey, photo from Christian Artuso

Dusky Leaf Monkey
The average body mass for an adult male dusky leaf-monkey is around 8.30 kilograms, and for the female it is around 6.5 kilograms. The dusky leaf-monkey lives in the countries of Burma, Malaysia and Thailand. They prefers to live in closed primary forests, but are also found in old-growth secondary forests, plantation forests, and urban forests. They spend most of their time in the upper canopy levels of the forest, where they consume leaves, although they will also consume fruit and flowers. Social play in the dusky leaf-monkey includes wrestling, sham-biting, jumping on or over, chasing, fleeing, and tail pulling.




Over Amber Waves of Grain


Holly Day

      This is how it started.

      Two young physics students dressed in long white lab coats and very adult-looking haircuts were running down a long hallway, towards the door that led to the conference room at the very end. The one named Silas waved his arms frantically as he argued with the one named Phil, saying, "We still have to come up with a name for the fucking thing! We can't just call it-"

      "It's a hydrogen bomb," finished Phil, jaw set purposefully, stubbornly. "There really isn't any other name for it."

      "But they already have one of those!" Silas tended to speak with exclamation points no matter what the topic was, so perhaps here, there should be two, like this: "But they already have one of those!!"

      "Does their bomb have hydrogen inside of it?" asked Phil rhetorically and angrily. "If you open up the H-bomb, will a bunch of tiny hydrogen molecules fly out of it like butterflies? They're just going to have to rename their nasty little EasyBake Oven, because that's what would happen if you opened ours."

      Silas paused for breath, hand on the doorknob, because they were finally at the end of the hall and outside the door marked "Meeting Room A2." "Please don't mention hydrogen molecules and butterflies to the grant committee. Promise me." He had an even more panicked look than usual on his face.

      "Move," said Phil, and pushed the door open. Just behind the door was a small, square room, and in the room was a long wooden table. Six very stern-looking people were seated around the table, their costumes of suits and glasses so completely uniform that it was hard to tell who was man and who was woman. One of them, a man, got up and reached out to Phil and Silas.

      "My favorite students," said the man, Dr. Richards of the Physics Department. He laughed nervously. Normally, he spent this time of day in a lab coat as well. "Sit down, Silas, Phil. Tell us your something wonderful."

      Perhaps it was the simplicity of the weapon that made it everyone's number one let's-blow-something-up-with-this piece of equipment. Besides, if you looked at it one way, it wasn't really a weapon. The potential for such amazing, speculative things as terraforming other planets and solving all sorts of the Earth's own problems were in that bomb, that wonderful hydrogen bomb. In fact, the scientific community was so enamored with Dr. Richard's (yes, poor Phil and Silas got none of the credit, but that's how it goes in college) that they renamed the existing hydrogen bomb The Big One.

      The basic principle was this: Say you drop a hydrogen bomb on some poor, unsuspecting desert country, or even a green one. Sure, the target would be completely obliterated from the explosion resulting from hydrogen and oxygen bonding on a massive scale, but the aftermath would be water! No radioactive wastelands that needed to be avoided for hundreds, if not thousands, of years-just pure, clean water, as clean as if it'd bubbled up from the Earth itself.

      It was hard to not like this bomb. Even people who didn't like bombs jumped on the bandwagon to eliminate antiquated nuclear missile projects and instead dedicate the country's ridiculously huge military budget to perfecting the new-and-improved Hydrogen Bomb.

      Ah, perfection.

      "I think-here!" Silas jabbed his finger excitedly at the scrap of paper wilting in his hand. "I've got it! Man, were we so off!"

      "Obviously," grumbled Phil. He peered to look over Silas's shoulder at the scrap of paper, a scrap that had been ripped out of a notebook that was full of similar formulaic drawings and schematics. "Oh, yes," he said after a moment. "Yep, that would have been it."

      "I suppose it'll all fall on Dr. Richard's head, though, right?" Silas grinned. "That'll teach the fucker, stealing from a couple of grad students."

      "No, it won't," Phil gently corrected. He was a much more gentle person to converse with these days. "Besides, it doesn't really matter, does it? What's done is done, and there's no reason to waste time pointing fingers are people who are probably already dead."

      Silas scowled angrily. "We're going to get out of this, you know," he said, very authoritatively. "This isn't it. But I'll tell you what I don't need," he added angrily. "I don't need you to tell me that we're done, that this is the end, that I-we-might at well give up. No sir," he muttered, turning his gaze back to the paper in his hand. "Now that we know what went wrong, we've got to find a way to fix it."

      Phil rolled his eyes and shook his head, smiled, and laid back down on the pile of blankets that made up his bed. The floor was still mostly dry on this floor, but there wasn't any certainty that it would stay so for long. Outside, great, rolling waves of fresh water engulfed the rest of the city, peaks on a sea that stretched as far as the eye could see in every direction.

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