The Home Remedy – fiction by Joe Emersberger

At sixteen, Abdias had already established himself as Walkerville’s most sought after psychologist. Of course, he couldn’t legally call himself one. His embittered rivals preferred terms like “witch doctor,” “charlatan,” and “fraud” among others that were more hateful.

One afternoon, a balding overweight man of forty paced in Abdias’ garage which served as a waiting room. Scott was oblivious to how he alarmed the other people by pacing and making angry faces.

An old black man (Abdias’ dad) eventually led Scott to the dining room inside the house. Abdias was sitting at the table wearing a T shirt and jeans. Scott had expected to see a very thin bookish kid. Instead, the young man before him was very large and muscular.

“Have a seat Scott,” said Abdias as if they had already met.

Scott’s parents had forced him into this appointment by threatening to kick him out of the house. If that was not humiliating enough, he was now face to face with a teenage “success” (and a son of Haitian refugees no less) while he, a forty year old white guy with a degree in economics, was a “failure”.

“Look, no offence,” said Scott as he took a seat “but unless you have a job for me this is a complete waste of time and money.”

“I don’t charge for this,” corrected Abdias. “People just pay what they think is fair and can afford.”

Scott looked pleasantly surprised for a moment but then sighed wearily and explained his problem.

Since finishing university, Scott had constantly been working hard yet moving backwards rather than forwards. His greatest workplace success was with an insurance company where he held on to an entry level clerical job for several years. Employers and co-workers found him weird and unpleasant. The way he talked to himself and made angry faces for no apparent reason was often described as “creepy”. The quality of his work, despite his effort, was not exceptional. He had trouble concentrating, so he was always the first targeted for dismissal. As he got older, he was treated even more ruthlessly. He was now working part time as a janitor in a factory.

He was too beaten down to feel humiliated by the work. In fact, he found it somewhat therapeutic. It was clear what was expected of him, and there were hardly ever people around to notice or care about his eccentricities. Unfortunately, Scott had just been threatened with dismissal again. The problem was that he had been asked to fill out a checklist at the end of his shift and he couldn’t do it. He had lost the ability to write.

“I can read just fine but I can’t write,” he explained to Abdias. “I noticed the first time I tried to fill out that goddamn checklist. I have a degree in economics but I can’t write. I can’t even write my name anymore.” Read the rest of this entry »

Wovokia – fiction by Joe Emersberger

Jack Wilson, a reporter for the Scottish edition of the Daily Telegraph, uncovered opinion polls that found 60% of US citizens (40% of Canadians) did not know that Wovokia was an independent country or that the US and Canada had made traveling to Wovokia illegal. (Wovokia had previously been known as the Canadian province of British Columbia, and the US states of Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Arizona.) These polls were done fifteen years after Wovokia declared its independence. The polls also showed that most people who did know about Wovokia’s independence did not consider it a matter of great concern.

Jack was surprised that most US officials would say nothing to him about Wovokia – even off the record. However, one official dared to claim that Wovokia’s independence had been granted because a massive influx of ethnic minorities made the region ungovernable. The US, like a major corporation, had simply decided to downsize – to stop the drain on its resources. Jack was no economist but knew the natural and industrial wealth of Wovokia made this claim more laughable than any wild conspiracy theory.

The more Jack researched, the more he gasped at how successfully the government and media had buried the loss of huge swaths of territory, but Wovokians had also contributed to this success by keeping a low profile internationally. That had changed very recently. Wovokia was now clashing with the USA frequently at the UN. Hence the Daily Telegraph’s sudden interest. Read the rest of this entry »

Dave the Prophet – fiction by Joe Emersberger

Love and politics and deportation in Canada.

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The Publisher – fiction by Joe Emersberger

A Canadian newspaper publisher confronts his complicity in the Canadian, US and corporate backed coup and mass murder in Haiti. 

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