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Authors: Claudia Casper

The Mercy Journals

BOOK: The Mercy Journals
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THE MERCY JOURNALS

Copyright © 2016 by Claudia Casper

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any part by any means—graphic, electronic, or mechanical—without the prior written permission of the publisher, except by a reviewer, who may use brief excerpts in a review, or in the case of photocopying in Canada, a license from Access Copyright.

ARSENAL PULP PRESS

Suite 202 – 211 East Georgia St.

Vancouver, BC V6A 1Z6

Canada

arsenalpulp.com

The publisher gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council for its publishing program, and the Government of Canada (through the Canada Book Fund) and the Government of British Columbia (through the Book Publishing Tax Credit Program) for its publishing activities.

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to persons either living or deceased is purely coincidental.

Illustrations by Adam Meuse

Cover and text design by Oliver McPartlin

Edited by Susan Safyan

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Casper, Claudia, 1957-, author
The Mercy journals / Claudia Casper.
Issued in print and electronic formats.
ISBN 978-1-55152-634-8 (html)
I. Title.
PS8555.A778M47 2016
C813’.54
C2015-908284-6
 
 

C2015-908285-4

To James Griffin, the love of my life

Contents

Journal One

March 9, 2047
March 10
March 11
March 12
March 13
March 14
March 17
March 22
March 23
March 24
March 25
March 26
March 27
March 27
March 28
March 29
March 30
March 31
April 1
April 2
April 3
April 4
April 5
April 6
April 7
April 8
April 9
April 10
April 11

Journal Two

Late April, 2047

Log of Deaths: Canton Number Three, Cascadia, October 27, 2054

Acknowledgements

On October 15, 2072, two Moleskine journals were found wrapped in shredded plastic inside a yellow dry box in a clearing on the east coast of Vancouver Island near Desolation Sound. They were watermarked, mildewed, and ragged but legible, though the script was wildly erratic. Human remains of an adult male were unearthed nearby along with a shovel and a 9mm pistol. Also found with the human remains were those of a cougar. The journals are reproduced in their entirety here, with only minor copy-editing changes for ease of reading.

JOURNAL ONE

March 9, 2047 |

My name is Allen Levy Quincy. Age 58. Born May 6, 1989. Resident of Canton Number 3, formerly Seattle, Administrative Department of Cascadia.

This document, which may replace any will and testament I have made in the past, is the only intentional act of memory I have committed since the year 2029. I do not write because I am ill or because I leave much behind. I own a hot plate, three goldfish, my mobile, my Callebaut light, my Beretta M9, the furniture in this apartment, and a small library of eleven books.

March 10 |

I sit at my kitchenette island in this quasi-medieval, wired-by-ration, post nation-state world, my Beretta on my left, bottle of R & R whiskey on my right, speaking to the transcription program on my mobile.

I was sober for so long. Eighteen years. I was sober through what seems to have been the worst of the die-off. Three and a half to four billion people, dead of starvation, thirst, illness, and war, all because of a change in the weather. The military called it a “threat multiplier.”

You break it, you own it—the old shopkeeper’s rule. We broke our planet, so now we owned it, but the manual was only half written and way too complicated for anyone to understand. The winds, the floods, the droughts, the fires, the rising oceans, food shortages, new viruses, tanking economies, shrinking resources, wars, genocide—each problem spawned a hundred new ones. We finally managed to get an international agreement with stringent carbon emissions rules and a coordinated plan to implement carbon capture technologies, but right from the beginning the technologies either weren’t effective enough or caused new problems, each of which led to a network of others. Within a year, the signatories to the agreement, already under intense economic and political pressure, were disputing who was following the rules, who wasn’t, and who had the ultimate authority to determine non-compliance and enforcement.

Despite disagreements, the international body made headway controlling the big things—coal generators, fossil fuel extraction, airplane emissions, reforestation, ocean
acidification—but the small things got away from them—plankton, bacteria, viruses, soil nutrients, minute bio-chemical processes in the food chain. Banks and insurance companies failed almost daily, countries went bankrupt, treaties and trade agreements broke down, refugees flooded borders, war and genocide increased. Violent conflict broke out inside borders, yet most military forces refused to kill civilians. Nation-states collapsed almost as fast as species became extinct. Eventually the international agreement on climate change collapsed completely, and the superpowers retreated behind their borders and bunkered down. The situation was way past ten fingers, eleven holes; it was the chaos that ensues after people miss three meals and realize there’s no promise of a meal in the future.

BOOK: The Mercy Journals
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