16 An "Unbridgeable Gap"Mature

Dave and Karen left the Church and got into Pastor Luzak's dark green hovercar that was parked out front. Then he drove them down the hill to the Motel, and told them to put on garments that were strong and rugged. 

Back in their Motel Room, Dave told Karen. "I think it'd be better if we don't show that photo to anyone else around here." 

"Good idea. People out here have very different attitudes toward sex and violence than we do." 

"Right. I can't believe that anybody would call a routine picture of a sexy dead cheerleader 'obscene'. It's saying, 'A cheerleader's hanged; all's right with the world'. There's nothing obscene about that." 

Karen said, "If the Pastor thinks that photo is obscene, I wonder what he'd say if I'd been hanged after one of those games when we cheerleaders go topless?" 

Dave grinned. "In the City Building, he'd be looking at a photo of you, being used as a model in a Meat Company's Ad; and he'd be right to call it sadistic. When sexy girls are the best thing on the menu, sadism is gonna be part of our culture." 

"Right." She agreed. "It's found in all our sports, recreation, entertainment and art." 

Then she said, "It's too bad that the High School L-1378-55 Team isn't scheduled to play any games out here. Not even fully clothed. Our cultures are just too different." 

Then she sighed. "Dave." She spoke with a sob in her voice. "We're never gonna see any of them again." 

"I know, and we're too far from the City Building to use our cell phones. Now we can't even write to them."

She said, "Maybe we can." 


Karen perked up. "It might be possible to mail them letters. Let's ask Pastor Luzak. 

They went outside dressed in the rugged pants and shoes that they'd worn when they'd left the City Building. He also wore a short sleeved, light blue shirt, while she'd put on a yellow blouse. These were among the garments that had been contributed by members of the Congregation. 

Domnik and Henry Luzak wore blue jeans and light, pullover shirts, while Charlene was dressed in full length, tight slacks, and a very tight halter. The three were loading fishing poles and other gear into the trunk of the hovercar. 

Dave whispered to Karen. "See how she's dressed? Healthy meat to cook and eat." 
He and Karen came over to the three beside the vehicle. Charlene looked cautiously at the two Motel guests. 

Domnick said, "Well we're just about ready to go." 

Dave said, "Pastor. Karen and I were wondering. Is it possible for us to mail letters to people back inside the City Building?" 

The Pastor, his brother and his niece all looked puzzled. 

Henry said, "Mail letters? Are you permitted?" 

Karen said, "We weren't told that we couldn't. The only thing we were told we couldn't do is return to the City Building." 

"Right." Domnick said, "Of course you can send mail to any address you want. I'm just not sure that it would be possible for any mail you'd send, to actually be delivered inside the City 

Charlene asked, "An 'unbridgeable gap'? Are these two like Lazarus?" 

The Pastor was startled. "Lazarus?" 

Dave looked at Karen uneasily. 

She asked, "The man who Jesus raised from the dead?" 

Charlene said, "No the other one." 

Her father explained, "You know, the one who couldn't cross the unbridgeable gap between Heaven and Hell." 

Karen sighed. Then she spoke with annoyance. "Oh will you people stop it! The City Building isn't Hell and we aren't demons, and neither are any of the people who we want to write to! We are human beings, no different than you." 

Dave said, "There are differences, but they're just cultural." 

Karen went on. "If your ancestors hadn't sealed our ancestors inside the City Building, we'd be eating the kind of food that you eat out here, instead of each other!" 

"That's true." The Pastor said, "You are people just like us, and from what I've seen so far, you both seem to be good kids." 

Charlene asked, "Good kids? Uncle Domnick. They kill and eat people. I've seen the way they've been looking at me; like I'm a piece of meat!" 

"So what if we have?" Karen insisted, "That doesn't make us bad people!" 

"Charlene." Pastor Luzak said, "Since they've left the City Building, they haven't killed or eaten anyone; and Karen is right. If the people inside the City Building, were able to eat what we eat, they'd stop killing and eating each other." He asked Dave and Karen, "Am I right?" 

Dave told him, "Yes Pastor." 

Karen smirked at Charlene. "Except for special Holiday dinners, of course." 

The Pastor looked troubled. His niece and his brother looked even more troubled than he did. 

Then he said, "Of course." 

"Uncle Domnick?" 

Then they all got in the hovercar. Charlene made a point of sitting up front, beside Domnick, sitting as far as she could from Dave and Karen, who were in the back seat with her father. 

Then Domnick started up the vehicle, which lifted a half foot off the gravel paved parking lot, and skimmed above the narrow gravel roadway, going east through the woodland of tall trees with thick trunks, driving under the overhanging tree branches, passing the impenetrable undergrowth on both sides of the road. 

Henry spoke to Dave and Karen. "You've told the Pastor that you actually fight as Warriors, on a High School Combat Team?" 

Dave said, "Well I'm on the Team. Karen's a Cheerleader." 

She said, "But last year I also fought on the Warrior Girls Squad." 

The man asked, "That means you've both killed people, who were then eaten?" 

"Yes sir." Dave told him, "You see, every citizen is required by law to help add to the meat supply and help keep the population trimmed. When we take part in the Combat Games, we are fulfilling our responsibilities." 

Karen added, "Besides, no one is permitted to get a job, go on to college, vote in an election, get married or have children, or take on other adult responsibilities, until he or she has contributed in some way to the population trimming and meat harvest." 

Domnick asked, "Do both of you hear that? These two young people have accepted their responsibilities as citizens, in the society of which they are members. That means that when I say they're good kids, I am not wrong." 

The Pastor's niece looked back at Karen. "I hope you weren't looking at me when you said 'Meat Harvest'!"

Dave told her, "Inside the City Building that was all we had to eat Charlene." 

"Out here you don't," she told him. "and if you want to be accepted as members of our society, you never will!" 

Karen told her, "No problem." 

They drove on through the woods, for about a half hour, passing a few houses and about a half dozen cars along the way. 

Domnick told Dave and Karen, "It just isn't right, that you won't be able to send letters to your families and others who must be worried about you. You should be allowed to let them know you're all right. I wish I could get in touch with them, and let them know that things are okay with you. It's just wrong that you won't ever be allowed to return home." 

"Unfortunately," now Henry spoke. "that's the way things have to be, Dom. We can't allow the people inside the City Building to find out that life exists out here. If they do, then millions of them would come pouring out. There'd be no way we could stop them. We'd be overrun. The land would be totally devastated." 

"I know." Domnick said, "That still doesn't make it right." 

The End

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