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A Green Umbrella    (Continued)

Page 2 of 23

A crazy bumpkin named Nerosis had used the nuclear plant to prove he was like a god – God could take people in and out of the world and God decided who would evolve, the way Nerosis had, with invisible energy called radiation that had killed and mutated his fellow beings. He was one of those guys who had a brain too big for a heart to support, who thought that just because he could fit shiny things together and make them go “boom,” it meant he was entitled to the world. He blew up the plant with a new little invention he had built, a nuclear gun, and wanted to repeat his attack around the world. Before anyone knew it, there was a scared country at the mercy of a madman and no one could move fast enough to stop it; a cute trick that ­history is too fond of.

Well, we kids grew bigger and so did the war. It rolled across the ­continents and snagged each of the countries in their sleep, so that the right before everyone shook their heads at the paper's growing recruit list, and the morning after, they scanned in bewilderment as their partners, kids, and siblings suddenly showed up in it.

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