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Power in Numbers

Summertime, and the Killin' is Easy

By Gerard DiLeoPublished 28 days ago 3 min read
The author, on the rocks, focusing his thoughts. Stonehenge, 1976.

The human brain can perform the equivalent of a billion-billion mental operations per second, wielding its 20 watts of power.

Back in the day, when the census had swelled to over 40,000 souls, our theocracy here had thrived.

It was the time we had built the amphitheater, a massive concavity in the ground large enough to accommodate all of our tens of thousands. It was to be used just once a year, at the summer solstice, during which time the townspeople would pray, en masse, to vanquish our enemies.

The power of prayer should never be underestimated.

But our amphitheater had sat unused for many generations because our populations couldn't fill it. We know, without filling it, ther just would be no point. A mind, even an en masse mind in prayer, is a terrible thing to waste.

The curve of the amphitheater depression and the slope of the parabolic seating was just so, to focus our energies--again--just so. On June 20 of this year, the summer solstice, when we had finally reached our critical mass of 40,000+ again, we could use its geometry again, finally.

It was a hot and humid day. A good day for vanquishing enemies. We were ready. Our enemies lay 830 miles to the northwest in their land of Nodowain.

The Nodowain numbered 100,000, so we knew what we were launching at them had better work, or we'd be waiting for the onslaught from their revenging hordes. They had better weapons. Sharper weapons. More lethal weapons. And they were only a two-weeks' forced march away.

But we hated them more than they hated us. Hate takes a lot of brain watts, and we had the watts. Still, with their militery superiority, the Nodowainese did not fear us. Not at all.

After all, who did we think we were?

Ah, but that was it, wasn't it? Indeed! We were the Sodainese, and we were the chosen people. As it is written.

Thus, on the longest day of the year we filled our amphitheater, as is written in our sacred text, the Sodainei E'spront. Our leaders rallied us with those holy words, without even raising their voices, given the perfect acoustics.

"To the northwest, Nodowain lies in wait," said the Prefect. "They ready their caravans of destruction. They sharpen their impaling instruments. They keep their pent projectiles afire, ready for discharge into our fair land. But they are overconfident. And we laugh at them. For we know who we think we are!"

The cheer went up from our 2,000-score hive-mind collective. A million watts of thermogenic summation, so generated by ferocious thought, collected over 360 degrees, perfectly focused to the northwest by collimating it and amplifying it all parabolically.

The countdown began.

At T-zero, we all clenched our teeth and thought as vehemently as we could: "Death to Nodowain! Death to the Nodowainese! Immolation!"

Our mentation focused exponentially, and our sortie of ill-thought launched through the air to its logical conclusion. In just a moment, smug Nodowain lay in ruins, a cinder, smoldering, its people gossamer carbon husks.

"That's who we think we are," we thought, a final parting sentiment. Nay, a prayer.

And so it came to be that both Nodowain and we Sodain perished that day: the Nodowainese from the exothermic force from our own Sodainese minds in unified sentiment, and we Sodainese from having no more watts for our minds, even before the northwest winds carrying the scent of charred flesh could reach us.

And so it was written. We should have read the entire Sodainei E'spront all the way to its final holy page, but religious fanatics seldom do that.


About the Creator

Gerard DiLeo

Retired, not tired. In Life Phase II: Living and writing from a decommissioned church in Hull, MA. (Phase I was New Orleans and everything that entails. Hippocampus, behave!

[email protected]

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Comments (4)

  • Novel Allen22 days ago

    I am so guilty of not reading instructions, i better start now. The fine print matters if one is to stay alive. Fascinating and funny all at once.

  • Well-wrought! The greatest tyrant always has been and always will be the mob, the final ochlocratic denouement. Truly... the nadir.

  • Dawnxisoul393art28 days ago

    A gripping and impactful piece of writing. Thank you very much for sharing! Have a nice day!

  • John Cox28 days ago

    Sowhoese? Where on earth do you get your ideas? Clever and silly while containing just enough truth to be worrying.

Gerard DiLeoWritten by Gerard DiLeo

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