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The Ecosystem Factory

p={color:#000;}. The Ecosystem Factory

By Sharon Forester

Copyright 2016 Sharon Forester

Shakespir Edition

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

One Day

Ever since I was little, I wanted to go to an island called Accident so I could see The Ecosystem Factory with my own eyes. The Ecosystem Factory is this weird, transparent, colorful and deformed building where these people create plant life, like grass, flowers and trees, and they release it into the world to keep it alive. It has always been my dream to have the experience of witnessing that building in work right in front of me.

Today, I was going to be fulfilling that dream of mine. At this moment, I was in a plane with my parents and my best friend Joseph. We were headed straight to the island of Accident from our home island called Beaverlick. The name was brought up because the island was overpopulated with beavers. My parents and I were excited about this trip, but Joseph was not so excited. He always said that Accident was different from Beaverlick. He was already missing that tropical island, even though we left not too long ago. This was a vacation, though, so he shouldn’t have been so sour about coming if he wanted to come with us.

I looked at Joseph, who was staring out the window. “Joseph, are you all right?”

“I want to go back to Beaverlick.” He sounded annoyed.

I touched his shoulder. “Joseph, it’s going to be OK. You said you were okay with coming when I asked you. We get to see The Ecosystem Factory. That place is really interesting. We don’t have anything interesting back at home.”

He looked at me. “Yeah.” He paused for a moment. “I guess you’re right. I mean, we’re staying in Accident for only two weeks and we don’t want to miss a chance like this to see The Ecosystem Factory and any other good stuff Accident has to offer. Hopefully not actual accidents.”

“Right.” I smiled at my best friend and brought him comfort by giving him a big hug. “I think we’re going to be aliens to the people in Accident since we come from a place with a stupid name like Beaverlick.”

“You’re right,” Joseph laughed. “I do wonder what Accident is like.”

After that, we remained staring out the window throughout the entire plane ride to Accident and awaited our arrival.

We all got off the longest plane ride ever once it was over. We took a moment to stretch before we left the airport. We were all so tired and hungry. I looked around Accident and saw many colorful buildings surrounded by a jungle and thousands of people walking around on the grass, sidewalks or dirt roads. All kinds of vehicles were storming through the streets whenever traffic quit holding everyone back. We stood on the sidewalk, waiting for a chance to start crossing the street. The street light took forever to turn red or green. Whenever we finally had the chance to cross the streets, we had to keep close to other people that were also crossing the streets because as soon as the road became empty, the vehicles would resume riding through the roads without stopping, and it was obvious they didn’t care who was in the way.

“OK, if we cross the street, are we going to make it safely to the other side?” Joseph asked, walking close to me as my parents started crossing the road speedily, determined to stay caught up to the other people that walked with us. “Want to hear a joke?”

I held his hand tightly in mine and pulled him with me to finish crossing the street. “Not now, Joseph, we have to keep up with Mom and Dad before we lose their trail. There are a lot of people here, and I heard a lot of bad things happen in Accident.”

“Okay, listen to this,” he said, ignoring what I had just said. “Why did the chicken cross the road?”

I rolled my eyes at the most burned joke in the world. I caught up to my parents, and Joseph and I followed closely behind them. We were trying to find a decent hotel we could all stay in for the next two weeks. I answered Joseph once I knew we could stay on my parents’ tails. “Why? To get to the other side?”

“No. He crossed the road to live in this crazy world!” He paused shortly. “And go to a weird place with a weird name like Accident to see The Ecosystem Factory, a weird building that makes what nature already creates for us.”

He was so silly. He always told me the same joke with a different answer each time. He said that he wanted to put these jokes into my everyday life, but I just never understood why. It was like the chicken in his joke kept spying on me and followed my every move. The way he would say the joke or phrase the joke was really funny, though. The stupidity of the joke itself was somehow funny too. When you are hanging out with the people you love, anything could be funny.

I laughed. “Oh, Joseph. You’re always telling me these kinds of jokes—everyday, Joseph. What is it with you?”

“You know it’s funny!”

“Are you ever going to tell me why you place these dumb jokes as an everyday-life thing?”

“Nope! Here’s another one—”

“Do you guys want to eat at The Green House Effect?” Dad asked, interrupting our conversation.

My parents had stopped by a restaurant called The Green House Effect. My best friend and I looked at each other.

“‘The Green House Effect?’ What’s with the name?” wondered Joseph, eyeing the restaurant suspiciously.

“Dunno. If it’s a restaurant, it has food. Let’s go eat,” I suggested.

Everyone nodded in agreement and then walked in the restaurant. The restaurant was a glass building, where the owners grew their crops on the ground inside. We all watched as the workers dressed in green grabbed fruits or veggies from the growing plants and trees, made salads with them and handed them out to the customers. We all fanned our faces because it was so hot in the place that we were burning up and started sweating. It was like they decided to grab the Sun and placed it inside the building. We found ourselves a table at the corner of the restaurant, and soon we were eating the surprisingly delicious food the place had to offer. They definitely knew how to grow their crops!

“I know you two like saying chicken jokes for fun every day,” said Mom as we ate. “But it gets annoying, and I don’t want to deal with that in our vacation.”

I chuckled at the face Joseph gave my mother for everything she just said. He had mocked her words with a talking hand. Then he said, “I’ll have you know that these jokes are awesome and they are my life!”

“Snails are my life,” said a little boy that stood beside our table wearing colorful clothes that gave us the impression he didn’t know what color to wear so he wore them all in one outfit, and he was holding a salad with live snails inside it that were feasting on the meal.

Joseph, my parents and I widened our eyes at this individual.

“Y-You eat snails?” I asked fearfully.

“All day, every day,” the child replied. I couldn’t tell whether he was kidding or not. “Don’t you?”

“No. Honestly, I think that’s really creepy.”

“Your loss, lady.”

Joseph tried to lighten the mood. “Hey, kid, want to hear a joke?”

I slapped my forehead with a tiny smile and chuckled to myself, what happened a moment ago forgotten. “Oh, boy.”

“OK,” The child said with interest.

“Why did the chicken cross the road?” Joseph asked.

“To get to the other side?” the boy replied questioningly. He was less interested now that he heard the question of the joke.

“No, he crossed the road to destroy The Ecosystem Factory for his own selfish reasons.” Joseph started laughing hard at his own joke like it was the funniest thing in the world.

The child took a whole minute to laugh and soon the laughter faded. It was clearly fake laughter. “That’s not funny. Go jump off a cliff.” He walked away.

I was smirking at Joseph when he looked at me with a smile. “That’s not funny.”

“Still is to me! That guy seems like a really nice kid.”

“Don’t let your jokes stretch too far, dude.”

“And don’t get too close to people here,” instructed my mother. “I have a strange feeling about this place.”

“Now, don’t be like that, darling,” soothed my father. “That’s only one weird little boy. It doesn’t mean everyone is like him just because we are visiting a foreign place.”

When we were done eating, we set off to find a good hotel to stay in. I wanted to do some research about The Ecosystem Factory before actually seeing them, so I couldn’t wait to get on a computer when we got there. This was going to be the best vacation ever!

The Next Day

It was early morning when I woke up from my deep sleep. I was excited about today because I was going to see The Ecosystem Factory! I got up from my bed and went to the computer room of the hotel to look up all the information the Internet had about The Ecosystem Factory. I was about to enter the computer room and occupy a computer when a female hotel employee with leaves tied to her back like a cape and a flower crown on her head stopped me.

“What’s the problem?” I asked the female employee.

“If you want to get to the flowered computers,” the employee replied, “first you must kill the weeds.”

“Kill the weeds? What are you talking about?”

The employee pointed to the computers, and I looked. The computers were tangled with vines, leaves and blossoming multicolored flowers. I saw the weeds step out in plain sight to guard the computers from being used. They grew red eyes and a mouth and roared angrily at me and the employee. The employee handed me a sword.

I looked at it. “What’s this for?”

“For killing the weeds, of course.”

“Why don’t you just give me a vinegar and salt spray bottle?”

“Not how we work. It doesn’t kill the weeds fast enough. Good luck.” The employee pushed me into the computer room and shut the door behind her, leaving me alone with the weeds.

I stood still. I was stunned. I was questioning everything that just happened in my head before I pulled myself together when all the weeds faced their attention to me and started growling at me. With all my might, I slashed at all of the weeds with the sword and watched them shriek with terror before they were chopped into pieces on the computer table. Then, I sat down in front of one of the computers and turned a computer on after I put the sword down. I went on the Internet and put the name “The Ecosystem Factory” on the search box and hit the ‘enter’ button.

“Hey, what are you doing?” came a whisper.

“Dang it!” I jumped, and then caught Joseph next to me, laughing his head off at my reaction. “Are you out of your mind? You scared me!”

“I’m sorry, I just wanted to know what kind of things you would be looking for about The Ecosystem Factory.”

I turned to look at the computer screen. “I just want to know whatever the Internet had to offer about The Ecosystem Factory before going out to see it.”

Joseph saw the sword. He then saw the chopped weeds on the table. “What just happened in here?”

“A hotel employee forced me to kill some deadly weeds with a sword in order to get to the computers.”

The employee tapped on the glass of the door, making Joseph and I look at her. Her muffled voice on the other side of the room said, “It was by accident.”

“What is she talking about?” Joseph was confused. “Does she mean it’s actually normal for Accident to put dangerous weeds in hotel computer rooms, or did she just accidently grow deadly plant life in here herself?”

“It doesn’t matter. She’s obviously whack. Let’s just go back to talking about The Ecosystem Factory on the computer,” I said.

“Right. So, what is there more to know about The Ecosystem Factory? It’s a huge colorful messed up building that makes plant life. That’s all there is.” He leaned over my shoulder to look at the computer screen. “They must have spent an awful lot of time building that thing, though, I’ll tell you that.”

I scrolled through the screen. “It says that here. It also says that they’ve spent 100 billion bucks building it, and it was first opened on Christmas fifty years ago. Not to mention it’s the tallest building in the world! We might find more information if we go there ourselves.”

“Interesting,” Joseph said, not so into the venture. “If you want to get into architecture or become a scientist. Why are you so interested in this?”

I shrugged. I honestly didn’t know. “You have to find something interesting in life. So far, Accident has been a fascinating place.”

I got up from my seat and went off to get breakfast in the breakfast area right after I shut off the computer. There, a bunch of people were serving themselves. My parents were two individuals in the bunch.

I sat down at a table next to my parents with my breakfast, and the breakfast wasn’t anything but fruits and veggies made into a salad like that weird restaurant we went to yesterday. It was a real meal of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast with butter.

Sitting beside me, Joseph spoke to me, “Hey, you! Why did the chicken cross the road?” I waited for him to answer his own never ending joke. He answered, “The chicken crossed the road because it wanted to go research The Ecosystem Factory after killing off weeds, then get breakfast because it was starving. The chicken’s a pig, having so much in its plate.”

I smirked and slapped his shoulder playfully. He just laughed.

We were all ready to go to The Ecosystem Factory. We were really excited about it. We all crossed the dangerous streets and walked on the sidewalks carefully as we headed to the building. We saw a lot of fascinating things on the way over. It was a long walk, but we managed to have a taxi escort us to the factory after a while. It was a bad idea, though, because we were stuck in traffic for hours and we pulled over at one point to continue walking. It felt like it seemed forever, but it wasn’t long before I was standing with my family in front of the actual Ecosystem Factory of Accident. I was so amazed!

“Wow, I have to admit that this factory looks a lot prettier in person,” Joseph murmured.

“I’m mesmerized by all the colors. Look at that!” I jumped in place with joy.

“I am not too fond of the surroundings, though,” said my mother.

Joseph and I caught Mom and Dad glancing around the place and we did the same thing. We noticed there was a group of people lined up in the grass with a leader. The wore flowers on their heads and vines tangled all over their bodies over their white exercising clothes.

“My yoga class, remember!” The male instructor wearing white gestured to a small flower between him and the yoga class he was teaching. “We love the flower. We breathe the flower. We must become the flower. Now, follow me and sprout your roots.” He laid down on the ground and curled up into a ball before he stretched out his arms and his legs in all directions, yelling. “Photosynthesis! Photosynthesis! Photosynthesis!”

His yoga class followed in perfect synchronization. “Photosynthesis! Photosynthesis! Photosynthesis!”

“Ugh,” Joseph scoffed. “This place is crawling with tree huggers.”

I looked around and noticed people wearing nature over their clothes crawling on the ground, reaching for random tree trunks and hugging them as they yelled out different things: “We must give fortunes to the trees!” “All hail the great soil!” “Fill us with your wisdom, Mother Nature!”

“Hello there.”

We all faced the boy with the multicolored outfit that we met in the restaurant yesterday. He was holding a small tank with snails inside.

“Hey, you’re that kid that hated my joke!” Joseph frowned.

“Because it was stupid.”

“What are you doing here?” I asked the kid.

“I am taking my snails out for a walk.”

“Before you eat them?”

“No. These are my pets. I don’t eat my pets.”

We were all silent for a moment. The kid started whispering to his snails and he pet their little heads.

“What’s your name?” I asked him, in attempt to make a nice conversation.

“The Snail Boy Dressed in Many Colors.”

“Catchy name,” Joseph said sarcastically.

“You people are not from Accident, are you? I can tell by the way you reacted to seeing in person The Ecosystem Factory, which keeps the entire Earth alive. What island are you fellows from?”

“Beaverlick,” answered my mother.

The kid snickered. “You spend time licking beavers? That’s…exotic. That’s stranger than me eating snails that aren’t my pets.”

“No!” Joseph raised his voice. “It’s called Beaverlick because beavers happen to be our sacred animal, so the island happens to be extremely overpopulated with beavers, just like Accident is overpopulated with nature-loving freaks.”

The kid just blinked. I was relieved the child did not become upset because Joseph was using a negative attitude in this conversation.

“Come on, guys, let’s go,” said my father.

That was a good idea, so we all walked away before things got ugly.

“See you beaver-lovers later!” The kid waved us good-bye.

We all went to The Ecosystem Factory. Upon entering the factory’s building for the first time, I didn’t realize how big the place actually was. I went up to the workers and couldn’t stop asking them questions. I asked questions, like why the building was made and how they came up with the idea and how they were able to produce such plant life. The employers answered all my questions while others got irritated with Joseph’s chicken jokes.

Something I never got about the chicken jokes Joseph strangled me with every day is that he always referred to me as the chicken in his jokes. His answers were always something I did, was doing, or was going to do. Like I said before, he related the answers to my every-day life. The only times he would say, “To get to the other side” is when I accomplished something, but they were small little things. I always asked him why he did this, but he would always tell me that one day I was going to figure it out for myself. It’s been years and I still don’t know what he means. Hopefully he tells me before either of us died. These lame jokes make Joseph who he is, so I didn’t get so annoyed when he told me them. It also somehow connected our friendship. He always told me them whenever he knew I was in a good mood. What I don’t understand is why he finds them so important that he has to relate them with everyday life.

My family and I spent the whole day inside The Ecosystem Factory, looking around and gathering information. We had forgotten to eat at one point during the day because we were having so much fun. It was sunset before we realized how hungry we actually were, so we set off from the factory to find a hot dog stand. Thankfully, there was one right outside it. When I took a bite of my hot dog, I noticed how dark the sky was getting. And it was getting darker by the minute.

Then Joseph told me, “You know, something’s going on, dude. I have a really strong feeling that something bad is going to happen.”

I looked around for any possible evidence, but the only evidence I saw that might have been a sign of badness was the darkening sky. “What makes you say that?”

Joseph pointed at the obviously dark sky. I couldn’t help but laugh. “Yeah, genius. Night time has come. That’s bad because our day just ended.” I suddenly found myself staring at the dark sky, getting deep in thought.

“Hey!” Joseph shook me.

I snapped out of my thoughts and looked at him.

“It’s just bad weather. Let’s go back to the hotel and call it a day.”

The Day After That

The storm lasted all night. Joseph was right; the darkening sky was definitely bad weather. As soon as it was the next day, the Sun was shining. I snuck out of the hotel with Joseph to find the biggest mountain just outside of Accident that was in sight of The Ecosystem Factory. The biggest mountain we found was called Big Butt Mountain. He and I admired all of Accident and The Ecosystem Factory while we could still witness it all in person. Since it was a weird, transparent, colorful and deformed building, we could see all the workers working inside the building, pulling in and out trees, plants and flowers of all kinds, and sending them off to be planted on the Earth to keep it bright and beautiful.

“Isn’t it beautiful here?” I grinned at Joseph.

“It certainly is,” he grinned back.

“The most beautiful thing in the world. Although, this mountain could use a better name.”

“Why? It’s a funny name. It’s got “butt” in it.”

“That’s exactly why.”

There was a small pause.

“Hey, you, listen to me. I want to tell you something.”

I looked at him.

“Why did the chicken cross the road?”

“Who knows!” I pushed Joseph playfully. “Don’t ruin the moment.”

Joseph stuck his tongue out at me. Soon he was tackling me to the floor and we wrestled each other playfully before we decided to sit up straight to continue observing The Ecosystem Factory work its magic.

But then something really bad happened.

We witnessed a bomb head straight for The Ecosystem Factory. It crashed right on top of it and destroyed it!

“What the heck?!” Joseph exclaimed.

A huge fire started. Smoke rose in the air. The building started collapsing piece by piece.

I fainted.

When I woke up, I was lying over Joseph’s shoulder like a sack as he carried me away. When I looked around, I noticed we were close to the hotel. I shook off of his grasp and ran for The Ecosystem Factory. Joseph knew what I wanted to do, so before I could think twice, he scooped me up bridal style and took me away.

“Joseph!” I screamed.

“There’s nothing you can do, dude.”

“Joseph! We have to do something! That factory is what keeps planet Earth alive!”

“But there’s nothing we can do.” He faced the direction of the factory. “The Ecosystem Factory is…gone.”

My eyes grew wide. I stared at the sky. I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to take revenge on whoever bombed the factory. If I could, I would bomb them myself. Okay, maybe that was a little exaggerated to think about, but I was very upset! I was so focused on the destruction of the factory that I could not remember how to operate my body. I was glad Joseph was carrying me away. I could do nothing but lay my head down and cry hard on his chest. I couldn’t believe a wonderful building like The Ecosystem Factory was suddenly gone. The pain was so big in my heart that I cried myself to sleep in his arms.

Another Day After That

The next day arrived. I was in bed at the hotel. My parents were off exploring the strange wonders of the hotel we were staying at. Joseph was beside me, but I didn’t even dare to look at him. I wouldn’t even look out the window. Watching The Ecosystem Factory fall was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. All of those people that lost all their loved ones in that tragedy must be feeling the same way right now. I had to deal with this hurt, but all I could do was replay the scene in my head over and over again. My dream was taken and turned into a nightmare. What could have been worse? All my thoughts stopped when I heard Joseph talk.

“Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?”

“Not right now.”

I heard my parents walk into the room.

“Are you all right?” Mom asked me.

I shook my head.

“I’m really sorry, honey. That was a terrible thing that happened to everyone here in Accident,” I heard Dad say. It was great to have family around you that was willing to sit down and make you feel better after a disaster.

“Thank you, you guys. I would like to be left alone now.”

My parents understood my hurt and left me alone in the room with Joseph.

“Can I tell you a joke?” he suddenly asked.

Seriously? “No.”

“But my jokes always cheer you up.”

“Leave me alone, Joseph, I don’t want to hear another joke about that stupid chicken! The chicken can die in the middle of the road for all I care! The chicken never crossed the road, OK? She took many stupid adventures and died in the road. So just stop!”

“You said ‘she.’ I knew you’d refer the chicken as yourself one of these days.” Joseph smiled at me sadly. He spoke again when I didn’t say anything. “All right. I’ll leave you alone.” He walked out the room and left me alone like I had demanded.

Later on, I was walking on the sidewalk inside the crazy island of Accident. I wanted to take a breath of fresh air and get the whole situation out of my head. I passed through some markets. Through the window of a television store, I saw the incident of The Ecosystem Factory in the news cast of every television in display. They were announcing it on the islands around the world. I wanted to see that factory with my own eyes one last time, but I knew that couldn’t happen. It no longer existed. I started walking away to get my mind off yesterday’s disaster. I sat on a bench, leaned back against it, and watched the world in front of me.

The people of Accident didn’t even look devastated as they resumed their lives. That was the strangest thing in the world! Their loved ones have died and The Ecosystem Factory, the biggest building in the world, was gone. How could they not be upset by that? The Ecosystem Factory was such a beautiful symbol of Accident.

I passed through the land where the bombed remains of the factory lay. Workers were cleaning up the huge mess, and laughing and making casual conversation without a trace of sadness. I walked up to them to find out why this was so. “What is the matter with you guys? Why aren’t you upset? The factory’s gone and your loved ones have vanished!”

The workers stopped everything they were doing and turned to stare at me with confusion.

“You’re not from around here, are you?” one of them said.

“No, she is not.”

I turned to look at Snail Boy, who had all of his snail pets wandering his body, and I widened my eyes, surprised to find him here. It’s like he constantly follows where Joseph and I go.

“There’s no reason for anyone to be upset, lady.”

“There isn’t? Why not?”

“Because we bombed our own factory. Everyone always ready themselves when something like this happens and they hide underground before anything could hit them.” He gestured towards underground doors that lay all over the place on the ground disguised with the nature by being covered by the grass. People were exiting and entering the underground doors. “Everyone is okay.”

“Why would you guys do something like this?”

“Because we get lazy. We make factories to do all the work for us. Once we realize we get drowned by the gift of technology advancement, we flee from its addiction by destroying the factories to remind ourselves that we can power the planet on our own. We do it all the time. I personally think it keeps things fascinating around here.”

I looked around at the workers and watched how they cleaned up the bombed remains of the factory, erasing it from its existence. Others came up and grabbed the surviving plant life and planted them in the soil and watered them. I looked over at the people coming in and out from underground with gardening tools they then started using for planting and tending crops in different locations.

I was speechless as I looked back at Snail Boy. “Maybe you guys aren’t crazy after all. Maybe just a little bit.”

He grinned. “You should go back to your family now. I am sure they miss you very much.”

“Thank you, Snail Boy Dressed in Many Colors.”

I walked my way back to the hotel.

When I finally arrived to our hotel room, my parents yelled at me for leaving the hotel without telling anyone anything like Joseph and I had done yesterday. Joseph was worried sick about me. He gave me a big hug when I first entered the room. I repeated the words “I’m sorry” to my parents and best friend until they would finally forgive me and we could all forget about this whole situation. When it was dinner time, we all had a quiet meal.

I broke the silence and caught everyone’s attention. “You know who I saw today? Snail Boy. He was helping the other workers clean up the remains of the factory. It was amazing.”

“How is that amazing?” Joseph asked, puzzled.

“He and the others were helping clean up the environment. He said they make factories all the time and then destroy them to remind themselves that they can clean up and liven the planet all on their own.”

Joseph and my parents were shocked to hear this.

“Maybe that kid isn’t so bad after all,” Joseph smiled. “I owe him an apology for being so bitter.”

“Let’s look for him tomorrow,” I suggested. “He seems really cool.”

Another Day After That Previous One

My parents decided to go off to continue exploring the strange island of Accident. Joseph and I were outside at the porch of our hotel room, looking out at the world that is the island of Accident.

“The sight of Accident is beautiful, isn’t it?”

I had on a look of confusion when I turned my attention to Joseph. “I thought you hated Accident because it was different.”

Joseph looked at me for a moment. Thinking, he shook his head. “No, I don’t. I love Accident. Sometimes different is good.”

I nodded in agreement. I was surprised at his change of mind.

“I may have been mad that we were leaving Beaverlick, but I don’t hate Accident. I guess I was just sad and nervous about missing home for the next two weeks. After everything that has happened, I can’t bear to spit hatred about Accident. Everyone would think that our home is different with the beaver idolization we have there. I think everyone here has it bad enough with their strange customs of plant-loving.”

“Yeah, no kidding.”

We both stared outside the porch to get a good view of Accident before we exited the hotel and walked along the streets and nature of the odd land. We watched as people everywhere continued to perfect the island in its natural beauty. We walked silently for a long time.

“Accident sure is spectacular,” I finally said.

“Yup.” Joseph pointed at a distance. “Look over there!”

I looked to where he pointed and found Snail Boy taking care of some sort of snail sanctuary in a beautiful garden filled with fungi and algae. The snails were crawling freely all over the place in many handmade formations made out of different plants fit for the snails.

“Hey, buddy!” Joseph called out, getting the kid’s attention. “What are you doing?”

Snail Boy paused from feeding the snails algae on his knees and stood up to walk up to us. “I am tending my pets.”

“Oh, goodie. Which ones do you eat and which ones do you keep?”

“I don’t eat snails,” He giggled. “I was joking that day at the restaurant.”

“What? But they were all over your salad!”

“They were eating what I left over from it. They love fruit and veggie salads. Like I told you, snails are my pets.”

“How many snails do you have exactly?” I asked with curiosity.

“About 903. I am shooting for 1,000.”

“Wow, good luck on that,” Joseph chuckled. Then he rubbed the back of his neck nervously. “Listen, kid, I wanted to apologize for the way I’ve been acting with you.”

“It’s okay, Joseph. I think I was also rude. It’s good to meet cheerful and positive people.”

“Thank you. You’re the first to say that.”

“You were just trying to be funny, even though you’re really not. Although, it’s pretty funny thinking about that now, because you pretty much predicted the destruction of The Ecosystem Factory, even though it was previously planned, except no one had a selfish reason behind it.”

“Wow, that’s…nice. Hey, you know, one question occurred to me.”


“Why is this place called Accident?”

“This old island? Because it was built by accident.”

“Wow, I didn’t see that coming.”

“It’s no big deal of a story,” said the little boy. “An underwater plant life grew taller than its original neighbors that surfaced the water and laid on the rocks, slowly creating this big island over time. I guess by accident. That, and the original founders just really liked the name for it.”

“Wow,” I said, astonished. “That is something else.”

He nodded. “Everyone’s trimming the trees because this place has been getting a little too crowded lately. They’re also planting seeds where the factory used to be. Do you and your lady want to help me with my snails? I found more snails hidden under the dirt. They must really like it there, so that’s where I’m building their new paradise home.”

“Sure thing, little guy. Be right there!” Joseph smiled.

The kid smiled widely, walked back to the snails and resumed feeding them algae.

Joseph turned to face me. “You know that you’re the chicken in my jokes, right?” He put an arm around me and looked around at the miracle of life the people of Accident were making come true by planting seeds on the Earth. “Yeah, you knew.”

I smirked, and then thought about those jokes. “Why am I the chicken in your jokes? Why do you repeat the same question and give a different answer? Why? Just tell me already. I need to know.”

“I say these jokes because I love replaying our lives through them. I love hearing them come out the way they do.”

“What is the point of all that?”

“I guess it’s my way of remembering the things we do, don’t do and will do, and the things we like and don’t like. I see life as a giant road that we’re still crossing. You start it the day you’re born and you travel it until the day you die. And then anything beyond that.”

“Wow, Joseph. I never thought of it that way.”

“You know what I find amazing?”

I waited for the answer.

“You. You’ve hit so many obstacles, yet you don’t let them keep you down. You keep crossing. There’s always been a goal in your life you never gave up on. You are just that amazing! You always wanted to see The Ecosystem Factory. You finally got to see it right before it got taken down. You’ve already crossed the road for one dream, but you’re still crossing it for another.”

I smiled at his words. Now I understood his burned jokes in its entirety. It was such a huge meaning for such a lame joke. This was the best joke I’ve ever heard! (It was probably cheesy to say that.) Joseph and I hugged each other for a long time. It was really sweet of him to keep this to ourselves. It was really sweet to know how much he valued our lives and our friendship.

“Thank you so much,” I said. “You know… I have hope for Accident. I know they will build another factory that will be as good as The Ecosystem Factory.”

Joseph nodded in agreement. “Definitely.” There was a pause. And then: “Tell me.”

“Tell you what?”

“Why did the chicken cross the road?”

Joseph grabbed my face and looked right into my eyes. His massive grin told me he was ready to laugh. “To get to the other side!”

I smiled happily at him for I knew exactly what he meant by that.


Thank you for reading my book. If you enjoyed it, won’t you please take a moment to leave me a review at your favorite retailer?


Sharon Forester

Check Out My Play: The Classroom Alienation!

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About the Author

I, Sharon Forester, am a wanderer that loves to read, create art and write, determined to make my dreams come true. I love watching movies, listening to music and reading to my mom. I live happily with my family in a calm place in New Mexico.

Check Out My Website: http://runningthegalaxies.weebly.com/

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The Ecosystem Factory

The Ecosystem Factory is a fantasy short story about a family from an island named Beaverlick that travel to another island named Accident, where they explore the foreign place and visit the tallest building in the world: The Ecosystem Factory, a factory the citizens of Accident use to create the plant life of the planet to continue its survival.

  • ISBN: 9781370492862
  • Author: Sharon Forester
  • Published: 2016-12-18 22:50:08
  • Words: 6438
The Ecosystem Factory The Ecosystem Factory