030. Howler Monkeys. Jennifer Loring

I know you were worried about this trip, but don’t be. I’m doing great—doing everything I ever wanted to do. Everyone is happy here, and it’s so beautiful. Remember the time we went on vacation to Acadia National Forest, and we found that lake? The water was so clear that it mirrored the sky, and you couldn’t tell where one ended and the other began. That’s what the sky is like here.

(The world was not ready to let us live.)

We’ve built a real paradise here. There’s no racism, no hatred. Okay, it was a little weird at first, being in the jungle. Used to hearing traffic at night and instead huddling in our houses because of the horrible growls emanating from the darkness, as though we were surrounded by monsters. We learned later that they were howler monkeys. Once they quiet down, you hear the chirping of thousands of insects, bigger than anything you’ve ever seen at home. They get into our huts, like the cockroaches do back in the city.

(This is the last day of our lives.)

We work hard—grow our own food, build every part of our little commune. Well, not so little anymore! There’s over a thousand of us now. When the sun sets and work is over, we laugh and sing, and praise Father for everything he’s given us.

 (There is quiet as we leave this world. The sky is gray.)

Sure, I’m tired. Sometimes a little hungry. But I’ve never felt like I had a purpose before. Like I mattered before. We just want to live in peace. Please don’t believe the lies they’re telling about us—we’re here because we want to be. You should think about joining us; I bet you’d really like it here.

I love you, Mom. I’ll talk to you soon.

(I am ready to die now. Darkness settles over Jonestown on its last day on earth.)

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