Mason and Dixon at the Crossroad

MASON
Something vexes me, Dixon.

DIXON
Oh? What is that, Mason?

MASON
I tire of lines. They begin to seem so
arbitrary to me: straight here, jut there, run
this ridge. It’s become as a child’s game in
my estimation. We might as well be playing
tic-tac-toe with the Earth.

DIXON
Say, you may be onto something, my
friend. I too have found this labor of ours to
be quite drab of late. We could use a bit of
fun to liven things up, eh?

MASON
That just might do the trick. Splendid then.
And you may have first scratch, Dixon.

DIXON
Why thank you, Mason. Well then, it will
be upon venerable Tennesee that I make
my initial mark.

MASON
Solid. I shall follow with a mark upon
erudite Alabama.

DIXON
Hmm, yes. Then I shall take sun-ripened
Florida for my next play.

MASON
Then surely, you must know that the fertile
ground of Missouri is where I must mark
next.

DIXON
Yes, I am blocked. But take note of this
mark I now place in the forests of Carolina.

MASON
Note how I thwart you in the naval yards of
Maryland.

DIXON
Good show. But not enough. I make my
last move in lush Arkansas and take
victory! There, see: three-in-a-row across
the mid-section of this great land. The game
is mine.

MASON
Well played!

DIXON
I thank you most kindly.

MASON
‘Twas a most refreshing game indeed, and
I feel lighter as it is. Yet – one thing still
vexes me, Dixon.

DIXON
And what might that be, Mason?

MASON
Truly your Xs are thrice in array and the
game has thus been won . . . but what
exactly has been won?

DIXON
Well, I don’t think it rightly matters, my
friend.

MASON
Why do you say that?

DIXON
For, you see, it is the meek that shall inherit
the Earth.

At last, Charlie Mason was once more
satisfied with life, and so he and Jeremiah
Dixon snuffed all the lamps and America fell
fast asleep to dream of bigger things . . . .

Copyright 2009 by Michael Marsters.
All rights reserved.

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