Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

Book: Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler Read Free Book Online
Authors: Octavia E. Butler
of course. It’s obvious.
    Right now, it’s also impossible. The world is in horrible shape. Even rich countries aren’t doing as well as history says rich countries used to do. President Donner isn’t the only one breaking up and selling off science and space projects. No one is expanding the kind of exploration that doesn’t earn an immediate profit, or at least promise big future profits. There’s no mood now for doing anything that could be considered unnecessary or wasteful. And yet,
    The Destiny of Earthseed
    Is to take root among the stars.
    I don’t know how it will happen or when it will happen. There’s so much to do before it can even begin. I guess that’s to be expected. There’s always a lot to do before you get to go to heaven.
    ❏ ❏ ❏
    To get along with God,
    Consider the consequences of your behavior.
    S ATURDAY , J ULY 26, 2025
    T RACY D UNN HAS NOT come home and has not been found by the police. I don’t think she will be. She’s only been gone for a week, but a week outside must be like a week in hell. People vanish outside. They go through our gate like Mr. Yannis did, and everyone waits for them, but they never come back—or they come back in an urn. I think Tracy Dunn is dead.
    Bianca Montoya is pregnant. It isn’t just gossip, it’s true, and it matters to me, somehow. Bianca is 17, unmarried, and out of her mind about Jorge Iturbe who lives at the Ibarra house and is Yolanda Ibarra’s brother.
    Jorge admits to being the father. I don’t know why they didn’t just get married before everything got so public. Jorge is 23, and he, at least, ought to have some sense. Anyway, they’re going to get married now. The Ibarra and Iturbe families have been feuding with the Montoyas for a week over this. So stupid. You’d think they had nothing else to do. At least they’re both Latino. No interracial feud this time. Last year when Craig Dunn who’s white and one of the saner members of the Dunn family was caught making love to Siti Moss who’s black and Richard Moss’s oldest daughter to boot, I thought someone was going to get killed. Crazy.
    But my point isn’t who’s sleeping with whom or who’s feuding. My point is—my question is—how in the world can anyone get married and make babies with things the way they are now?
    I mean, I know people have always gotten married and had kids, but now… Now there’s nowhere to go, nothing to do. A couple gets married, and if they’re lucky, they get a room or a garage to live in—with no hope of anything better and every reason to expect things to get worse.
    Bianca’s chosen life is one of my options. It’s not one that I intend to exercise, but it is pretty much what the neighborhood expects of me—of anyone my age. Grow up a little more, get married, have babies. Curtis Talcott says the new Iturbe family will get half-a-garage to live in after they marry. Jorge’s sister Celia Iturbe Cruz and her husband and baby have the other half. Two couples, and not one paying job among them. The best they could hope for would be to move into some rich people’s compound as domestic servants and work for room and board. There’s no way to save any money or ever do any better.
    And what if they wanted to go north, try for a better life in Oregon or Washington or Canada? It would be much harder to travel with a baby or two, and much more dangerous to try to sneak past hostile guards and over state lines or international borders with babies.
    I don’t know whether Bianca is brave or stupid. She and her sister are busy altering their mother’s old wedding dress, and everyone’s cooking and getting ready for a party as though these were the good old days. How can they?
    I like Curtis Talcott a lot. Maybe I love him. Sometimes I think I do. He says he loves me. But if all I had to look forward to was marriage to him and babies and poverty that just keeps getting worse, I think I’d kill

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