This Ruler

A Novel


Like a prism in your hand, pick up the American school and turn it in the light. Take a look at Elysium Hills High School and a complex cast of characters caught in a pastoral fantasy. The classes have 30 or more students, the floors are not mopped and the heat is broken. The ambitious principal is meeting with an educational consultant as both are getting their respective careers ahead. Greed-driven publishing companies are making millions of dollars with ever rotating curricula and standardized tests. The kids are on a personal journey to emerge past xenophobia and a greater understanding of what it means to be good. The lessons are about parasites, invasive species, and monoliths immersed in a world of art. Native Americans and conquistadors race across a complex landscape. Oh, and a unicorn – of course. And like the conquistadors, the publishing companies have landed on the shores of American schools and are melting it down to fill the coffers of their greed.

It is a story about a particular place and a unique group of kids. They spend their time with one another, though not necessarily in a together fashion. Essentially, they are on a greater journey to know themselves. And there is something underneath it all; from the savage hand of nature to the fine paintings. It is a philosophical story about ambition, greed, gluttony, hatred, and the loss of humanity in the internet. Really, high school is just a microcosm of the greater modern world. Remember we were all there once. Pick the people and the place up; turn it in the light. See the colors.


CHAPTERS 1, 3, 4, 10, 19, 25, 32

Here, open this,” James says as he hands Sandy a condom.

“How big will it get? Sandy says.”
“Oh, you’ll see.”

She fumbles with extracting the condom. “Ah, it’s all gooey. Okay, grab me here around the waist.” Sandy turns around and James grabs her around the waist. 

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