Once, there were three towns named Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow situated on the banks of a long flowing river named Next Week.

The people of Yesterday hated Tomorrow, the people of Today hated Yesterday and the people of Tomorrow hated Today.

Finally, the mayor of Yesterday — a man by the name of Thomas Thursday — the mayor of Today — George Monday — and the Mayoress of Tomorrow — Felicia Sunday — decided that something needed to be done about the situation. And so they met in Official Talks (a small village upstream) to discuss the problem — although, for a time, no one was sure if Tomorrow would come.

“It’s a problem of space,” said Mayor Thursday. “None of us have enough of it. Yesterday is continually creeping into Today, Today into Tomorrow and Tomorrow into the middle of Next Week.”

This last part, at least, was true and not merely a subjective opinion. The ships of Tomorrow positively clogged the river to the extent where no one along its banks was safe from river reivers and the natural worries of the people on the riverbanks were multiplied tenfold.

“I blame all our problems on Yesterday,”  said George Monday. “The events of Yesterday have a direct effect on the problems of Today.”

“The people of Today should take responsibility for their own problems,” Ms. Sunday said primly.

“And Tomorrow couldn’t care less!” exploded the venerable Mr. Thursday.

“Tomorrow will take care of itself,” Ms. Sunday said.

And so it came to pass that Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow went to war with one another.

“Yesterday is dead and gone,” cried the soldiers of Today.

“Tomorrow belongs to me,” cried the soldiers of Yesterday.

“Today is not your day,” cried the soldiers of Tomorrow.

By the end of the war, Today, Tomorrow and Yesterday lay in ruins and when the survivors crept from the ashes they wept to see what they had done.

“We must build again,” they said. “And put the mistakes of the past behind us.”

So upon the banks of the river they build a new city, called Now.

And now was eternal.

James Lecky is a theatre actor and director from Derry in Northern Ireland who lives with his wife, his cat and is sickeningly happy about it.

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Joseph Kaufman