The Watchers

Author: Mikki Aronoff

Our vinyl patches proclaim our purpose.

ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MINERAL
WE WATCH THEM ALL
DECIDE WHO PASSES

We are birthed to serve, groomed to wait and watch, to scrutinize and assess. We follow guidelines. Detractors regard us as arbitrary, but if we were not here to filter, what would this world be?

We send Passersby who fail our test on to The Supreme Cullers in the steel room next door, metal being easy to clean. To know how they build on our work would diminish what we do. We trust the process. Judging Passersby is our reward.

Yesterday, a Passerby clearly struggled. We are not without compassion. We almost let it pass to The Green Place. But there are rules. The Apprentice Watcher could barely hold back the heaving of his chest as the Passerby slowly rocked its way towards The Culling Room, tilting and listing, its ticking diminished, then silenced. The Apprentice dropped to the ground.

We feel different when a Watcher falls away, especially a new one. Watching together forms a Weaving. Uniformed in Nomex as we are, it is assumed we don’t need to worry about unraveling, but we do. This they left in our hearts.

 

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