Author: Ross Field
“You are ready to hear the story of our people my son”
With their backs to the blinding light and whipping sand they descended down the wide tunnel worn smooth from time, through the carcasses of toppled skyscrapers, museums, and churches compacted together.
“When the sky failed them our ancestors found safety here”
Passing emaciated guards with bloodshot eyes and dark leathery skin covered in cancerous tumors, they bowed to his and Their father. They were the society’s elite defenders.
“But their enemies also fled below to escape the death above”
As they reached the end of the long tunnel and emerged onto a rusted metal balcony, a pungent milky odor mixed with sweat reached his nostrils.
“In the world before they had had foolish machines they thought would last forever, but died in front on their eyes like everything else”
Far down below there were hundreds of them aligned in rows, his and Their father called them “Servers”. Every part of their obese, hairless and pale body was tattooed with miniscule words. All of their bald and tattooed heads were bent close to the fleshy back of the one in front, their eyes twitching intently, their chubby fingers moving rolls of flesh or limbs to see the words beneath. These rows made him think of the millipedes that were farmed for his and their Father’s feasts.
“When they came back into the light after many generations had passed, the first Father of our people knew that his ancestors’ enemies must be removed to stop them poisoning our new purified world, just as they had destroyed the one before.”
They reached the bottom of the winding metal staircase, passed the long rows of albino flesh and entered into a smaller guarded room full of beds packed tightly from floor to ceiling. The Servers in this room were missing limbs or covered in bright patches of scar tissue. Some were so ancient that they had to pull their skin out taut to show the tiny words.
“As the Father said ‘mind and spirit lies, bodies are the only truth’, our people burned the enemies paper, crumbled their chiseled stone and cut the tongues of wisdom keepers.”
A special servant quickly rushed into the room bringing a stool, which his and Their father sat on. Two servants quickly roused a dozing Server missing a hand and foot. They produced razors which quickly made their way all over the Server’s body, and their hands slathered the body with grease from the bowls they carried.
“The most loyal followers of the Father offered their life, bodies and future children to carry the gone world’s knowledge for him and as repayment he kept them close and safe from harm”.
His and their father spread his legs into which the Server sat bending forward to stretch the skin on its back. The light from the hanging fires glistened off the Keepers body as his and Their father found the scar he had previously made and continued to read.