Crasius had been born before the war that Preacher Santhon would always call the war of 'wreck on it'. He had lived all his life in Hab-Block AC749. Just a half an hour's walk from the refinery where he manned his post, with nothing but the back alley leading to the Preacher's place in between here and there.
It had always been good. To live so close to things. It made everything simple, and he liked that. The walk from his room to his post, and back, was simple as well. Even before the war the road had always remained mostly empty. People wanted to walk by the front doors of places after all; not the back ones. Crasius would wake up early on his own. Often times before anyone else from the block. Then he would make his way silently to his post to pull his lever.
He called it Fumble.
Noone else talked to Crasius, and he talked to noone back. Except for Fumble. The lever would hiss and whistle at him with each pull, and all day he would talk back as he played at trying to understand what each hiss and whistle meant as Fumble replied.
His life was good before the war. Sometimes, though, he would think about how things got bad even before it happened. How it got less simple, and more complicated, since around the time right before Preacher Santhon was made to jump off of the roof of his own place. He had made the effort to see him a couple of times. He would rember being jealous of the Preacher. Just hanging out there, quietly and calm, while everyone else got more and more noisy and busy all around him.
Crasius would remember the talks, then. Never at him, but at others around the refinery minding their own levers. The bosses would show up with guns, and take people to talk to them in rooms above the refinery. They would always pick the ones that had the circles the Preacher made for them, showing in between their clothes.
Fools, Crasius would think they were. Asking for more and more circles on themselves. Adding more and more tips and points. Making them bigger and bigger each time. If only they would have kept it simple. Like he had.
By the time the war started, he was the last one in the refinery. Noone had ever wanted to talk to him, and he had never wanted to talk back to anyone. But after the big ships had left, and the dust around Hab-Block AC749 had settled, he realized that being alone was not simple. Complicated things still needed doing, and while there had always been others to do them, now there was only him. Alone, with no idea how to do the complicated things in his life.
He cried a lot in those days, as he asked Fumble and the bones of Preacher Santhon, again and again, for help. The lever finally stopped hissing and whistling after a while, and the bones of the Preacher began to fade over time. Neither of them ever helped him.
With nothing else left, Crasius started to pray. Tired, aching and hungry, he prayed for friends. Those who would do the things and fix the stuff. He offered to change for them. To talk back, and walk by the front of the Preacher's place now, for he didn't want to be alone anymore. He wanted the complicated things gone. He wanted a new Fumble to play with, and a new Santhon to teach him right and draw him circles with pointy ends. And, over time, his prayers were answered. New friends began to show up all around him, one at a time. Inside of him. In between his ribs and on his back. On the side of his neck, and between his legs. All over him, like a large group of friends sharing a blanket for warmth, which was his skin.
They were good friends, too. They talked to him without words, and heard him without him speaking. They had many big arms with long and dexterous fingers; and many eyes with which to watch over him and take care of the complicated stuff for him. They were always with him, and he was never alone.
And when the big ships returned, his new friends showed Crasius how to use the soldiers from the ships to make new circles himself. Big, red, wet circles, all over the block. Some with few points, some with many. Some adorned with bone, some with skin, and some with clothes. Always big, and always red, until the day came that the circles were all what was, and the block, the refinery, and even Preacher's place were no more. In his garden of red circles he would walk, and hiss, and whistle, and live his simple life, never again alone.
Edited by Berzul, 26 October 2019 - 04:24 PM.