BOOTLICKER

Failure

2009-09-11

The invisible three washed themselves in the Great Middle Sea, stopping for food and sleep where-ever it was offered. They would walk up the long rubble tracks of Jousen farms to the communes in the centre of the flowing golden grain districts, looking skeletal and smelling earthy. The Jousen were always twice as tall and thin this far south, and they were not nearly as clothed as their more northern brothers and sisters. While they still wore desert-goggles with lenses fashioned from brown glass pulled from the desert sand, they moved around their crops with relatively naked heads - just as pitch black as their hands, hair shaved close to the scalp. They were like spiders, limbs bone-thin and knobbly at the elbows and knees, hips pronounced like cliffs.

Their huts were made of mud, mottled and red, smoke rose out of them occasionally, and at night the fires inside and out cast shivering shadows that licked at the fields.

Almost everything was conducted in silence out here. Everything was a function of existence, everything so obviously a circle of life and death, individual breaths taken perfect expressions and extensions of existence.

The alien three failed to disturb the blinding justice of the sun and the grain and the sickles.

“Do you have any water?” Foolio asked a Jou sickle-in-hand, crouched at the ground.

“Hello friend,” rasped the slow, thin, giant, and he gave Foolio his water.