I entered a rainy rendezvous, a bleary and running coup. The pickles were rancid from negligence; I stood in the corner, pinching my nose and waiting for the act to begin.

Slowly but surely the widget farmers came out to till the soil, checking the ripeness of their pocket calculators to see if the nines had filled in yet (they’re always the last digit to mature). Unsatisfied with the progress, they began to slink away.

I stomped and they froze. I got a good look at them. This particular shift of agrarian laborers numbered about twenty-three. Mostly human with odd rat snouts, they seemed to be miniaturized versions of the farmers I’d known from my disavowed youth.

The tallest one stood head and shoulders above the rest and wore a decorative sash that read “MAYOR”. I didn’t know whether this one had been elected or simply bullied his way to the top.

——

Originally featured as a draft on Wharved in August of 2013, published in issue 87 of Crack the Spine, October 30, 2013.

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