In Service to the Machine
I rocked back and forth in my chair and shared what I remembered.
“The machine was beautiful and frightening. It had tunnels like veins, that led to chambers where the scarecrows trapped moonlight in clear rods, and used it like we use electricity or water, directing it to their needs. I think it was their main source of power. I just remember enormous glass pillars shedding faint silver light. Down at the bottom of the machine, great clawed hands dig without stopping, creating stairs in the earth that descended ever downward. I think they worshipped some god that the world has long forgotten and they dig in remembrance. Or maybe to find it.”
“How do you know all this?” Roy murmured.
“I grew up there. I alone escaped from the Machine, and I tell you this so that you won’t get trapped like I did. You have to stay away from it. Forever. Promise me.”
“I can’t Grandpa.” He seemed sad.
“What? Why not?” I grew angry that he was going to ignore my warnings.
“There’s a Great Task which all else pales besides.”