The last one

Life on the “Farm” was grueling; the machines had long since failed, and now the sterile land was worked only with forced labor. The citizens of this agricultural township were ravaged by famine, vermin, or worse. Each day, a handful of them would inevitably collapse from exhaustion. In the evening, barrow-men “pruned the line” – those that had fallen were collected, and carted to a mass grave at the outskirts of the township. Replacements were escorted into the township each week.

“Tsk… Karo.” – Arlo gestured to his pocket.
Between the strikes of his hoe, a young boy inched over. With a sigh the man lowered his cart and wiped the sweat from his forehead with his handkerchief; in doing so, he shielded the boy from the Officer’s view. Karo reached into Arlo’s pocket for a small link of sausage.
“I’m sorry. This is your last one.”
Then, Arlo lifted the wheelbarrow and continued on his way.
He will last another week, maybe two at most.
These were thoughts that Arlo could not dwell on.

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