I could barely see my hands, the blizzard was so strong, it was so very cold, or hot as coal. So hard to tell, but within fifteen feet my answer lies at the edge of an outlook, a gold rail all that separates me from here and a steep incline. And then I looked down and I saw the worst of all possible worlds. This is no palace, nor a plantation; this place is a machine. Run by human hands, maintained by fire and fueled by carcasses, The Man as their dictator for life, the people below this hill have no choice but to play along as they are trapped and the only food and water comes from the wretched device that drives this place. There is a sort of aggregate community of slaves, all bound by chains and all forced to work even beyond the point where their brittle arms break and their dry skin cracks and bleeds. They never sleep, but they once knew what the word meant; now it's just a pleasant concept for them to escape to when they can. They toil fifteen hours a day to keep the cogs turning and the fire a flame so the machine will deliver one ounce of salt pork and half a pint of water every two days. How they subsist off this alone is an amazing feat in itself, they've not resorted to cannibalism, yet. They'd revolt if they knew how to scale the mighty steel wall that's stained with the blood of their heroes past. The Man tells me to look a conveyer belt in back,
"that's where we put the dissenters, they are ground into pulp and fed to the machine as a lubricant," on that belt I see myself and all my friends and the girl who stood up in class however long ago. I reach over the rail and bloody my hands and then I turned around… and I ran back inside, back to the very room I started in and I smeared my hands o'er as much as I could, being sure not to waste a drop. Though I had only a little residue on my palms and the tips of my fingers, I was able to paint the whole room red, the gold now starts to oxidize, the ceiling cracks, the floor now shakes, the room rumbles lowly vibrating just under my hearing frequency, but I can feel it there in my ears, ringing. The Man is incensed and charges back mouth agape, yelling while remaining almost perfectly still shouting about how useless I am and how many times he thought about just tossing me out like the rest of them. In fact, he was so loud, all the mirrored plates cracked under his voice. This didn't matter as much though, for everything was rusting, fading, cracking, chipping, disintegrating, rotting and otherwise generally decaying, the entire building was crumbling into what amounted to three months too old feta cheese. All the beauty was gone, revealing the true form of things, all the cogs and the wheels and the gears and the levers and things red with the dissent of millions. It too collapsed and it rusted, croaking the cogs, they stopped turning which stopped the turning of everything else, the slaves can get through. There's now a crack in the wall that made stairs and though they clumsy, they are still usable. The Man has shrunk from his size of eight feet tall to the size of a small rat. He screams and screams as the recently liberated march on him in the millions and tear him into so many shreds of paper. They will burn every last piece as The Man still lives, without arms or legs or tongue, his jaw now smashed and his eyes gouged, the sockets defiled and cracked and his teeth chipped and shattered. The Man still makes sound, not speaking in any tongue but that of his overt cowardice. Tonight he shall die a dog and the free shall venture beyond into the world and into happiness. Reality expanded and tore open, I was whisked into the tear, and beyond this thin veil I'd see nothing. A pink elephant, a troubled troubadour, a pithy pith helmeted pit digging archaeologist; another lame alliteration and then I awoke.