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Saturday, January 31

Unpaid Debts: Prologue

Johan Bauer was a simple Moratavian farmer. His old well had dried up after an earthquake, so he took to digging a new one. He dug a hole deeper and deeper, and as he dug the morning became afternoon, shining overhead. Eventually, the sun moved past its zenith, leaving him with little light to continue.

Exhausted and covered in dirt, Johan leaned against the wall. He was a good ten feet below the surface. It would take awhile to reach the water table, but he knew it would happen eventually.

A small trail of pebbles skittered down one side of the well. Johan looked up. He had a terrible thought: if another earthquake hit, he would be buried alive.

Johan started to climb his way up the side of the well when he slipped. One hand clawed desperately for purchase at the top of the half-dug well when he lost his grip.

The farmer flailed helplessly as he fell, certain the well would be his tomb. The soft earth hesitated for only a moment after his impact before it gave way completely. He plunged into darkness and landed somewhere hard.

Johan dusted himself off. He was still alive, if badly bruised. He waited for his eyes to adjust to what little light shone from above. Something was sitting, watching him from the darkness.

“Hello?” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:07 AM


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