The Object

He With Eyes Like Crystal looked at the object. He saw a hard square of fabric with hieroglyphics on its surface. He traced the dusty glyphs with his delicate fingers:
S.E.A.M.
Somewhere recognition. He knew this sign.
The gust blew at his back. He shut the heavy metal doors. The short day would soon be gone. Luckily. he had foraged for Isso motor oil earlier. His eyes brightened to compensate for the dark.
The square of fabric was like the door to his cave. He opened it. Inside were more flimsy squares with more hieroglvohics written in carbon. Perhaps the Translator would know what they were. Closing the fabric door. he decided to visit it tomorrow.
The Translators metal door. the heaviest and biggest. could not close because of the Line Up of Foragers. Ah. once he had presented a long strand of fibre to the Translator who had told a story about the intertwining of lives. The Translator had said the object was like the seam of people lining up at his door. Ah. he had a clue to the object he carried.
When he became First in the Line. he presented his latest find.
The Translator no longer had eyes to forage. He depended upon his sense of touch to tell the story of an object. The hearing of He With Eyes Like Crystal sharpened to compensate for the noise of the Line.
“This is the story of the object.” said the Translator.
“Once there were some people who lived on a planet they called the same as we call the floor we walk upon. They dug holes in the ground. And when they had laid their digger to one side. they would say:
‘This is mine. ‘
These mines could be very dangerous. like when the roof of our caves falls in. One day this happened to some of the people. The rest were outside and saw the cave in. The hole had filled itself as if the planet had said:
‘They are no longer yours.’
Because the people were theirs. and the hole in the ground was theirs. they tried to dig them out. They dug three days and three nights. until they found the lost people. But none of the lost people breathed anymore. They no longer belonged to the others who had dug them out.
So the people came here to dig new holes. They no longer said:
‘This is mine.’
but
‘This is home.’
This is the story of the object.”
The telling finished the Translator put the object on one of his many shelves.
He With Eyes Like Crystal returned through the harsh gust and short day to his cave.
He would forage for another object tomorrow. As he lay on his bed he saw the glyph
S.E.A.M.
in his head and heard the Translator say it and knew what it meant. And remembered he had not foraged for Isso motor oil.

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