The Islands Of Dreams
The day was long and hard. Times were at their percieved worst, when those who were not of The State suffered like animals in the streets. Houses were empty but no man could aford to live in them. There was no work to be done for supplements, for no employers had the money to pay employees. It was made illegal for anyone to hunt their food in the woods or fish for food in the seas because a law had been declared that all land not owned by business belonged to The State. Even begging for money was prohibited on the streets, those found doing such were punished with an expensive fine. Unbeknownst to the people, there was no hope for an economic recovery. Large corporations bribed The State in order to pass legislations benifiting them while ultimately harming the commoners. Famines were as common as clouds in the sky. The shortage of food and water available to commoners took terrible tolls on families and masses. The poor simply became poorer and the rich and ruling men all reaped wealth and fortune from the suffering of the poor. Such is the result of innuring in iniquity.
Joshua and Maks sat on the edge of the docks, watching as the sun disappeared into the horizon. Their lives were harsh and unforgiving, consisting of avoiding authorities and hunting for edibles whether it be in an alley, in someone's garbage can, or something the fisherman left unattended. At sunset they would simply lie down and sleep wherever they could. They did not know each other, it was purely chance that they sat next to each other. Joshua and Maks were both rather young men, aged nineteen and twenty one respectively. Maks was rather quick to break the silence.
"Rough day, hasn't it been?" This sort of outgoingness was not uncommon, as the only luxury the poor class could aford was the company of their peers.
"That is has. I woke up face down in a mud puddle and didn't want to take my face out of it because what I saw in the filth was better than what I saw in town."
Maks chuckled. "A bit of an extended metaphor, but that'll do," Maks took off his jacket and hung it on a support beam. "I have wondered often, if there are better places to live than this small place here."
"I'm most certain there are," Joshua said, "and if there are not, I ,for one, do not want to be alive."
Maks chuckled again. "You have quite a sense of humor for a man who lives in a sewage drain like this. Tell me your name."
"I am Joshua. And who might you be, stranger?"
"I may be Maks. It is good to meet you, Joshua."
They watched as the sun dimmed and began to sit.
"I am fascinated at the sun and all its beauty." Maks said.
"I know your lust, friend. Many nights, I dream that I have to money to buy a vessel and sale to the seas edge to see what the sun looks like at arms distance." Joshua replied.
"And what does it look like when you reach it?
"I have not ever reached it."
"Well, when you sleep tonight, reach it and tell me what it looks like because I would dearly like to know."
"I'm afraid I may not have the breath of life to tell you tomorrow for I have gone without food for this whole day."
"You have not eaten?"
"I haven't." Maks leaned over to him so he could speak quietly to him.
"I know a place that you may fish. Only I and a few others know its existence. Would you be willing to see it?"
"Yes, over a thousand times, yes!" Joshua exclaimed.
"Keep silent! None should hear what I am saying to you at this moment." Maks ordered.
"Ah, I see. Yes, please show me this place."
And so, Maks led Joshua down a rural pathway that cut through the foliage and mud. The path lead to the beach where Maks revealed a secretive tunnel hidden beneath what appeared to be ordinary wooden wreckage;The passage lead to a cavity in the earth which housed a lagoon, connecting to the sea outside, on which sat a dock not built by The State, but rather by the poor and homeless which they trod upon. Although the structure was made of salvaged wood materials, it was of great quality and very strong. A few lanterns hung upon formations in the cave lit the scene for visitors. There were also some shacks and sheds build along the shorline of the lagoon.
"I am astonished," Joshua said, "Tell me, who has constructed this place?"
"I say to you, myself and a handful of trustworthy men."
Maks retrieved two tree branches with fishing wire and hooks tied on the end from a small shack. The two men fished until one of them hooked a single fish, which they cooked, and then shared as supper. While sitting on the dock and looking out over the seas, which were now black under the night sky, Joshua posed the question, "Maks, you say that you and only a handful of trustworthy men constructed this dock. Is this actually true?"
"This is but isn't. See, I said a handful, but the real number of men it took is something about one hundred and fifteen."
"I would not have called that number a handful."
"Neither would I, but I did because you were a stranger and I did not want to let you know too much about it."
"And also, you say that there must be better places to live than here, so why shouldn't some good fellows go see if there are?"
"Ah, I would do that in half a heartbeat if I had the money to buy a seaworthy vessel."
"Yes, but if you and only one hundred and fifteen men built this dock that is as well constructed as one built by the state, why then couldn't you and those same men engineer a ship?"
"Do you have any idea how complicated a ship's structure is? The craft must be able to move through turbulent waters without straying off course, the wood must be finely put together as not to let a single leak form in the hull, and not only that but the hull must be hard and strong in order to fend against storms and the ravages of the sea. We don't know the secrets used to incorporate these qualities into a vessel."
"Then I would be of some use this day. My father was a ship builder before the famine struck."
"Ah, so you have built ships afore?"
"I, my father, and a team of one hundred seventy built three ships in my time and I have learned the furnishing techniques which are used to make the finest seagoing vessels."
"If this is true, on the marrow we shall build a fourth ship for you to add to your record."
Through the span of many days, Maks gathered participants to help build and opperate the ship; By the time construction had begun, thier numbers were around one hundred and fifty. It took three years to build the ship and by the time it was finished and seaworthy, the crew meant to opperate the ship and maintain it was two hunred and thirty three strong; All of which were taken on the vessel as crew members. When the day finally came that their hard work had paid off, they sailed away to touch the horizons other men only gazed at from afar.
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