A pestilence fell upon the earth and he was removed from his place and taken to the place where the work was done.

The work began slowly, but then proceeded apace gaining in both efficiency and speed as the urgency of the work became apparent to many and many cooperated, placing themselves and their resources at the disposal of those who directed the work and some offered themselves body and soul to the completion of the task.

He was a carpenter and carpenters were required for work but not for the important work.

He did not participate in the important work which was better for him for by not participating he could observe the work and learn from the work.

The work, however, was never completed. Others intervened to stop the work. He was glad and rejoiced for though he was a carpenter he did not like the work at all.

And though he was glad and though he rejoiced he did not rejoice in the manner of rejoicing and could not return to the place from which he had come for it could not be found nor could those with whom he had come be found.

He did not rejoice in the manner of rejoicing for he could not find those of the place from which he had come. He felt a profound sorrow for the suffering of those of the place from which he had come.

The place of work was removed and what was left of the work commingled with the earth.

He crossed an ocean.

Walking along the beach he paused to bend over and retrieve a shell which smiling he placed in the hand of a girl who stood staring at the number on his arm.

This action distracted her.

She studied the shell.

Thank you, sir.

And in this new place this place by the ocean he saw there was much work to be done and since he had learned much about work and since he was a carpenter he embarked on this new work with all his heart and became greatly loved by all who lived in this place by the ocean.

And in time he met others from that other place of work, the place that no longer existed, the place commingled with the earth and he met one from the place from which he had come and rejoiced.

And those whom he met rejoiced and each day they rejoiced together for they remembered the work and they were together.

And he rejoiced in his work in this place by the ocean and he was filled with love and they were filled with love and together full of love they rejoiced.

The seed of a new pestilence fell upon the land.

And he came upon this pestilence and saw a man of pestilence carve the symbol of those who were of the work that began slowly, but then proceeded apace gaining in both efficiency and speed as the urgency of the work became apparent to many and many cooperated, placing themselves and their resources at the disposal of those who directed the work and some offered themselves body and soul to the completion of the task that had been stopped and commingled with the earth.

And he told the man of pestilence that this was an evil thing.

And there was a struggle.

The man of pestilence stabbed him many times in the head and neck and beat him with an object of religion and he died.

The people of the place by the ocean with whom he rejoiced remember this carpenter and this pestilence and the others from the place of work and those not from the place of work and bid others to rejoice with them and not with those of the work that began slowly, but then proceeded apace gaining in both efficiency and speed as the urgency of the work became apparent to many and many cooperated, placing themselves and their resources at the disposal of those who directed the work and some offered themselves body and soul to the completion of the task that had been stopped and commingled with the earth.

First published in Caliban
C 1993