Another picture is worth, almost another thousand words


Sentinel by Edward Howard

My papa used to tell me, we live a world of leftovers. I wasn’t sure what that meant growing up, in a simple world. A world where knowledge about the past was dangerous. I was never told why by my elders. Maybe that was for the best, I told myself. That was until a few days ago when I overheard something, my parents, where discussing.  Noticing how in the past few months my mother was acting differently. My father wanted to do something to help her.  From the few things I overheard mentioned were ruined city, hospital, old-world technology, and medicine. The way they whispered about it, made me wonder if it was dangerous. I had heard about the abandoned ruins that were supposed to exist all over the world. With fear and anger running through my mind I ran. Letting the wind push back against my face with each step. Knowing where I was going to visit the strange metal statue that rested in the nearby field.

Carefully stopping before colliding with the rusting blue large chunk of metal that rested against the ground. A tree branch had fallen on it since I had last visited a couple of months ago. The lone wild white cat stood up and approached me from the top of the metal chunk.  Looking down at me with its deep blue eyes, watching me closely.  I had seen it a few times in past visits, but this was the closest I had ever been the cat. Slowly reaching out my left hand, waiting for the cat to react. Stretching out some it sniffed my hand with caution. It must have determined I meant it no harm, as it sat down on the edge of the metal.  Being careful, I climbed onto the metal chunk, Mindful of the tree branches and sticky leaves as I continued to climb. Hearing the metal creak some adjusting to my body weight. It was a noise I had gotten accustomed to, the more I came here.

Taking a seat on the edge of the metal chunk that faced the field, I sat. Letting my feet hang off the side slightly, I gazed out at the statue.  Enjoying the quiet, I began to think about my hidden mother’s sickness. Wondering why she hid it from papa and me? Had he known about it and hide it from me at my mother’s request? Would he go into the ruined city to help her? What could he find there that would be worth risking his life? Would he come back from the ruins at all? What would happen to me if he failed and mother died? Would the village kick me out, or would it take me in?

The wild cat headbutting my arm distracted me from my thoughts. Taking a seat beside me it watched me, continuing to randomly headbutt my arm. Wondering what it wanted, I cautiously scratched its ears. Surprised by how soft its fur felt against my fingers. I had heard it whispered by some of the older villagers, that there once was a family that lived here. Maybe this cat had been one of the family’s pets. I had to wonder why they left it here. Was it forgotten by them or was it done purposely? Would it follow me home? If it did would my mother and papa let me keep it? What would I name it, if they did?

Gently petting it, I resumed staring out at the statue. From what I was told by the village elders, the statue was left behind by the old world. Built by a man known as Army Enginer. They didn’t know why it was built or were unwilling to tell me why they thought someone build something so massive. I knew it was the largest thing I had ever seen in my life. The few traders who came into town in horse-drawn buggies commonly mentioned there were other statues like the one nearby. Even they didn’t seem to know much about the statues. Why would someone build so many statues like one near the village? What could the statues tell us the past? Did they have forgotten knowledge hidden within them? Could that knowledge have a way to help my mother get better?

That last thought stuck around in my head. On impulse, I leaped off the metal chunk. Running towards the field, and the statue. Letting the joy of freedom and hope take over. Pushing my way through the plants being careful not to break any of them. Knowing how much the village depended on the field to eat. Ignoring the hits at my back and arms as the plants snapped back to their normal positions. Pushing ahead with a glimmer of hope in my mind. Stopping a few footsteps away from the statues metal foot. Noticing the statue had hints of a dark yellow color in its metal. I wasn’t sure how that was done, and I didn’t care. All I hoped for was answers that would help my mother fight what was causing her to act differently.



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