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  • We lived in a small cellar for almost 8 years after the Glitch. The house that was there was long gone by the time we found the place. My father taught me how to make a thatched roof and together we sealed the place up from the snow and rain. From 5m away you couldn't tell it was anything other than part of the landscape. I think that is the biggest factor that kept us there for so long and alive. I was young enough when it all happened that I'd forgot most of what it like to live in a house with mod cons. The memories were there, but so well tucked away that they rarely surfaced.

    I was almost 16. My father had made a trade deal with a man and woman about 4 miles away. Past the bluff and along the river we walked. We went on a night with a new moon and the rough clouds of autumn were tearing up the sky. I could barely see my feet. They were just different shades of black than the round. Their blob shapes almost indistinguishable from the rest of the blobs in the thick black of the night. I didn't think we'd make it. Certainly not without a lot of bruises. My father told me, as we set out, to go slow and only put my weight down when I was sure of my footing. We left at dusk and got there just after 2am. I was tired and the old man was taxing his limits.

    The couple invited us into their place. It was nothing more than a stall in a small barn. They were a privately licensed goat and sheep farm. One of the last. Eventually they too were absorbed by the Society of the People. Once inside I lost track of everything. My father set about the final negotiations and I stared at the light. I'd thought they had a candle burning. But it was an electric light. I was warm and had such a beautiful pattern in the glowing snake-like threads. I was transfixed. How could any society capable of creating this... this lamp that carved a bubble out of the cold night and embraced us... how could they create machine of war too? I fell back into memories from a decade earlier like one would fall into a feather bed after a long day. I wrapped myself in that warm glow and pined for a world that was no longer mine to hold.
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