It was the gathering time. In ThisPlace, there was a time for everything. Times to eat, times to work, times to sleep, and now was the time to gather and share information. They all adhered to the schedule because planning is life. To keep their island going each person had to do their share, each person an important part of the clockwork. Even the babies, the few there were, were all born at the same time during Septem and Octo, the least wet months.
Isley was bone tired. This morning had been sowing time. Twelve hours, Isley prepared for new crops. The earth boxes were nearly ready but there were leaks in the domes. There were always leaks and every part of her ached from the climbing and the patching. She had worked hard today and accomplished much. They all lived off the moss, lichen, and fungi that Isley and her team grew. Usually Isley felt a good tired from all the work she had done but lately the cycle of work had felt endless, pointless. The water always finds a way.
She had skipped supper time because she was too tired to even listen to others talk. It was frowned upon to slip from the cogs of the schedule of ThisPlace but Isley felt too tired to care and willing to hear instructions later after her sleep six. Stomach grumbling, Isley headed for the warmth and quiet of her nook. Her hand was on her curtain door when she heard the running of water. Panicked Isley whirled listening for the leak. Her eyes lit on Patrick 417. He ws peeing in a corner. Isley sighed with relief and then laughed a little. He was taking a leak, she thought with a giggle. Patrick 417 was one of the old ones, nearly 60. Most people died from something or other by fifty. This Patrick was sick and his memories had washed away.
“Jess is that you? Where have you been?” the old man called to her. His back was humped from hard work and falls. His eyes were unsteady. With a patient sigh, Isley took his hand and lead him back to the old folks creche.
“Yes, I’m your Jess. I was looking for you to tell me a story,” Isley said. Her callused hands patted his shoulder as she led him to his area.
“Did I ever tell you about the time your grandma and I went to Vegas. We were just kids looking to blow off steam. I kind of borrowed my dad’s Camaro without asking and we hit the desert. It was so beautiful, an ocean of tan sand as far as the eye could see. It was hot and dry and Mika had her sandals off and her feet out the passenger side,” Patrick 417 said. “that strip of asphalt bisecting the desert was a thrill.”
Isley listened as they walked not able to really picture what the old timer was saying but smiling all the while