Sunday, September 18, 2011

Untitled 002

"This stamp is the seal of Kuluth, as I am sure you've seen before?" His finger pointed menacingly toward a yellow lump of wax imprinted with a square shield, three stars at top and a diagonal band; fading details of a wheat bunch to the left and a cow to the right.
"Yes," replied the younger, it is common here."
"It should be. Kuluth was founded not far from here and has many choice wells." The elder moved his finger to the right of the seal. "This number is what is left, the difference which is implied, is the magnitude of the last transaction. If the lower value is less than the one above, which is most common, it was an expenditure, larger, a credit."
The younger glanced at the paper. The syntax seemed clear enough, but the reason this was being explained was not, so he waited before turning to face the penetrating gaze of the elder.
"Seems clear enough. The larger the amount the better it is. More, uhm..., credits, more numbers, more stuff. Then we can have a fruit cart instead of a pineapple, right?" The younger glanced at the cored pineapple in his hand, the little ice he could afford now melted, then at the mobile fruit cart he purchased it from. When he realized the elder was speaking again he wasn't sure if it was the promise the cart meant to him or the smile on the young woman monger behind it.
"Edwardo, there are many who would wish to apprentice with me. Do you think you are the only one in your generation who knows his numbers? Now, the quantity must be informed by the patron, whose seal it is. If Kuluth's seal is here, let us say, then this paper can be taken to a Kuluth well and water can be purchased at the going rate, or it can be redeemed for a number of water credits equal to this current tally, less a modest percentage."
"Yes, I know," Edwardo interrupted, "this is the way i live, collecting water since I was seven. Although I've had one of those," pointing to the paper. "But, the Garbonza, my mother's brother's family, they saved their government pay like that. They traded it for a sewer hook-up and nice solar panels and a good fence."
"And the Garbonza taught you numbers, yes? Well, after applying some new knowledge you'll have the means to repay them for investing in you." Edwardo suddenly felt the weight of obligation. he looked to the cart and the young monger, still looking cute in her apron, and knew these things he could not have until his debts were settled and his family honored. "For the past and the future," Edwardo declared, holding high the water receipt like an ancient priest offering sacrifice to the Celestial Court. "It was something my father used to say before supper, at least that is what my mother told me."
Upon a hill in front of cathedral they looked out over the corrugated metal roofs at the coalescing of people into rivers. Edwardo was not surprised to see that these clusters were around the cisterns, the water company's retail distribution. There was also one near the stadium, one at each of the city gates, and a small, but visceral, cluster at the cathedral.


Post a Comment

Wasn't that so creative? Tell me what you think...

<< Home