Harmony Chapter 31: Cities?

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This entry is part 31 of 31 in the series Harmony

I was awoken by a soft noise in my bedroom. I stirred and let a low growl escape my throat.

“Oh, did I awake you? I am so sorry…”

“What is wrong with you people, moving about when the sun isn’t even up yet!”, I grumbled.

“Well, I have to prepare breakfast for everyone. That’s why I am usually the first person up and about in town, but also usually the first to go to bed.”, Laura replied, with an abnormally cheerful voice.

Ok, so it’s not the voice that was abnormally cheerful but rather the hour of the day in which it was said.

“Don’t let me stop you… go, we’ll talk later”, I managed to turn into a coherent sentence.

“I loved what we did last night, and I hope to do it again soon.”, she said.

I did manage to reply “me too” out loud, but I have no idea if she had already left by then.

I went back to sleep, but was awoken again, this time by the sun.

A little more cheerful, I use the bathroom (ah, the joy of a private bathroom) and went downstairs to the kitchen where Laura was in the middle of a hive of busy bees preparing food for the colony. We smiled at each other, but I just grabbed an orange and as I was walking toward the dining room, I wondered where my orange was from!

There was definitely a lot of places in the colony I had never visited or heard of, so perhaps there was a Florida somewhere in his paradise!

I sat where I used to sit and soon enough, I was met with Mark’s family who were deep into discussion about changes in his function.

I participated a little but to be enough, I mainly wondered about what else everyone knew about and didn’t tell me simply because, “d’uh, everyone knows about this”.

Mark was excited to change job and work with his brother but the girls were mostly self-absorbed and talking about their own things I didn’t really care about.

The orange was ok to be honest. Not particularity tasty or juicy and just well, orangy. Perhaps the soil or the weather wasn’t good enough to produce excellent oranges?

When the meal was over I let everyone leave, and kissed Mark goodbye, but I remained seated, clinging to my orange peels.

Cassiopeia was the last to leave and asked me if I was alright.

“Do you know where the oranges are from?”

“No, sorry…”, she said, before excusing herself.

Odd I thought.

Eventually, Laura sat in front of me.

“Something is bothering you”, she said, and remained silent.

“There is so much about this colony that I don’t know. Like where is this orange from? I never saw it. Where do the older people go? What other shares am I missing?”. I almost asked why there were more women than men, but I decided against.

“Ok, so the oranges are from a grove, in the East. It’s not really share, they just grow pretty wild now but it used to be one. Myriam used to handle it until she retired and from time to time, she goes and picks up a few for us.”

“So, there is a retirement program of sorts.”

“Of yes,”, she said, almost with pride in her voice.

“When a person retires, she goes to the other city. The one on the East. It’s where Myriam lives, it’s where my mother lives, it’s where our elders live.”

“Can we go there?”, I asked, worried if it was just an allegory like the farm upstate where all of dogs “retire”

“Oh yeah, anyone can visit and any of them can visit us.”

Ok, that’s a relief…

“So why put them in a different town?”, I asked, puzzled.

“Well, in this town is the workers. We each have a share of a sort or another. We produce for everyone, including the other town. In that town however, they don’t need a share They can do as much or as little as they want, and we supply them with food, tools, all of the help they need.”

That was good to know!

“But for the other shares you don’t know about, well, I don’t know which shares you know about! There are people who prepare food for the other town, but they live here. There are various people working different fruits, grains or vegetables. There are workers with kids, with mines or with repairs. Oh, there are people preparing the third town.”

I halted her.

“Third town?”

“Yes, in the west. No one lives there yet, but some people were building this town until it was mostly complete, and then the second town until it was mostly complete, so now, they are preparing the third town until it will be mostly complete.”

“But why? I don’t think we use the whole town here, is the second town completely filled?”

Once again, she gave me the look I had begun to know.

“But their share is to build towns? Surely, if a town is completed, they need to build a new one, no?”

Exactly what I expected as an answer.

“Ok”, I asked, trying to outsmart her. “The families are here, in this town, right?”

“Yes”, she nodded.

“The retired people are in the second town”


“Then who will go in the third town?”

“I have no idea. It’s not up to me to say.”

“Then Rita will decide?”

“No silly, Rita is our elder, she doesn’t decide, she provides guidance on day to day things.”

“So what, the town will all vote and decide?”

“No, it will just happen.”

I was losing hope…

“Who decided the retired people would go to the second city?”

“No one”

“But they still went there, and before that, they didn’t.”

“Yes, that’s it”

“So someone decided that the retired people would go to the other city, who was that someone?”

“I don’t know, I was just a child then!”

I thanked her, and left to roam the streets, trying to find Rita, but I feared I would get a similar answer.

She surprised me however with a clear and direct answer.

“We had an unoccupied city so the retired people thought they could make it useful by moving there”

Ah! Finally an answer…

“Then, who will move to the 3rd city?”

But then again, I hit a wall.

“We don’t know my child, but if we don’t build it, it won’t be there when we need it, don’t you think?”

This colony will drive me insane… but I made a checklist to visit both cities as soon as I could.

Series Navigation«Harmony Chapter 30: Delays and taking a bathHarmony Chapter 32: Going west»
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