#22 – Dirk

Over the cliff of the ant-mine, Dirk’s patchy head poked. Rising over the center of the pit, branched a great white tree, with it’s many roots half exposed. All along the roots, the colorful beings opened passages, and slipped inside the gargantuan structure. The branches of the tree had all been cut away. Only a level top remained. Out from the roots, the colorful beings hauled boxes. The line of beings carrying the boxes ran up the rim of the crater, into the open desert. The ground had been worn white along their path. The stream of beings ended, and returned, empty handed, into the roots.

Dirk pushed away from the pit’s edge, and circled around to stack of boxes. They were arranged in three lines of ten, each line three boxes tall. Dirk tried to push one of the stacks over, but he didn’t have any strength left. The effort left him collapsed. From his prone position, he saw the approach of one of the colorful beings. It was one of the pale, yellow ones. It’s face was friendly. All the beings looked like they were happy, but the eyes were shallow, and the smile never changed.

Dirk considered running from it, but he just couldn’t tell his legs how to get up. The yellow one stopped in front of him. Dirk used his arms to pull himself up. The box he was holding on to began to tilt, but Dirk was balanced before it was pulled over. The colored being turned aside with a jerky stop and went along one of the rows. Dirk went to follow, but the yellow one returned with a box in hand. It pulled the box apart like a cracked egg, and bubbles of treats spilled out. He scrambled after the balls, collecting them within the fold of his tattered shirt. They were soft under his nails, and he was able to rip open one filled with peanuts. Most of the nuts scattered to the floor, and the yellow one approached, to pick each one out of the dirt.

Dirk used the opened box to shelter from the sun. He fell asleep curled around a mound of packaged food, with fruit juice sticking between his fingers. While he slept the being had resealed the shipping container, and had re-stacked it. The three flyers descended, collected the boxes, and departed back over the ocean.

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