Lead Image Source
Isaiah sat down on the edge of the precipice and looked down, he could see his bare feet dangling and below them, a dense brownish mist, hiding the bottom of the abyss, a deep acrid smell flooded everything around him.
He turned around, looking over his shoulder, he could see a row of dying trees blackened by the smoke from the factories that obscured the horizon on the other side of the canyon.
He stood up, his blistered feet burning intensely, with heaviness he turned and walked down a path through the trees, behind him he dropped a greasy, balled up paper bag.
After crossing the grove of dying trees, he found himself in a clearing, where the grass grew ankle-high, deep green, in front of him a pristine stream, he dipped his aching feet into the cold water and sat down on the bank, the earth was soft there and sank a little under the weight of his bony backside.
In the distance he heard a shrill, distorted voice that woke him from the stupor that was beginning to daze him, ―Isaiah Lopez, ..., Isaiah Lopez, ..., get back to the transport or you will have to wait an hour for the next one, and it will be deducted from your pay for the day.
Isaiah got to his feet and ran clumsily back along the path through the dying trees, leaving behind the clearing and its stream, leaving the grove, down a flagstone roadway that bordered the abyss, crossed by a precarious railing made of almost rotten wood, a hundred meters further on, he found himself in front of the transport.
A sort of lead gray monorail wagon about ten meters long and with the Orbis logo on its doors, two on each side, in front of the only one that was open was the supervisor of the crew, a guy with a yellowish complexion and gray hair, whom they only knew as supervisor Rivas.
Rivas saw Isaiah and dismissively told him, ―Put on your boots before entering the transport ―. Pointed to the shoe hanging from his neck, tied by the braids; as he could. Isaiah shook one of his blistered feet. while he lifted it to the knee height of the opposite leg, forming a four with his legs, while resting his shoulder on the side of the transport, then he put on one of the boots without tying it and repeated, with greater difficulty, the operation with the opposite leg.
―Get on quickly and take your filter and helmet ―said Rivas without looking up, while he was checking something on his tablet, when Isaiah was inside the transport, he passed and closed the door behind him.
A kind of long and deep sigh was heard coming out of the transport, which slowly began to move along the tracks that plunged into the abyss, in a downward slope, getting lost in the mist that covered it.
The track crossed the canyon from one side to the other, entering a tunnel excavated in one of its walls, before entering it, the transport came out of the mist, revealing the bottom of the abyss; where once there was a flowing river, today there were piles of waste, accumulated there after decades of being thrown from the factories located in the upper part of the canyon and the houses that, like cells of a beehive, populated the canyon wall.
Among the piles of debris, already disintegrated by the rains, winds and heat, for some months now, yellowish grasses grew and a few pale green bushes began to take shape. This resurgence of life, among the debris thrown to the barren bottom of the canyon, could have been contemplated by the occupants of the transport, ignorant of the event, if it had had windows.
The transport was lost in the depths of the tunnel in the wall, heading for one of the Orbis factories that crowned the top of the canyon, while inside Isaiah, Rivas and the other occupants watched, on the small screens in front of their seats, safety information about the use of the transport and promotions about Orbis' latest investments to improve the working conditions of its employees.