Donny Williams sat on a bare hillside, staring at the heavens. Wolf, his dog, sat next to him, thinking doggy thoughts.
Behind them towered the statue of the Faceless One, the God that made all sentient life forms. Donny smirked as he considered that theology, that humans were obviously closest to the Faceless Ones, as they had the simplest facial features, and all those other alien races, with their more complex faces—teeth, ears, etc—were further away. He thought it was a silly theology, about on par with those he and his friends made up for their role-playing games. He half-feared divine retribution for thinking such heretical thoughts there, under The Faceless One who overlooked Fairfield.
Fairfield. Hah. Unfairfield is more like it. Anyone with an imagination is ostracized, shunted to the sidelines by the teachers and principals and ministers. They teach how it’s a free society … as long as you play by the rules. And so many rules! He and his friends had to meet in secret to play their games … and there were rumors of kids disappearing. Kids like himself, anyone a little odd or imaginative.
Bobby. What happened to Bobby? Nobody knew. Donny had known Bobby forever. Since kindergarten. One day, when they were fifteen, Bobby put his hand on Donny’s—he didn’t want to think about it. He gently grabbed Bobby’s hand and put it back where it belonged.
“No, Bobby. I’m your friend, but I don’t want to play like that.”
He had heard rumors about Bobby, but never saw him again. He hoped he was all right, and found a suitable friend.
Donny lay back and looked at the sky. The Great Arch of stars was overhead, and in the center of it, the Eye of the Faceless One looked down on Donny and the whole of Shirex. A single point of light caught Donny’s eye as it traveled across the sky from west to east, transiting in about five minutes.
What the fuck? That never happened.
Wolf barked gently.
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