Flash: Unloading

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The noise of a thousand bodies in a small space quieted as the ship doors opened to reveal the immigrants new home. Non-canned air slipped in on hot wind, replacing human stink with the unmistakable odor of sulfur. Human noses inhaled deeply the pungent scent, glad for something new to smell after so many days in transit. Bright natural light rushed to fill the corners of the room as the doors widened enough for the ramp to be deployed.

Clarence huddled mid-way in the masses with his family. The trip had indentured them for ten years labor. More likely twenty years for him and Monique to cover the costs of Grandpa and Nanna’s trip. They were young and could suck it up. Food and other living expenses were going to keep the family down for a generation. Still, they had gotten out of the ghetto.

He waited for the other shoe to fall. He figured he wasn’t about to step into Eden. Others might buy the brave new world bit the recruiters sell. But there had to be a reason why they recruited in the slums and not in the colleges. Someone needed to do the work before brains arrived.

The people at the front stepped back seeing their new home. A few started wailing and cursing.

His dad and Gramps pushed the crowd back from the women on one side, Clarence stepped between the family and the mob on the other. Lincoln, a young man and his pregnant wife who had befriended the family on the trip out, helped him. On this new world they were going to be family too. That is if the company allowed it.

Yelling started in the front, and the side walls started slowly moving inward, forcing people off the ship. Nothing for it but to leave, although a few people fought the issue. Idiots, like a company is going to pay to haul bodies out here and allow you to turn around to go back.

Bridges burnt, Clarence and his clan stepped onto their new planet.

(Words 343 – first published 5/30/2013; republished new blog format 1/7/2018)