e’s been working steadily for weeks. Pouring the foundation, putting in the
supporting beams. Lying on his back here, at the end of another sixteen-hour day,
he stares up through the girders, dreaming.
It will be three floors when it’s finished. Five bedrooms for the family he would find at last, the place alive with the voices of children. One room at the back for him alone, a den for all the reading he would finally get to in his retirement. Someday it will be the home he’s always wanted, but for now he sleeps outdoors. When he does sleep. He rests little, eats only enough to keep going. Life is work, working is living. He doesn’t find room for anything else. It can wait.
The ground rumbles underneath him.
Then the shriek of rending metal. The wall to his left is torn away, showing the cavern beyond. He watches helplessly as this chunk of his home rises into the dark far above him. He is paralyzed by terror. Then he hears it. The crunching sound of giant teeth.
A fine radish dust settles over him like snow. The final result of all the unending hours he sunk into this place. Already, he can hear others approaching. This place, his home, would be completely gone in minutes. He runs out, screaming into the darkness. Homeless again.
Most would give up. Most had. But as he crouches in hiding, listening to his home being eaten by giants, he’s already planning the rebuild. He can do better. Bigger. He’ll take longer with it and be even more careful, next time.
There’s no time to think about what was lost, or even the warmth of family and good times ahead. For now, it’s work. Work is all there is. There is no room for anything else
Remember when you were a minipop, and you saw that film, you know, the one you loved that never had a sequel? Well, let's say it did. And it was just like you imagined it, only a little bit worse.