Article Nonsense found himself being led down the narrow ‘chute’ known as Death Row with a feeling of unease. Their arrival in Rearwards had been, on the whole, rather negative. Not only had they not found Rojer or the gems, but the group had been promptly captured and separated.
He couldn’t be sure what bothered him so, perhaps it was the compact feeling of being bashed against the walls with scarce little regard for his wellbeing or the sub-standard lighting which caused him to trip over unidentified objects every few steps. Or perhaps the light at the end of the chute was rapidly expanding. He thought it must somehow be a metaphor for being born, but he couldn’t quite grasp the thread before it went fritting away.
Maybe it was that the light began illuminating the aforementioned unidentified objects. They were revealed to be body parts of various victims of whatever awaited at the end of the tunnel.
Being shackled by the hands and ankles didn’t paint a rosy picture either, Arty reflected. The various mean-looking guards shoved him along. They all looked like they’d never seen the inside of a bath and were ten years past the need of a dental visit.
It could have been a collection of all these things which gave Arty this sensation of unease which he had become accustomed to since his adventures began. But upon further reflection, and if he had to be honest with himself, it was probably that before walking down this chute he was confronted by a rather hairy shirtless man with a bag over his head with two eye holes cut out of it. The man introduced himself as the executioner. He had told Arty he was going to be executed.
‘Hello, I’m the executioner, you’re going to be executed,’ he had said.
Presently, he was shoved by one of the ugly, smelly thugs again, which caused him to trip over a foot, singular, as in not attached to anyone. Arty wore only a thin shirt and long pants, basically his undergarments that his armour would ordinarily cover.
‘Are you in a hurry, perhaps?’ He asked with false politeness. It was a tone that he took when under extreme duress. He would have described it as ‘extremely British’, although he had no clue what those words meant. ‘Have you been invited to a dinner party or something? Tea perhaps?’
‘No stupid,’ the guard from behind him growled, ‘we gots more executions to perform.’
‘Of course,’ Arty replied, regaining his shackled balance before lumbering on.
‘Then we’ve gots dinner,’ the guard grumbled.
‘Make sure you clean up,’ Arty replied. He was pleased with that barb.
‘What? Cleans up before a dinners party? Hows else wills we leads the congregation?’ The guard stumbled over that last word like a dog eating a peanut biscuit.
‘What are youse stupid? When we have a dinner party, the filthiest gets to enter the room last and sit ats the head of the table, thens the party cans begins.’ Arty couldn’t help but notice that the pronunciation of the word ‘stupid’ was almost unintelligible.
‘And why is the filthiest at the head of the table?’ he queried.
‘Because if you look the worst and smell the worst, then you are the hardest worker. Therefore, you have the greatest honour, obviously.’ The reply took on a tone Arty had heard from teenage girls. Coming from the mouth of this brute was a little unsettling.
The end of the chute was still a few metres away, and given the pace of his short, shackled legs, Arty figured he still had some time to spare.
‘Ok, so why are the hardest workers given the greatest honour at dinner parties?’
‘Not just dinner parties, everywheres, our society is builts around the ideas that those whose actually dows the works, keep the streets clean, fix the sewages systems, burns the bodies after the plagues hits should gets the biggest houses, can go to the heads of the lines and gets paids the most moneys.’ Again, listening to these words in the tone of this missing link was difficult as he clumsily manhandled each syllable. All except for the words ‘money’ and ‘sewage system’.
‘You don’t thinks that the people who tell the workers what to do should get all the privileges do youse? Then what would be the rewards for doing all of the hard works? Nobody would want to do its, they would all seek jobs in comfortable chairs, and then the hard works wouldn’t get done. Then the socials stigmas would see peoples refusing to undertake these tasks. The city would have to resorts to immigrant labourers, which would cause anger at the loss of jobs. Racial conflicts would occurs, it wouldn’t end wells.’
‘So those of you who organise and lead the workers are at the bottom of the social ladder?’ Arty was intrigued.
‘Of course, the more workers they haves, the less position they holds,’ the ‘of Course’ carried a bit of a surprising squeak.
‘So the boss of the biggest business would be the lowest of jobs?’
‘Well yeah, excepts for politicians.’
‘Of course, (squeak) I mean running the entire city means that they have the most peoples workings for them, it’s sometimes given to those who can’t finds work, makes them feel like they’re contributings.’
‘Well, that is interesting,’ Arty replied genuinely.
‘Why, how do youse do its?’ Asked the half-man, half-ogre.
‘How does my society work? Well, to be honest, the exact opposite, but we elect our politicians.’
‘Really? That sounds crazys, so the most admirable job is a politicians?’ The man-ogre seemed confused.
‘Err, well no, on that we actually kind of agree. You’ve given me a lot to think about-‘ a shove to his back ended Arty’s remark.
‘Well glads to helps, enjoys yours executions!’ Grunted the half-man.