The old one awoke to another cold, drizzly, rainy morning. He toweled off the night sweats that plagued him every night. He dressed and wandered into the assembly hall. The priest’s, his minions, and the nobles with means arrived earlier and began setting up their tables for the pity food they brought every Sunday to feed the homeless. They placed “pity food,” on the tables the food consisted of soup, bread, and juice. The substances that fueled the homeless and made the hearts of the nobles explode with joy.
Then at eight in the morning, the old one and the rest of the homeless were ushered out the door of the 2100 and into the cold morning, each began his trek to seek food and or shelter elsewhere. Some, like the old one made the trek to the gaping maw of the Priest’s house.
Once, inside the Priest’s house, they were ushered into a great hall. Above his head, king’s knee trusses lined all in a row and between each truss was a great brass fire pot; the fires contained within each cast its eerie yellow glow upon everything it touched.
The old one sat among the thongs of the pitied, listening to a cacophony, of voices, and the shrieking outbursts of the demented, and the grumblings of the discontented.
The priests and their humble, but loyal minions prepared the food for the pitied, the demented, the homeless, and the discontent for this one-day a week affair. The food was enough to stave off the hunger of the day. However, more important than the food, but the act of giving the food, their gift to these poor souls is what swelled the hearts of the priests, the nobles, and the royal court. This simple act of giving validated their very existence, at least for another day.
The meal began on time and unceremoniously as one would expect, the huddled masses lined up, the food was delicately placed on the plates and served, and with each plate served, it was accompanied with a heart-felt and genuine God bless you.
The old one, he asked himself what God could do. The nobles controlled all aspects of one’s life, we pray to an invisible God, who promises salvation and peace. The nobles, the tyrants, the lords, and master’s rule us with steel and lies, false truths, and promises of rewards that never appear. Moreover, in the end, the salvation that God offers is peace after death. And not surprisingly, the tyrant can promise you the same peace. However, the main difference is God waits for you to die; the tyrant helps you along with death. And in the end, you have your peace.
At one hour past twelve, the old one, along with all the rest were told politely but forcefully to leave the priest house. Into the rain, they walked, one by one, or in small groups, but in the end they all left the safety of the priests’ house. They scrambled and scurried along trying to find a dry spot or some shelter away from the elements. The old one watched them as they disappeared one by one into the mist, and later that day he would watch them reappear at the 2100 in masse still seeking shelter, their spirits dampened as well as their clothing by the cold March rain.
The old one trudged on dodging the raindrops and skirting the puddles however; he too was dampened by the rain and the gloomy gray skies. He thought about what had gotten him here, the sad turn of events, His fall from grace, and his fall from a comfortable lifestyle, to this. This, as he called it was the 2100, a shelter, complete with the demented, the unfortunates, the unwanted, and those, which, by using drugs or alcohol allowed themselves to become a part of this lifestyle.
He was thankful; thankful though was an understatement, for what little he had. He had an iron bed frame, a mattress to sleep on, and a locker to store what he possessed. The old one shook his head he looked at the locker that contained the sum total of his life and that was nothing.
Everything in that locker; was charity, or hand me downs, and unwanted trash, from someone he didn’t know. The clothes he wore were too small, or too large, none of his clothes fit him. He had worn them for over a week since getting out of prison, he had rinsed them out once, and he tried in vain to dry them, his clothes were dirty and he was dirty, he felt unclean, he had washed his body, and he still felt unclean, never before had he felt this way. It was unbearable; he would have to endure this too, just as he had endured other terrible things a thousand times before.