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The Ones Who Made The Cage

Sedeer el-Showk is an ongoing story set mainly in Finland and Morocco. He makes a living writing popular science articles and enjoys learning about the world in every way possible, from science to conversation to poetry. This is the second story he has had published, both in Daily Science Fiction. You can find links to some of his nonfiction at seeder.elshowk.com and find him on Twitter as @inspiringsci. **
It had not yet become a city of legend when I was born. There were festivals and clamoring bells and bright towers by the sea, but we also had poverty and hunger and grief. Our city was still real then, and we bore happiness and misery in equal measure in the time before the child.
One day, an enchanter appeared among us, a man who could reshape the world with his words. No one knew where he came from. Some said he was a stranger from afar, but others claimed he was a citizen of the city. Looking back, I think neither is true. I believe he was born from us, a manifestation of the secret desires we refuse to name. He was the reflection we will not endure, freed to roam our streets.
For a time, our wills eluded him. Laborers in the fields distrusted a man who lived off of his words, and merchants feared his bold pronouncements. The powerful resisted his calls for change, and the wise said he knew too little of the world. Each was certain he served another, and all doubted the wonders he wove with words.
But at last he found words which touched us all. The poor thought the wealthy would forfeit their riches; the wealthy thought the poor would relinquish themselves. Citizens from every walk of life united behind his promise. All ignored the cost, believing another would bear the burden. We were wrong, of course, but we were also right.
The enchanter was gone the next day, and the child in the basement appeared. In that day and hour, prosperity and beauty and delight filled our city, and we passed into legend.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, December 27th, 2018


If you haven't read Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas," I think you should.

- Sedeer el-Showk

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