The Cart Factory


#1

This may be a story from the PC version, but it’s still a proof of concept. I have continued to rant about this sort of thing being possible and I’ve just gone and done it. Sort of. You’ll see soon.

There was once a city amongst a swamp between two plains. On the surface it seemed chaotic without a nursery or any apparent form of leadership, but there were family ties beneath it all. My mother was an example of this. She treated all her children with love and care and I was no exception. Therefore I was in a good mood when I set out into the world at the age of three as a blond headed boy. I had noticed a small patch of milkweed to the north west during my infancy and so I thought, “Why not? Let’s make a cart factory.” I worked to get the appropriate tools in place and continued to farm that milkweed for the needed rope. However a lack of a tree farm meant that I had to travel far from the village for the shafts I needed. At one point I contracted yellow fever and was on the verge of dying young. Fortunately for me a kind passer by called Yousef fed me a piece of mutton pie. He saved my life, yet did not stick around for me to thank him, disappearing amongst the structures of the town. So I got on with my task until a fine set of equipment was gathered near the farm around an old low well. After having made a few carts I realised that such work would need some feeding. However when, as a young man, I made it down to the bakery there was a disturbance of some kind. An old man with a whiskery brown beard was standing just off the stone road with a bloody knife in his hand. “It was a killer,” he tried to explain. A murder grave lay on the ground and a mother carried a hurt baby from the scene. I wasn’t sure what to say. “Well, ere, well done then,” I muttered, assuming the man to be as true as his word. Perhaps he had fought the one who stabbed the baby? Either way better to avoid any more conflict and death. How mistaken I was. It was at that very moment that an arrow flew over our heads and hit the murderer where he stood. “Curse me!” He shouted manically. Many of us did so willingly, realising him to be the griefer he was. The defender, only a boy, who had fired the shot came into the scene and stared at the man with the dream of damnation curiously.
When he did die nobody took away the bones.
I walked over the pile to grab a bascket of pies. It wasn’t my buisiness…
Hopefully I could atone for my mistakes with my work. I made cart after cart. One man waited a good few years for his order while I searched for and eventually made a bow saw. He was old and dying, so gave me the gift of his wool hat in return for my services. I had long since shed my seal skin coat for an infant, and so accepted this gift with great thankfulness. No other customer was as good as that. I missed that kind elder.
But then came the next step.
I was growing old myself. Therefore I asked around for an apprentice, a job to which a young black haired girl answered the call. She was known simply as Toucaz. Her mother was fine with me taking her to the fledgling factory. I took the time to feed the girl and I showed her the ways of the trade. She was a fast learner and quickly began making carts on her own and farming more milkweed. I was delighted. My trade would continue. Soon I gave her my backpack and the white wool hat, telling her the story of how I came to have it. I told her to give it to her apprentice as a reminder of why we did what we did. For the village and the mostly good people in it. She took the hat in awe and as she donned it I saw my legacy unfolding in her. It was inspiring.
But anyway.
We made carts, and as I got older I noticed that the initial demand had died down. The settlement was full of them, lying abandoned by the side of the road, waiting for a time when people would have a use for them. I told Toucaz that, when the city had no more need of our principle craft, she should move onto milkweed farming to a greater extent than before. That stuff is used up surprisingly quickly and is always handy for any city. She nodded and went back to her work as I had taught her. So, after dropping off some branches and food at the now mature factory, I went out to see some old friends. The last I saw of Yousef he was in the sheep pen with a knife, as unresponsive as ever. “Where are the sheep?” was the last I heard from my once saviour while he talked emphatically to his underlings.
In my final years I greeted my younger sister. I had not seen her in a while. We talked about “the old days” and what we’d done with our lives. I explained all about the factory and she told me how she’d learned a lot that life. We talked as such while eating berries from the bushes, needing more and more food with age. “We should teach the youngsters” I said with a grin. She sighed.
“They’ve all taught themselves.”
As she said this a child with a backpack rushed past us to fill up a bowl of berries with practised efficiency. Behind him the cries of Yousef continued.
“We should make some village lore,” I suggested instead, “that’s always fun.”
She agreed happily.
“Prophecy or story?” Was the choice I presented her with.
“Both.”
“Cool, how about…”
I considered what kind of prophecy story we could pass on to this strange town.
“… how about a story about how some day there will be a great warrior. With a bow, yes, and a wool hat. A warrior who will save this village from… from something terrible. What do you think of that - “
I did not get to finish the sentence. My body fell to the floor, suddenly struck by the perils of age. The time was up. I had reached 60 years of age and my bones laid to rest in that life giving pasture.

So I made a factory. More or less. But that is not the real reason why this was one of my favourite lives. It was what that factory led me to do. It helped me find an apprentice, a saviour, a sister. Without that factory who knows what would have happened? Any you never know.
Maybe someday they will finally have enough people to use all those carts we made.