The Collector

Berlijn Plantation, Commewijne, Suriname. Public domain photo by Brokopondo.
Berlijn Plantation, Commewijne, Suriname. Public domain photo by Brokopondo.

The song lilted across the river’s muddy waters. Max, crouched on the opposite bank, tweaked the settings of his recorder listening intently. Through his headphones the world was crafted solely from a lament to loss and toil. Honey tones serenading dead lives.

A whip cracked, thunder tearing asunder tranquility, hushing the choir. Focusing his spyglass, Max watched the plantation owner chastise the cotton pickers, sweat staining the back of his white shirt, the bullwhip hanging languidly in his hand.

There would be no more song today.

Max began packing away his equipment; hopefully he had enough material to satisfy his client. He looked back across the bank, watching ebony skin toiling under the fierce sun. A child looked up, her youth corroded by exploitation.

Once Max would have wanted nothing more than to rescue her, to take her back into the multiverse with him.

Not anymore.

He waved, before stepping back though the portal.

Taking their song with him.

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