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The Story:

He wasn’t allowed to question anything he had growing up. His parents never worked, but they all lived together in a mansion, had abundant food, and anything they wanted would eventually materialize. When he was older and realized how the world operates, they would scold him for asking.

“It just is that way for us, dear. We are special. And you’ll never have to work either. So, be grateful and stop questioning what you’ve earned for just being you,” his mother would say.

But he couldn’t stop wondering.

There was a constant low and muffled hum and clanking noise that came from the attic if he listened quietly enough. When he asked his parents about it, they grew nervous and dismissed it as nothing. But he didn’t believe them.

One Saturday when he was twelve years old, his parents were outside enjoying the gardens, so he decided to investigate the noise. His parents never knew that he had discovered the secret entrance to the attic behind a bookcase. The other entrances had been closed off.

He opened the bookcase wall to find a wooden ladder leading to the attic. Taking a deep breath and turning on his flashlight, he climbed it.

At the top of the steps, he came into a large dimly lit room where human-like creatures were performing various tasks. All of them wore shredded cloth for clothing and looked young. One of them was sewing what looked like a shirt he wanted. Another was hammering away at a metal project of some kind. There were about fifteen of them total, all making things he or his parents had wanted recently.

“What are you doing?”

They all stopped and looked at him in fear. One spoke for them all.

“Forgive us, master. Were we too slow again?”
“What? No.”
“I’ll have your shirt finished today, master,” another said.
“Stop! Just, stop. You’re slaves?”
“Oh, no, master! We are compensated with a roof and some food every week!”
“To make all of this?”
“To make master’s things.”

He understood. This was closer to how he understood the world to work, to what his teachers had taught him.

“Come downstairs with me. You don’t have to work up here anymore.”
“You mean… Us live like you?”


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