Jin's boots slopped the viscous mud with each step. Two days outside now, and still mud.
They'd laughed when she'd donned the boots, then added an oil coat and wide-brimmed fedora. They'd followed her, and laughed even more, as she made her way down past the culinary district to the lower levels, where neon lit dim alleys, where prostitutes gathered outside the borscht shops, where the plink of a single coin gained you murderous attention, and where she eventually passed the City gate, in peace.
The City. The machine paradise. The world haven. The sanctuary. She spat. Souls in mortgage to rouge and moisturizers and condoms now. A seething collection of beings enthralled only to pleasure, to rituals that alienated order, to actions that veered away from the one true purpose. The refuge first offered by the City builders, in time of crisis, meant for all, equally. Now, we had given up on the easement intended by our forefathers. We had closed our eyes to the peace its walls once brought. To the growth it should have sustained.
What had gone wrong? A seed of doubt, perhaps. An abrogate thought that spread by generations, maybe. To give up on dreams, to give in to commerce, to the old Hedonisms, to the old classes. And, finally, the lowers like her, peaceful but duty-driven, filthy in their approbation of the highers, as they fawned over their riches, kept it going. She spat again.
The trudge continued, past barren rivers, around craters, over salt licks cracked with boiling fissures, and she marveled at what the ancient devices conceived. Mud. Always mud. Thick, red, and mute of purpose. Here, and there, and on out beyond the soulless horizon.
It slopped, and slopped. And Jin smiled.
Inspired by this @tvansantana post, and word list: https://ello.co/tvansantana/post/u7ukvrrmjbakzi_3dqebhw