In early morning, the solitary shrine to St. Cohen of the Others, on the corner of Levinsky, sat solitary and abandoned beside the green. Road cleaners crawled along the roads, sucking up dirt, spraying water and scrubbing, a low hum of gratitude filling the air as they gloried in this greatest of tasks, the momentary holding back of entropy.
By the shrine a solitary figure knelt. Miriam Jones, Mama Jones of Mama Jones’ shebeen around the corner, lighting a candle, laying down an offering, a broken electronics circuit as of an ancient television remote control, obsolete and useless.
“Guard us from the Blight and from the Worm, and from the attention of Others,” Mama Jones whispered, “and give us the courage to make our own path in the world, St. Cohen.”
The shrine did not reply. But then, Mama Jones did not expect it to, either.