Every word spoken, added to the physical mass. Charlie oversaw words and made sure that no one overused them. Words were precious, you see: a commodity that no one could do much without, yet paradoxically must not speak too often. They powered lights and made the cars run on time. If not for words, likely they would all be dead.
But then came a stranger into the town, who spoke freely, and with words they’d never heard before. Charlie grew worried about him but had no significant reason to remove him, he was but one man, and a kind enough sort at that.
But, yes, later, there was something wrong, there was something off. He used a swear. No one had ever heard it before—and it brought forth chaos. Continue reading