A hero among the trash

915 Reads   |   Published about 9 years ago

The Amazonian Desert was formed in the aftermath of World War 3, where most of the world was destroyed or damaged. High technology and terrible poverty were two constants all around the world, but in Brazil only a city remained. All the others vanished.

In that desert, tribes of Man keep the self destructive nature of their race alive by burning, scraping and drowning in trash. The Brazilian big cities are graveyards of technology ripe for the taking!

Among the scrappers a young man and his master.

This is their story.


Paulo was a young man, he shaved his head to look tough, walked without a shirt or a care on his bones. He only answered to the 'Master of the Junk', a man who nurtured him as his own son.
For years the duo traversed the abandoned city of Rio de Janeiro, scavenging for supplies like water, food, technology and even people. Paulo liked to pretend he was a bad man, but he always alarmed people when he found them first. Because when he didn't...

The Master ate them.

"My philosophy, Paulo, is simple. Those who are alive at the precipice of the end of the world do so out of stubbornness. And I am the most stubborn of them all. If I do not eat them, if I do not learn from them, if I do not become them, I will be assimilated by them."

This vague, deranged and pointless answer was all Paulo could get from his 'father' when he questioned his habits.

In one of their daily trips at the terrible techno wasteland of Rio de Janeiro, something happened.

Paulo was walking alongside Master of Junk, kicking a can of tomatoes along the road, when his sharp eyes met with a particular shiny object.

A crown. A symbol of power.

Paulo knew about this. Despite being quite eccentric, Master of Junk was a great teacher. He told him about the old world, of kings and queens, of war and ravage, of knights and savages. He knew that crown represented dignity, status, control and even power.

He didn't hesitate. He rushes towards the trinket and forcefully removes it from it's pile of trash, holding it into his chest.


He yells excitelly.

His Master was not pleased.

"Foolish boy. Put down that thing. This is a dead place. The crown you cling to your heart is from a dead era. You step into the rubble of an age that does not exist anymore."

Paulo glances over his father and chews him on.

"Oh yeah? You have all short of trinkets hanging from your ugly coat, Master o' the Junk! Why can't I have my own? You always keep the good stuff to you, you do!"

The Master was displeased.

"You dare to bark at your Master, boy? I raised you to preserve the purity of the human race and instead of following the path I presented to you, you grab the first piece of crap you see? Like a moth drawn to a flame?"

He starts moving towards Paulo. The young man never saw his father this distressed. Not even when he ate other people.

"The sacred junk hanging from my clothing are mementos of an age past. The death of society as I knew it. You are supposed to use them as warning signs, of how destructive we are as people."

He finally reached Paulo. The young man can feel the breath of his Master next to his face.

"Give me the crown. Accept your fate as the next generation of this god forsaken hell we call desert. Do not cling to hope."

Paulo puts on the crown over his bald head.

"I had enough of you, Master! You are always telling' me what to do, who to talk to. You tell me what is justice, you complain about a dead society, yet you shelter me from your own past? You told me the man wearing a crown has immense power, as well immense responsibilities eh? I have neither! I am just a stupid scavenger trying to survive! I am powerless! I have no responsibility other than to feed myself and your lazy behind. Let me enjoy this!"

Without hesitation the Master of Junk drew one of his trinkets. A gun. Which he fires without any cerimony towards his 'son'.

"Fine. If you wish to be king of a dead city, allow me to introduce you to your kingdom! Foolish runt..."

The bullet pierced young Paulo's heart, killing him instantly.

He falls to the scrap heap where he found the crown.

As the Master of Junk is leaving the scene, a miracle occurs.
Paulo body ascends to the heavens. A tornado of junk starts rising from the several trash reaps alongside Rio. They all change shape, they bend, they float. And finally, make a form.

"I am Rio..."

Utters the dead Paulo, being the heart of the humanoid junk-tornado-creature.

His Master cannot believe it. He stares at the boy and his new gigantic body as they walk among the city, shaping it, transforming it, recycling it.

Paulo died a worthless scrapper.
And was reborn as the heart of a city.

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