Samizdat by Eric Williams

Because of the watchfulness of the overseers, it is not easy—they watch closely, keen to catch and punish; each falling lash a sacrament: being an overseer is a calling rather than a deputation—but sometimes he'll break one of the stones, take an edge from a block, secreting the rubble in his rags, close to his skin. Once, a plinth broke free from its anchor, sliding down and over the ramp, crushing, killing and annihilating before it crashed to earth (its mother) breaking into thousands of raw-edged pieces. He had been put on cleanup while the overseers had beaten to death the shift manager, and he’d been able to save so many pieces, some as large as his fist.

He hides them under his own grass mat in a shallow trough, dug with his hands. The trough is the womb in which stones gestate, while above them, night after night, he dreams them into new shapes. Inevitably the trough fills, the stones under his mat tumescent as swollen fruit ready for the harvest. And once a month, when the slaves receive double rations of beer for the Dark of the Moon, he waits, trading some, spilling some, drinking only a little. Soon everything is silent, beer dark as night in the bellies of guards, slaves; everyone but him and then he slips away.

His mat is a basket; he shifts silt and dust, exposing his rocks, fragments with new purpose, fresh and bright in his mind; he takes them out, past the pickets, past the towers, the houses and the palace and the pyramids which grow older as he walks: first one unfinished, this year’s work, heaped to its halfway point, thirty feet aloft; then, last year's; that of the year before that; on and on through time.

If he kept on, he’d walk past a thousand years' silent monuments to times that have left them behind, but he turns aside and makes for the plain: dry, lonely, cracked; but most importantly, flat. He finds his place: that he left from the previous month. It's easy because, despite their lofty scale, they are as clear to him as words on a page, their contours guiding his feet in the dark as he hunts their loose ends. Finding it, he unloads his rocks and takes up his work.

Turning them in his hand, finding and caressing their faces, he fits them into place, one after another, a long line that (he knows) stretches on for miles. This one will be a bird, one he saw as the overseer beat him last winter for dropping a ladle in the dirt. The gods had sent the bird as a message, its great wings stretching between him and the sun to write in shadow a Holy Sign for him alone. The left wing is nearly finished, a mile and half long. He grows dizzy as he thinks of his future.

From the ground they cannot be seen, lines that curve and stretch only, bits and pieces of an whole he sees only in his mind. His first, a serpent, lies to the east. He has since made a turtle, a monkey, a great cat; a thing he knows only in his dreams and which cannot walk in this world; a fish, and frog; a vast spider, legs stretching to the rising stars of the Old Woman’s Belt that marks the turning of the seasons in high summer. He has drawn pictures for the stars to see.

Setting the last of his stones in place, he rises, his back creaking, his knees cracking. He will have to hurry back to the camp now. He raises his face to the stars.

Gods above and below, he prays silently, please let them build pyramids forever.

Eric Williams is the product of 3.7 billion years worth of life's struggle. This is widely considered to be one of the best arguments against the idea of 'progress' in evolution. His blasphemies, shouted to the audient void of twitter, can be enjoyed here: @geoliminal.