I had been curious about this meeting with Uncle Axel for some time now because even when we arranged the meeting he seemed uncertain on whether it was a good idea or not. One of the things I liked about uncle Axel was that he always seemed to have some retained story or strange, but important opinion he needed to get across to me. Although this added excitement to my life it also at times provided… depression.

Uncle Axel seemed to be shocked at my arrival even though I was verging on late and I had been talking to Mary who owns a farm near his house right outside his gate. Uncle Axel held the expression for what seemed like a millennium and the usually quick five steps that it would take to get to his bench, seemed to, as well take an age. As I edged closer I snapped out of my daze. By the time I was within a metre of Uncle Axel I noticed a strange aura surrounding him like a barrier, warding me off. For the rest of the conversation I decided to sit as far away from him on the bench as I could.

We sat there for nearly 8 minutes without exchanging a word. Another few minutes had passed and neither of us had said anything. At this point I was off guard and I was in a trance of my own. Suddenly I heard his voice, which at some points was unrecognisable because it sounded like he had just woken up. “Sorry about that, I had a tough sleep.” He croaked. “Um it’s ok,” I replied awkwardly, “Why did you invite me here?” I felt that I was verging on rude saying that so I tried to say it in the friendliest tone possible, however this was difficult for my unemployed mouth. “Well Davie boy, there is one story from my travels that I feel I must tell you.” He replied. I was relieved and my fake smile now became genuine “What’s it about?” Uncle Axel ignored my question and carried on “It was one of the times when I travelled south, to…” He hesitated “…what is considered the badlands.” I was worried that he was going to go into another trance. “Davie you must promise me to never tell anyone about this.” The mood turned depressing again.”Davie this place was beyond imagination. I had reached a point of the coast that seemed not to be badlands so I set up camp there. It was one of the furthest points I had sailed along the coast and I knew I would not be able to survive for long with my current resources so I decided to explore inland. On my travels I encountered by an area of coconut trees so I began to pick. After a few moments I was ambushed by a group of deviations with legs made out of water who caught me in a net. They made me take them to my ship and then they looted all of my food. Once I had been set free I knew I needed more food, if I had any chance of survival. I decided this time to take a different route. I had traveled for miles and I failed to find any food. It was getting late and I began to fear for my life, when the unexpected happened, I came across a colossal fortress. I was dizzy, and I needed food so I decided to enter, the doors were open and I stumbled through. After that I fainted.” I swallowed. This story was beginning to worry me.

Uncle Axel made some tea and sat back down. “Davie boy, I tell you with the deepest sincerity that you must not share this story.” I nodded “well I guess I’ll continue. When I awoke I was indoors and hunger was my overwhelming feeling. A man dressed in a suit of metal armour was standing over me holding food. My instant reaction was to flinch, but the food took me in. The man told me not to worry and that his people were friendly. He greeted me and took off his mask. Underneath, was one of the strongest men I have ever seen. He was made completely of stone. Later did I realise that his people weren’t all made of stone, some were completely made from water, fire and wind. All the people wore metal armour to protect their friends from accidental harm. These people did everything we do but better. They cleaned faster and more efficiently. They built faster and more efficiently. They WERE faster and more efficient. Davie boy, deviations are the way forward!”

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