Bells call for breakfast at 6 am each morning in Ghrest, just before the sun rises off a northwestern butte. The citizens, if they may be called that, get an early start and quickly take to working the land. The confines of Ghrest are wholly self-sufficient. Every animal and plant kept within the walls (though there are none) is recycled or reused. Ghrest is a grant experiment of living, the glimmer of a new society. All is shared. Nothing is wasted.
But walk the road of Ghrest and you will find the couples’ houses most unequal in appearance. One man’s carpentry outshines his peers; he is chastised for building new outhouses (called lavish) and treehouses for the unruly, naked children to throw stones at the cultivators. Another has a secret flushing toilet. A woman makes dresses beyond the common frock, and has profited from a secret, unannounced trade in fabrics.
The leader has brought in hired hands, who reside in squalid huts behind a new fence separating the common hall from the tilled fields. There is unrest in these barracks, for the pay is inadequate and prayers discomfiting. The experiment is coming to end. The men are restless and the women have been used.
What becomes of such experiments of living once abandoned. Will the structures burn at the hands of dissent? Will the restless cultivators sow the seeds of a new town here, or will the untilled fields undermine the foundations of the halls and homes, drawing the proud dwellings back into soil, monuments to a life once thought better, but ended worse?