(This is only an excerpt from the story — for full version, please visit my Patreon site here)
Once there was a meadow. Then, five-story tenement houses made of cement and steel were constructed on it. Each building had three entrances and each entry a stairway leading to fifteen one or two room apartments, for a total of forty-five flats per building. There were many of these architectural monsters packed in the Rocky Settlement that protruded from the landscape overlooking Olkusz. A large red square was painted on a side of the building I lived in. It had a party slogan written on it with white, bulky, sanserif lettering: "Will You Help?" The flats were overcrowded with families who made their living by working day and night shifts in the enamel factory downhill from the Rocky Settlement. There were also other families who resided in the town away from the settlement and away from the factory. The small brick houses were mostly inhabited by doctors, lawyers, dentists, the chief of police, or holders of master’s degrees in political sciences. Their villas were insulated by gardens and shaded from the summer heat by the town square towering church.
On the other side of the highway from the Rocky Settlement, there was a large grassland which was peppered with small ponds. This was the children’s playground which during after-school activities provided the settlement boys and girls with tiny green lizards and black frogs. The green and black critters matched the color of the horizon that extended beyond the settlement’s meadows. The meadows boundaries were lined with old houses; their walls either a stark white cement, or blood-red bricks. Sandy soil of the dirt roads was ragged in front of the houses and an occasional horse-pulled wagon emerged slowly in front of them, like a cardboard marionette pulled by a string during a puppet show. On the other side of the horizon, beyond the children’s view, the ruins of the Gothic-era castle in Rabsztyn struggled to maintain its rugged existence. It barely retained its silhouette of an architectural specimen and looked more like a heap of trash outside of an outhouse. The ruins were like birthmarks on the landscape exhausted by an unrelenting history of a society hardly interested in restoring its glorious past. 
I was a thirteen-year-old boy who lived at the top floor of one of those buildings with my mother and older brother. I was fascinated by the turbulences caused by massive construction equipment which creeped on the peripheries of Olkusz, often filling the air with smells of sand mixed with cement and water. The world to me was not holy, sophisticated, or magnificent. It was an ugly universe in which the children, out of necessity, derived their pleasures from simple activities like eating, running, or picking wild blueberries, or mushrooms, in the woods beyond the cement housing. Watching black-and-white television and listening to rock-and-roll music (on Radio Free Europe) late at night, was occasionally supplemented with my rummaging through the catacombs underneath the town square which remembered the silver rush of the Middle Ages.
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(This is only an excerpt from the story — for full version, please visit my Patreon site here)
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