Melancholy of Metal
As Jack awakes, he is under the impression that he is in his past home in the old English farmland. Bright yellow streams of the morning sun penetrate onto the hardwood floor and over the green plains outside; the scent of boiling porridge wafts throughout the cottage, complimenting the peaceful atmosphere. The day is soon to begin of a tedious, but bearable grind of wheat at the local mill.
This however, isn't reality, but indeed a past life.
It was when the machines arrived; the humble farmer's mortal flesh simply wasn't able to compete with the raw power of steel. This industrial age forced simple folk into a life of hard factory labour, tending mechanized abominations all day long until their ligaments would moan out in aching pain, whose unwelcome linger could only be cured with sleep. This was all too soon as the bells rang in the hour of twilight to remind the proletariat populous of their duties.
Jack can hear the bells now, they echo through his head in a malicious tune. He reluctantly breaks his wistful slumber for another torturous day.
Jack looks down at his sibling. The once blissful bright child had turned unnaturally pale. His hair now dishevelled, dirty and brittle. Bones swelling out of skin with nothing amidst, it was evident that a supper hadn't graced Ned's dry lips. Jack gasps at the sight, "Please help us." he utters to himself under his breath. Tenderly shaking Ned, his dull eyes open, completely hollow, drained of life. Jack silently nods to his sibling with a hopeless smile.
All around the boys are countless bodies; some corpses - indistinct from the rest that lay on the filthy basement floor where they live. The odd rodent hastens where the floor descends to the slush...