Elena sat next to the watch, leaning against the fence and etching a design in the dirt with a stick while glancing up occasionally at Pavel’s approaching form.

“The people in the house have no use for your shoes. I told them neither did you, but here they are,” he said holding them out to her.

“Thank you for your trouble,” she said taking them from him and setting them next to her.

“Do you mind if I sit down?”

“It’s your road.”

“You can have it if you want.”

“Too much responsibility for me. I can only go one direction, so the other way would be neglected.”

“What are you drawing?”

“Eternally concentric squares.”

“Odd juxtaposition of terms.”

“Yes it is. If circles are the perfect shape, then why do people make things square?”

“Stackability and stability. Circles are slippery.”

“So stackability is better than the perfect shape?”

“In a fallen world, I suppose so,” Pavel said.

“Must be because everything has exploded and stacking is the only way they can be put back together in a relatable way now.”

“So you’re saying that if everything was as it should be things would only exist in circular form, or one big circle?”

“Let’s say many circular forms, then they would relate telepathically and not have to be stacked. Stacking implies lack of free movement.”

“But before the fall even trees were made linear and anchored to the ground.”

“But their branches and roots are circular tubes, and the leaves are somewhat circular. The anchored to the ground part is a quandary.” She paused then said, “Water drops are circles, and they travel up the tree, defying gravity. Water is free-er than trees, but trees help it be even free-er by bringing it up to the sky.”

“And trees aren’t stacked squares either. How do you feel about straight, non-circular lines?”

“I think I like their stability, but squares are confining.”

“I see that each of your concentric squares has an escape route.”

“Exactly.”

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