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Thank you for reading. ((Modified to fix some obvious typos))
It had been as it had always been. It was as it would always be. The wind howled and the sands scattered and the man awoke. It was morning. The time for rest was over.
He slid wearily from bed. He pulled the smock over his head and he took the gnarled oak handle of his broom. Steadying himself, he started for the door that hung exhausted on its hinges - grey light beaming through its tired boards. The room he departed without a glance was a plain and usual thing. Wood slats coverred the walls, as shadows hung sullenly hostage to a candle that never burned out but continued burning dim. The bed sagged under the weight of an unravelling blanket. A single picture hung on the wall. It was bleached of color or detail, a grey-black pane on a grey-black wall.
The man's feet moved, following the path that was followed in trudging, halting steps. His broom drug behind him in persistant protest. The light of day was indirect and ambivalent. It had no source and no destination. The buildings squatted all around him. Signs and billboards were blank, store fronts empty. There was no scent to this place. The sand that drifted here was not the man's concern. He was the Mayor here, but the sand here was not his concern.
He followed the street, waking along the worn stones that shifted slightly beneath his steps. He counted his paces, watching his rag covered feet. He would need eighty more before he was there. The post office was near him now. He never swept the sand there. The post office was thirty paces from the place that he was going.
The Well was at the center. It stood sharp and glistening, reflecting back a casual brilliance that gleamed alone in this town like a beacon into the fog. Stout and dignified, a thin crown of emerald moss adorned its lip. Water listlessly whispered from its throat. The Well belonged to the Mayor. This was the place that was swept. The broom protested no more.
He swept and the sand clung. Sand fought the effort, grasping the the Well's limey, stone bodice with stretching, uneven fingers, grasping through the straw broom. The broom continued swinging, the sand continued fighting. The constant even strokes nudged and shoved. Inevitable was the motion and determined, the broom moved relentlessly in its toil. Futility finally overcame passion and the sand was stripped of the Well. Cast aside, it lay before the icon in submission.
The Mayor sat at the edge in the place that the moss had left bare for him. The cool surface of the stone was welcome to his warm skin. The water whispered and he knew that his duty was done.
The Well was behind him. His room was ahead. It was time for sleep. Tomorrow he would tend the Well. Tonight he would rest.
It was seventy paces before he was sleeping again.