There were the heat variations, the changing pitch of light on the walls, the growing children, all these would mark time in the containers. Clothes had shredded over the years, shame proving surprisingly resilient before giving way to indifference and quiet comfort. Nights were warm, a hidden light source assumed to be the moon hidden yet allowing for the dexterous to entertain with lively hand shadows. Time passed.
Leaders emerged within hours of the containers being populated. These were gradually ignored as reality dawned and priorities changed. Contrary to the past, security and fiscal reform did not figure largely into daily container life. Instead, the ability to tell a great story, to allow container dwellers to forget their bizarre predicament as fully as possible, proved the most common characteristic among the respected. To forget the bafflement, to build one’s resignation to it, to contemplate the growing contentment, this was where most of the effort within the containers was directed toward.
Those responsible for creating these curious communities are lost to posterity. It is thought only a small number of inhabitants have been identified, and even then only through the stories they told. Tales concerning the introduction to container life center around a brutal sensation of abrupt removal, the rough shearing of deep roots. They had gone to sleep one night, in their respective late twentieth century settings, and found themselves in the containers when they awoke. No one ever entered in any other manner than finding themselves placed there by some invisible hand. They were apparently relieved of the need to eat, and therefore also of the purging of waste by-products that normally followed. Sleep still occurred, although dreaming was more frequent and less hurried than before. Although some containers were large enough to allow for exercise, it too was not necessary, as aging seemed to have slowed to a crawl.
The containers were organic designs, bulbous and smooth and bone white, with varying numbers of pyramidal tubes jutting from and looping over each structure. It was difficult to see very much of the surrounding landscape through these openings. Inhabitants came to ignore the outside altogether over time, only occasionally mentioning a patch of blue sky or arid, rocky land visible through an opening. The perspective turned inwards, and the imagination took over.