Ed perched on a railing in the main floor of the factory. Nobody noticed a single fly in here with so many buzzing around the giant meat grinders. Their compound eyes took in a lot, though not much detail from way up here.
Buzzing down from the railing, in tight circles like other flies, Ed picked a worker to shadow. Until they got swatted at and fell onto a clump of raw ground beef on the ground.
Ed got to his six legs, shook his head, and decided to clean his legs a bit before taking off. A plan which got interrupted as a man came and reached down. Ed flew up, but watched the man pick up the meat and just toss it back on the line. Dirt clumps and hairs stuck to it and all. Ed watched dirty, gross, tainted, rotting meat packaged down the line. No one said anything, barely even looking as they worked.
Ed's stomach twisted. Their father Samuel wanted them to stay out of it. The Star Surfer was more than capable of sanitizing their food and curing them of illness. To take on the mantle of a muckraker, was to bring attention to an issue, but also yourself. And laying low was always the most important, according to Samuel.
Ed wasn't comfortable letting this madness continue. But he also saw Samuel's point. Luckily Ed had a plan which should show the world just how bad this was and keep their name far away from the story.
Ed first wrote a letter, and then had Star Surfer copy it, but alter their handwriting to further distance their identity, as well as signing it with a false name: Mathew. It was addressed to Ed’s favorite writer, someone they were sure would take an interest in such a murky underworld.
First I want to say I enjoyed your novel Manassas: A Novel of the War. It was a wonderful read. You captured the journey of one man’s morality quite beautifully.
I think there is yet a new moral battle here in the factories of Chicago. Poor men working long and hard hours, in absolutely filthy conditions. To put food on our plates that is already tainted by those same fly infested and dirty air making those workers sick.
Someone needs to bring attention to this problem, and I personally can think of no one better. Your way with words will certainly paint a much clearer, if more horrific, than I ever could.
I know we have never made acquaintance, but I do hope you consider this seriously.
A fan and admirer,
They realized it was a great idea, so they sent other letters to other journalists. Ed sent the letters from a post box on the other side of town, and crossed their fingers someone would consider writing about this.
Until then, Ed was going to keep bringing meat back to the Star Surfer to clear it of any diseases.
Word count: 497