9: The rats

Coffee Details


Marcala, Honduras


18 Rabbit: a collective of coffee farms owned by the Zelaya Ontreras family


Red and yellow catuai


Anaerobic natural


Strawberry, raspberry, cherry


The story of the Rats was not a short story.

Violet Rat had spent their entire life living in the Pits amongst a small village of Rats. So had several generations of Rats before them. The Rats weren’t sure how much time had passed since their ancestors first arrived after leaving Normalcity. The First Rats had passed down stories about their former lives in Normalcity and their journey to the Pits. Though some of the details had changed throughout the ages, the main story mostly stayed the same.

The Rats were forced to hide in the sewers of Normalcity, but, even there, they weren’t safe from the murderous, Rat hating monsters who placed poison and traps everywhere. Normalcity called them “pests” and complained that they were dirty, which was true, but only because they were living in the sewers.

When Normalcity began to send their trash off-world, some of the Rats saw an opportunity; tired of their lives in hiding, they snuck onto a trash rocket. The First Rats didn’t know if it would take them somewhere they could live; they didn’t even know if they would survive the journey. They only knew that the chance to find a safe home was well worth the risk.

As luck would have it, they survived the trip and landed on the planet that one day (in the very far future) would house Weird City. They found themselves in the Pits, amongst some of the earliest trash deposits from Normalcity. The Pits were neon green, bubbling hot pools that dissolved anything that touched them, including all Normalcity’s garbage. Odd plants and vegetation grew in sparse patches near the hot pools.

The First Rats dug out their homes underground, amongst the Pits. It stayed warm in the caves, and they cultivated the strange plants that grew above for food. Over time, their population grew until they were the size of a small village.

Normalcity continued to send rockets full of trash, filling the Pits and creating tall mountains of garbage across the planet. Living underground, the Rats hardly noticed. For generations, they lived well, rarely leaving their cave and never going much further than the outer edges of the Pits.

That was until the temperature in their cave began to rise. At first, it was an unalarming few degrees per year. Not until their plants began to whither did the Rats start to discuss the possibility of moving somewhere else. Violet had been the only volunteer to leave the Pits to find that somewhere else.

Violet had walked for nearly half a day before arriving at the place they found Slow Mo picking Neon Grapes. They had not meant to scare Slow Mo; Violet had just been trying to find a place to hide as the suns were setting. Unsure of what to do once Slow Mo knocked himself out, Violet brought him back to the Pits.

“Well, it’s a good thing you found me,” Slow Mo said as Violet finished telling their story, “I know exactly where you need to go.”