the dreamtime resumes

The Invaders were here for less than eleven generations. The land—especially where it nears the ocean—is disfigured by the bleached shells of their habitations. People trek there to salvage trinkets. It’s dangerous: you have to tread carefully. Children love to burn the brightly coloured plastic—that is the only way to get rid of it. The Elders warn against the noxious smoke and say its stench is characteristic of that terrible time.

The Invaders devastated the land with their unnatural power. They poisoned the sky and the ocean. Their reckless, insatiable greed provoked retribution. The land burned, not the way the Elders do it—with love and knowledge—but with such fury that it drove the Invaders away. When children ask where they went, the Elders admit they do not know. Perhaps they are all dead: there was a great dying. The Elders show the children a record of that time scratched into the rock: strange, narrow figures almost lost in the wide record of the vast, sacred time before the Invasion. What are those eleven generations in the stretch of thousands of the dreaming? Nothing but a bout of fever we have recovered from.

20 thoughts on “the dreamtime resumes

  1. A fair warning for what may be our future… A mythical tale from a better future is hopeful, but I think there will be no one there to tell it…

    Great short!

    1. I also fear that this may be our future. Like you, I believed it likely that humans may not make it to the end of the century… however, my thinking on that is changing. A ‘modulated collapse’ seems to me now more likely. Some regions will collapse utterly—and a lot of people will die. But in other place civilization may survive, perhaps even at a high-technology level. This future may be what the rich of our planet are banking on: the global warming will cull the—from their point of view—excess population…

  2. Beautifully put

    (have subscribed and @boxes left unchecked’ so shall therefore expect ‘everything’)

    1. thank you.

      As for the boxes, leaving them unchecked means that you would get nothing *wide grin*. I have sorted that for you… and now you will get EVERYTHING!!

  3. I’ve not read Gray’s Lanark… but am curious that it was what came into your mind. An oblique connection in my mind is to the last scene in Planet of the Apes.

    what is this “creative part” that intrigues you?

    1. Reading your blog coincided with a crossroads I came to while designing a little studio outbuilding for someone. It is entirely up to me, at this point, which way it goes design wise, spatially, aesthetics and architecture of it, materials etc. It was that forking of ways and how it would affect the ultimate outcome that I was drawing a parallel with.

      1. Also, I had in my mind gone beyond the Planet of the Apes as I assumed your ‘story’ would begin with a post apocalyptic scene, albeit showing its scars.

  4. Are you healing the planet in your mind? I’d be all for that. Intriguing to write in ‘a future’ looking back.

    1. not necessarily healing the planet—at least not in the short term—but I am imagining that there will be some people who will manage to survive, even in Australia—it has always been a marginal continent… a desert continent. But, in the terms of the 65,000 years that it has been inhabited be human beings, I imagine that the climate would settle down. Of course, my little parable doesn’t say anything about who may or may not have survived beyond Australia…

      1. I would imagine you would need to do double the work for such a story. First you have to decide the demise of this one only to be faced with a trillion options of how it may evolve. The creative part of it is what intrigues me. I must admit that when I read your blog the first thing that came to my mind was Alssdair Gray’s Lanark arriving in Unthank. I don’t know why. Not suggesting any parallels or connections.

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