STORYTELLER: sloka p
Imagine A World
It was once a place with flashing lights and dashing cars. Now people live in huts or by a river or stream like in a fantasy story. There is no more electricity because the governments had given permission for an insanely dangerous experiment that had resulted in The Explosion. While they were running the experiment someone made an unbelievably, crazy mistake and laptops, phones and computers had heated up and blown up. At least that's what the police had managed to find out. It could be different. Who knows? Anyway that’s why everyone is living without technology - they're too scared. I wonder, will we be living like this forever now?
I stretch and yawn as the sun rises above the horizon, shining on our faces to wake us up. It had been many, many days since The Explosion. Some friends and I had decided to stay by the river. I glance around and notice that the tent was empty except for me. I shrug. They must have gone outside.
“So you’re awake at last,” said Anna as I crawled out of the tent, “we’ve been awake since 4.”
“Where are Jenna & Kendra?”
“They went to collect firewood. You can go to the river to freshen up if you want.”
I walked to the river and splashed water on my face, dried it with the facecloth and drank some of the water. By the time I got back Jenna and Kendra had returned and were unloading the heavy wood they were carrying with Anna helping. I realised that before The Explosion none of us would have dreamed that we could lift heavy weights and neither had any of us had tried.
``Hey Jane, we're running out of food. Could you get us something to eat?” I nod, “sure if you want.”
I grabbed a stiffly woven basket and headed towards the garden. We had found some fruit and vegetables after The Explosion, most of them fit to eat and the ones that weren’t we buried so they could grow into plants we could harvest. In winter we could bury them in the snow so that they didn’t spoil, like freezing them in the freezer. It starts to rain. At first it’s a light drizzle but then it gets heavier and heavier so by the time I reach camp it's a heavy downpour.
The Explosion had affected everyone heavily around the whole world and very few people had knowledge of electronics. If we were going to rebuild it would take months, maybe years. The council (or whatever remained of it) held a small meeting by the river. I know about it because I stumbled across them one evening when I went to fetch water from the river. Unexpectedly, they ask for my opinion. “What do you think?” The Chief had asked me. My mind whirls as I search my brain for what to say. “About what, sir?”’ I asked politely.
The Chief shook his head. “About what we should do.” The officer stomped on the floor to get our attention. “What is there to be done?” she demanded impatiently.
“We should rebuild of course!’’ I gasp. “Surely, no one would be foolish enough to try to repeat what happened? No one would dare suggest it and we would never again agree to such an outrageous request, now would we?”
The Mayor interrupted me suddenly, glaring at the small circle of former leaders as if daring any of them to argue. No one did. A long slow sigh escaped from the chief.
“No of course not, but what has happened has happened and there’s nothing we can do to change it.” I hesitate, “We might not be able to change what has happened, but we can make things easier for the future generation. None of us are accustomed to living like this. We could rebuild?”
Silence falls among the group as they consider what I had just said.
“The girl is young, but she is smart” mumbles the officer. Pride lights up inside me. “We will consider what you said. You’re right, none of us are accustomed to this and it might be well overdue to start rebuilding…you may go.”
The mayor dismisses me and I pick up the bucket of water and start to head towards camp.
I (almost) crash into Jenna. “Where have you been?”she exclaimed. Excitedly, I told her about the meeting of leaders and how they asked for my opinion. After a moment of silence Jenna finally asked, “Are you sure?’” she added sarcastically, “I mean wouldn’t that be a bit dangerous.” I shook my head, frustrated that she still didn’t understand.
“Do you want to live like this forever?” I demanded. Not giving her a chance to respond I say,``We could rebuild.” Jenna sighs, “I didn’t mean - tell the others and see what they think.”
We walk silently back to camp. As soon as I got back to camp I launched into my story of the meeting. Anna feels that we might need to rebuild but Kendra is still unsure.
“You never know, anything could happen in the next few days.” I said.
The council had come to a decision the following day. They were going to rebuild…
Eventually, Jenna grudgingly admitted that they were right and that we should start rebuilding. People nearby the river have offered to help, but they don’t know much either. Still we were thankful for their help, since a small number of people from the makeshift village had come. Some people were former architects and engineers so they knew about design and structure. My uncle was an electrician and I spent a lot of time with him as a child since I was very interested in how lights worked. I was the best shot at electronics we had. So they put me in charge of that station. Which was something I did not want to be. Most people would love bossing people around, but not me. No way. As I stand thinking stock still like a sturdy statue Jenna wanders up to me. “So, what do we do?” she asks. I shrug, trying to get rid of the uneasiness settling inside me. “Umm…well, first of all we should actually make a place to work. Like a workshop.” I am glad that I have all of my friends with me. “We should clear the ground first” I say, raising my voice so everyone could hear,``make somewhere we could work. Then bring in some large, thick branches so we could drape some canvas over it so we could shelter in from the rain.”
A worker calls out, “Where will we get the canvas from?” She was answered by someone else, not me.
“Mother has some. I could ask if we could borrow it” he said, “Should I go now?” I nod, grateful for his help. He takes off into the forest like lightning.
“While he does that, we’ll start with clearing this forest floor.” By the time he was back we had a smooth floor and a structure of branches that looked like a shed made of twigs. Anna helped me arrange the cloth over it and we were done.
“Let’s go into where the broken villages are and find any material that could work like wires, scraps of metal, bits of glass or anything that could prove useful” I said when we tested to make sure it wouldn’t collapse. There was a lot of debris where houses used to stand. It wasn’t much longer until everyone had gathered stuff and started using their own creation and skill to recreate the things we needed. After a while it started to get dark and everyone went home to get some sleep and refresh their minds for another day of work.
Within a few months we had made an amazing difference. It was really different, but it was not like before The Explosion or the 1 or 2 months after. It had changed completely. Our new gadgets looked slightly different than the old ones but worked almost the same. It was fine now and easier. Also now that we knew what caused pollution we made the factories differently so that they made almost no pollution. After the polluting factories were broken down and destroyed for so long the pollution that was there had also almost vanished. Everyone knew what it was like to be hungry and so there are no world hunger problems.
Life is a lot easier than before and most people are living happily now. That wasn’t the only good that had come out of it. We were also stronger and healthier.
Things don’t always change for the worse.
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