by Joshua Ladue
What is that annoying sound? It is slowly getting louder and louder. My eyes lift open to see the alarm clock flashing and beeping, I lay a little longer to build up the energy to roll over and shut the damn thing off. Finally, I reach over and hit the button. I sit up and feel every bone in my back start to ache as my fragile bones sink with the heavy morning gravity. I throw my legs off the bed to cover my clammy feet in my warm rabbit fur slippers. For some reason I always find myself looking around my room as if I suspect something to be out of sorts. I turn back to my nightstand to be greeted with my morning meds and my now warm water, to chase them down. Just as l finish the glass, my grandson comes flying through the door with a great big smile, as always. “Good morning, Grandpa.” he greets me. “Good morning, my grandson” as I smile back. My grandson comes in every morning to help me out of bed, even though I can do it myself, I’m still grateful to have him here with me.
As we shuffle down the hall, the strong smell of coffee rushes into my nose, finally lifting my eyes awake. I glance over to the counter to see what looks like a tower of my favourite pancakes, along with bacon sizzling in a frying pan next to it on the stove. Just then, the toaster scares the living daylights out of me, as two pieces of toast pop up into sight. I scurry over to my seat at the table to catch my breath again… That damn thing should have a pre alarm before it gives me a heart attack.
Soon the whole house is filled with a greasy bacon smell, as my grandson brings the grub over to the table. He places the food around as if we are having a great big potluck! After serving me, he slumps into his seat to serve himself. I find myself clutching my coffee mug as I wait for the coffee to join us. “Hey Grandpa,” my grandson asked, his mouth full of bacon, “could you tell me a story today?” “You know your manners, my boy. And I will, as soon as the coffee is ready, then I will be ready as well.” So, there we sat quietly, carefully watching the coffee maker. As soon as it stopped percolating my grandson bolted towards the coffee pot as if it were Christmas morning.
While he pours me a cup, I drift into cloud nine wondering what story to tell my grandson. ‘Should it be a pointless one? Or maybe a funny one, he sure likes those! Nah, I know exactly which one to tell him, this will be a good one, and on top of that he hasn’t heard it before.’ The clinking and clanking coming from my grandson’s cup brought me back down to the table. I stare at him for a short while, then I tell him ” My boy, I’m glad you like my stories, but I need you to listen very carefully to this story I’m about to tell you. Long ago, when I was even younger than you, my own grandfather would tell me this story over and over, just so I would understand things around me and my duty as a Land Steward and the protector of our future to come.”
Long ago there was a great darkness caste on all the people of all the lands. This darkness caused people to become blinded by things of no importance. People would begin to fight each other and discriminate against each other, causing great wars across the land. Our foods grew to unbelievable sizes, causing problems. The air burned our throats and eyes would sting as if wasps were following you around all the time. Waters tainted and, being so scarce, fences and outposts where built around all the clean waters. The land became open and dry, mountains began to crumble and fall. The animals started to become things we had never laid our eyes on, They became distorted and funny tasting. Many, many people became ill and a cloud of spirits poured into the sky every day, and the cries of their spirits only grew louder as the days slowly faded away. Many had wondered why everything was dying, what was going wrong? But yet we didn’t want to blame or even think it was humanity causing such destruction. Yet we knew, yes we knew it was our fault, even though we walked blindly and pranced in ignorance. We didn’t want to wash the poison out of our eyes. We continued to talk trash, and then to become trash. Nothing was to be left behind, because of our greedy souls.
“My Creations… what has happened? My rivers run full of blood and rust. My mountain’s flattened and harvested. The plants turned into unnatural monsters, not bringing fulfillment but emptiness. My air burns like fire and my animals run side-ways.” Mother Nature wept.
“I’ve given everything to you people, my children, what is wrong? Why are you putting us through these unnecessary pains? We’re meant to live in this world as one. I must help you to help me. I’m slowly withering away, I’ve become weak… ” Mother Nature whispers. “With all the strength I have left I’II send my last seed of life… grow strong and wise my little one, help them to realize what is happening, help them save me, to save US! ” Mother Nature demanded.
The night Mother Nature had spoken, she began to fade. The world stood still, the winds died down to nothing; the great crashing waves stopped rolling. The animals became sad and hid away; even the plants seem to hang low. That night everything had stopped, even the people knew something had happened, but were yet to know. As the dead silence set in a giant fireball had been thrown to the earth’s surface. Just as it hit, loud sounds burst from the spot it landed, along with a flashy lightshow. No man had ever born witness to this fantastic show, though many other creatures had come to that spot as if THEY knew. They knew this seed was the one thing to unburden them from the ever-lasting destruction of the darkness.
Just as fast as the seed had landed, suddenly a huge tree started to take formation around it to protect it from people and other dangers. The great tree grew and grew as time crawled by. All of the plants came together to protect the seed. Thorns grew around the base of the tree, poison ivy crept up the trunk, and acorns sharper then razors grew above. The world only grew darker with pain and misery. Soon enough the seedling shall sprout as only time will carve the future for the seedling.
To be continued…