Daily Words

by Friday Jones

Friday in a pink beret and a blue dress, cartoon version.

Preserve Beauty

This is for the Midweek Flash Challenge and you can follow Miranda Kate on twitter @PurpleQueenNL.

There it is, preserved, as if in amber, bubbles forming as the preservation process, so hurriedly invoked keep the delicate petals from continuing their passage to death.

The rose, like me is the last of its kind, and echo of a distant world, long ago blown away in the solar wind. I have travelled so far those hunting me will assume that I am the last and even if the actuality is different, I have crossed so many horizons, that of light, particle, being, that it no longer makes any difference. I shall not see the like of me again and so for all intents and purposes, I am the last, and there is no soul to sing a lament for me.

My fate was sealed long before I was born, in my personal timeline this would be some three hundred years ago, but I flitted so fast and so far that I cannot say where it is from your point of view. It might be yesterday, a thousand years in the past, or perhaps in your future from where you are standing. I have no way of knowing. For me it was two hundred and forty years before I was born, on distant Earth left so far behind.

All those years ago Earth was finally a bucolic place. The chaos and the destruction of the early twenty-first century was over, and the planet drew together as the realisation dawned, finally, on the populace that they were not alone. The great and terrible purges were done, a genocide in all but name, but when it was done those that were left has a terrible stain on their soul, but they were at least tellers of truth and not lies. Those that were left valued each other, and humanity. Life was given the credence it deserved. The terrible thing they had done showed humanity how valuable life was, and a universal peace was declared. Government, corporations melted away, fading into the background and doing the minimal tasks they were required to perform, looking after the sick and elderly, cleaning up, providing for people, at last doing the tasks that government was fit to perform.

And there was no free lunch, everyone contributed, each according to their abilities, and if you could not, then you were fed and watered and housed anyway, and of those, people came to contribute something, because they were not starving and frightened, but enabled and empowered. From the great sin they had committed, the remains of humanity made Earth a paradise at last.

So when the warlike and merciless Kandathan landed, the great furry hunters, they were a little appalled at what we had done. We showed them our history and they were shocked, shocked that we would treat our own so, terrified of a species that seemed now to be peaceful and vulnerable, but kept weapons of mass destruction buried in the ground, “just in case.”

They hunted others, not their own. They were merciless, but had a wonderful family life, seeing all other species as inferior and dominating wherever they went, because they could, and still can.

Didn’t work with us.

We nuked their ships out of orbit, and more came. We nuked them too, until Earth was uninhabitable, so we stole a ship and made off with it, but not before arming it with more nukes.

They were merciless, but they dominated one by one, in battle, with guns and knives and blood and guts. It had not occurred to anyone else in the entire galaxy to manufacture something that would wipe out their world of origin. But we did.

The Kandathan, and their subjugated species and allies think we’re crazy. They see us as a scourge, because if we’d do that to ourselves, then what terrible thing would we do to them.

They saw our media, saw what we could imagine, imagine doing to each other. And we were declared a pestilence, a universal danger to ourselves and others, to be exterminated without mercy, for the safety of all.

Needless to say, we didn’t take it laying down. We’re innovators, inventors, creatives. We could create a lot of ways of not taking it laying down. But there are some among us who agreed with the hunters, who said we are a scourge and deserve to die.

Just my luck I got one of those from the pairings, and he betrayed me.

So I’ve preserved the rose, and nothing more.

Published January 2018


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