Words by Mi Chelle, photo by Mark van Vuuren
I still remember, in the morning sunlight, the landscape gleams with patches of pink and white cosmos. The waving grass shines with soft shades of gold and green. Among the hills, clusters of willow trees show where the river winds. The fresh air is intoxicating. I am alone, peacefully watching the sunrise.
Now, I am running. I am running for my life. Fear grips my stomach. Moments ago I was struggling through crowds. Now, I am running. I was haggling and bartering and grappling over food.
Now I clutch it close to my chest as I stumble and squelch through the muddy tunnels. In the grim light, families huddle together, making themselves invisible…
They’re getting closer, and now I am running. My heart pounds as my lungs gulp in the rank air. Then I see it. Light at the end of the tunnel. Home on the horizon.
I struggle on.
Their monsters echo behind me. I turn a corner, staggering up the stone steps. Grappling with my fur coat, I slip. The cold stone brutalizes me. I pull myself up. Nearly there. They’re almost upon me.
For now, I am safe.
The scavengers, they’ve arrived. Creating war where there was peace. Inducing discord where there was harmony. Bursting the bubble of goodwill. Rupturing the veins of happiness. Replacing security
Even such peaceful creatures as butterflies hide from the terror that is sweeping across every corner of the land. Safety becomes an illusion that cannot be trusted.
Not even the beautiful, harmless plants are safe.
The forest is being demolished to make sure every
organism that is aware they exist will obey their every command, satisfy their every twisted whim.
They think they deserve the world, those megalomaniacs.
Those damned human beings.