“I know, I know. But we are also mortal.”
Hi. I’m B.T. Lowry. Welcome to this week’s scene of the week, Ancient Evil.
We’ve haunted this land since before time began. When these castles were unformed clay and stone, we watched men build them up. Inspiring a spider to bite, tempting a street-boy to his first mugging, we helped them remember that death is close for them.
I know, I know. But we are also mortal.
Silence! Have you known one of us to die?
I’ve only ever known you, Mother. Who is that one, flying in now on a rotating machine?
Let me sense him… He is an investigator. He wants to know what happened here a thousand years before his birth. Ah, there is a scorpion. I’ll use that to—
Don’t kill him.
Oh? Are you sympathetic to these tiny creatures now?
It’s not that. I have no empathy. That would be strange. But curiosity… We’ve been inspiring snakes and scorpions for so long… couldn’t we control the urge of reproduction, or the impulse that makes men build these structures so high in such a short time, even though they’ll all die so quickly? Couldn’t we control those, like Uncle does?
We were not made to do that work, son.
Who made us?
As I write this, I’m in the Abu Dabhi airport, on my way to India. I tried to get into the US, spent some time in England waiting for a long-delayed Indian visa (I wrote ‘writer’ as my profession and they were afraid I was a journalist, which is for some reason problematic.)
I’ve recently finished a book called ‘The new green history of the world,’ by Clive Ponting. It’s a realistic re heavy look at the history of the human race and our relationship with the environment.
While the history presented in the book never questions western evolutionary theory, and I think it should, and it doesn’t take into account the possibility of civilizations more ancient than what’s taught in schools, it’s still an eye-opening account of at east of the last two thousand years. In the last five hundred years especially, and the last fifty exceptionally, it’s a history of unsustainable exploitation. We are in an extreme spot now, with the world’s systems breaking down. Our energy-hungry international commerce is mostly running off oil-power. The planes, the cars, the power plants. And it seems there’s not much of that left, and the world is heating up.
So as I’m sitting in this ultra-modern airport, typing away on my laptop, I wonder, how long can this last? Will government and trade break down, or will we transition somehow into another phase which, while more modest than this massively expansionist phase we’re in now, would involve substantial international travel and trade of culture and goods.
Thanks for reading. If you’d like to see this scene expanded into a story, then tell me in the comments that this is the one you want. If you want to see what I can do with a deeper story, pick up my novel here, Fire from the Overworld. It is the story of two young mystics who fight to restore balance in their desert village, when war erupts among its spirit rulers. Feel free to sign up for the new scenes in your mailbox each week, along with guest posts, and my thoughts about living, loving, investigation and creation.
This work is licensed Creative Commons, attribution, which means you can use it however you want, even commercially. Just let people know which bits came from me. Thanks!
This entry was posted on August 9, 2015 by btlowry. It was filed under Blog posts, Short stories and was tagged with ancient, Author, b.t. lowry, best, Bevis Lowry, creative, demigods, different, elemental, elementals, emerging, episodes, episodic, evil, favorite, fiction, flash fiction, funny, genre, gods, good for children, hare Krishna, imagination, learning, most, New, Non-European fantasy, odd, popular, religious, rulers, satan, scene, series, short story, spirits, spiritual, spirituality, themed, unique, visionary, weekly, writer.