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by Kate Ashforth 11 months ago in short story · updated 11 months ago
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The changing landscape

It wasn't the first time Mia had noticed the light. It had been in her presence a few times before, but only for a second. Then, it was a small pocket of green hue that she didn't think anything of. Presently, she gazed across the vista, observing how it had grown across the billabong into a glowing, misty green haze, hanging mysteriously above the water. She could no longer ignore it.

Mia regulary trekked to the Arcadia Billabong to contemplate the manner in which the world was going down the toilet, and why not enough of its inhabitants seemed to care about its demise. She would ponder her thoughts outloud and although they angered her so, she found calm in the reflections on the water, the creaks and groans of the bush, the breeze rustling the leaves, releasing a scent of eucalptus. Sitting at her viewpoint, on a cold, smooth slab of rock, Mia wondered what had caused the green light?

Panic started to consume her. Was it toxic fumes coming off the water? Was their a strange algae or mould in the area? Was she breathing in a poisonous gas? Interupting her concern, she began to experience an overwhelming sensation she was being watched. Mia sat frozen to her spot, quickly scanning the area to detect someone or something that was studying her. To her alarm, she glimpsed across the billabong, through the green, hazy light, a figure standing next to a giant, gnarly eucylpt. She released herself from the rock by standing abrupty. A voice from inside her spoke, "H. H-hello?"

Whatever this figure was, it did not take on the true physical form of a human. Particularly difficult to make out against the backdrop, its striking, piercing eyes were magnified by the haze. They stared at one another. She began to observe its outward likeness to the surrounding plant life. It's skin was mossy and bark like and fern fronds sprouting from its head, shoulders and chest. However fearful she was of this unknown creature, she wasn't percieving any danger. Mia's curiousity was getting the better of her. With her heart thumping so loudly, she could her it in her ears, Greta slowy began to walk the around the billabong toward it. "Hello?" she tried again.

The creature gingerly walked in her direction, and to her surprise, spoke in a soft, clear voice. "Palyu". Mia took this as a form of greeting. "Do you understand me?" she queried. "Ne. Yes," it responded carefully. As it moved closer, Mia took note of its muscular, robust form, which was mostly different hues of green and covered in moss and other plant life, that resembled ones in the area. "I is Moorakoo. You?" Mia spoke slowy. "" Not wanting to appear hostile, she instinctively smiled. It returned the gesture. "I see Mia here moons ago. I hear what you speak."

This embarassed Mia. She came Arcadia to be alone with her thoughts, but obviously, this wasn't the case. "I hear Mia worry about Earth. This." Moorakoo motioned to surrounding the bush. "You right. Earth is not waiting. Green rising- binowea" Mia wondered what the creature meant by this. She stopped to consider his words. In her heart she knew. "I worry that we are too late. That, as a race, we have taken things too far and not cared enough," Mia mused despondently. She continued. "Who are you?" Moorakoo drifted closer. "I am keeper. I listen. I watch bad changes. I speak to trees, animals, water and sky."

Mia swirled this response around in her mind like wine in a glass. Savouring the words like a wine's bouquet. "So the green light. Is this the billabong being unhappy?" Moorakoo spoke with conviction, standing taller as he did so. "Acardia is mindya- very sick. Green is tears, but also healing. The Earth is crying. Human, no good to bush. Green light take it back." A tear rolled down Mia's face. "No worry, Mia. Humans still live, but Earth take over. Our time now. We lend Earth to humans and they break it.' Mia had tried so hard for so long to get others to listen to her own cries and now, this strange yet curious creature in front of her had listened, and was describing a response. She mulled over what he had just said. Human will still live?

"What do you mean that humans can still live on Earth?" Mia said in concerned tone. "We. The Bunji People who speak to Earth. We make things grow. Trees, plants will take over, grow everywhere. You humans, will see. We are the song, the voice of Earth. Humans will have to stop. Live inside and dream." Mia thought about this for a moment. Although it was worrying, she found peace in his words. She could no longer live on a planet where humans overpowered everything by chewing everything up and spitting it out, with no regard for land they live on. The green light would creep. The plants would grow and human kind would have to stop. Moorakoo continued. "No humans can come here soon. You must go and get ready for the big sleep. One day you will wake up and Earth will not cry anymore."

Mia took a moment to take in gravity of what he was saying, and to appreciate her surroundings. Soon, she would be like Snow White. Alive, breathing and in limbo. Living in a house encased by plants and waiting for the Earth to heal. What this would really entail she didn't know, but she was not afraid. There was too much doom that reeked in every crevase of life, at least she would find peace from constancy of this. The haze was growing by the minute. It had reached the space where Moorakoo and Mia stood. Again, she heard her voice saying goodbye as the strange being turned and disappeared into green. She turned, almost floating as she walked toward an inevitable slumber. A new beginning, where one day the Earth would be sing once more and she would see it how it should be. Green and happy.

short story

About the author

Kate Ashforth

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