By Dirk C. Fleck.
Everrich, neuroscientist in the service of the government of EARTH KINGDOM, directed an experimental project, which should offer an attractive amusement to the population. On a FARM specially constructed for the experiment, children grew up in conditions similar to those found on Earth about two hundred years ago. The state confiscated a thousand newborns for the experiment. It was intended that the “savages”, who had grown up under natural conditions, would later be exhibited in so-called natural parks. Since the animals had long since disappeared, it was believed that the popular zoo tradition could be continued in this way.
One hundred of these children, however, were not to be exhibited in zoos, but were to be released into real life. In this way, they wanted to find out whether people who did not have a chip under their skin could still survive in modern society. Everrich, on the other hand, cherished the hope that the children entrusted to him would breathe some life back into the cold hearts of his contemporaries out there. For him, they were like a positive virus released in the midst of a sickly manipulated society.
The children themselves were unaware of the state’s intentions, they felt comfortable at the FARM, where they were taught the art of reading and writing, where they cooperated and were given an idea of a peaceful community. They liked to play, in fact everything was a game to them. Except for the nights of the full moon, when they gathered in the clearing in the forest. There they listened with fascination to Everrich’s lectures, who told them about times long past. He spoke of the whales’ song and their mass suicide when their concerts were suffocated by the noise of the ships’ propellers and their concert hall, the sea, was turned into a garbage dump. He spoke of the struggle for survival of trees, rivers and mountains, of the demise of indigenous peoples, of the poisonous clouds that turned whole swaths of land into death zones. But he also spoke of the arts, of music, painting and literature, which hardly anyone remembered.
After his lectures, the children bombarded him with questions, which he answered patiently each time. And there was always a boy standing very close to him, whose sad look touched him. Everrich was not at ease at the thought of having to release him and his friends into “freedom”. The children, he knew, would be pulverized outside if they were not protected. So he wrung a promise from the minister in charge of the experiment to place his charges under immunity from prosecution if they ran afoul of the law, which he felt was bound to happen.
A few months before the final suspension, Everrich took the secretive boy to town to give him a taste of the madness that was out there. Upon their return to the FARM, the boy gave an impressive speech on the following full moon night. He urged the children to resist firmly if any attempt was made to drive them from the FARM. Everrich, however, knew that the government would insist on the suspension. Too much money had now gone into the project. He was crying a lot now. The children did not understand his tears, but they comforted him, at least their small warm hands felt good on his face.
In his despair, Everrich finally sought out his old friend Xenia, whom he had not seen since he entered government service, for which she could not forgive him. But when she heard his story, she promised to help. She accompanied him to the FARM. There she taught the children magic formulas. Each child was given his or her own formula, stone and plant. One day, after the children had mastered their magic formulas perfectly, Xenia asked them to say them aloud to each other, all at once. They were to take the stone in their left hand and the plant in their right hand. The harmony of all the spoken formulas caused the children to gradually become invisible until nothing could be seen of them.
When the next full moon was in the sky, Everrich sent his invisible army into the city. There, the strangest things suddenly happened: people started singing in the open street because they suddenly had long-buried melodies in their ears, some even started dancing as if their limbs had been greased. And the police, who usually resorted to arrests for such offenses, for some inexplicable reason laughed themselves silly at the general spectacle.
Within a very short time, nothing was the same in EARTH KINGDOM. Computers exploded in the office towers, and it wasn’t long before EARTH’S KINGDOM world was cut off at the wire. In its deserted streets, children eagerly awaited the first flower to burst through the pavement, just as Xenia had predicted. It would be blue. This blue flower, they all agreed, would be placed on the grave of Everrich, who had died in their revolution when the police shot at everything and everyone they sensed but did not get to see.
PS: This is a dream from 1985 that I added at that time to the 248 numbered thoughts that would appear 33 years later as a book under the title LA TRAVIATA. It does not dissolve until today, when the memory reaches for it.
Thanks to the author for the right to publish the article.
Picture source: Sergey Nivens/ shutterstock
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