What do YOU think?

clouds, photography, Hawaii, sunriseHas it been a month already? A month since the unthinkable happened? A month since my life, and yours, and his, and hers, and all of ours, changed irrevocably. A month since the sky opened and the inconceivable occurred, but truly, it wasn’t improbable.

People have been forecasting this for years, decades, centuries. The only surprising thing is how long it took.

A month ago, we were happy to be clueless and unaware. How naïve of us. How stupid when you come right down to it. Back then, if someone suggested this would happen, most of us would say. “That’s unlikely.”https://pixabay.com/photos/sky-clouds-nature-sun-light-beam-3736565/

Where was I when it happened? Oh, in the middle of a trite chore, just like millions of us. I had just left the grocery store where I was picking up a “crucial” ingredient; ha, the things that seemed crucial, a month ago. What was it? I’m trying to remember, because these last 30 days have been so exceptional that chores, vacation plans, and work worries are so trite now.

Spinach, oh yes, that’s what it was. I’d decided to make my “famous” spinach lasagna, a favorite amongst my family, particularly the grandkids. What? Yes, I have grandkids. Well, I did. No, you’re right, hopefully I still do.

https://pixabay.com/photos/cheese-casserole-vegetable-casserole-283282/HansI’m sorry, the tears don’t seem to be able to stop. Let me breathe a few minutes. In. Out. In. Out. Oh, for the days of spinach lasagna. And hugs from Stacey, my little 3-year-old granddaughter and Matthew, the “baby” of the family at 8 months. WHERE ARE THEY NOW? WHERE?

Yes, I’m getting hysterical. Damn right. Why aren’t you? Where are your kids? What, I can’t hear you. You’re whispering. Oh, no, of course, I’m sorry. They were 8 and 10? No, no, no, you’re right, your kids are still 8 and 10.

Come, let me help you. Sit down on the stoop here. I know, I understand, you’re a journalist and you’re trying to report on the events of the last month. But how can we write about it, read about it, when we’re in the middle of this unfathomable horror? https://pixabay.com/illustrations/door-clouds-grass-perfect-beauty-1256751/2219324

Yes, like you, I want to believe that there’s hope. The things that came down from the sky, or, as you say, in those out-of-this world flying machines, those things did communicate with us. And they communicated soundlessly, all of us hearing the same thing in our heads.

“We’re here to save your children. From yourselves.”

And now we are child-free on Earth.

https://pixabay.com/photos/sky-open-air-heart-balloons-nature-3043648/jobertjamis23Did we deserve this, you ask?

What do you think?

 

I rarely write dystopian fiction, yet my writing hand reacted to recent horrors in our world. On a happier note, Miss Muffet and her family (https://roughwighting.net/2022/05/06/the-rewards-of-a-simple-life/) have just emptied the nest. What a gift, to watch that family grow from eggs to scrawny hatchlings to beings who flew on (two wings) and a prayer into the Universe. May all our young do so.

116 thoughts on “What do YOU think?

  1. I keep saying we’re way past the part of the story where a Star Trek starship comes back through time to save us from ourselves, but you have a written very well the more chilling version of that. I think what is the saddest and scariest thing about recent events is the people who are not moved enough to try to fix it.

    But, as you say watching the bird family and all the young grow is a gift.
    And spinach lasagna might be just what you need right now, too. 💙

    Liked by 5 people

    • Yes, Bernadette. It’s so true. Protection from those who think only of their own ‘rights,’ and not of every citizen, young and old, in this country. Breaks my heart. May our country ‘wise up’ before it’s too late.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. The world seems to be getting more dystopian by the day, as I turn on my computer and EVERY MORNING this week I’ve seen articles about children who need to be saved from the adults in this country. It’s not always gun violence, but far too often, it is. I wonder every day when the people who hold the legislative power in this country are going to wake up and realize that children’s lives are more important than reelection or the size of their war chests.

    Liked by 6 people

    • So well said, Amy. I don’t usually touch politics in my posts and my stories although, of course, my feelings of light and love (hopefully) shine through with my characters. But, lately, optimism is hard to come by.

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  3. You paid attention to the “unfathomable horror” in our country, our children in dire need of protection. Now Ohio is planning to arm teaches with weapons. How can that be a viable solution?

    The update on your avian family is heartening though. We have a nest ensconced in a bed of begonias. Nature persists in spite of man’s inhumanity to man. Thanks for this: both the sobering and the salutary, Pam.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I try to avoid “proselytizing” in my stories, but really, our senseless and selfish acts of believing in ‘rights’ that protect no one and certainly not our most vulnerable citizens are hard to whitewash. Thank goodness we can just look at Nature for examples of true nurturing.

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    • I think more of us (and the majority of us realize how important it is to care more for our children than our own pride and needs) must speak out loud: TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER and reduce the violence that darkens our country’s soul.

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  4. Perfectly written, Pam. The events that keep happening are definitely so uppermost in your mind that your creative juices are finding the only seemingly fathomable solution to protecting our children. Very Star Trek-like (can they come and swoop me away?)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the bird video. I’ve recently heard a few stories of the younger generation blaming the older one for ruining the planet and being selfish… And I’ve heard people without children mutter that they’re glad they don’t have any to grow up in this deteriorating world of ours. Quite pessimistic times. Yet, we are the only ones to change the world!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Since a teenager I’ve enjoyed science fiction that shines the truth on what must be fixed in the present to avoid disasters in the future. So, yes, I’ve read books in which fertility is reduced in this world, and for reasons that are frightening. Hopefully before this happens, we all learn to take care of our most vulnerable, instead of taking care of our own supposed ‘needs.’

      Liked by 1 person

    • I usually don’t go ‘political’ in my stories, and really, this one isn’t political. It’s a scream asking for this country and its citizens to change the music, so our children are SAFE. Thanks so much for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You usually are so positive, Pam, but fiction is a way to express our dismay and pain and anger without raving and despair. It’s why I write dark-ish stories. Humankind is failing our children and sadly, we always have. It’s heartbreaking that we as a species don’t care enough to keep them safe, fed, sheltered, educated, and alive. 😦 Hugs, my friend.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You’re right, I’m not naturally negative or pessimistic, but these days? Oh, my. And the thing is, the “lower species,” the other creatures that are part of Nature, they certainly DO know how to take care of their babies. I was so impressed with the mothering/parenting that went on in Miss Muffett’s nest. May our human race learn from them. We must protect our young, and each other.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. If I say my heart is breaking into smithereens when I read about this horror, that would be an understatement Pam. If I say I keep drowning in the deluge of emotions for many days, each time young, innocent children are targeted, I still am unable to convey my feelings. I am outraged, I want to yell at those who offer few words of sympathy to the parents of little children and sit on their pedestal, counting their own benefits silently and do absolutely nothing! There can be nothing more inhuman than this!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I appreciate your reaction to my story, Balroop, which is what I hoped for and intended. Most of us are just as you express here – outraged. And yet we feel helpless. May we find power in making a change that benefits our young, so that “aliens” don’t arrive to take away ALL that is most precious.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. If only it was so easy to write it away. I pray this time days make a difference, a significant difference. Being an empty nester doesn’t make it any easier. I love how you wrote about it though.
    Have a wonderful weekend Pam. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    • As exhibited in times past, stories and essays can make a difference in the hearts and thoughts of our citizens. May we writers/poets/artists/photographers shine light on what is wrong in our country and make a difference so that we can protect what is most precious – our children, not our egos.

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    • Thank you, Pat. Fortunately most of my “feelings” that I share through my stories are belief in love/kindness/caring/truth within each of us (and therefore, my characters). But lately, my feelings are dark and scared. We must change the narrative in this country’s story….

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    • Yes, good science fiction exposes a truth in the flaws in a society. May my speculative fiction never come true. But that means changes must occur in which we CARE and TAKE CARE of our children, and each other. Thanks much, Janis.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pam, my heart is racing out of my chest as I write. With everything going on in the world right now, this definately may not be fiction…….well, not yet. It is, however, frightening to think of it coming true. You really pulled me into the horror of the situation. Great job.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Many thanks, Shirley. I only wish my story here wasn’t so believable, but unless we make some major changes, I’m afraid this scenario is not too far from what could become reality.

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  10. Interesting take & tale, Pam.

    A world without children would be a sad state of affairs. I love seeing kids at the beach at play on the sand and in the waves. Having them all disappear would be devastating. What would be the point of our continued existence?

    When someone who is ancient dies of natural causes, it’s sad. When a child dies before having a chance to live, it’s heartbreaking. I feel for the parents of all the children gunned down by hatred and madness.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I just bumped into this this morning and thought it might be of interest to you:

      The leftovers
      by Perrotta, Tom, 1961-
      Publication Year: 2011
      Summary: “What if–whoosh, right now, with no explanation–a number of us simply vanished? Would some of us collapse? Would others of us go on, one foot in front of the other, as we did before the world turned upside down? That’s what the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, who lost many of their neighbors, friends and lovers in the event known as the Sudden Departure, have to figure out. Because nothing has been the same since it happened–not marriages, not friendships, not even the relationships between parents and children. Kevin Garvey, Mapleton’s new mayor, wants to speed up the healing process, to bring a sense of renewed hope and purpose to his traumatized community. Kevin’s own family has fallen apart in the wake of the disaster: his wife, Laurie, has left to join the Guilty Remnant, a homegrown cult whose members take a vow of silence; his son, Tom, is gone, too, dropping out of college to follow a sketchy prophet named Holy Wayne. Only Kevin’s teenaged daughter, Jill, remains, and she’s definitely not the sweet ‘A’ student she used to be. Kevin wants to help her, but he’s distracted by his growing relationship with Nora Durst, a woman who lost her entire family on October 14th and is still reeling from the tragedy, even as she struggles to move beyond it and make a new start. With heart, intelligence and a rare ability to illuminate the struggles inherent in ordinary lives, Tom Perrotta has written a startling, thought-provoking novel about love, connection and loss”–Provided by publisher.

      Liked by 2 people

    • You make a good point with your question: “if the children disappear, what would be the point of our continued existence?” There would be no point, and in this dystopian story, I believe the “aliens” were trying to get that point across. ;-0

      Liked by 1 person

  11. There are times when I wish aliens would save us from ourselves. Such a thoughtful and chilling piece of fiction. It makes me wonder: if the aliens said we could keep our children if we gave up our guns, what do you think would happen? Sigh. Dystopian indeed to imagine a world without children. And thank you for the video!

    Liked by 4 people

  12. It was so hard to ‘Like’ this one, yet it’s probably the most powerful thing you’ve ever written. I remember the horror when two little girls, both under ten, were shot and killed during our Port Arthur massacre. That was enough for us to hand in our guns. I simply don’t understand how any sane person with children of their own can choose a hunk of metal over a living, breathing, laughing little person. I truly don’t. 😦

    Liked by 3 people

  13. It is so sad what is happening in our country. I don’t understand while we allow deadly weapons to be sold. It’s hard for me to explain it to my family and friends here in Europe.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. HI Pam, what’s been happening in the USA this year is tragic. I read there have been 200 mass killings to date this year (mass killing is when over 4 people are killed excluding the perpetrator). This story is quite John Wyndham-ish. Very clever.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Oh! The little Mama and her babies! You must be a proud Mama yourself. Thanks for the video clip. 🙂
    I am so unhappy about so much of what has been happening, so upset, that I’ve had to start tuning it out – can’t deal with any more. We are failing our children and we are failing ourselves as a species.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Miss Muffett and her new family helped me ‘tune out’ to the awful happenings in our country, and in the world, to be honest. I do believe that we each make a difference, living with light and love, which hopefully can stamp out this horrid push for guns, which lead to ever more violence.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Aww, happy Mama bird and her babies. Congratulations on the empty nesters! It must be satisfying to watch the eggs, the chicks, and the growing wings, Pam!
    I’m raising monarchs. I can’t keep my eyes off from their eggs into wiggling caterpillars, to adult butterflies hatching and flying away from the cage.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I know, I know. Unfortunately, “dystopian” novels of the past end up ringing truer than readers want. I pray we all wake up to ending the love of guns and turning our ‘right’s into taking care of each other.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. You know, it’s too close to reality. I didn’t tune into the fiction part at first. It feels like the Ukraine situation. Do we call it a situation? Invasion? War? Has there been indication for years that this was going to happen? Did I deny it because after all, communism was dead. The wall was down. The cold war was over.

    Your fiction, I hope, still has the possibility of a happy ending. I’m not sure about the real world.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Oh my gosh! Pam, this is an incredible and powerful story. The line ‘“We’re here to save your children. From yourselves.” sends shivers down my spine! You should venture into this genre more often. You capture the dichotomy of the world today where often the children of today are tragically let down. As always the magic of your writing is in the details, images that could seem inconsequential but create dramatic minutiae of everyday life against the unthinkable disappearance of all the children on earth.

    Great news about your purple finches finding their strength and wings to fly away into the universe! It must have been a special time to see them grow – and now you’ve got your front door back! 😀 hugs xx❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, thank you Annika. You always “get” my writing – sometimes more than even I do. ;-0 I think I shy away from dystopian stories many times because it can be so depressing. I’d like to believe in a future where our society learns to love better, be kinder, and understand that we’re all in this together. I keep practicing the belief that individually we send out waves of kindness, and each of our waves will make a difference. (Sorry for going on and on here.) 🙂 My guy misses the birds horribly and wants to put up another wreath. At this point, I’d rather keep our front door. 🙂

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  20. Powerful story, Pam. The hairs on my arms become erect and the comments reinforce how happy we all are this is nonfiction. Unfortunately, the truth is often stranger than fiction. Especially disheartening when I think about a future for our children. I love how you end with the hopeful, happy video, chirping of the hatchlings emptying the nest. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Erica. Oh, something powerful took over my pen when I began this piece, not knowing where it was going, having no idea it would end up being dystopian. I took over at the end and added our baby birds, because we need to believe in the renewal of life and of common sense. And that we humans can nurture as well as the rest of Mother Nature. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Dear Pam, I hope June has become a happier month. However, it’s a beautifully written story. Sometimes we just need to write the ones that are poignant. My short stories have been reflecting similarly, not my usual whimsy. Thanks for the video too. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 2 people

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