The sun looms large, glaring down at the white city beneath it. The buildings of the city, old as they are, have lost their colour. The paint that clothed the once vibrant plaster buildings, has long since peeled and flaked off, faded over time. In some roofed areas, evidence of their once glorious past remains. It must have been so- books from the time before, rambled on about a great city, vibrant with colour and something organic called trees. The only colour that the inhabitants of this bleached city know is the white of their surroundings, the blue of their sky and the empty blackness of night. Unbeknownst to these inhabitants, buried deep in the vast emptiness lay billions of shiny jewels that would twinkle in all their glory. If only they would turn off their white lights.
Something must have happened to put them in such a state, but no-one remembers. So much has been lost and forgotten, that this white city is all they know. It is their entire world. They must think that beyond their walls there is nothing. As they huddle in their shelters to shield themselves from the vicious sun, what do they wonder about their lives? How did they get there? Such questions must have been considered- and asked.
As night falls, the people come out. They talk and bid ‘how do you dos” though it is nothing more than a formality. How bored they must be. All around them is blackness. White like virgin paper. Ready to be filled in, torn, coloured, destroyed. If only they would peer over the walls, what would they see?
Outside the city, there are rolling hills of flowing grass. Dew drops grace their leaves and the sun shines on them- and they glitter in reply. Further on, there are trees. Large ones. Green canopies spread over large areas- like the caps of mushrooms in the undergrowth. The trunks of trees are a soot black and the leaves appear a neon green, illuminated by the sun. In the darkness they glow slightly, as if to announce their presence. At their feet are dozens of plants. Familiar, but not quite.
There is something a little off.
The clumps of clover are all lucky- they are all four leafed. The daisies are permanently blushing.
A rabbit pokes its head out from a bush. But is it? It is awfully small, entirely dwarfed by its environment. It sniffs at the air cautiously and looks around, putting a paw forward. Then another. It wiggles its two cotton tails and bounds off. Indeed, something is off. Nature has always been beautiful and even more so now. But there is a word to describe such strange abnormalities.
Beyond the mushroom-like forest, something else stands that should be familiar. But now it is a ghost. A decaying echo from the past. Mosses and vines dance up towards the sky, along broken red brick, blackened with a fine substance. Broken windows and collapsed bridges. Now, all barely recognisable. A shattered visage. The green has enveloped and consumed it all. One would have to look close and hard. From a distance, they are green silhouettes. Tall, twisted and unnatural.
Thunder rumbles in the distance. Grey clouds roll inwards, plaguing the sky. The vines and the grasses sway as an eerie howl blows though. They are shaking more violently now. Back at the forest, the rabbit has hidden itself again. The patch of four-leaf clover quiver as the sky dampens and greys. Light is fading and the trees glow softly in response.
A crack of lightning. And then another. The wind is screaming now- and so are the trees. They creak and groan. They have not seen a storm like this in a lifetime. In a panic, some of the trees let go of their leaves. Little green flags flutter downwards. But a strong flurry of wind hurtles them far across, and they begin a frenzied dance with the cry of the wind. Spinning and twirling as they fall. Some of them are little packages, filled with little brown beads. Seeds.
With the aid of the stiff breeze, the parcels, and the leaves flail one last time before the wind loses interest. With a final sigh, they are dropped, and they sprinkle themselves down onto the ground. Some land on the damp soil, caught by the applauding grass. But a few have landed in the white courtyards of the city. The green leaves are still glowing, ebbing slightly against the vast ocean of white concrete.
At first, it is quiet, silent.
Then a door opens.
And another. Then another.
Soon, there is a crowd. They stand and stare at the strange organic green sheets.
Perhaps, somewhere, curiosity will be lit in the hearts and minds.