Can anything be beautiful enough in a bleak time?
|The scavengers always had a hard time doing their job, but especially now that the corporations had sent out their worker monkeys into the fields to “clean up” what they deemed an unsightly mess. Now it was just grass for miles, and a propaganda message that the corporations had done their part against the destruction of the earth despite their constant polluting of the air. Behind that message was a bunch of scavengers now out of a job, and everybody knew it.
Still, two of the workers were out in the fields every day, looking for that last piece of scrap. They had worked together for years, and had made a very profitable margin out of it. Kelly, the woman with eyes for glittery things, was often the first to find things out in the fields, and Donnie carried anything heavy that they were lucky to scrounge. Unfortunately for them and their stomachs, they were quickly realizing that this just wasn’t sustainable.
Suddenly, Kelly tapped on Donnie’s arm excitedly. She pointed way off into the distance, where something was shimmering. They ran towards it, watching the shimmer become more and more prominent. Had they actually managed to find something? Were they going to get to eat?
What they found was a glowing sprout, probably shimmering with radiation. While they could get close to it because of their suits, they were deeply disappointed. They sat down next to it, staring at the sheer beauty of it. They had never seen anything grow out in the fields, let alone thrive all on its own. Donnie tried to rip it up, much to Kelly’s horror, but it was stuck. In fact, the more he pulled, the more he realized that there was a strong root system underneath keeping it attached to the ground. There was life, and it was growing.
Donnie and Kelly stood up and grabbed hold of each other, jumping up and down. Life was somehow coming back to the world, and they were the first to see it. Unfortunately, if the corporations were to see it, they might sense it as a threat and have the entire system lifted up. Kelly could imagine the words now, of how they stopped an encroaching (dangerous) lifeform in the very ground that they were standing on. They had to protect this flower somehow.
Kelly rushed back to town while Donnie watched over the flower. If anyone came looking around the area, he could camouflage both himself and the flower with his suit. With what little money they had, Kelly purchased a small pot and knife and came back, where they dug up the earth and plopped the dirt into the cup. They cut out the flower, effectively eviscerating what little life it did have, and threw it into pot. To their amazement, the flower reached out roots and clasped onto the dirt. It refused to die today.
They came back the next day and the next several days after that to see if there were any other flowers, but they were suspiciously quiet, as though they knew they might be caught. The flower in their possession continued to grow. It was clearly meant to be outside.
Finally, they decided that the flowers refused to be parted, and brought the flower back, Donnie heaving it forward one step at a time. They replanted the beast, but hadn’t counted on being followed. One of the monkeys had been there the entire time, watching their experiment. He was going to warn the others, but the second the flower was planted, new sprouts jumped out of the ground and grew to the size of the one Kelly and Donnie had been watching over. The root system was so expansive it took over the entire field, and the flowers were strong enough to hold their own as they grew.
The corporations couldn't take over the field again. The radiation was too strong, and even Donnie and Kelly got a bit of radiation sickness just from being out there. But they had made something beautiful in the bleak time. Beautiful and definitely dangerous. Wasn’t everything in their world like that?