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Chosen: The garden of delight

by S. O. Posia

The great day had come, the day people had feared and at the same time had secretly longed for. Yet there was nothing to be afraid of. It was quite painless. In each country the high command pushed a button, or gave a terse order into a red telephone, and up went the beautiful birds of stainless steel, the eagles of death that had been so well cared for until this last moment. High they leaped in one proud movement as if they were free as stars, but then they swooped down. Everywhere on earth they descended, in some places many at a time, and in a blinding flash visible to the nearest stars they killed and killed and overkilled.

When the fires stopped raging, the towns and the forests were gone, the fields covered with ash, hot, deadly ash, and the earth lay silent. Nothing. No whimper. Not even a sigh of life. Then clouds formed and the rain came, hot, deadly, radioactive rain, into the silence of a dead world. And out of the rain came the angels of death, the valkyrie, the messengers of Yama. They touched each soul.

“Where do you want to go?” they asked. “Eternal rest? Paradise? Valhalla? Indra’s heaven? Abraham’s lap? The sleep of the just? The garden of Hina?”

“Yes”. they said. “Let us go far from earth.”

And they went away, disembodied forever, into the worlds of the shades, the failures of Life.

But a few chose to stay.

“No, we are in love with our mud mother. To us she is a garden of delight. We like to be in a loam body. We enjoy the touch of her sandy beaches under our feet and the coolness of the water, and we like to sit on the warm stones and feel the sun on our skin.”

So they stayed.

And the rains fell and fell and turned sweet, and washed the earth clean from the remnants of the men who had gone, who had opted themselves out of the universe. And the sun shone, and the earth brought forth again grass and flowers. And dolphins played in the waves that had protected them from the man-death.

And through the spring of the earth a new Adam and a new Eve walked hand in hand, who had loved earth – they who had chosen to stay.

See also