The Tribe: 2055

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: December 14, 2016

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Submitted: December 14, 2016



I have lived here a long time.

I have not counted the years as you would, they have little meaning to me or my family; but I know that as the seasons pass I can still count the changes.

A long time ago, this whole land was my tribe’s. We hunted here and to the South and East, spearing wallabies and small kangaroos, trapping the wombats and possums and collecting the fruits that changed with the seasons. Sometimes we would walk to the sea and collect the shellfish that clung to the rocks.

My people would wander across the dunes and through the swamps and scrublands, finding the food they needed and then spending time together, telling our stories and sharing what we had according to our traditions.

That was far before my time though; I’ve never lived that way.

Neither had my mother, or her mother, or her mother.

But that doesn’t mean we forgot what we lost, it didn’t mean that we just “moved on”. Our past is more important than that.

Today, we are living in the old ways, more than we have for hundreds of years.

We have returned to our roots, to sustain us through the world’s hard times, to protect us from the changes that are shattering the world around us.

Where we live, to the North of Adelaide; we watch the city grow like a cancer, shining in the night with its lights and screaming across the silence with a cacophony of sirens and wails.

We’ve watched it grow, consuming everything around it and now we see its madness come full circle as it starts to consume itself.

I’m surprised it lasted this long, when the waters rose many died; they looked to their leaders and laws and thought they would be protected, but the laws can’t hold back the seas and the leaders didn’t care.

We packed up and moved on, we always have and we did again. We survived.

There are still people living there, in the city that now lies flooded by the sea, my cousin went to see it and he told me how they struggle, how they scavenge and live on the fringe of their own culture; treated like the rats that follow their towns and cities across the land.

Do they see the irony? That for all their technology and laws and civilisation that now they must live in the way they made us live for so many years?

Do they see how all they said was great is nothing more than a drop in the ocean, a moment of time in an endless sea of years and decades and centuries?

All the things we build will fall, everything we raise up will be brought down and no laws, no leader, no God can prevent that.

Our people are different, we know the changes will come, they always have. We don’t build things and say they will last; we don’t think we can live longer than the land, we just change with it, the only things we keep are memories.

Here, in the lands North of Adelaide we watch the city burning, we see the smoke rising to the sky and hear the screams on the wind as the New City tears itself apart. Our lives have changed but we still hunt. Now we find the wallabies, but also the pigs and goats and camels, we kill the wild cats that escaped from the cities or were abandoned here. The land has changed but so have we and although we are proud we know we can survive here, forgotten by the city, forgotten by the law.

Now that the company men have taken the city, now that they have control they don’t pretend to care what we do; here in the bush we know they aren’t interested in us or how we live; we went back to the old ways. When they come near here we pay them no heed and they think we are just animals, savages.

But they never stay long, they took the iron from the earth, they took the copper and coal, the gas and the oil have been drilled out long ago, the land still carries the scars but its healing; the deep pits they once dug are now filled with grasses and in the winter they fill with rain, the frogs and the water birds return, the roads they made for their trucks to travel into the desert; they’re gone now, faded into rough tracks that we use to travel to the sea and to where the other tribes gather when we talk.

We live North of the city, we watch the city people fighting, struggling each day to survive; like we once did when they made us live in the city. It is a prison, the concrete and glass and steel kills the spirit and murders the stories, its much better out here where we can watch the stars at night, where we can sing our songs and dance, tell our stories and raise our children.

This is our land again, always was, always will be.

We are still telling our stories.

© Copyright 2019 Baart Groot. All rights reserved.

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