Illustration Susanne Gold/ Text by Konni Angermaier
“Good morning, Mrs. Konni.”
It’s good to see you awake, and may I remind you that today is the annual health check again.”
“Give me another quarter of an hour, please, Rufus, my friend, and I’ll start my day.”
“Gladly, Mrs. Konni.”
Pah, if someone had told us 100 years ago that we still lived in this world, I would have hardly believed it. And yet it is so.
I lie here, fitter than ever with my almost 149 years, listening to the birds and animals out there every morning. Yes, they still exist. After humans locked themselves up in high-rise bunkers and enjoyed an imitation of nature, the fauna was able to recover.
Oh, how wonderful it is, the colours, the sounds, the smells.
Even in the dubious years when we did not know if the Earth would ever be able to digest what had been done to it, we could never have imagined what happened when nature was left alone.
Fearing to suffocate from the impure air, to die from the poisoned water, to be burned by the sun, people increasingly fled to residential areas that made nature superfluous.
Everything was copied and artificially produced.
Air and water were extensively cleaned and kept in their own circulation, fruit and vegetables were grown and harvested in huge facilities. There are still animals, but no more factory farming. They exist sporadically and meat is almost something like luxury, because nobody wants to be responsible for the unnatural death of an animal anymore. So, you get paid very well if you still have to kill one.
So these plants had everything you needed to live.
There is only artificial light because you are afraid of the sun. Electricity is generated by wind that blows around the turbines and is stored in high performance, easily disposable batteries.
The people who live there are quite fair-skinned. Even those that were originally completely black faded over time in these facilities.
Yeah, we were all pretty amazed at what was happening.
More and more people withdrew into these “modern buildings”. Only a few initially had the courage to continue living as they knew how. And yet later, thanks to rising births, there were more.
Certainly, there has been progress even here with those of us who live in nature, for example we use renewable energies. Wind power in a small and custom-made for every home.
Most of our houses are embedded in the ground or in hills.
This is how you save energy. Our gardens were at times covered, because of air and water pollution. We filtered water and air continuously, otherwise we would probably not have been able to hold out like this. Everything was always monitored, always in the spirit of nature. Never to our advantage.
Later I will float over the ground in a vehicle without wheels to my appointment.
Meanwhile with light glass inside, in the beginning it was very dark because the sun was burning so much. We live together with artificial intelligence that gives us a hand. A fruitful coexistence, although they like to act as their masters in the plants.
This was a big issue for a while, to make people realize that we are nothing better than other creatures, no matter how artificial they are.
And the creatures thank us for it. Unfortunately, it has still not quite reached everyone.
Those from the “cities” call us the original people and we were and are proud of it.
We are the ones who experienced the bang and the change. We, who preferred to stay in nature, have an advantage, we do not age as fast as the others.
For decades they have been trying to find out exactly what it is, and this is what the annual surveys are for. And they don’t succeed.
The people in the artificial buildings are not able to grow older than at most around 100.
We primitive humans, however, die less often early. The last one was around 203 years ago, when he was killed by a tree. Of course deaths are so rare in our world that we have to hand over the bodies to nature very quickly, because otherwise they would come to get them, just to fathom what we have different from them.
“Mrs. Konni, it’s about time. You know there’s still a lot to do before you can leave.”
“Yes, Rufus my friend, you’re right, let’s go or we’re not gonna make it.
Say, “What shall we eat today when the Lord returns on his charger?
“Oh, I almost forgot. Mr. Cowboy is back from his trip today. I think we can harvest pumpkins and make a delicious soup out of them. Oh Mrs. Konni, it will be a beautiful evening to listen to his stories from the world, how the other original people are doing and his adventures on his paths. In her absence, shall I tell the congregation, shall I extend an invitation?”
“Gladly, Rufus. You’re very welcome to take this off my hands. Now get on with your day, or it’ll never work.”