Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021. Week #34.
Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 1)By John Howell and Entry 2) My own contribution.
Last week I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.
This one-line contribution by John Howell.
“Mama. What does the elephant in the room mean?”
John Howell can be reached here …
Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
Here is my own contribution.
Extinction. Level. Event. Protected. Habitat. Animal. Nursery. Transition. Stage. Identity #R47. 2046.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. What you are about to witness is an historic moment. Your questions will be answered after the demonstration. For now, I ask that you utilize the ear pieces set for each of you and simply watch and … listen.”
“Move into the water, my son. There is nothing to harm you here. We will drink, and cool ourselves, then we’ll move into the depths of the shadows come nightfall.”
“Will there be others in the shadows, mother? Will there be more males of our kind?”
“Only in the memories we have of them, before they perished. I haven’t seen another male since my father was murdered when I was very young.”
“I don’t understand it. Did the Great Mother ordain it to be so?”
“The Great Mother of all things gave us droughts and flooding rains, but she never handed us more than what our kind could recover from. This was not in her plan. Your great-great grandmother shared her stories of survival with us, she spoke often of the times before our world changed.”
The young male heard the cry in her voice, “Was it so different then?”
“Yes, my son. For she spoke of our kind stretching in herds across the veld as far as the eye could see. She spoke of the dust clouds they caused simply because of their numbers. She shared her memory of the herd searching for water in the midst of the great drought, she laughed at the happy thoughts that finding it caused her. There was time made for play and celebration. Their only predator back then were the hunters, they came looking to inflate their ego’s by felling the largest animal on the planet. The killed many of our kind, but not in numbers sufficient to threaten our existence as a species.”
“Was it the ones you call poachers? Did they cause this event to come about?”
“They are directly responsible. They did not hunt for sport. They did not hunt to save their own offspring from starvation, they trapped our males and butchered them after only the tusks of Ivory. They hunted from Greed.”
“What is Greed?”
“It is when someone takes far more than they’ll ever need to survive. They would kill and keep on killing because there were others of their species prepared to pay them for the precious ivory.”
“So, this Greed is a human trait?”
“It appears that way, I know of no other animal that kills unless it is necessary to protect and feed themselves or their offspring. It seems that is reserved for the human-kind.”
“Aren’t these humans the same as the ones who are now trying to save us?”
“Yes, they are. I’m beginning to learn that this Greed thing is not present throughout their entire species. Our caregivers are proof of that. They appear to have made the survival of our species their life’s work.”
“I think it may be partly born from guilt that their own kind had brought us to extinction. It weighs heavily upon their collective conscience. But more than that I believe they want to return their world to a time before the innocence was lost forever. They cling to a belief that man can and must learn from his mistakes.”
“Is it only our kind that have reached extinction level?”
The young male watched the tears slide from her eyes as she shook her head, “No, son. There are many others.”
“Can they hope to save all of them?”
“They live with that hope. I’ve seen it in their faces as they’ve watched you grow.”
“You told me I was not born of your body. I don’t understand that. You see me as your son though. I know it.”
“You are known as a replicant in their language. I only know that when they brought you to me you had yet to take your first independent breath of air. It was I who helped you to stand for the first time. Your diet was supplemented by the humans but you became my son from that moment and forever after.”
“I’m thankful, mother.”
“As am I, my child.
“Question time, ladies and gentlemen.”
“Those voices we heard they were some sort of voice over app. Yes?”
“No, sir. We now have the capability of listening to them and translating what they communicate into a language we can recognize.”
“Are they aware of that?”
“They are an intelligent species. I believe that they do know.”
“How many more Replicants like this one exist?”
“This one is number 47. We still have a long way to go before Elephants can be removed from the Extinction Level Event category.”’
“The world will now be watching and waiting.”
“They have always watched and waited. We need them to do more than that. We need them to pray.”
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