9. Learn to Love Each Other

9. Learn to Love Each Other

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson
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PARADISE HELL - Part 9

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Who…? Where? What…?” stammered Timmy, who for once seemed to have cast aside his normal confidence and become as confused as the rest of us.

You seem confused,” whispered the pretty figure in pink, “then let me explain. I am Kim and I am a soldier in the army of truth…”

Soldier?” I gulped, “what’s a soldier?”

Yes, what is a soldier?

She sighed. “I knew that we must have grown apart,” she sighed, “words coming and going, names changing, even new words leaping out of dark minds… for it’s been a long time. But you left us, my friends, to fight for our freedom, and freedom won! I will show you around. We became free from all forms of tyranny soon after you left. Wars were banished.”

What are wars?” asked Timmy, frowning.

You don’t know? Oh, you poor boy! It must always be a case of know your enemy. And the enemy, my sweet innocent youth, is everyone who would use violence to impose their will on others! It has been banished, and only just in time if we are to believe the history books.”

I shook my head. “I don’t understand,” I mumbled, because I didn’t understand, “what are history books?”

She looked at me, and smiled. In truth, I have never seen such a beautiful face before and if I didn’t have Timmy I’d certainly want to snuggle up to her, which makes me feel awkward to think of because we’re both girls and some things just don’t happen. I looked at Timmy, and I could see he had similar thoughts about her. I suddenly feared that I might lose him.

I can see we will have to educate you, my dear,” she said, and nodded at Timmy. “Is he your fella?”

What’s a fella? I was lost, though I could guess what she meant by the question, but what if I guessed wrongly? I mean, a fella could be quite a few things: a boyfriend, a lover, an employer, a father… I hadn’t got a clue.

So, “I love him,” I replied, hoping that would cover all possible bases.

That was the first time I’d said that, and I could feel Timmy’s hand moving on the inside of my smock, touching me.

The creature who called herself Kim could see that too.

I see we will have to give you a nice double room then,” she said. “Look: we can’t stand here talking until nightfall because at this time of year it can get quite cold after dark.”

I know Night, but what is dark?

She raised her voice and took us all in, surveying us with her eyes, which meant she was probably quite a bit taller than any of us. There had been rumours in Paradise Hell that once upon a time men and women were taller than they were now amongst us troglodytes.

Everyone,” called Kim, “you are welcomed and loved and look weary and extremely dirty. It can’t be helped, the way you’ve had to live. Tell me, is anyone here one of the original congregation who sought refuge underground above a century ago?”

What’s a century? Why are there so many things that I don’t understand?

What’s a century?” I asked in an involuntary response to a question I didn’t understand.

You don’t know?” she asked, looking surprised.

Silly tart! I suddenly felt less fond of her beauty. Why did I ask if I already understood? Did she think me a simple fool?

You’re a silly tart,” I said, my mental processes somehow connected to my mouth without being told to.

She smiled. “Maybe I am,” she said quietly, “and maybe there are a few things you don’t understand of a world you ran away from over a hundred years ago!”

Ran away from? Me? I never ran away from anything in my life!

What’s a hundred years?” I asked.

She smiled at me, her eyes large and clear, her lashes superb. How easy it would be to love her!

Maybe you have become accustomed to a different way of measuring the passing of time,” she said, “but a year is made up of either three hundred of sixty five or three hundred and sixty six days depending on its divisibility by four.”

It’s the same with us,” Timmy put in before I could make a bigger fool of myself than I already had by asking what about a year could be divided by anything let alone four.

Then my question is, how many of you are the original escapee congregation?

There can’t be any!” I said with a huge grin, sensing she had set a trap, though I could think of no reason why she should be so cruel to a dowdy bunch of strangers, refugees to a world we had forgotten generations ago.

There can’t?” she asked, “the original congregation has all passed away?”

If you mean laid to rest in the cemetery cave? Of course they have! None live much more than forty years and most a great deal less!” I burbled in a most superior voice, “it is the nature of people, of life, of all creatures like us!”

Then I feel such sorrow for you,” sighed Kim. “I am more than your forty years of age, and accounted as young! Now come on, all of you … I was expecting more but I guess there may be more to follow one day.

A few decided to return to their hovels,” I said, and as the words came out of my mouth I know that I sounded primitive and definitely inferior. And she must have sensed my feelings because her eyes became softened with sympathy. At least I hope it was with sympathy.

You all need a bed to sleep in, good food to give your strength and a change of clothes,” Kim told us, “and above all, I rather think you all need a good bath with loads of foaming bubbles! So come on! I will lead the way. Look at where we’re going.”

She pointed at a magnificent shining building, the like of which neither I nor any of us troglodytes can have seen before.

It was a hotel once,” she said, “and ever since the war of peace and harmony was restored in every corner of our planet it has been reserved for you should you return. And here you are! So follow me and we will, bit by bit, learn how to love each other!”

Love each other? What is love?

© Peter Rogerson 22.02.21

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© 2021 Peter Rogerson


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Added on February 22, 2021
Last Updated on February 22, 2021
Tags: overground, futuristic, peace, beautiful woman


Author

Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom



About
I am 77 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..

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