Relic by Sparrow Crain

“Picturesque desert, giving way to bountiful oceans all at your grasp!” the automated tour guide gushed as the tram came to a stop. In times past, multitudes of people stepped off the tram into this resort. There were no people left. None that were entirely people, that is. War had been declared, both sides running into battle with all weapons raised. What had been first a game between two governments became death for all, with a few exceptions. The resort was known by no name anymore, the large sign at the entrance had long been whitewashed from age and sun exposure. It stood at the highest point in the world, on the only continent that made this world’s entire geography. The opportunities here had been endless, if you could pay the price for them. A giant pool of water once held a miracle cure for any ailment! How about the famous musician who held court here, singing every night in the lounge?

When you could look past the beautiful architecture in alternating bright colors, the scenery was quite bleak. If you stood on the roof of the front office, you could see across the desert for miles. A road made of pebbles served as alternate transportation from the south, if you could not afford the train. If you weren't a Southlander, the tall and strong people of the wilderness; you would not survive the walk. Many Northerners had tried and killed themselves in the process. The frail and thin folk that embraced knowledge and science were not quite cut out for the bush. Many dunes were sprinkled along the desert, with hovels and wigwams collected together in small tribes. Looking closely enough, one could almost feel the sense of security and fraternity emanating. These were the first to go, when The Fall happened so long ago.

Looking the opposite direction, one could see ocean for miles and miles. The Northerners occupied shanties built above the waves, covered in resistant material strong enough to shield them from mighty storms. The boats that carried them to the resort, or to other cities upon the sea were long under the water. They stood tall and mighty, a uniform silver color that glinted with the sun's light so that one outside of the boat in direct proximity might have to shield there as to not feel blinded by the light. Here was where the progress was made; In the ocean. The Northerners were natural at academic things, but especially engineering and nuclear science. Maybe this was the reason they cut themselves off from the South, whether it be a feeling of pride or even of fear. Never before had the two been hostile, always living in peace since the beginning of recorded history.

The people that were left were mostly carcasses with beating hearts and active brains. The nuclear fallout had marred the bodies, mostly Southerners. The unique radiation from the third and final warhead left a bluish tint to the blood and scars found upon their bodies. Food was scarce, as was unpolluted water. But the worst part of living on the desecrated shell that had once been Paradise? The simple fact that if you screamed, millions heard you. Millions of ghosts, spirits, ripples in the wind. You might have been hallucinating, or maybe you weren’t; but you saw something in the dusk light over yonder. You saw the simple pleading eyes of the people who had made so many mistakes, but could not take them back. The people who destroyed the so called ‘Paradise’ they had created. The tram door closes automatically, and begins it’s retreat to the station, with customary music playing softly as the automated guide bid you farewell: “And remember folks, Paradise will always be here to welcome you back with open arms and open hearts!”

Sparrow Crain is a 22 year old aspiring model and writer with a penchant for the dramatic. At 15, he moved to New Orleans to pursue modeling full-time. Three weeks later, Hurricane Katrina happened. After being rescued and moving back home, severe floods ravaged his hometown. He is now fully convinced that he is a bad omen for weather.