Archive for winter

Ice Block

Posted in Lucerne Village, Sacred Geometry, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , on June 28, 2012 by javedbabar

It was the coldest winter ever and Matt could barely sit on his ass. Even the chair was chilled, it made his butt clench. But his security company, Rapid Response, required someone to man the office. All of its computers, screens and phones were here.

Matt picked up the iced phone – his breath must have frozen on it – and called Danny, who was on duty tonight at the Transparent Temple – nickname for their community centre. “Hey Agent D, how’s the weather over there?”

“It’s bloody freezing! You should know. Don’t you have temperature readings on your monitors?”

“Yes, I do. But they’re telling me minus fifty. Is it really that cold there?”

“Well it’s zero in the office with the heating full on. So that’s probably right.”

Matt said, “Jeez, what’s happening this winter?” He’d heard reports of early frost, growing glaciers and icecaps, and record snowfall, then corrections saying that this winter there would be the least snowfall ever. Snow only forms at -1°C to -4°C; it would be way colder than that.

“This whole village is freezing in,” said Danny. “That’s what’s happening this winter.”

Matt had noticed already that people were minimising their movements. Rather than popping in and out of town, they’d only visit once a day and get all their jobs done. Stores and cafes were suffering. Surprisingly it was the ones on the highway that had first put up notices saying “closed till further notice”, as people were no longer visiting, or even passing through, Lucerne. The stores downtown were still operational, just, because of local business.

A week later however, they also were closed. People bunkered down in their houses. Woodstoves became lifesavers as people’s gas and electric heating systems began to break down. Their stoves were burning around the clock, with neighbours pressed around them – the more body heat the better – in blanket rooms, built within regular rooms. People ate from their root houses and larders. They knew they couldn’t feed their pets, so killed, and sometimes ate them. Livestock died off quickly, and the one good thing about this cold was that their meat stayed well preserved.

Rapid Response’s control room remained fully functional. Matt had refused to abandon his customers, all signed up for annual contracts. They needed to feel secure in this difficult time. He was sure they would repay him with loyalty when the village returned to normal. They wouldn’t go with cheaper rivals who were trying to steal his business.

Matt however had stopped moving entirely. His last thoughts remained in his mind forever, as they do for those who die frozen. He was comfortably seated, protecting people in a happy, safe, warm land, surrounded by racks of pressed white flowers, all of them six-petalled.


Fruit Trees

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2012 by javedbabar

When Danny felt sad in winter he went to the Botanical Garden. It was a vibrant place with lush foliage and bright blooms in a land assaulted by winter; it seemed an oasis of infinite life; maybe even another planet.

His long walks in the forest had provided awareness of local flora, but the species here were unusual, and he barely recognized any of them. They had crazy forms and colours: eight foot tall plants with blue, hand-like flowers, and red chandeliered blossoms that twinkled in the moon and sun. His favourite was the Silva Sanguinara, with its huge pink flowers, made up of hundreds of smaller ones, like a jigsaw puzzle. He imagined the green-suited creator of the Botanical Garden, known as The Gardener, sitting at home on one gloomy day, piecing it together.

Danny spent an hour enjoying the tranquil garden, and on his way out crossed The Gardener striding up the main path. He was always around somewhere, tending to something; the man was a perfectionist; a micro-manager literally, planting seeds, cross-breeding, and hand-pollinating flowers.

“Good day to you, Sir,” said the Gardener.

“Good day to you too,” said Danny. “I’ve told you many times, I’m sure, but I don’t mind telling you again. I love this place. It’s a wonderful thing you’ve done for the citizens of Lucerne.”

“But I too am a citizen of Lucerne,” he said. “You could say it was self-interest.”

Danny pondered for a moment and said, “You are too modest. You work harder than you need to. You’re here every time I visit, doing your rounds.”

The Gardener changed the subject. “Have you seen our new shop?” Danny shook his head.

“It just opened last week. You should go and take a look. I think you’ll like it.”

The Gardener tipped his hat and walked away.

Danny made his way to the shop; it was nestled between the Amazonian Rainforest and Egyptian Oasis areas. One side was festooned with giant fig lattices, and the other side almost hidden by huge rushes and swaying palms.

“Welcome Sir!” said the young assistant. “How is your day going so far?”

Danny was tempted to tell him that his day was terrible. It was filled with despair and unrequited love. He felt worthless and hopeless, and saw few reasons to continue living. But why give this kid such a hard time? Why kill his enthusiasm? So he said, “It is going well, thank you.”

“Great! I’ve got some things that will make it even better. Please follow me.” He led Danny to a display at the front of the shop; a selection of fruit trees. He said, “These are our winter specials. I know it’s not quite winter yet, but it’s good to plan ahead, don’t you think?” Danny nodded. “They bear fruit all winter.” Danny wondered if the assistant had picked up on his despair.

“They’re quite expensive,” said Danny. “I wouldn’t usually spend so much on a plant.”

“But they are specials for a reason, Sir. Look at this winter banana, and this winter cherry. Imagine having ripe yellow and bright red cheering up your house when it’s gloomy outside? Wouldn’t that be something?”

“I guess you’re right. It would be kind of nice. And they’ll grow indoors? Very good. And even a non-gardener like me can tend them successfully? Okay, great. Maybe I’ll take them. How about one hundred dollars for them both?”

After a deal was struck, the assistant told him that he’d also need a heat lamp which was another fifty bucks. Danny was annoyed at this; he should have been told before. But the idea of brightness and sweetness in darkness appealed to him. It may just make the difference this winter. He took the trees home and placed them near his front window.

The trees thrived there at first, but the winter cherry suddenly died. The Gardener hadn’t told Danny the whole truth. The assistant couldn’t, as he didn’t know. These were ancient species, which had arrived on earth before man, locked in a timeless struggle for survival. The Gardener, an initiate of the cult of the Green Man, was not allowed to assist one over the other. His only role was to ensure a fair fight during this process of guided evolution. Whether or not Danny survived the winter was unimportant to him.