2120 – Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest region of what was once the United States of America.
Only shards of history survived the cullings.
And by shards, I’m being generous.
We passed history down from one person to the next in small groups around burning wood with the flames casting shadows on our surroundings for ten thousand years.
We marked the rocks with the images in our mind drawn by flames. And pounded reeds flat and bleached them in the sun and made up words to describe the images and the actions around them in complex relationships that became written language.
And then we maximized efficiency and built printing presses to make short work of storing our history in volumes in libraries.
But war, as it does, burns away the words with fire and rhetoric.
We digitized history and made the whole thing accessible to every human being in small, hand-held computers. And we shrank it, until millions of volumes could fit onto the tip of a needle.
History compounded is a radioactive element biding its time until transmutation releases energy and blows itself into shards and larger chunks.
And so we’re left to tell our story one generation to the next, to pass along the DNA of our existence, sometimes in rich detail and sometimes in shards too small to understand why we keep repeating our mistakes.
I pieced this all together from the slivers of information I have gathered over my lifetime, which evenly spans the turn of the 22nd Century.
I inherited some of it and found most of it, extracting it willingly or unwillingly from its hosts. Oh, yes, history is a parasite. Or didn’t you know that?
History periodically blows itself up, so we must pick it up in shards or larger chunks and piece it together and determine that we will never kill each other in large numbers again for resources. But we can’t fight history’s innate need to repeat itself, and so we become willing hosts, corrupted and finally destroyed as the shards and larger chunks to be pieced together by a future generation.
In this way we have eked out our existence on this rock for this brief moment in time.
Sliver by Timothy Alex Akimoff copyright 2016