Dice playing

By Virginia Lowe
theangrypenguin/Creative Commons

I.

In the city, smoke-coloured sunlight throws orange into unexpected corners of houses, flickering like flames as leaves flutter before it. God/dog smiles at the irony. Fifty years ago they saw it coming. Such a clean, clear, wide open country, with infinite sunlight and wind. Leaders of the world Australians could have been, if only they had set out then to change climate change. But now that same clarity in the sunburnt land is showing the rest of the world what happens when climate change hits – the longest drought, the worst bushfires, cities polluted, children protesting. Others in high places continue to deny. Not leaders in a creative opportunity, but leaders in suffering the result – the first of the Western countries to see/feel the results surrounding them. Dog/God is here disguised in his/her high-vis vest – exactly the same stomach-wrenching orange – disguised as a boilermaker and volunteer rural firey. As the truck load, hoses in hand, watch the fire front crest the hill – collecting several buildings on the way – God/dog squats by a cleared patch of road and fishes his/her dice from an inside pocket. Insectivore swarming Xenon awaits, but this planet is almost finished too. Will he/she wait out the result? Dog/god is curious.

 

II.

The meeting was so tedious. The secretary had already dropped his tablet twice on
falling asleep – great alarm by everyone gathered, but at least it alerted those who
were teetering on the edge of a nap. Each took a sip of the supplied water and felt
much better. Was War worth pursuing when social media was actually to blame?
Dog/god was amongst them, disguised as a woman, a dignified, high-up-the-hierarchy
woman, elegantly dressed. He/she was trying to decide whether to stay on Earth, or
move on to the insectivore planet to see how the sentient swarming creatures had
developed. But Earth and its terraforming humans were such fun to watch. Humans
found such ridiculous things to squabble about, it was intriguing and amusing. Would
they destroy their planet with all its life, this time round? It was a mere millennium
ago that they had hit on almost what evolution would have led to anyway. A world
green, brown, soft on the eyes, peaceful. They had just had a whole century with only
minimal wars and minor plagues. But She/he also remembered an eon when the
colours had been basically turquoise and orange and the dissonance at the borders had
been so hideous, it was a delight to watch. He/she was fingering the couple of dice in
Her/his pocket. He/she would let Chance decide after all. Off to Xenon if it was under
six, stay on Earth if it were seven or more. She/he kept them hidden until they were
thrown decisively down on the table. Which would it be? God/dog was curious.

 

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