First Draft Friday’s #3: Eden

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So I was recently clearing out my room, cause its somewhat of a pig sty, and came across some stories that I had to write for creative tasks back in high school. Let me set the scene. We were asked to write a story that reflected the concerns expressed in the movie Delicatessen. If you haven’t seen it, you should watch it. It will seriously blow.your.mind. After re-reading my story I have made some minor changes and I have also included the rationale in this post. Of course I’m looking for feedback, ensuring that comments are in line with our commenting policy – of course. Let me know what you think.

Rationale:

The inspiration for Eden came from the post-apocalyptic concerns expressed in the movie Delicatessen. Although Delicatessen’s post-apocalyptic storyline revolves around the desperate measures individuals will venture into in order to survive, Eden differs slightly as it is based on the Apocalypse outlined in the Christian Bible’s Book of Revelations. Apocalyptic literature has always fascinated me. The way in which individuals depict their own visions of how the world will end, based on their own life difficulties and experiences has always interested me.

The title Eden has symbolic as well as literal meaning. I purposely wrote the story without explicitly naming or describing the narrator. By giving the narrator as little substance as possible, I have allowed the reader to develop their own vision of the narrator, to project their own feelings and thoughts onto the character. This is because the narrator could be any human being experiencing this devastating event. To me however, the narrator is a sixteen-year-old Australian girl named Eden. She works at a local store on the weekends, has a cat named Rufus, and has always had a psychic ability that is expressed through her dreams. A modern day prophet.

I purposefully gave the narrator psychic abilities, as seen through her dreams, because it allowed me to remove the restrictions of writing in the first person. This presented an outlet to comment on the effects of the Apocalypse not only in the narrator’s life but also on a global scale. As shown by the representation of biblical events that were occurring through her dreams. The story is also written in a matter of fact emotionless tone to show that the narrator is emotionally drained from the catastrophic events she has witnessed.

The creative uses apocalyptic themes with a religious overtone. With reference to the Bibles accounts of the apocalypse, the character Isaiah fills the role of antichrist. In history Isaiah was the name of a prophet who predicted doom for all the nations who opposed God. This name was given to the antichrist because of its historical significance. Instead of preaching the word of God I made the character Isaiah the prophet of Satan. In the Bible there is reference to the followers of the antichrist bearing the beasts mark. I used a tattoo of a serpent and apple as this mark, as it is not only a direct reference to Adam and Eve, but the Garden of Eden. Similar to the religious story where the serpent deceived Eve so did Isaiah deceive the citizens of the world into believing he was good. In both cases the ending was disastrous for the human race.

Eden

Even as a small child I had vivid dreams. My mother used to say I was special, lucky to be able to visit such magical places in my sleep. But it always seemed there was something more to my dreams. By the age of ten I stopped telling my mother about my dreams, it only seemed to upset her. She used to make me promise to never tell anyone else, which seemed rather odd, but I was never one to question.

When I was sixteen I joined the school newspaper. The world was becoming a dangerous place; everywhere I looked there seemed to be death and destruction. I figured that I had never really looked before so it only seemed like the world was self-destructing. Then I had the dream. I thought nothing of it; I mean, I had been having dreams all my life and this one was no different. At least not until three days later when a small asteroid landed squarely in the middle of Kansas.

In my dream the asteroid wiped out Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado and most of Iowa. Reality, however, was much worse. The asteroid did destroy those states, but the ripples were felt from the west to the east coast. Earthquakes leveled Las Vegas, California all but disappeared into the ocean and a thirty story high tidal wave moved the eastern shoreline from Delaware to Illinois. For all intents and purposed the U.S was gone.

It is hard to explain the fallout from this catastrophic event. The world as we knew it no longer existed. Strange events began to occur. A crowd gathered in St. Peters square, people turned to the church for comfort, reassurance but they received none of it. Survivors reported a flash of light, and then nothing. Nothing but thousands of dead bodies. No one could explain why some survived whilst many of the faithful were taken in the blink of an eye. This happened all over the world, people just died, struck down for no reason.

Fear began to consume the world. America was gone. Fighting for survival became the norm. We fought for food, water, shelter, safety, humanity. A quarter of the Earths population perished. Nuclear weapons were deployed plunging the Earth into a nuclear winter. Giant hailstones stained with blood destroyed cities. Fire engulfed a third of the world’s forests, the fall out polluted the oceans and wiped out the sea life. Water supplies were poisoned, the suns light was blocked by smoke and ash.

And from the darkness came the light. Isaiah. It seemed impossible that one man could unite the world, but that is what he did. I don’t think anyone really knew where he came from. Some said he was from Syria, some said Israel, but it didn’t matter, for he brought peace to the world. He crafted treaties between sworn enemies, and brought peace to the Middle East. But when words and documents failed, he brought vengeance. His army was strong, and grew in force each day. Many wanted to bask in the light of Isaiah, announcing their allegiance by tattooing a snake curled lasciviously around a ruby red apple on their wrist.

For three and a half years the world knew peace. And then the darkness came. I should have known. For months I had dreams of beautiful horses. A beautiful white horse, the rider so gallant. He carried a bow and wore a magnificent crown. The second horse was flame red and the rider carried a sword held high above his head. The third rider sat atop a black steed, he carried scales, and the fourth rode a pale horse. Two days before the world ignited my dream changed slightly, and the fourth rider became known as Death.

The world was taken by surprise by the demands of Isaiah to be worshipped as a God. After the refusal of many, he gathered his great army, more than two hundred million men and women, from all the nations remaining on Earth. They stood on the Plain of Esdraelon in northern Israel at a place called Armageddon, and prepared for battle.

At the head of the army rode Isaiah upon his white horse. His commanders rode the other steeds I had seen in my dreams. They prepared to unleash their forces on Gods country, Israel. Clouds hung heavily in the sky, covering the plains in the darkness. I have seen this before. Fire rampages across the field towards the city, troops march in columns led by the flames. The earth trembles and quakes under the sheer weight of the army. The sun grows dark.

And then, as in my dream, the heavens appeared to open. A man riding a white horse emerges from the clouds. He is different from the other riders. There is a sense of peace surrounding him even though his eyes are like the flames consuming Israel. He wears a robe that has been dipped in blood and his head bears many crowns. He calls to the armies, shouts his name. He says his name is the Word of God, and with these words He cuts down the armies. And as the wind blows his robes a name is revealed upon His thigh, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Isaiah’s armies are gone.  They do not go quietly, but in agonising pain, turning to ash. No one is spared, even those who do not bear the mark. Their fate too is death but they are forgiven the pain. The world is barren, it is as it was many millennia ago. Our histories have been erased, our sins and our virtues. From the ash arises a new world, a new chance, a garden of unimaginable beauty, just like in my dreams.

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