The narrative, dear Reader, dedicated to Grace, written in the day of our Lady and Lord, September 30th 2019
The central character, Belle, is changing her name to Beez as the narrative opens.
She is 10 and lives in the rescued space at the top of a very large mountain range. Groups rescued themselves from the floods. Belle is unsure of her past for the children were hastily airlifted out – her memories are vague. She is unsure of her identity.
Adults are called ’The Peoples’.
There is a see-through membrane at each ascending level where all can see outwards. The landscape is devoid of life.
‘The peoples’ go out on forays to try to cultivate the bottom of the mountains. These are fraught with danger. It is not landmines but totally unseen noxious gases which kill humans. No one can go out without full protective gear (known as BBs: short for boundary bandages).
Bees are the most precious of all things.
The sound of bees humming is most revered. The sound of light wind in trees is precious. Water is termed ‘beyond precious’.
Finance is calculated in terms of millilitres of water.
Learning is prioritised as central to survival.
Belle tussled with the list she crossed out and began to wander if the name Belle was right for her.Looking at the paper in front of her and the list, she scribbled on and on, turning over the page she began to draw her thoughts. She felt it was so very hard to draw light.
(Plants, Seedling, Seed, Light)
Looking around her, she peered into the green zone she was sitting in. The Peoples had made a see through, delicate set of roofs made of a mixture of gases which protected the Peoples from the rains, storms and harsh sunlight. Someone had explained to her once that the roofs appeared to be just like the old glass that had once been used.
She glanced at her necklace. The quiet hour was coming to an end and it was time to join her group in the plant centre in the blue circle. Before she could leave, she had to go to the viewing portal to watch the world. Creeping slowly to the large, round, clear opening she could see it all. They were at the top of the mountain called ‘hope’. She could see the white rocks and far, far below the beginnings of a tiny green haze.
The plants were beginning to grow….
It was hard to tear herself away from the outside she watched through the green layer. “If only” …. she imagined herself flying down, down, down the mountain and into what the peoples said she must call; THE FAR AWAY.
The Far Away has the green haze today. Every year it seemed to come, but the sun came up too high and there were no bees which survived outside, so the green haze always turned grey and withered.
In the evening time when her love circle came together to read and hold hands one of the Peoples of many years would explain again that the bees needed pollen and without it the grass would not grow.
Beez drifted. It was all so complicated. A long time ago everyone lived in the Far Away and there were no green or blue circles and everyone looked at the mountains but few went there. When she was six, she had hugged her Special One and cried “Why can’t we all go back?” “Why?”. The Special One stroked her head. “We cannot go back, little one, but we can love our bees and keep hoping that one day when we send them out some of the flowers will be there for the nectar. There is hope.”
And then they would all hold hands together and sing the hope song.
Beez’ necklace rang. She was late for the blue circle. Every week the circles would change so that all of the different love circles temporarily changed their people. This way she met different older ones too, so that when she returned to her own love circle, she was full of new thoughts. Beez loved the blue circle very much. She ran down the mirror steps to the blue level, passing the floating gardens; leaves and huge orange tulips creeping up and down the wall ladders.
The blue door recognised her necklace and opened into a vast atrium; larger than any of the old football pitches, her Special One assured her. “So large, even the peoples get lost in it!”. Beez followed her necklace. It would match her with her circle.
She was inside the blue circle now and carefully Beez pulled at her necklace to make it longer so that she could follow the path it made by blinking tiny light arrows from its translucent beads. As she moved the path lit up with bright yellow spots. Today there were many thousands of people in the circle. The older ones in her love group remembered their big outside concerts. The blue circle had been designed the same way. Instead of tents there were small inner blue membranes where people of all ages sat. Some in groups as small as twenty. Others in groups of over one hundred.
She hoped that today her group would be small. She needed to talk about her new name.
As Beez moved through the blue field she heard the bee music. Every day it was different; she had learned early about the hives in the top of Hope mountain. Here the bees hummed every day. It was a gentle, swaying sound today. Undisturbed by any weather changes the bees were quietly seeking nectar from the manufactured flowers in their zone.
Sometimes the bee watchers had to make their way up the wall ladders to protect and rescue the bees. Some of them would get too tired to fly as the dome was not the same as the Far Away. It did not give the bees the same light or different nectars.
The yellow spots at Beez’ feet were turning into sunflowers. Beez had never seen a real one. She just knew that bees loved sunflowers. She neared the opening of today’s blue circle.
The door, made up of tiny filaments of light blue diamond crystals, opened for her shape. They still called these openings “doors”, as in the old times, but truly the crystals just moved to allow Beez’ through and seamlessly closed together in unison once she had passed through.
Inside Beez saw immediately that this was a small group. Her heart leapt. Her own special one was seated in the centre and had been chosen to keep her company. Beez did not recognise anyone else, just her special one, named Charlie who was part of Beez’ kin group; knotted together by the days they shared together. Sometimes these were blood knots, sometimes friendship knots, sometimes game knots, sometimes plant knots. All connected by their Bee name. Kin groups named themselves after the thousand different bees there had been in the Far Away. Charlie glanced at Beez with that funny smile which produced dimples even though Charlie was very, very old.
Beez knew her beedom history. Seven big families of bees and sixteen thousand species. So, each kin group took a big family name and added one of the species together with a word of their own. Beez hummed her kin name to introduce herself to the group. All eyes fixed on her.
“Perdita – Andrenidae – wish”
She felt the little rumble in her throat as she sang the “Per” so softly and pronounced the “ita” sharply, with pride.
A green-eyed person, her age, had painted their face with pink and orange. Their cheeks became pinker as Beez sang and she saw a small hand extend out to hers and pat the floor. She felt warm inside as she tiptoed quietly to sit next to them. She knew that her deep hum was a good note for all the circle to experience. Today they would forget the BBs (bondage bandages) and hum. It was a low, powerful, gentle sound. As the vibrations increased the grasses imperceptibly pulled down their roots into the earth and pushed up their tiny tips of green, sharing their underground messages of survival for the Peoples.
Working in text, clay and textiles discovering poetry and narratives. Dichter; (poet/researcher, researcher/poet) Julia Davis-Nosko has published exhibited and performed internationally, including Nottingham Contemporay (Lodz Tapes) the Edinburgh Fringe (Demarco European Institute), Vitebsk (Belarus State Theatre). http://davisjulia.wixsite.com/julia-davis-nosko