Author’s note: Sometimes, our children tell us things that they see or know, and we don’t have faith in our children’s senses. This is speculative fiction about climate change that suggests the children might yet show us a way, even if it is too late for us.
Digital Art from photos and sidewalk chalk (photographed)
©2014 Michael Dickel
Moshe’s House in Space
Before, no sand swept through, no water splashed—a beach at driving distance, yes, but a long, long walk away. Before the three-year old’s stories, which I only half listened to: he was born in clouds before dinosaurs were alive; he died; “But now,” he said, “I’m becoming alive again.”
I thought a story he told me one morning came from his dreams.
He knew a dinosaur, he told me, with bright blue feathers in the day. At night it turned wooly and gray, to keep warm. The dinosaur had a name, Pollaydowen.
I thought, what an amazing imagination my three-year old son has, what colorful dreams.
He had other stories, about his house in space and all of the animals that lived there with him, a farm he had at this house. He went on and on with details—listing every animal we saw at the zoo, on farm visits, in books, on videos, on the internet; listing all of the plants and flowers he had heard of; listing creatures great and small in his lakes and seas.
How did he know all of them?
He insisted we should visit his house in space.
Then changes came suddenly, not slowly, as even the most pessimistic predictions had held. One day, news report said the sea covered beaches even at the lowest tides. The next week, waves washed across roads. Houses washed away. Whole neighborhoods of people could barely evacuate before the surf swallowed the land and their belongings.
The water washed sand over everything. The ozone layer shredded. Paint bubbled and peeled on cars, houses, government buildings. Everything and everyone aged.
Soon, sand dunes blew across the road in front of our house. The house looked like fifty years of neglect had settled in on it over the past few weeks.
That last day, my wife and I heard my son speaking in his room. And we heard another voice.
We went in. A bright blue flash turned toward us.
“We have to go,” my three-year old calmly explained, “now.”
“These sands end time here, the last to flow through the hour-glass,” the blue lizard-creature, Pollaydowen, added.
As we left the house, we trekked through hills of sand.
We returned once, to see what had happened.
I left this note for you who might find it, scratched in the walls, just in case anyone remains. We have an ark.
A somewhat different version of this story originally appeared on Fragments of Michael Dickel.