Old Knowledge

Speakeasy #147: The Storyteller

“There was a time when things were different.” The old man began as our cohort settled in on the floor in front of him. “In my youth we could move about freely above ground, without the gear and precautions needed today.”

Reaching up with a weathered hand, he brushed the leaves of one of the many hanging plants in the room.

“Plants like these grew everywhere, not just in the rare sheltered area. The weather while far from mild was nothing like what those who have to venture up experience. Hot in the summer and cold in the winter, the seasons were generally predictable.”

Pausing to feed one of the colorful birds he kept as pets, the storyteller grinned briefly lost in thought.

“At one time the land we now live under was some of the most productive farmland in the world. All that changed as the weather became increasingly unpredictable. With the growing seasons a mess it didn’t matter how good the land was if the crops couldn’t grow fully.”

“With the decrease in plants, the extreme winds would blow away the soil. This evolved into the great dust storms that we must contend with in the warmer months, as well as the wind-driven cold and snow of the winter.”

The light in the room brightened, more sunlight coming in through the light pipes.

“Ah, looks like the crew has cleared another of the intakes. If you see one of them remember to thank them. Surface work is one of the toughest jobs we have.”

The old man smiled, “So, enough of that! Who has a story they would like to hear?”

This story was written for Speakeasy #147. It takes place in a new (unnamed) setting I’m playing around with, I’ll be posting other pieces in the setting as they develop.

The featured image for this post came from a flickr photo by Samuel John (SamuelJohn.de).

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22 thoughts on “Speakeasy #147: The Storyteller”

  1. I like the easy manner of the speaker, but I felt like it was just you talking to me. I guess I would have preferred seeing the workers up top clearing the light tubes rather than have someone tell me the history of this world. Regardless, interesting setting! I look forward to reading more. :)

    1. Oh that will be coming, I was aiming for a “teacher” who slips the lessons in along with the “stories”. This guy will show up again later and we will be spending some time topside also.

  2. A world that may soon become a reality if we continue to treat nature as we have been doing-sigh!Liked that this piece lends hope-at least people survived and are building a new world:-)

        1. Yes, and I keep hearing folks talk about the bad winter weather we are getting here (and across the US) and use it as an example of why global warming can’t be happening… they just don’t get that it throws everything out of whack.

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