Harrowed Earth: Distant Memories by Frank Carentz

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SUMMARY: The vague rememberance of an earth nearly forgot, compared to the horrific world it has become. A world where mankind has been slaughtered and enslaved.

"It was about thirty years ago. Some of the older among us remember it quite well, but it's more like a dream for me.
A vision of hope...

A calm place I can only escape to when exhaustion finally takes hold and forces me to rest.

My last true memory of that time is only a short one, before it all happened.

I am but a child looking up at the sky, its blue, cluttered with clouds that look so soft and white. In the distance the clouds hang high above what seems to be an army of immobile reflective giants. I hear the familiar sound of people. It's almost overwhelming to hear so many voices.

The ground is soft beneath my feet and to my left I can see water, a huge pool of water, right in the middle of the grass. Slowly I begin to see the shapes of the voices, droves of people. Parents are playing with children; children are playing with animals... so many people. Briefly in the distance I can make out the sound of birds chirping and dogs barking, but all of this is interrupted by the faint sound of music.

It's so peaceful, so; beautiful... I've never seen its like since.

I'm not sure if the blue sky of my dreams is in fact a memory of my past, or one of fancy being weaved by the stories we tell of a time that was. I often find myself questioning if that time ever truly existed, or if it is just some form of propaganda we tell ourselves to keep our hopes alive.

If those blue skies had ever truly existed they have long since abandoned this forsaken world.

The sky we know now is scorched, a psychotic medley of black and rust, as if painted by some maddened artist amidst his final seizure, a sight which could darken even the noblest of egos. The reflective immobile army has long been dead; their once magnificent structures replaced by dismal landscapes and twisted architecture to make way for the cities of the Slave Masters. The pathways we once used for transportation are now lined with suspended cages for the insubordinate and those that have attempted to escape, these poor souls find themselves left to waste away and have their bones picked at by the buzzards and crows that have come to this land. I have heard some say that within the limits of the city one can witness even more atrocious acts of punishment for the disobedient.

The surrounding suburbs, where I believe myself to be from, are now home to the breeding pens and mining holes, where the Slave Masters keep those who are not worthy of being pawns in their armies. Millions must have been lost since the time of my memory, countless lives either lost to death or worse, to the mind controlling Slave Masters. The once lush soil and grass recalled by my dreams has since decomposed into a dust that can barely hold itself to the surface of the world, finding itself scattered in a brisk wind to flow atop the air and land at some unknown destination. The sounds and sights of old have all left this place. Everything that was, is now but a fleeting memory, a dream, traded for a collective nightmare that we cannot awaken from.

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