inverted world

muzzle of powerful elephant among shrubs in daylight

Sinar is one of the very few who manage to escape the domes. 

The girl with a secretive smile peered into her hovercam and welcomed her viewers. The world might have changed, but some things stayed the same. With most of the world’s population locked away in domes, people became desperate for a taste of the old world, even if it were through their digital screens.

“The world was so noisy, wasn’t it?” Sinar said lightly. She has a childlike innocence in her, which made her one of the most viewed storytellers from her region.

Hailing from a tiny little city off the coast of Borneo, Sinar has the talent to ensnare her audience’s attention or perhaps, it was because everyone was hungry for a glimpse of the old world.

She doesn’t look like much but with her long jet black hair and sunkissed skin, she reminded the world what was lost. After the battle with COVID-19, the world flipped on itself.

Population dwindled, economies inverted. Little towns persevered whilst big cities crumbled on itself. High density areas were reduced to ghost towns and consumerism dropped drastically. Cities like Sinar’s were largely unaffected as the local governments ran a tight ship. Being relatively unknown to tourists also kept Kuching safe from infected wanderers.

“Everyone had something to say, everyone wanted to be heard… But now everything is so quiet.” She closed her eyes and smiled her trademark smile as if she knew something that everyone else did not.

When the vaccine didn’t take hold, it caused another outbreak. When the virus continued to mutate and prove resilient to any cure humans could create, domes were constructed. Families had to sign extensive contracts to live there. Nobody could leave, because the human race simply couldn’t risk reinfection.

It wasn’t without its perks. Not only was it free to move in, all uninfected applicants were accepted. People migrated to find some comfort, to escape poverty, to escape the old world. The government absorbs any outstanding debts when you move into a dome, along with any assets. Everyone starts from the ground up. It didn’t matter how rich you were, in the dome, everyone is equal.

“It was so alive… The earth was a throbbing, living thing. Airports pulsating with life from one end of the earth to the other. We loved to explore, we needed to settle, so we built cities everywhere. We used to have a lot, but now that we have a lot less, it feels like there’s more. We no longer have castles and mansions but at least nobody is hungry. There’s more than enough to go around because we finally learned to share.”

She enunciated the last few words slowly and she threw open her curtains and let the sun stream into the studio. Peering in was a family of Borneo pygmy elephants, surprised at the sudden movement, but moving on as soon as they realised that it was just a flamboyantly dressed human and a shiny hovercam.

“Kirara has finally learned how to use his trunk and he did try to take a sip of water from the river this morning. Mama Kalista is still helping him with his baths and will most probably keep doing that till he’s one. Elephants are devoted mothers and look at how Aunt Eva fawns over him!” She began moving away from the windows, gesturing to the hovercam for it to follow. Her colourful sarong swirling around her ankles.

“Never would I have imagined to see such beauty out of the window of my own home,” Sinar whispered, she was a little girl when she contracted the virus in the early 2020s just as the virus was starting to mutate. Abandoned by her family who fled for the domes, Sinar was left in the care of the government as were many others who fell prey to the sickness.

While a large portion of the world remain in bubbles, Sinar was the exhibition and she welcomed it, grateful to do anything for the government that had saved her. It was a small price to pay for freedom, after all. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *