Title: Children of Gods
Author: Sophie McKeand
Notes: Reprinted in Return Fire vol.6 chap.2 (winter 2020–2021) — PDFs of Return Fire and related publications can be read, downloaded and printed by visiting returnfire.noblogs.org or emailing returnfire@riseup.net
We greeted the children of gods with operatic indifference.
Having already slaved to make the world right for some time we
promised the earth (as if she were ours to gift) & set them to work in
call centres & factories & department stores & endless cafe chains &
when they finally began to show promise we stacked
debt onto shoulders already bowed with overwrought expectation
shackled their imagination to the sum total of our experience then branded them snowflakes.
We deconstructed the earth’s soul — reduced her to economic growth & dollar signs
then set up focus groups to ascertain why the children just. didn’t. get. the. bigger. picture.
Isolating the most compliant young gods, we modelled them in our own image
set them at giddying heights within the Milky Way as an example
of what could be achieved through dedicated application then
medicated their suffocating anxiety; devised cognitive therapy to cope with the vomit & hysteria.
As the children of gods grew into our ways we peddled them stacks of blood bricks & stale
education at over-inflated prices & those who balked
were fed into sink hole estates or prisons & we told them to consume less
urged them to buy more; graded the children of gods by skin colour
or ancestral land-grabs then lectured them on being shallow & lacking in empathy
as we condemned their racism, bigotry, sexism & aggressive homophobia & wrung
our white hands that they did not care for the environment we had systematically disconnected them from.
When they persisted in demonstrating no gratitude for the oceans of plastic & mountains of crap
that made up their inheritance, we poisoned the air & their minds
blasted the old gods into gravel drives; stripped the world of the forest’s stories
ripped the language of magic from their mouths so that the
children of gods no longer recognised their reflection in cloud formations & lakes
(only knew themselves in the echo-chamber of our online shops).
We complained when they denied the earth’s beauty & wept genuine tears of frustration that they just did not seem to care about anything.
Finally, we surmised that their lack of interest in recycling our ideas & excrement
was simple yet unexplainable laziness & when we had
moulded enough of the children of gods into almost, almost, what we envisaged
we died.