Exclusive Interview. Flash Fiction by Stefania Scardigli

Exclusive interview with the organiser of the most spectacular world event of the century (so far).

REPORTER: First of all, thank you very much for accepting this interview. I am aware that these are busy times for you.
GUEST: You’re damn right they are!
R: My first question is: what is the rationale behind all this?
G: Well, I’m glad you asked, because this is something I want people to get right, once and for all. This is not, and I repeat, it is not a matter of punishment, of guilt, or a clean-up, or whatever stereotypical form of oppression-driven-cleansing you might have heard about.
R: I see. I have to admit this comes a bit as a surprise…
G: I know, I know, that’s why I’m taking this off the table right at the beginning.
R: Why the harshness, then? Where does it emerge from?
G: Well first of all, the fact is that people have been ignoring each and every sign, symbolic and non-symbolic, that was sent out before this. This was my last resort, so to speak, to make the message go through… you call it harshness, but for me it is simply the equivalent of a parent rising their voice to a stubborn kid, a parent putting their foot down.
R: Well you certainly raised your voice and got us all listening, that’s for sure!
G: Good, this is good. You know, you guys ignored all the nudges, all the hints. It’s like you are not able to pick up inferences anymore… you need to be told loud and clear otherwise you don’t understand. Because this is not my first attempt, you know. My first attempt was over a year ago with the kiddo…
R: Kiddo? You mean…?
G: Yes, the Swedish kiddo. I thought: maybe they will listen to the voice of innocence. Maybe this will be so unexpected that it will finally get their attention. But no, you are… it’s difficult to pin point… you are so used to novelties that you take each one with less and less surprise, less and less attention. You are not able to read the meanings underneath.
R: I see your point, but most people would disagree with you. We did listen: the ‘kiddo’, as you call her, was vastly heard and followed, and in spite of her young age and blunt speak, she talked in front of the powerful of the world…more than once.
G: Yes, because you turned her into an attraction: you were looking past her, didn’t really listen to what she was saying. You were soon bored and wanted something else to entertain you.
R: Well, if this is what you think…
G: Yes, it is. That’s why I decided to go for the simile, if you wish. I offered you a sample of what I thought was common knowledge. I had high hopes it would help.
R: You mean the grasshoppers?
G: Locusts, they were locusts! Blimey, you see? You people are so ignorant. Your problem is that you don’t remember a thing. So there is no point showing you things by means of the archetypes, the original meaning, the symbols. It’s pointless. I learned it the hard way.
R: Are you saying that the grass… I mean the locusts were the… the real thing? The same ones from…, from the plagues of Egypt?
G: Yes, of course they were, what else did you think they were? Do you need captions in real life too? You guys are too used to video games to know the difference.
R: Ok, ok, don’t get upset, now. So after this…
G: You know: it is frustrating when you quote the most read book of all times, the longest seller of best sellers, and yet people don’t see the connection. That’s what I’ve had to deal with this whole time.
R: Ok, but how did you get to… to this unforgivable mess, allow me.
G: “Unforgivable mess” is what you guys made me endure! And it’s been going on for soooo long, I can’t even remember. But now, finally, I start to get results. And everybody can see them.
R: I just hope you are not talking about the incredible, astonishing loss of lives, are you?
G: What?, no, of course not, silly. Those are… casualties, which.. well I can’t deny it’s a strong way to get your attention…
R: A strong way! Come on! Attention to what, then?
G: The positive results, under everybody’s eyes! Look at the fish in Venice’s canals… look at the dolphins in Sardinia, look at the air quality in Los Angeles and Delhi… should I go on? That is me. It’s me coming out of the nightmare you forced me in for so long. You tried to convince me that you were looking for a solution, but instead you kept coming up with excuses: “we can’t agree”, … “consider the West”, and then “consider the emerging countries”, and …the economy, and the welfare, and …the First World, and the Third World…blah blah blah. It was a never ending chattering. You were not able to end it; or maybe worse: you didn’t want to end it. So I had to take things into my own hands.
R: What about all those deaths, though? What about all the poor families who lost their loved ones and were not even allowed to say their last goodbyes, what about us: the human beings?
G: Why, did you think about me when you went on with your big plans for the future? The torture of digging for coal, and then the absurdity of fracking, and cutting down forests – my lungs!, or pouring tons and tons of concrete everywhere? I was the first one to be short of breath! How do you suggest I made myself heard? I did try, I just told you, to make you understand, to offer not one but many simplified messages. But you wouldn’t listen. So here we are: Mother Earth scolding her stubborn children, the hard way.

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