A little boy sits under the tree outside, he watches the white doves play on the olive tree branches while unknotting his younger sister's boots. She always messes it up, pulling the longer lace instead of the shorter one and then tugging it harder until it knotted itself so badly that they had to cut the knot and put in a new lace. Fortunately though, this time , her brother saw her tugging furiously at her boots and pried it gently away from her and took it outside so that he could untie it under the light of the sun.
The sun was so rare these days. With all the smoke that filled the sky, the sunlight they received was immensely unuseful to perform any activity. And hence , they used the levitating aluminum shells to reflect light from the central power source located at the top of a hill. He knew this because his uncle had taken him to see the artificial sun. It wasn't a pretty sight , with all the gears and metal parts jutting out at odd angles to generate continuous light. But it was their source of life and hence , he could be but grateful for it and neglect the horrendous offense it posed for the eyes.
No one was home that day. His sister had fallen asleep on the steps with her curly brown hair pasted on her face thanks to the slow dribble of saliva down her puffy red cheeks. She was an easily tired child. Even when Ma was carrying her , she consumed most of her energy and Ma had to have several smaller meals throughout the day to keep herself rejuvenated. This had initially irritated the small boy. He viewed his little sister growing inside his mother's womb as a parasite , a leech that took away his time from his Ma.
But then all of those thoughts had slipped into oblivion once Sara was born. That was the effect that Sara had on people. She was so astonishingly beautiful even as a child. With curly brown hair and wide eyes that filled with curiosity. And with the same wide eyes, she smiled her first ever smile at Samir and her brother forgot about all the animosity he had carefully bred over the nine months.
The house opened out to a gentle downward slope that was visible from the door. Samir used to plonk himself in front of the door and lean backwards till he was at level with the gradient and he would shut his eyes tightly and then pull himself forward yelling ' Go! ' and open his eyes and for that split second, he would feel his heart tumble out of his mouth and rush speeding down the slope and into the horizon. And then he would laugh and that laughter would creak through the floorboards and it would travel through the neighboring towns till it reached his old grandmother's ears and she would chuckle on her bed, immobile, and the nurse would wonder what was so funny to the dying old woman but little did she know of little Samir experiencing his adrenaline kick back up on the mountain slope at the foot of the wooden door of a house he would always call home.
The doves had flown away by the time Samir completed unknotting his sister's boot lace. He was sad that they flew away but he knew they'd come back.
There was no more war on the blue planet, just a slow , painful wait for death to consume them once all the finite energy sources had been consumed. The revelation had sent his parent's generation into a panic mode and then finally as the inevitable truth crashed over them, it had left them fending for their children, the last humans to live on the planet, forbidding further copulation. For planet blue had waited for long but her heart had been broken several times over and over a billion years and she had shriveled up. She could not give anymore, so she called back all her children : wind , fire , water , earth and they caved inwards creating a big crater in a region that was once called Africa.
Planet Blue had died and Samir and Sara had only heard about all of the ruthless wars and toxic habits of their ancestors that led to the equilibrium which made up their current life. An equilibrium that was disintegrating so slowly that they had to do nothing but wait for the planet to consume them.
Were they scared ? They did not know.
Samir watches another pair of doves occupy the olive branch. He smiles, it was reassuring to know that the doves would last as long as them even if no other creature did. The doves were a symbol of peace, his mother had once said. He watches the doves play and wondered at the raw irony that this era was labelled 'Season of Doves.' Smiling wryly, Samir trudges inside the wooden hut, carries Sara up to the bed and curls to sleep next to her, praying and wishing that he need not wake up the next day.
Need not wake up to another day of nothing but doves making love on olive branches , nothing but an endless wait for planet blue to blow up, nothing but an anticipated apocalypse.