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Fiction Speculative Indigenous

As soon as I saw the tunnel, I knew that it just had to be mine.


I knew why and wherefore I wanted it – I knew I would even sell my tiara to obtain enough funds, if I had to. But of course, I wouldn’t have to. Of course not.


My mother had always told me about “the light at the end of the tunnels” and she was being her usual ambiguous self. Yet, here it was, in Glorious Technicolor – or as much as an underground tunnel could be thus – and it was what I had visualised all my life.


You know those Road Runner cartoons, where a lightbulb switches on above Will E Coyote’s head? Well, a similar enlightenment came to me when I saw this light at the end of this tunnel in Bracknell, Austin territory.


I have always been captivated by Great Leaders: the ones behind such fascinating communities such as Aum Shinrikyo, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, the Divine Light Mission, Hare Krishna, the Order of the Solar Temple, Sahaja Yoga… too many to mention them all.


I read all the biographies of the holy and not-so-holy originators of these groups, jotting down salient points in my journal. I still believe in good old pencil and paper. I learned typing when I had chilblains, and I could only use my indices. In the peak of my youth, I could nonetheless type 100w.p.m., so I never bothered to learn how to touch-type. 


If you use a ballpoint to write in the dark, it can let you down; but if you have a clutch of pencils at the ready, all you have to do is feel whether they have a point, and take it from there. You don’t have to switch on the light and annoy whoever is in bed with you, or attract the mozzies.


Ignorant people call them cults, but actually they are not all cults, because they all contain truths that are inherent in other… well, beliefs.


But I digress.


I knew that if I wanted to get rich, rich beyond dreams of avarice, I would have to invent a religion. A religion that would be, of course, The One True Religion for my followers.


I wanted a place to be, a place to call my own, unlike no other. I didn’t want a palace, or a compound. I didn’t want a village, or a castle with a moat around it.


Actually, I knew what I didn’t want, but I didn’t know what I wanted – until I saw the tunnel. That was the place of my dreams, the just-what-I-always-wanted-but-didn’t-know-it scenario that made me crave to put my signature on the dotted line, as fast as possible before someone else started a bidding war.


So, as I was saying, my tenet being If you want to get rich, invent a religion, that is just what I did. It’s logical and financially sound advice.

However, for some reason, my instinct told me to refuse the hackneyed “I saw God and she was black” blueprint. And of course, a person of my exquisite intellect would never expect the hoi polloi to fall for that spiel; it’s been done too often – I’ve even got the t-shirt.


Knowing that where I live, there were many people who were disillusioned with the paternalistic, male-god religions, whereas at the same time desperate to hold on to the traditional monotheistic waffle, I did my homework.


The fact that I had, as I assumed at the time, not gone through any process of enlightenment or revelation means that my detractors cannot accuse me of faking it.


My concepts are exceptionally multifaceted with infinitely bourgeoning twists. How can an ordinary person hope to understand my core dogmas, if sometimes, albeit rarely because it is too much trouble to edit my Tome, I make them up as I go along?


In my country, there is a legend which tells of how the Earth Mother let her Tears of Loneliness drip into the Great Meniscus of Nothing. Students of physics would know that when droplets fall on a stretch of water, they engender back-jets.


Ordinarily, these columns of the liquid shoot up and then fall back into the water, creating concentric ripples. However, this was In the Time of Before, so each back-jet became a Land Place.


I decided to work on this myth in order to create my religious group, which would be unlike anyone of the silly cults from which I stole ideas, and transmogrified them to into something totally plausible. And then, ironically, I found out that what I had envisioned and envisaged was nothing but the Truth. Mum spoke to me. It was not a trance, not a vision; she was there, on the beach, wearing a bandana, an aquamarine kimono and flip-flops as the ultimate disguise… my inspiration, incarnate.


There are many pictures on the internet of multi-tasking women holding brooms, babies, pots, feather dusters, and more. Kuan Yin is The One with a Thousand Arms – and she has eyes in some of the palms of her hand, with which to see those who need her help. However, please note that I did not make the mistake of others who thought they knew it all – for I really do. I am as genuine and unpretentious as they come.


I forbore to give Mum a consort. For had I done so, it would have meant that I had to give her a whole hagiography, philosophy and mythology (and history!) of rivals and offspring – including the equivalent of Nephilim…and, obviously, a couple of bastards to boot.


I know on which side my bread is buttered, just as I know that margarine is bad for health. That is why my religion is all things to all men – and women, and children – about which, later.


To recruit my first batch of Faithful, I took out innocuous advertisements in the press, peppering them with words like peace and kindness and happiness and every other positive word I could think of. I never mentioned the word ‘religion’ of course, because the people who were silly enough to swallow my bait did not deserve to be told the truth, and in any case, it was beyond their scope.


I never asked for membership fees; but I accepted donations. Because people appreciate my humility and my razor wit, and my wish to share what I have extracted from the Universe. I tell them that “of course” they can keep their old religion and believe in Mum, since she is a benign immortal, and not actually a deity.


It goes without saying that I had to make a couple of concessions to popular culture: I have included some buzz-words such as spiritual enlightenment, incidental infinity, higher consciousness, mystic wisdom, and more of that ilk. To counteract this, I also use jargon to re-name some common things. Midway along my mission, however, I discovered that money (by this time I was rolling in it) was not really important – and therefore I continued relentlessly in my chosen path, mowing down everyone who tried to nit-pick my theories. After all, Mum is for real.


My Faith could run on Automatic Pilot. I devised a computer programme that takes care of the correspondence of my faithful. Every so often, I make a scheduled ‘casual’ appearance at the supermarket, where I sign autographs and hand out baby-teething amber necklaces that are even worn by grown-ups. They come with a certificate of authenticity and exclusivity – because amber beads are not all the same colour, size, and shape and so no necklace is like any other.


And then, the Tunnel popped up in a sidebar on my Facebook feed. Oh, with a couple of million €uros of fixing, it was as close to Heaven as does not matter.


Serendipity? Happenstance? Fate? Luck? Karma? Who knows?


Most people know the story of Noah, and how now it has been proven that the Great Flood did not cover all of Earth, because several peoples flourished at the same time they were supposed to have been annihilated.


Well, I come from the Orowignarak of Alaska, and we too have a story of how an earthquake, a storm, and a tsunami, occurred together. Only a few of my ancestors escaped in their skin canoes to the tops of the highest mountains. They didn’t need an Ark.


Other Tribes have Great Floods in their history – the Anishinaabe, Choctaw, Comox, Cree, Hopi, Menomini, Mi'kmaq, Nipmuc, Nisqually, Ojibwe… to name but a few. But none are as drastic as ours. 


I was playing Chuck Stones with some crystals, to while away the time… but suddenly, I froze. The configuration of their positions made a formation that could only mean one thing: a tsunami was Tripartite Tragedy like the one in my Nation’s annals was in the offing.


It was All Systems Go. I over-rode the computer systems and broadcast the news to all Believers, and all Media Stations. Some did not believe me, and cut me off in mid-sentence. Many perished, but many were saved – most of them from my Faithful Fold.  It goes without saying that many of us were sealed inside The Tunnel, and we could hear the waves pound against the walls.


To cut a long story short, the religion I had thought was my invention, but which in reality I was enlightened to discover, saved the lives of millions.

Governments the world over fell over their feet to contact me about how they may accommodate Mum and me.


So here I am, facing a barrage of cameras and monitors, preparing to preach to the almost-converted.


I go live on the count of 10, 9, 8, 7… 

February 05, 2021 18:25

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7 comments

Clara Carr
04:33 Feb 18, 2021

I really like the descriptions! very nice:)

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Tanja Cilia
18:01 Feb 18, 2021

Thank you.

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Wow. That was so great. I was confused at one point but it worked itself out. Bit the premise of this story was amazing. I especially love the end and how so many people were saved.

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Tanja Cilia
18:01 Feb 18, 2021

Thank you.

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Eddie Thawne
12:44 Feb 17, 2021

I love this story so much. I was caught up in it from beginning to the end. Amazing!

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Tanja Cilia
19:27 Feb 17, 2021

Thank you!

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Eddie Thawne
20:40 Feb 17, 2021

You're welcome.

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