Saturday, May 18, 2013

An Age Without Rainbows (La Era Sin Arco Iris)

        By the old style calendar, Pedro reckoned the year to be 2061 of the
once common era. These days had no commonality even in things local. The
word globalism stuck momentarily on a passing thought as he withdrew a pocket
watch from his vest and began to wind it and refresh the thought again regarding
the failed world order. The economic collapse of the west and the east and
the north and the south plunged the world into chaos over forty years ago.
Pedro had been a small boy when all this happened. Sitting at his desk
he reached
for a piece of paper. A chime from a hall clock outside his study
announced quarter to the hour. He took
a pencil and added a few lines of
ght to his speech. Soon guests would be arriving for the luncheon meeting
f decision makers.
Don Pedro stood at his open front door as six car loads of business leader
and diplomats and another six autos full of bodyguards arrived in the courtyard.
One by one a han
dshake and an occasional interpreter's echo as one by one
Don Pedro O'Neill greeted his guests. The guests congregated in the vast
zaguan picking up a glass of wine or lemonade, chatting in social friendly
nes. Don Pedro noted that it was an all-male group in his mansion's hallway.
ll male if one also counted the one declared masculine female in the group.
"Of a same mind." flashed through Don Pedro's mind as he gestured for
his guests to enter into his dining room. Colonial silver of regional origin
decorated this Sonoran palace's dining room. Friendly chit chat, toasts, fine
cuisine created a warmth of assembly fitting to the host's forthcoming speech.
Pedro reviewed mental notes. It had been his father who had originated
is center of common interests. The military collapse of France in 2018
llowed by massive earthquakes and economic collapse in Japan set the dominoes
lling. Russia and China fighting in Mongolia for decades. Of course the
ingos to the north only had the appearance of having a political-economic

structure that was still standing. Don Pedro's family controlled the electric
id for all of North America west of the Mississippi. The Arab oil would
have continued to flow in spite of the Arab League's neutrality on Morocco's 
United Front (of North African nations) invasion and military occupation of 
southern France, with that country recently withdrawn from the EU. But it all go
twisteup in religious fundamentalism. France's acceptance of Muslim demands to 
stop broadcasting television images via satellite to North Africa was the beginning
         The fanatic Arabs and the Persians in the east dropped a few atomic weapons 
for the sheer heck of it on key oil distribution points in the Gulf was something of 
the final blow to the old order of things.
"The Israelis have developed an enzyme that can decontaminate the
radioactive o
il fields." said one guest to another.
"Tel Aviv is the new economic capital of the planet ... "
It was the plagues that started in the southern France war zone.
Unpredicable reactions to chemical warfare kicked in. Overnight all of
Europe was in a new dark age. Reaction to reality pushed Christian
fundamentalism to the f
orefront of western culture that was left and with a flavor 

that sounded distinctly Islamic. The human image and television were now forbidden
in many global regions.
ic collapse, plagues, depopulation. Weeds grew a plenty in the once
great and no
w heavily abandoned urban centers of Europe. BBC and German radio's 

weekly broadcasts were the only voices heard these days in Europe. America's 
decline was marked by officially unrecognized regional civil wars and internal strife
Television was blamed by many as the decline of the west. Christian fundamentalism
pushed video tapes, DVDs and other image view
ing underground. The real truth was 

thatelevision and other items were sacrificed to a new lack of electricity
used only now by the government and large industry.
Don Pedro stood and started his speech.
"The world's economy now reflect the statistics of 1920. In another
ration or two, we may very well reach the statistics of 1940."
"But we must also realize that with the impending flow of middle east
fossil fuel, there will be a glut of electricity on this continent and in
"What do we do with all the new energy?" asked one of the guests to
is host.
"Private consumption will rival public consumption. State industries
ill probably reinvent appliances like refrigerators, washing machines and even

There was an unusual feeling of silence in the room on these last words.
Don Pedro sensed the unease and reaction to his words.
"Of course no official production of television will be pursued. Parts
for repairs of the bulk of televisions already warehoused or hand made and in 

private use. These parts will be produced in greater quantity. We will call it 
push to revitalize cathode ray tubes in the hope of resurrecting the olcollapsed 
worldwide computer internet. No images allowed of course. Text only."
Still a silence. Don Pedro pulled out his hankerchief and wiped his
forehead. Ever confident, he continued.
"When my father started this community of mutual interests some
thirty nine years ago, it had always been recognized that the Dark Age
ld one day end. We are the few here that are about to see the dawn

of a new age. A rebirth. A new world beginning ... "
Don Pedro finished his speech. A new speaker got up to address the
luncheon. Don Pedro sat down and penciled in the margin of his recently
inished speech.
Dark Age?
"What shall I tell the historians to call the past forty years?" he
thought to himself.
His pencil etched "La era sin arco iris?" (The age without rainbows?) __

copyright 1996


I was looking for this story some months ago and could not find it. Thought it was lost. Yesterday I ran into it while looking for something else in a box of old papers. Decided to self publish it after all these many years. Did a little editing, changing dates etc. It is basically the same story as rejected by letter below in March 1996 when we were living in Arizona. Put the letter up because I have destroyed the hundred or two others along the way and some of you have asked me about my writing etc and I wanted to share one such experience with you all, the rejection letters paving the path to wherever. lol


Love is Blue - Paul Mauriat