Story 19

ENDLESS SUMMER

J Watogawa

Story 18 の最初に書いたように、「終わりなき夏」の第1章に相当する部分のオリジナルは、英語で書きました。すなわち、「終わりなき夏」の第1章は、英語版からの翻訳になります。直訳ではありません。第2章以降のストーリーを考慮して、修正を加えました。

このページにオリジナルを載せます。日本語版の第2章以下に相当する部分がないので、この「Endless Summer」だけで、小説として完結しています。オリジナルでは、主人公は一人称になっています。小説は一人称にしたほうが書きやすい。けれども、より客観性を持たせるために、日本語版では三人称にしました。

Melbourne was beneath Port Philip Bay, filled with pale and dark sea water. The several heads of skyscrapers, grey teeth projected out of the gloomy sea, marked the presence of the city.

The hot wind, dirty with radioactive substance, changed from the south to the east. Dense smoke of bushfire again shut the field of vision.

I walked along the seaside enduring a pain in my throat.

No sands on the seaside. Countless burnt trees lay across the beach which was recently formed on the pointed ends of the Dandenong hills.
I walked slowly stepping over the trees that looked like burnt bones. My face was dripping with black and salty sweat. The weight of a gun pained my shoulder; my muscles burnt.

There were the Dandenong hills. Here I met with Della. Here we had loved each other. We had taken a walk in green as brilliant as to be acute and had a rest in our cottage in the Dandenong hills.
I was wandering, asking for the past closeness of Della, which should never come back.

Della, why had you chosen a long sleep leading to death? A hopeless sleep at -100℃, a coldness of death, a surely unsuccessful artificial sleep.

Even in success...Why had you chosen a hopeless future coming after 10,000 years? When you left me, you said the reason why you had chosen an artificial winter sleep had been written in a letter left on a table in our cottage. At that time, when you left, you became a very different woman, unknown. You were not your former self. When I noticed it, I accepted you leaving. But why? Soon I should know the answer.

A light black figure was noticed at the wash of sea in the front veil of smoke.
Action took place of thinking. I grasped a gun in my right hand. My body sank like a cat before attack. It was an every-day action. All muscles of my body were pleasantly tense, filled with adrenalin.

At that moment I did not feel fatigue in my body which was affected by radio-active substance, at all. It was only one glaring sun which occupied my mind; to kill the person and to eat the meat. The joy of killing and hunger made me more atrocious.

It was a young man with a gun, a wolf like me wandering the dirty world. Without sound, from tree to tree, I approached him, the wide back of him showed he was a tough wolf. I was thankful I was behind him and downwind of him.

Ten meters from him, my sweaty palm grasped a gun firmly. I jumped upon a fallen tree and looked down at him.

I shouted.
"My dear!"

His action was very quick. In an instant his body sank, he turned round and fired.
Although his action was very quick, at that moment all conditions were favorable to me. I saw a bullet from my .45 rifle smash his face before I felt his hot bullet pass by my left shoulder. His body bounded to the dirty seaside, his blond hairs disappeared into dark sea water and a red empty can of Coca-Cola was sent flying into the sea.

I was satisfied, as satisfied as can be. All the muscles of my body were relaxed, in expectation of a meal.

Just then unintentionally I looked up to the sky.

There was the dark-red sun in the grey sky and an unlucky black spot wound round the sun.

Tension fell upon me again. As soon as I jumped down from the tree, I ran up a slope into dense bush.

In a moment a roar of an engine swelled and shook the ground. A black helicopter of the hunting police flew over me into a smoke veil and lowered its height. Smoke curled up rapidly. The roar stopped across the hill and silence shrouded the hills.

I waited without moving, being one of the trees. Five, ten, 20 and 30 minutes - only time passed by me.

At last three black figures appeared in the smoke among trees on the upper of the slope. There was no sound. They were professionals at hunting. They came down standing side by side, keeping distances of 30 meters between them. The nearest policeman, one on the far left, approached me directly from the upper ground. I could see his square face under a black helmet.

I fired at him, his body was mowed down and the other two figures sank into bush. I rushed at a ridge with lightning speed crossing the slope. Bullets followed me. Sharp-pointed twigs hit me in the face. Going through withered gum trees, I passed the ridge.

At present, the Phoenix project completed, they were just killers enjoying killing.

Before completing the project the police showed their big power to gather people by force. Under the supervision of the police a gigantic freeze-sleeping establishment, a grave-stone of grey half-sphere, receiving 40,000 people was constructed in the Dividing Range, near Seymour, 100 km out of Melbourne.

The Phoenix was to remove mankind from the present dirty earth to the future clean one.
How nonsensical was this last struggle of human beings! Such facilities, constructed without enough preparations and experience, would surely not work well and result only in the putrefied flesh of 40,000 people.
Even in success, what future would the severely suffered people have in a desert or a jungle after 10,000 years? Besides, heavy mutation of genes would result in the birth of deformed babies - and people want to maintain Homo sapiens! What grotesque future would come!

Mankind should have been wiped out of the earth after the nuclear war. This is the only one way to clean the earth.

All the people in the Northern Hemisphere had died as a result of the explosion of several hundred or more nuclear bombs; nobody would ever know the correct nubmer. Seven nuclear bombs were exploded in the Australian continent, alone.

The worst contaminated air was spreading out from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern. The earth, covered by a large quantity of dust, took the effect of a hot-house and glaciers in the two poles thawed, resulting in the invasion of the land by the sea.

The uncomfortable summer continued.

Shutting the door of the cottage after me I gasped for breath. The dark room was filled with the stagnant smoke of bush fire.
I drew the little heavy curtain of the window aside. A grey light stole in by the window and from it the outside world could be dimly seen.

A square white paper shone faintly on a table which stood in the center of the dark room. I took up the envelope in my hand. When I pulled the papers out of the envelope, the papers whispered as Della did. The letters were unquestionably those written by her. Fine but strong lines sprang from the papers.

* * * * * * * *

My dearest Rod

I am going to the future. Thank you very much for your unlimited love for me.

I had wanted to die together with you in the world where you live and I know I should die as you want. I had never intended to leave you and to live alone, without you.

However, my darling, I had to decide to go to the future to survive, even if I do have scarcely a good chance of winning in the betting as you said. I had to wager on the possibility.

It is not for me but for our baby. I have a baby, of us, within my body.

* * * * * * * *

It was practically impossible that she should have our baby. How could a dirty baby be born to me and Della; completely dirty parents? This should be a joke. Della surely did not know what conditions mankind was in.

* * * * * * * *

I know you cannot believe me and do not agree with me at all. That is the reason why I had told you nothing.

Poor Rod! Only by believing that the true character of mankind is cruel and as such mankind should be exterminated, can you justify your living in fighting at the present moment and forget your sin.

No, it is not your sin that you pressed the buttons of nuclear missiles.

God only knows.

* * * * * * * *

Did I press the buttons of nuclear missiles? I gazed at my palm which was completely soiled.

Although I retraced my memory carefully, I could not find my figure sitting on the chair in front of the handling board of missiles. Nevertheless there was an apparent blank in one part of my memory. The blank made me realize I had lost my presence of mind. I had stopped remembering the past.

* * * * * * * *

My dearest Rod, although I am going to the future without you, I shall never forget you, forever. If our baby is a son, I will give him your name.

Goodbye, my darling.

My mind is always with you.

Yours,

Della

* * * * * * * *

"No, Della, now you are not mine".
I seemed to hear my murmurings as if they were someone elses. My mind became cold like ice and I was realising that Della was completely separated from me.

I put the letter on the desk. Looking up and out of the window I could see layers of flowing smoke. The wind hardened outdoors and dead trees sounded like green trees being in leaf.

I wondered when this long summer would finish.

My wild instinct could hear sounds different to those of trees, which approached this cottage from two different directions.

I took my gun in my hand. It was a trustworthy weapon, a trustworthy sharp fang of mine. My body was filled with pleasant tension and the joy of killing.

2011/12/21


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