Orwell and a whole potato

You know where in Britain, February, 2022

Dear Raúl,

it’s been so long. You will probably never get this letter. I have to try anyway. Not for me – I’m too old, and the living hell of the last few years makes me feel and look even older. You know for whom, as you are a father too. My friend N. is taking a huge risk, doing this. That’s why I’m writing on this very thin paper, to make it easier for her to swallow it if she needs to. I’m so happy for her; she has secured a visa for Brazil. Brazil! If there’s a happy place left in this world, it has to be it. It must be warm there this time of year, you can spend the days barefoot on the beach, and food is plentiful there, they say. I wonder if it’s the same in Argentina.

I often thought of your family’s stories these last few years. Your WWII stories. The part of the family that ended up murdered by the Germans didn’t get to propagate their genes; the real smart ones let the fighting and nomadic instincts take over, your grandfather and grandmother and their siblings. They fought for as long as they could, and then they got the hell out, but they never let the bastards put them in cattle trains. Their genes were passed on. That explains a lot, it explains that you were always so smart for one, it explains your low opinion of mankind, it also explains your more and more urgent letters with offers to help us leave. That I stupidly disregarded, until it was too late. Sigh.

Here in Britain, we were used to peace and the rule of law for too long. I should have gotten out when the BNP won that election, and I didn’t – I was sure it wouldn’t last, the country couldn’t be that stupid, and how would those apes in power affect me anyway? We’d just spend more time in the Barn, is all, until it was safe to return to London. Then the series of false flag attacks started, and the restrictions to civil liberties, the arbitrary detentions and shootings, while the rest of the world plunged into war. The air kept getting harder to breathe.

As you know, right after that election, we had the Climatic Episode, and the Atlantic Conveyor ocean currents changed radically, making temperatures drop by 20 – 30 degrees throughout the Isles in less than three years. A sudden Ice Age that wiped maybe a third of the population was the perfect excuse to suspend any further elections, freeze bank accounts and take over the media and the web in the name of national security. The masses needed scapegoats, and they got them: local media will never say it, but I know from my sources that immigrant populations in London and elsewhere have been decimated. Pretty much anyone with a dark skin or an accent was shipped to the so-called Reprocessing Centres. The lucky few were deported, the many were starved, frozen or worked to death. Artists, gays, left wingers and dissenters soon followed, and anyone who dared raise his voice against the regime was dealt harshly with.

We raised our voices, Rulo. We did. I saw my friends disappear left and right. The stress of those years was too much for Sean and I, so in addition to the daily terrors and ordeals, we became our own worst enemy, night after night. He resisted and did his part with honor, I have to tell you. He went to our London flat, to try and help some Indian friends hiding there. He left one night, and I haven’t seen him since. All I know is that some ‘patriotic’ neighbour denounced them, they were all arrested and the flat was requisitioned by the Party. I tried getting information about him at several government offices. Last time I tried, years ago, they beat me up so badly, I decided to not even try anymore. They might kill me next time, and I have a duty to be alive for C.

I had to become a BNP party member, like everybody else, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get food rations. Not that the food rations are enough: we barely survive. The news from the outside world are sketchy at best, as the little TV we get is pure propaganda and disinformation, and private citizens are not allowed computers anymore. I know that most of Europe has similar fascist regimes, I know the Middle East and China have been wiped out by atomic warfare. I know there’s been these terrorist attacks in America, but the situation there is not so clear.

I should have listened to you. I burned all your letters, after memorizing your addresses in the US and Argentina, as I have a division of BNP brownshirts living with us in the Barn now – they have let me and C stay to cook and clean for them, but the risks of their finding any non-approved written materials were too great.

It’s maybe 10 below, and I will go outside without any noise in an hour, to give this to my friend and hug her for the last time, I’m sure. C. has been chopping wood and hauling water all day, and he got his half potato ration for supper – plus mine, I went without again. I’ll ask my friend to try and reach you either in America or Argentina. If by a miracle she does find you, I beg you, implore you, do what you can for us. In the name of our old friendship, or in the name of humanity, please, please, get us out of here. Here’s my prayers that this sad letter finds you in time, because we don’t have much time left here. Love,

Lily

Advertisements
This entry was posted in English, London. Bookmark the permalink.