He rā ki tua

Better times are cominga 300 word story

“I remember the day the men from the North came. My friend was in the army, and like all the others, he was dead twenty minutes after the invasion started.”

“C’mon, tell me more about the North men, like you did last night.”

“I’m not sure I should.”

“Go on, please; what was life like before they came, Koro?”

“Depends on which part you mean; when I was your age, life was good. We were free. There were cities, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch; where I’m from. Then the climate changed, food became scarce. Aotearoa lost its friends. Australia joined the Northern Alliance, America and Europe became disinterested. Focussing their energies on population reduction, food technology and emission control. We were on our own.”

“Is that when they came?”

“Āe, they came in their waka’s. Hundreds of them, thousands of soldiers, hundreds of thousands! They came in search of land and food. They left their whanau; left their homelands so they could survive. And to survive, they killed us.

Cities and towns were razed, everything turned into farmland. Aotearoa had always been a farm, but it was suddenly turned into a supercharged food factory. Only three people per hectare they decreed; most were executed. Some, like your Matua and I escaped into the mountains, into the forests.”

“That’s so unfair.”

“Do not forget the extinction of the moa and eagle. The decimation of our people at the hands of the Pakeha! Death is just part of God’s plan. Life is not permanent, yet we hope. We are Tangata Whenua, and trust better times are coming.”

“Good night Moko,” the man said, flicking the boy’s hair. He was already asleep.

The old man walked into the lounge.

“You haven’t filled his head with nonsense again, have you Dad? He had nightmares last night.”

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