Photo by Amy Humphries on Unsplash

Corpses will grow the flowers

Paulo Moreira

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It took a pandemic to decimate humanity in The Last of Us for nature to take over, or rather restore itself. The fungus, which really exists, but which, thank God, only infects ants (and I now feel sorry for the poor ants), spread quickly, using humans as hosts.

Without us, the “owners of the house”, there is no one to take care of the plants in the garden and they end up growing and growing and growing. Soon vine takes over the entire building and frogs reproduce in the hotel pool.

Nature returns.
The scenery, still apocalyptic, is beautiful.

It’s silly to say that nature goes back to something, or invades something. It’s there, here, all around us, whether you’re watching the sunset in a canoe on the Amazon River or in stopped traffic breathing in the blessed smoke of the trucks. What comes back is our perception of it, that it exists, that we are it and that we interact with it.

What comes back in The Last of Us is the perception of wild nature. And it’s beautiful, it’s cool to imagine what this invasion would be like, to see changes in such well-known scenarios. No wonder apocalyptic movies always show us some tourist attraction being destroyed or in ruins. Seeing the world in a new way, through someone else’s eyes, sparks our curiosity. And art has that power, isn’t it amazing?

As a child, I skipped class to enter an abandoned cemetery. I wasn’t able to. I’ve always been too imaginative, and a fertile imagination makes room for the most terrible creatures, like witches who raise the dead and glue their severed heads…

But I had the courage to look over the wall. Everything was covered in dry grass, burrs, and even nettles. It didn’t even look like a cemetery, I could barely see the crosses. It was an abandoned lot.

My fear did not ease. I knew there were bodies under all that thicket. But the nettles were blooming, shy white flowers peeking out over the stinging hairs. There was beauty where I felt fear. And the feeling that nature couldn’t care less about us mortals.

As in The Last of Us, what grew up became beautiful.

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Paulo Moreira

Brazilian pharmacist in loved with History, Fantasy and Ecofiction. Author of The Blood of the Goddess. I write about nature in poems and fantasy stories.