It's impossible to accurately predict how long we've been like this. Sometimes, memory and knowledge intertwine, strolling to the edges of my own perception of the world, making it hard to distinguish raw reality from what was cooked up in my imagination.
Centuries ago, a strange phenomenon occurred. Like a punishment from the heavens, the sun began to shine fiercely, scorching much of the known world. Only the surface sheltered under the protection of a few clouds, the molds that shaped the surviving territories, like cookies in a celestial oven, withstood that cataclysm. Beyond our borders, the grass never grew again. Beyond the seas, what might have happened remains unknown.
"Wait, teacher, did you say cookies?" asked a child.
"Like the ones my mom makes?" chimed in another.
That's right, for that reason, the typical sweets of each place have the shape of the region they belong to." I picked up a cookie from the plate and showed it to my students. "This tradition serves to remember what happened, a kind of homage so that we don't forget how fragile our existence is."
How to explain our history to children with such a peculiar metaphor? Who knows who came up with it, but I admit it was an effective way to explain to them the origin of our culture and the norms of our society.
The class ended. The children went home, and I looked out the window. As a history teacher, even I found it hard to believe that something like that had happened several centuries ago. Did our gods intend to cook us and devour us? As I reflected, I took a bite of that cookie shaped like our town. What if such a phenomenon were to happen again? No one had guarantees or answers. One day, the deities would satisfy their appetite with us, just like I was with that baked dough.
Leaving the school, I stood in thought, gazing at the horizon, a desolate landscape that conveyed hopelessness and unease. Tomorrow, I would have to travel to the neighboring region, crossing the ruins of the ancient world, lifeless wastelands that were once the homes of our ancestors and countless creatures and plants. All of that was extinct due to fire, the irony. The journey had to be swift, as for some reason, when night fell, the surface of the extinct world became toxic and impassable. Was this the hell spoken of in old tongues? What could we expect from such a world? It might be hard to savor life in these circumstances, but I tried to enjoy every bite as if it were my last. What will tomorrow's cookies taste like? I hope my last bite is sweet.
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