Shortlisted for the Higher Education Category of the 2020 Melbourne Writers Festival's storytelling competition 'Bold New World'.

A Family Dinner

By Maria Plinia Manrique Sanchez

After a big and delicious dinner mom Universe had lovely prepared for her children, they were at the dinner table talking about a really peculiar and weird case they have got as a homework from school. Although, dinner was extremely delicious, the older brother Time was really concerned about a project called ‘human beings on earth’. Apparently, his twin brothers, Life and Death were discussing how successful or unsuccessful could it be after testing the project with a chemical substance called chaos or in a simpler way called ‘the virus’. Although, mom Universe was really mad at them for not eating the dinner and let it get cold, Time, Life and Dead were so into the discussion that they didn’t even realized they were being filmed by their younger sister Love.

One hour later, Time stood up and said: I guess my dumb brothers, the answer is always me, time. It is just a matter of time to see if human race will survive to this kind of situation. Moreover, my dear Life and Death, I bet an eternity that we are going to see the results as fast as time when you are having fun, hahaha. Time is usually a cruel, strict and painfully honest brother who describes himself as a wise, unique and unstoppable creature. However, after dinner or any family reunion Time was just another boy, playing around, who was really enjoying simple things such as talking to their family about anything. It seems like time could be sweet as an ice cream if you see him with the right glasses, or brutal as a wave smashing you after surfing on it, if you don’t understand him.

After Time finished his idea, Death rudely replied that how silly and innocent could Time be if he still believes the answer is up to him. Moreover, the spoiled Death was completely sure that he could end this up quicker than time. He just has to seduce human beings and make them fall into his charm and that would be it, an undoubtedly unsuccessful project. He is really confident that Chaos or The Virus is the best tool for him to win this family debate and school project, plus he was getting kind of bored of it. Death is a really strong guy, spoiled sometimes, disrespectful others, who usually has a really strange appearance. For some, he is an attractive guy who could bring some peace and tranquillity, for others he is just as ugly as vegetables for little kids.

Lately, Life in a polite way and putting his hand up, wanted to give his point of view. He said that they were both mistaken due to their immature and not academic (based on evidence) answers. Life was really disappointed because his brothers didn’t see that many studies and research have shown that he is the only one right. The project is likely to succeed (it has a high percentage of probability to succeed) due to the consistent existence of life on earth. Even being tested by many different experiments or extinctions, human beings keep producing life. This handsome but sometimes shy man is the main reason why Time and Death are always picking up fights. Life is a gorgeous creature with a fragile body and a unique way to show up. He always appears in the best or worst moment, for good or for bad. And it is not because he doesn’t care, it is because he doesn’t even know when or where to come.

Hours later, they were still talking about the same topic but without getting to any agreement. They didn’t even watch the movie they used to watch after dinner and mom Universe was asleep already. This discussion seems to be not fruitful at all. Suddenly, love in a tender voice tone decided to interrupt her brothers and give an end to this craziness (besides it was late and she wanted to go to bed). She showed them how ridiculous they looked on the video she filmed for her YouTube channel. Love was a really well-known influencer who wanted to share everything about everything every day. And she was always in a hard and kind of weird competition with her cousin Hate for followers. As a result of this boring discussion about who is right (because they were more focused on them than the project), Love show her brother an initiative some of the humans who follow her had after being tested with The Virus in which they were trying hard to create a bold new world. Apparently, after the test, the earth was being cured from some diseases human being had caused not long ago. Human race seemed to be greedy and a little bit stupid sometimes. However, Love who didn’t care about this human being condition (ignorance plus clumsiness and greed) was always helping humans to face any situation. But this time was some of these followers who showed her that even humans can learn the lesson and pass the test. Well this group of human beings started a movement on social media called ‘all together’ which was just about every single individual helping each other to survive, learn and change, even if they are not physically close. After watching this, Time, Death and Life were shocked not just by the idea of this race giving a small but significant and successful ending to this project but also by the idea of Love showing their private life and conversations on her channel. Even if she is the answer for everything, she is going to be in trouble soon….😉.

The end?