This short piece by Claire Baldry is inspired by the mythological character of Iris, Greek goddess of rainbows.

Iris sat outside her cave and stared into the watery dome.


Zephyrus looked over her shoulder “More rainbows?”

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She smiled at her husband. “Rainbows are a symbol of hope. A sign that humankind might be redeemed. I like looking at them. "

Zephyrus noticed a tear escape onto Iris’s cheek. He took her hand. “This isn’t your fault, Iris. You and I are only lesser gods. We don’t own every action taken by those in authority.”

“But did it have to be a plague? It seems so extreme.”

“I heard it said that the ultimate powers had no choice. Humankind was heading towards self-destruction. Floods and fires were not a sufficient warning. And the plague has already made a difference. Look down into your dome. I haven’t seen the sky that clear for at least four hundred years. It could be worse. Remember the ‘first-born’?”

She sighed “If turning back the clock was the aim, then I’m surprised that humankind was allowed to keep technology.”

Zephyrus deliberately stood between Iris and her dome. “Humankind are no different from you, Iris. They enjoy exploring the world through a screen. In any case, technology has helped humankind to think collectively. It’s part of their journey of evolution.” He moved away so his wife could return to staring into the dome.

“It will be alright won’t it?” She asked her husband. “The pain will go away?”

“I’m not saying it won’t happen again. Humankind is not good at learning from its own history.  But hope is a great human strength. Look at the rainbows, Iris, your rainbows. Every drawing from every human child is a symbol that they care.”

And Iris stared into her dome sensing the collective potential of the young to have a positive impact on the world. 

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Claire Baldry is the creator and editor of the Autumn Chicken's website. You can find out more about her books by clicking on the covers below.