“Creation Theory,” by Diane Andrews

Nov 20th, 2009 | By | Category: Prose

Tesla invented a tower to make electricity, the ground being the source. One chilly night Uncle Alfred rolled up an electric blanket at the bottom of his bed, turned it on to warm his feet and died of asphyxiation from smoke caused by the fire when it short-circuited. I was incredulous a man who’d built an operating Tesla Tower in Rising Damp Hollow should do such a foolish act.

Rising Damp Hollow is a small settlement up the side of a steep hill near Kuranda, west of here – Cairns; no one goes near the place because it’s said you’d have your brains sucked out by the electricity sparking through the air if you did. While its neighbouring village is a famous tourist attraction Rising Damp Hollow isn’t even on the map. Only those whose forefathers were born in the area know of its existence. That’s the way we like to keep it. That’s the way we know we have to keep it. It’s a village full of eccentric weirdos, which the authorities treat as an insane asylum. On the coast we’re happy as long as none escape. Funny things have gone on in the general vicinity of it.

There’s one road there. The inhabitants of Rising Damp Hollow bulldozed it out of the rainforest from the top. Great raging mustard-coloured metal beasts rampaged through the old growth forest and ripped the heavy canopy to pieces. It poured with rain at the same time as they were doing it and it was like the very land was weeping. No one noticed it was happening. Suddenly a gap opened up in the trees on the road to Port Douglas and a signpost appeared at the tee junction directing people to turn left and visit Rising Damp Hollow. It was like Gaia had been stripped naked. It was horrible to look at. The local council immediately put a gate with a huge chain and padlock across it and electric fence around the edges. The official reason was it was ‘not a gazetted road’ – a lame excuse. The State Government erected a skull and crossbones poster on it and warned drivers not to venture into the area as it was an ordnance dump from World War Two. If you believed it, then you were a newbie.

We locals have our own method of warning people away. We don’t like to hear of disappearing German hikers and carloads of Japanese turning left to Rising Damp Hollow, never to be seen again. You’ve heard of greenies, right? Well, how about, ‘repair the damage’, ‘fix it up to stop erosion’, the hill’s going to wash away in a cyclone and kill the reef’ and even ‘the destruction of rainforest between Cairns and the area at the top of the hill is the cause of global warming’. No one would dare refer to Rising Damp Hollow by its real name in public. Locals at the pub scoff at how the road goes nowhere and was just built as a way for the local developer to use up some of his profits and reduce his tax bill.

But I digress; best you know the background to the situation first. It’s a tropical paradise but…

As Tesla said, ‘The intensity of the effect of a transmitting circuit…’ No, I won’t bore you with the scientific details. Google it. Buy it on eBay, even. Tesla is out there – no secret. I know where the towers are. My Uncle Alfred told me, once when he visited his sister on the coast.

Rising Damp Hollow is not out there. You can’t Google it. But I need to warn you about it. The locals are on the move and I don’t want you to fall foul of them. They are popping up and being thrown onto the planet like some drunk getting rid of an all you can eat meal. My uncle fell foul of them. My mother didn’t.

The locals are not like you and me. They walk slowish and all you can see is a set of champagne marbles when you look into their face. If you touch them a kind of clammy shiver spreads out from their fingertips. No one laughs; they gurgle, they simper, they drape themselves over you and somehow bleed your soul, like a cat licking milk from a saucer. I am slowly becoming one of them. I feel as if a I have walked through a door but left myself behind as I did so – then entered the room and trod on my soul.

Uncle Alfred explained Tesla’s principle to me simply, thus – ‘disadvantages met with in many cases when the former is made too large…’ – meaning that electricity bolts sparked continuously from his tower, shafts of lightning like in a horror movie. These cause the sparks of electricity we Cairns people like to keep away from so our brains won’t get sucked out. It was ‘shades of Frankenstein’. Uncle Alfred said he’d found a way to stop the wild display by building two towers.

Each ran electricity back onto the other. None of the charge escaped. Uncle Alfred’s patented lightning sticks bled the power off slowly. He showed me photos and diagrams proving this leaking voltage could run any appliance you plugged into it – for free. The source of the power, the electricity inherent in the polarity of the planet, was never depleted. It was the perfect solution to global warming. Electricity could be free for the whole planet. We’d all be rich. I don’t know why it hasn’t been taken up worldwide.

Uncle Alfred’s house was on the periphery of the village. He was the Tesla Towers caretaker and even these locals liked to keep their distance from the potential ‘rotisserie oven in the sky’. I was glad I could thus avoid communing with the locals when I went to clean up the poor guy’s estate. I was extremely reluctant to travel to Rising Damp Hollow.

I sifted through the ashes of Uncle Alfred’s house and found an extra room between the kitchen and lounge. I could tell as the couch and fridge should have backed up to each other with a wall separating them but there was at least a metre between. A hasp in the middle of the floor glinted at me. My foot had scraped the soot off it. I lifted it.

Nothing had been burnt inside the hidden catacomb. I expected treasure but instead, behind a bench, there was a bar stool with several leather journals piled haphazardly on it. The top one was open as if Uncle Alfred was trying to suss something out.

There was a strange spidery structure strung all over the room, so that if you wanted to move anywhere in the cramped space you had to crawl on the floor dodging big champagne marbles, the stringy web things and the two large concave funnels sitting at either end. I opened a the top journal – marked ‘Creation Theory’. Inside were pages of drawings of the structure in the room – each one accompanied by a mathematical formula.

I read; this is a simplified version I’m telling you. Two Towers created a set of black holes close to Earth. Alfred had observed diaphanous blobs of matter leaping through. He watched with a scientist’s eye as they turned into humans. They spoke in many different languages and seemed to be of all earth’s cultures. Sometimes animals sucked towards him and turned into blobs and went through the black holes. I noted those creatures he listed were now extinct. My jaw dropped and the room’s atmosphere chilled my bones, like the air of Rising Damp Hollow.

I realized, horrified, the date he’d perfected his tower system coincided with the Earth’s population exploding. Humans were being created and animal species were going extinct. Uncle Alfred was a monster, a sort of Dr Frankenstein playing god. I had to destroy the towers to save the world.

A desperate urge to leave gripped my innards like a shaft of ice penetrating my kidneys. I scrambled like a wombat towards the stairs. I was in a hurry. I remembered my car was outside, the keys in it. I had no reason to keep them on me. Why would the locals take them, to trap me in the village – or steal my car? I felt a sudden need to tell the world never to build a system of two Tesla towers. Three would probably work but they’d need to be tested first – off earth – maybe on Mir, or the moon. If this technology escaped we’d be turned into diaphanous blobs, modern day zombies. I hurried outside.

With relief I saw my car was still there, the door open, keys dangling below the steering wheel – on the keyring Jennifer Juniper had given me on the anniversary of our first date. The motor was running. I cast my mind back; had I left it like that? I was sure I hadn’t. My hand rattled the handle, panic ran through me and I smashed and banged my knees on the door panel. I calmed down and pushed in the little button. The door swung wide and my heart palpitations calmed. I jumped in and gunned the motor.

There was a mob gliding along the road towards me. It was the locals. I’d always thought my Uncle Alfred was an albino. He was white and ghostly. When he visited he drifted towards our front door and knocked so quietly we usually didn’t hear it. Mostly we discovered his presence when I banged into him as I raced out to play soccer on the front street – or ride my billycart down the hill round the corner. Now I saw that he was just like his fellow villagers. They were as alike as cloned sheep or even sheep that haven’t been cloned. It was amazing that in such a hot sunny climate they were still as pale as newborn’s bottom. Uncle Alfred’s eyes were gaps. It was like looking into a keyhole but behind there was only a big black transmogrification of nothing. Mum said it was because he was a scientist and not interested in the outside world. Now I knew it was because he could only colour up if he’d been fed on human flesh. That’s why he came down to see his sister every so often. There were those missing tourists – and she was running a resort.

A kind of amorphous crystalline blob seemed to just be there. The asphalt under my tyres squelched. The road moved under the wheels. I saw the blur of stones disappearing under the car as if it was moving forwards. I was moving over the surface. The car was speeding along at 120kph but the surroundings didn’t change. I was trapped by a jellyfish from hell.

That was a while ago. Right now I must tell you; soon I’ll be taken over completely. I haven’t eaten for days, not needing to anymore. I don’t meed to; I may want to, but then I will have to find humans – tourists, somehow get down to see mum. My skin is white. I’ve lost my dive instructor tan. There’s no soap in the village. I found a bit I was using in the camping equipment box in the car but I’ve had to stop using it. I can’t bear to slosh anything more than water on my skin. My eyes have started absorbing the light reflected by mirrors. I smashed the ones on the car. I don’t want to drive anymore.

You’re reading this message because I built a transmitter out of one of Tesla’s designs… maybe it’s the last bit of humanity rattling around in my mind that’s directing my fingers to type this warning. I hope you all get it. I found a laptop inside the secret hatch under Uncle Alfred’s house. I have no idea if it works but I’m hoping it’s connected to the internet. If you ever Google my name and find my Facebook and read this story – send out a rescue team but be forewarned, they may never leave if they don’t destroy the towers first.


Diane was born in Wainuiomata, NZ in 1953. She’s worked in many jobs from laboratory assistant and waitress to theatrical wigmaker (Cats, Phantom of the Opera – ie wigs for cats). She and her husband sailed from Sydney to Cairns in a sixteen foot boat. She now lives in Cairns, AustralIa and is involved in many activities from fossicking to writing, publishing and poetry performances and sails the tropical waters of the north. She has recently survived life-threatening cancer, with the most amazing response seen by oncologists, usiong medical treatment supplemented by diet and alternative medicines.. She’s been featured in many poetry and short story anthologies and been placed in several competitions. She has published a collection of previously published stories “The Speed of Darke.”

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