Paradise (Chapter 1)

A completely fictional short story

By

Anin Glishman

Once upon a time; on a delightful island in the middle of a warm ocean, where the sun always shone and the sky was always blue; the idyllic life of the indigenous population was shattered. To the unbiased observer; the problem seemed to be ‘religion’.  For on the pleasant island of Syp; there were two different races of people; the majority, which was  approximately  two thirds of the population; were Treek Syps; who professed to worship  what they considered to be ‘The One True God’. The rest of the islands population were Gurk Syps and they professed to be Mohmets; worshiping Mohameta. In truth; the vast majority of both sides didn’t worship anything; apart from power and money! Visitors from other lands were unable to distinguish between the two races, as they all were similar in appearance and all appeared friendly and welcoming to the visitors. 

Many years ago the Treek Syps who; for some strange and inexplicable reason; believed that they had some sort of divine right to own the whole of the island; started to kill the Gurk Syps and take over this pleasant land for themselves. The  close neighbours and relatives of the Gurk Syps, who lived over the warm sea, some forty miles away; heard of the slaughter of those they considered to be their friends and neighbours and decided to help them. They were called the Gurks and shared the same professed, but avoided religion; as the Gurk Syps. 

The Gurks sent a large rescue force to the island and quickly stopped the Treek Syps killing their friends. To establish a temporary truce between the Treek Syps and the Gurk Syps; the Unified Nations of the Western Alliance, of which the Treeks claimed to be part of;  decided to separate the island and gave the small, northern side to the Gurk Syps and the large, southern side, to the Treek Syps. This meant that both Treek Syps and Gurk Syps had to re-locate from their original properties on either side of the island and give up their own property to the other side. Ever since that time; the Treek Syps and the Gurk Syps have lived separately; each, mistrusting the other! 

Some forty or so years after the island was divided; the Treek Syps were prospering; mainly due to their historic links and trade with the Western Alliance and; the religion that nobody really bothered about; but all claimed to share. The Gurk Syps however; were not doing very well and were a poor nation. This was because the Western World had chosen to accept the deceitful propaganda that the Treek Syps had told them and, had isolated the Gurk Syps; refusing to trade with them! 

As the years past; certain, individual elements of the Western World; loosened their negative opinions of the Gurk Syps; after realising that the Treek Syp propaganda; which, although very clever, was for the most part, completely untrue. They came to sympathise with the situation the Gurk Syps had found themselves in. Yet; because the Treek Syps shared the West’s professed, but avoided religion; even though nobody actually believed it anymore; the Western Alliance  remained reluctant to support the Gurk Syps. They made many sympathetic noises but; never gave their support. 

However; throughout those interim years, the people of the Western Alliance had become more prosperous as individuals and, more questioning of their own government’s ideals.  In one country in particular, Tingland; a country with long historic ties with the island; many of the people  had recognised  that the Treek Syp propaganda was a pack of lies and had started to visit the north of the island to find the truth about its  history and the isolation of the Gurk Syps. When they arrived for short holidays and became familiar with the Gurk Syps; they found that they liked the people, they fell in love with the place;  empathising  with the plight of the country and the results of the Western isolation. In short, the people from Tingland wanted to help this unfortunate country. And they did! 

About 20,000 Tinglish people decided to buy homes in Gurk Syp and either live there, or go there for regular holidays. By spending their hard earned money in this poor country; they truly believed that they were making a significant contribution to the country’s economy; at the same time supporting them in their quest for recognition in World trade and affairs. 

At their first encounters with the ramifications of Gurk Syp Law, regarding property purchase; they were told by Gurk Syp Lawyers and Advocates; that their legal system was the same as the legal system in Tingland and, there was nothing at all to worry about! 

And it came to pass; that the 20,000 Tinglish people paid millions of pounds into the Gurk Syp economy and lo; the Gurk Syps prospered and many builders and advocates bought expensive houses, cars and consumer goods, with their new found wealth! 

But then, several years later; the Tinglish people who had helped this poor country; found to their acute dismay; that the millions of pounds they had poured into this poor country, had been for nothing! The houses they had purchased did not belong to them!  

For the house-builders; who were allowed by the Law of the land, to retain the title deeds of the properties they had taken payment for; had mortgaged the houses belonging to the Tinglish; to get even more money from the banks. And the banks were happy to take other people’s property as security on their loans to builders; because it would mean that they too would benefit.

What it meant to the Tinglish people though, was that if the builder defaulted on his loan; the bank would take his house and property and leave him with nothing! And the advocates, who had taken the money from the Tinglish had not done anything to stop it; nor had they passed the taxes that the Tinglish had paid; onto the government, but had kept them for themselves to gain fifteen percent interest on the Tinglish money! 

And the Gurk Syp government, who had encouraged the Tinglish people to spend their life savings, in their country; shrugged their shoulders and looked the other way! 

The disillusioned Tinglish investors in the Gurk Syp economy began to wonder “Perhaps we were wrong? Perhaps the Treek Syps were right to mistrust the Gurk Syps? Perhaps the moral high ground claimed by the Gurk Syps was actually a level playing field and, perhaps, when it comes to deceit;  the Treek Syps and the Gurk Syps are no different to each other after all! 

And the moral of this fairy story is: In Paradise; Xenophobia Rules!

Anin Glishman

 

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