The Oldest Word by Johnny Firic
“Plural identity is where respectful practice begins.”
Who are you? Just the one body and mind? Does your story begin with your birth? Or how far back would you go?
The Oldest Word spans ten thousand years and more than a dozen settings. Human contradictions are reconciled time and again, with tragedy and humor feeding off each other. From the twin mirror mazes of history and psychology, amid ever-shifting social and natural landscapes, enduring patterns emerge.
The story opens with the discovery of a mysterious box from the distant past. Its makers are five orphaned friends who hope to help civilizational knowledge survive disruptive climate change centuries in the future: the ending of the Ice Age. The bar is continuously raised as the box travels through space and time to the present day. Readers are tacitly encouraged to partner with the author and fill in the blanks by considering their metaphorical boxes, lessons for the future from their past.