When we were young, we played in the ruins of the old society. Its beings were far more advanced than ours. We tumbled through their stone buildings, careful not to step on the crumbling bits. We climbed in their windows and jumped down their stairwells. The boys tried to scare the girls by whispering of how the humans, so poisoned with power, took their magnificent societies and imposed them on the rest of the world. But, with all humans grappling for control, their lands quickly became soiled with their blood and most of their cities disintegrated. They were a brutal species. But nature thrived in the absence of the humans. From the ashes of their cities flourished great trees that stretched up higher and higher, beyond the wreckage. We were the new breed, christened the Mere. Although we were new, we seemed modest compared to the old humans. We chiseled our way into the trees, carving homes and webbing our way through forests. For every tree we consumed we planted another, and thus the balance was kept in the world. The girls were never intimidated by these stories; they had heard them all before, time after time again. They proceeded to chase the boys around the ruins and be chased in a never-ending game of tag.
The stories weren’t lies. We, the Mere, found traces of the humans that still lingered along with their skeletons: leather-bound books, clothing, odd games, black screens. Their buildings were webbed together with wires. We could never figure out how to harness these strange cords and they were left to their own devices. We never adopted the human way of writing either. Their tongue was different, and although there were those who were obsessed with the multiple human dialects, we settled on one. We were a simple and connected people.