Inside a tent-like structure raised above murky waters, unaware of daytime lived hundreds-no millions of fireflies. Bred for their light, and sometimes the spit, the Firefly Clan cared for the tiny insects from dusk till dawn. Swamplands weren’t easy to get electricity to so this was their alternative to fire, which had taken its toll one too many times. The clan had decided after the last fire from oil lanterns to get light the natural way, and thus imported foreign insects.
   Neighboring clans didn’t like this at all, as they had electricity. But then again they also had soil, dry soil. They didn’t have the problem of only two or three months suitable enough for building. For after the 8 month wet season, the boats were put away and the clan prepared to build once the ground began to dry enough to walk on. The neighboring clans didn’t understand the complexities of living over the water, and began to bully The Firefly Clan with harsh names, and throwing stones at them. Although this was immature it made them feel better.
When settlers arrived at the swamp the locals were amused, these settlers looked proud to have found such a wonderful spot for their new home. They were heckled from the grass line on the hill above them, but took no notice. “HA! You think you can found a city here? This place is hardly dry for three months a year!”
   “I hope you know how to swim!”
   “Yeah you wouldn’t want to drown!”
   “Quiet!” the leader seemed to call. His voice was so deep it seemed more like thunder than a voice, “leave us!” The children ran screaming, and the rest of the townspeople left hurried, either out of worry for their children or fear of the man. “Kahn. My son, deliver me our woodsman, our craftsman, and out constructors.” He ordered a young boy of no more than twenty, whom nodded and left. “Sarlima! Gather the women and children, we will need provisions. Send a small group into town for cloth, and another to gather wax.” The woman kissed his cheek and left. “Jeniver!” he called, and a large dog came to his side and sat. “hunt rabbit Jeniver.” he whispered and the dog shot off immediately, barking. The leader watched the pack of dogs disappear into the woodland, and smiled to himself. He sat on a rock, and smiled as it warmed his bottom.
   “Father! We have but one woodsman and craftsman, but no constructors.” Kahn announced behind him.
   “Son! Never speak to a mans back!” he boomed.
   “sorry father.” Kahn said moving around the rock with his group.
   “I may be a craftsman, but please, count me as a construction man too.”
   “you can draw?”
   “yes sir”
   “then you will create the plans”
   “the plans sir?”
   “to build our city above the water!” the giant rose from the rock angrily, causing the group to step back, “fools! Stand your ground! Never shy in the face of fear!” the group stood patiently, finally he shouted “get to work! We need wood, why aren’t you cutting? We need plans, why aren’t you drawing? Son, sit by me!” he sat down heavily on the rock, enjoying the sun, and another day reigning superior.
   The women brought back wax, cloth and rope, and the men were carrying trees down from the woodlands. Sarlima had the children help her group rub hot wax into the tree trunks, and help the men tie the rope around the logs. By the end of the week, the 20 or so settlers had logs towering out of the ground, waxed to protect them. Some large logs tied together remained on the ground, they were walled by a single log, and filled in with dirt. When the construction was finished, a meeting was called.
   “Relatives! We have created our own city! Here we will hide from technology! We will not let the evils of it rule us like it has our neighbors!” the leader opened, “Sarlima, present me the council.”
   “We must elect a council” she announced. “We have a leader. We need two craftsmen, three woodsmen, a tree hugger, and a seer!” Members of the crowd stepped forth.
   “I am a craftsman”
   “I am not, but I am willing to learn”
   “I am a woodsman, and these two lads behind me have proven themselves.”
   “Good. We need an Indian and a seer”
   “Kahn!” the leader boomed.
   “Father no!” Kahn reached out as he yelled.
   “My son is our tree hugger”
   “Father!” he slouched, the crowd sniggering.
   “My son, you have an unnatural ability with nature. It bends for you, now bend for us”
   “Father I…” he gave up.
   “Sarlima, where is our daughter?” Sarlima looked shocked, “she hasn’t left the floating garden since we fastened cloth to the walls and floor to stop the dirt washing away…”
   “Faid!” he called several times. Eventually the little girl looked up, and a light went on upstairs. She realized she was being called upon, and ran to her father’s side.
   “Father. The rains are coming”
   “I don’t feel it father”
   “Faid, your brother is our tree hugger” the crowd sniggered again, Kahn reddening more, “you are our little princess”
   “I saw them father. It was rather sudden…and Jeniver almost drowned!”
   “My princess, dogs cannot drown. It is not in their blood”
   “But father, I saw it!”
   “Enough. Go now.” The leader ordered, and pushed the girl away.
   At the end of the month, about three weeks later, the first rains came. They came suddenly and rained down hard. The people hid in their waterproof tents, and watched as the log platforms rose with the water. Kahn could be heard shouting to the dogs to swim for it, and rapid barking forced them to run out over the dirt on their platform. Soaked, they all watched Jeniver struggling to keep a puppy above the rapidly rising water.
Decades later, The Firefly Clan was still above water, and still enduring the nickname “devils people”. They had acquired “cursed” land from a not so advanced tribe and were farming goats, chickens and hunting dogs there. Every three years five young men were sent out to farm the land. There they would live, with the animals for three years, delivering food weekly to their home by a log raft with rope on both ends. It was a great honor to live on the cursed land for those years.
   The clans tents had become larger, and more complex; They were high enough to walk through, and square so you could live in them. Each tent was on a platform, which allowed for fast moving, and storage space. To prevent fires, one platform was dedicated to cooking and recreation-it was about a forth of the lakes size. All in all the clan was relatively safe. They had wild geese come with the flood, the dogs could hunt the rabbits, and a few men could even spear fish, so the clan never went hungry. The clan’s only worry was the three waterless months (out of four) that made the ground walk-able. Faid had sensed attack plans were being brewed, and advised caution, even the creation of a military.
   The black orbs had disappeared long ago, and although every seer in the land said the same thing no one believed it. The Firefly clan’s seer, Faid, had selected a child to take her place before he was even born. She taught him until he was six, and died the day after his seventh birthday. The boy possessed the same seeing abilities as her, but still did not know how to harness them.
   *                       *                       *
Mrs. Brush was knitting with the needles Edi had crafted for her. Her fine red wool trailed over her knee and in-between the dog’s front legs. He watched it roll when she wanted more, but sat still stopping it from falling into the water. She sat peacefully in the sun, waiting for the farming boys to place the weekly meat and goat’s milk on the largest food platform, so she could pull it across. Edi was in the tent snoring away, and that added to the tranquility. The dog gave of a bark that seemed to come from his chest, not his throat, and Mrs. Brush looked up. A boy was running full pelt, towards one of the smaller rafts. He was thin and looked terrified, running towards her like a mad man. His clothing flapped around behind him, and even though it was not stark white anymore, and not all in one piece she recognized the flared pants and V-neck at once. He was a clan member. He ran onto the raft and jumped into the water, and that is when Mrs. Brush stood up. She grabbed the boy as soon as he reached the platform, scolding him “You’ll catch yourself a cold boy!” She hauled him onto the dirt covered platform her home sat upon and he stood shakily.
   “Please! The farm boys!” he rasped, gasping for air, “they’ve been killed!”
   “Fire! They come here! They spread fire! I saw it, their coming!” he screamed and fainted, the dog hid under the tent, barking, causing Edi to wake.
   “Oh my god!” a woman shrieked and ran heavily across the platform and skidded on her knees to where the boy was lying. “What did he say? What did he say!” the woman didn’t sound as though it was a question, and Mrs. Brush was confused. The woman’s hysterics distorted her features, but not too much for Edi, who was wide awake now.
   “Good god. Its Eliah!” he proclaimed, and Mrs. Brush realized immediately. This was one of few swap princesses left. Her son however, was far from a prince; his blood had been mixed with a foreigner which made him just like the rest of the swamp population.
   “He said the farm boys are dead” she said shocked at her realization, “then he just fainted.”
   “What else? Did he see it?” she demanded, her eyes alight with imagined fire, “what else Brush?!”
   Mrs. Brush gaped at the woman, wondering where she learnt who she was, “he said someone’s coming to spread fire” she added, “he looked terrified! The poor lad’s probably gotten himself a dose of swamp flu…you know how it causes you to see things”
   “He does not have swamp flu!” She spat disgusted, the fire in her eyes raging, “don’t you know who this boy is? This boy is our seer! Faid left her job to him because he saw like she did!” Mrs. Brush remembered now, Faid had died less than a month ago and left her job to a seven year old boy. Eliah swept the boy up effortlessly, her muscles easily seen under her form fitting clothing, and began to walk away, “you would do good to leave. He’s never been wrong. If he says there’s going to be a fire, then there’s going to be a fire!”
   “Don’t be ridiculous! It’s the middle of the damn wet season!”
   “Mum!” Edi scolded.
   “Edi!” she retorted, “just because her bloods pure doesn’t mean I have to treat her like she's god! And he’s only seven! Faid didn’t even finish teaching him, and he hasn’t been proclaimed as seer yet!”
   *                       *                       *
   Mrs. Brush awoke to a high-pitched whistling. If the clan embraced technology, she might have thought it was a kettle. The tent was bright, so she guessed it was morning, and stepped out of her tent, preparing to call in the dogs. She supposed Eliah’s brother in law was experimenting again, causing the racket, but a huge bang woke her up. Philip had long ago moved away, seeking fortune in England. She opened her eyes and realized two things; the first was that it was not daytime, it was night, and the second was she had made a huge mistake. As she realized this, her tent exploded into flames and several arrows pierced her body. Feeling no pain, she turned to the village, and saw her beloved home alight with orange flames. She stumbled a bit, and finally fell face down into the black oily water.