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Rated: E · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2294253
The Earth slowly stopped spinning and the world came to an end. Entry for Writer's Cramp.
There was no warning that something was coming their way. All the scientific instruments in the world could not tell them that change was going to turn their lives upside down. Instead, it crept up on the earth, subtle in its approach. The first sign was that despite it being winter, both the days and the nights were getting slightly longer. Only a few nerds, however, even noticed and no one paid attention to their over excited tweets and blogs.

What did catch the attention of Social Media Platforms was the sudden uptick in weight loss. Women the world over were noticing a slight decrease on their scale. Of all the changes, this is what seemed to impact my mom the most; or at least the one she most spoke of. She was a chronic dieter, always chasing after the newest fad, seeking to lose the baby weight she had gained from her five pregnancies. I was only a baby at the time. The slight decrease gave her the encouragement she needed to start running, wanting her success to increase. As the weeks went by, she watched her eight go down and began to find running easier every time.

About a month after the weight loss discovery, scientists were baffled. Some, like my mom, showed physical signs denoting her accomplishment. Others, however, seemed to gain more at the waist, despite the scale’s readings. It wasn’t until a much more serious event that they were able to get their ancestors.

It was December of the same year, Christmas Day, in fact, when it became painfully obvious that something was very wrong. At the time, we lived in Washington State and it was a balmy 70 degrees. The sun was up before my parents, and didn’t go down until my siblings were put to bed that night at about 8. The next day it was all over the news: the Earth’s rotation was slowing down.

Most people went into a frenzy. There was panic shopping and rioting in the streets. Most people were convinced that the world was coming to an end. There were interviews from scientists and celebrities, all giving doomsday scenarios. The most crazy one being that Aliens had used technology to stop Earth’s rotation and that an invasion was imminent. There were holy men loudly proclaiming that it was the apocalypse and that we would be punished for all our sins.

The rioting in the streets was glossed over by my parents, but from the history books written afterwards, I can understand why. It was as though normal citizens were replaced by animals. Maybe they figured that since they were going to die anyway, it didn’t matter what atrocities they committed. There are stories of anything from grant theft auto, house burglary to rape and murders. The only thing that I know of my family during this time, is that my uncle Frank, who was 17 at the time, was found dead in a back alley when things finally calmed down.
My parents do glamorize life before. Everyone could breathe freely; sleep was easy to obtain because there was a set rhythm to the day. There are stories of picnics in the park and hours spent playing at the beach. So different from the way things are now. We still have four seasons, but now the seasons seem to be an extreme, planet wide version of the ones they use to have. The day now lasts for 6 months and the night equally so. Spring is like a two-month long sunrise that gets steadily warmer. Summer is a four-month long day of burning heat. Fall is a two-month long sunset, getting steadily colder while Winter is a four-month long nighttime of such freezing temperatures that world seems to be coated in ice.

To escape the extreme weather, we hide in underground cities. Mostly to keep from getting sick from the radiation. Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons. They are the only time that it is safe to go outside, as long was we wear our masks and radiation gear. I like to go topside and dream of picnicking along the beach and climbing trees with limbs so thick, they can hold the world.

Even our safe haven seems to be failing us, however. There are talks of taking to space to try to find a new planet to colonize. It is a project the government as had in the works ever since the Great Change became a reality. They are recruiting for colonials now. Dad says that we don’t have a chance however. With his epilepsy and Mom’s high blood pressure, they will not qualify. But I might. I have been accepted to a training program. The future is a scary place, but I know that it is a very bright one indeed.
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