Rated: E · Short Story · Political · #2212480
A dystopian short story of the end of the world.
The world as you know it no longer exists. It is 2038 and it has been 18 years since the world died to decease, natural disasters, and war. I once heard my mother talk about it, the world I mean, how it was before the Doom came and wiped everything. She talked about vibrant gardens, parks, greenery, forests, so green and alive with birds and bees. In the forests there are no birds and no bees. It is dark, dead, and dangerous and we are supposed to stay out of it. Nothing is as lush and vibrant as it once was. The world has died, but why? Everyone talks about the Doom as it was sudden. It came in a flash and wiped the planet, not much survived. My mother, on the other hand, talked about it as something that was going on for years before its final stroke, when most of humankind died of, one after another. I never experienced the Doom; I was born in year one of the new world. My story is a recollection of my mother’s life in the old world. What mankind did to our precious planet, and I can’t for the life of me understand why we didn’t do anything to stop it. Why did mankind let the planet die?
I always enjoyed the stories of the world before I was born. I could never comprehend the technology that everyone had. I had never seen anything like it in my 18 years. As often as I could, I asked my mother to tell me more of the world she was born in. She told me incredible stories of televisions, computers, cell phones, and electricity. Oh God I would kill for having a warm home and running water by turning a tap. No, not anymore. I must walk a mile to the well and get water and take it back. My mother told me that the way we live was the way her parents lived in their childhood. When my grandparents were young all these technological advancements didn’t exist but was developed during their and her lifetime. I wish I could have lived then! I would have wanted to enjoy all these things, having friends you could reach in seconds instead of having to go over to them. Or having friends who lived further away than in the house next to yours. Sometimes, I feel angry. Why was I born in year one? Why was I born to late? Why did the people who developed all those incredible things let the planet die? Why didn’t they do anything?
One story that my mother told me when I was little was about the wildfires in a place called Australia. This happened a year before I was born in what we used to call 2020, the new decade, or as I call it the decade of death, but only to myself, it saddens my mother to hear about all the loss in the world. The end of the world decade. Okay, back to the story. We aren’t from Australia, but from Sweden at least that is what my mother has told me. Australia is a continent and an island which is on the other side of the planet form us. But back then it was possible to get news from everywhere you could think of. It isn’t anymore. We haven’t had any news about what happens in the world in a while now, but no news is good news. Anyway, mother told me about what she new about the fires from listening to the news broadcasts, watching YouTube (some kind of platform on the computer for videos that ordinary people published), and reading newspapers. It all started in the fall the year before the Doom really hit. A bushfire started, which was nothing unusual due to the climate and it being summer over there. But the fire spread, and it spread fast! Faster than they could put it out and soon almost half the country was aflame. People ran for their lives as the flames came closer and a few brave souls fought the fires as best they could, but nothing could stop the flames. City, after city was evacuated to evacuation centres in areas thought to be safe or to the beach in hopes that they would be safe from the fires. People grabbed what they could and what would be most important to save from the fires, the rest they had to leave, hoping that they would be lucky, that the flames would spare their house and their home. Some were lucky, others weren’t. My mother told be about this couple that didn’t manage to flee. Their car got caught in the flames and everything that was left of them was two burnt corpses hugging each other in the car.
Even though, I didn’t know them this part of the story always made me sad. I don’t know if it’s because of all the lives lost in the fire. Not only human lives but animals as well. Millions of animals died in those fires and they were innocent. How could something like this happen? My mother also told be about how in the year before there had been a similar fire in the United States of America. How could this happening not have been a warning of what was about to come? There had also been a large fire here in Sweden that same year in the summer. Fires all over the world and no one saw the warning. Not one person reacted to what had become the new normal. Fires, fires that ate everything, fires that destroyed everything in its way. And no one reacted. Mother talked about this girl called Greta, a 16-year-old, who tried to make the adults listen and take the climate change seriously. But why would the most powerful men in the world listen to a child? They should have. Maybe they would still have been alive it they had listened and reacted when there was still time. Maybe I would have been born in a normal year of 2021 and lived my life as an advocate for the planet. Maybe I could have been the one who saved our planet, or maybe that is you.