We were some of the lucky ones.
I remember staring, horror-struck, as the waves that usually lapped the craggy coastline near our house receded at pace towards the horizon. The briny seaweed clinging to the rocks, coating all in an unpalatable slime-green. The newly-uncovered seabed stretching out for a mile or maybe more. The thought of all that raw, destructive power hurtling westwards, filling my heart with dread. This was Mother Earth unleashing her vengeance upon a hateful and hurtful humankind.
Decades of dithering and denial from our politicians left our once beautiful planet at the mercy of global warming and its devastating effects. Worldwide temperatures soared, ice shelves on the poles detached and melted, seas swelled substantially, and droughts, floods, and extreme storms became the norm. Coastal cities succumbed to the oceans biting hungrily into the land, turning streets into canals. Scientists wracked their panicked brains for geoengineering solutions, each idea as farfetched as the next. Nature had become unbalanced, unhinged, wrathful, and we had no clue how to placate her.
Storm Eve was born in the mid-Atlantic late one scorchingly hot and humid summer. The whole world watched fearfully as it mutated rapidly into a hurricane of unprecedented size and strength, careering uncontrollably towards the east coast of the United States. The satellite photographs showed her monstrous body covering more than a quarter of the Atlantic Ocean. Many anticipated death and damage from the screaming winds and torrential rain. Few predicted the impact of the consequent storm surge, as the ravenous tide rose to swallow America’s eastern shore.
It was on the day of the tidal surge that I witnessed the shrinking of the Cornish seas, as the climatic cataclysm dragged the water from one side of the Atlantic to the other. A sight both terrifying and awe-inspiring. It was the first such phenomenon, but not the last – just the first link in a chain of deadly storms that roamed the world in the following months and years and wreaked havoc. Very few regions on Earth remained untouched by the planet’s vengeance. And millions perished.
The weather systems have stabilised now that the human population has been curtailed, and we survivors must investigate whether any of our damage can be undone. We have to learn to live in symbiosis with our Mother who birthed us, loved us, suffered our abuse and took retribution. Else, she will be a mother no more.
Emma H, age 26, 31/10/2017
It’s been a long time since I last wrote a short story or participated in Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenge – so here we are! There was something about this week’s photo that inspired dystopian thoughts… To take part in the challenge or read other entries, you can follow the link below: