Imagine a world where the relentless sun beats down on a barren land below, a world where the crashing seas no longer crash and no longer lap up the sand that has become dry and cracked. Devoid of life except for a small lizard tired and worn out it searches desperately for a sign of the smooth cool liquid that used to fill this once beautiful land. Every one thought the polar icecaps would melt and flood the land, they did at one stage. The oceans rose, the rain droned on and on, until the sun reappeared. In a short period of 3 years 50% of the earth's water had gone and still the sun bore down, creating an ugly colourless world filled with sickness and death. My people wished for the sun during those rain filled days. My mother always said "Be careful for what you wish for."
2nd August 3004
My name is Layla Carmichael. I lived on an Island in the south pacific until the ocean claimed it. We then sailed the seas until we found a small Island in the middle of nowhere. It seemed perfect but like most things nothing is what it seems. We named it Jewel. It was beautiful a cool breeze always blew bringing the tangy small of the sea and all its occupants we built small identical houses making it seem almost out of the movies or a story book, Swiss Family Robinson perhaps. Many called it paradise I was not so sure. For years we were happy confident in our supposed immortality almost cocky in our assurance that we could survive anything. Then suddenly mother earth waged war on the world of human kind. The heat rose, the temperature reached as high as fifty degrees sometimes sixty at midday. The night though some what cooler reached an uncomfortable forty. It was a heat like none I had ever encountered. It was scorching yet humid at the same time so you felt as if you were sitting in a furnace while someone clamped a pillow over your head. Many did nothing; the heat in its intensity caused lethargy among the islanders that even the most energetic of men could be seen to be sitting for days on end simply doing nothing. It was the 1st of November 3004 when there was a noted difference in the water. The sea had lost two metres in two months and it went rapidly down from there.
In the move we had lost the majority of our technology it almost as if we were going back in time. My mother always told me "The worlds getting to smart, them men be clever but them don't think they keep fiddling with things that don't need fiddling with. Even now they don't stop and us women got to make a place for ourselves in a world that is dieing." It's strange, I always found my mothers philosophies awkward and embarrassing I now only wish she'd lived longer enabling me to hear them more often. To this day I play her wise words over and over in my head hoping to instil her even more in my memory. One must wonder if that is all that we have left, only a memory.
15 June 3006
The islanders sit in the sweltering heat all day doing nothing except drink the water that is now so dear, precious drops drip slowly down the chins of gulping mouths. Not once do they put forth an idea for survival, all expecting a miracle to appear. Perhaps I am foolish in my hope for survival, we are after all in the middle of nowhere with no means of communication. We are stuck whether we like it or not, and I ask God where is he a time like this where is our great saviour and where is the miracle that we need. My mother always told me "never lose hope in God." I'm finding it very hard to find any sort of hope in a hopeless world. Our beautiful island is dieing and this time there won't be a happy ending. I stare out on to a listless land coloured in dreary browns, small black marks line the distance where a war of fires have broken out time and time again. No beautiful sweeping plants no butterflies of any kind is to be found, the animals where the first to die, many things have been lost to what will be named judgement day. The islander refuse to acknowledge what is happening. They sit in a listless kind of trance seeing yet not seeing and still they wait for a miracle that will never appear. Slowly the water supplies dwindle before our eyes. Soon the fishermen will not be able to reach the sea and catch the now too few fish, which is our main source of food. We will die and the earth will live on and retain its beauty one can only hope that the next generation will remember our mistakes and learn from them. All the while morbid thoughts swirl around my head, a seemingly life source of their own. Instead of banishing them like the rest of my people do, I dwell on them looking for a clue to the way out of the hell we have made for our selves. I am sixteen and facing the last years of my life. As I look back as many have done in my situation, It seems as though it was a life of halves. I was never one of strong character I was shy and lived in the background of my world, (on the outside looking in as the saying goes) I used to dream of things that did not belong in my life wishing to be a different person to what I am, I see that now all the mistakes I have made yet I do not wish to go back and do it all again because it would mean a different life with new mistakes to be made. I understand that now. My mother once told me "Life is like a light bulb we shine brightly for a while until someone or thing turns us off. We've got to understand that bad things happen first before we can shine because understanding is the first step to acceptance and then and only then we can shine as brightly as any light ever made by man." I have understood but have yet to accept
30 July 3009
It's been a while now almost 3 years since I Last wrote, but you see my palms are always sweaty from the heat which makes my now greatly diminished pencil hard to grip .The heat seems to make every thing slower as if each minute took an hour, each hour a day each day a year. We are now in the tenth year of drought and it is taking its toll. My mouth is dry and feels like cotton it makes talking very hard not that any one does much of that any more. The silence hangs there unwanted or needed yet no one can send it away. No one goes out side anymore with the sun reaching a searing eighty degrees; it is now a danger to your life to step outside. You know what I miss most is the sounds that you always knew where there but never acknowledged. The gentle humming of the beetles at night. The soft swishing of the trees. The near silent rustle of the grass.
We can no longer reach the ocean its blue green depths have left us forever never to return. The food now dwindling steadily is a worry to us all the water reaching a precariously low level is even more worrying we have enough to last a year maybe two at the most.. The islanders have finally realised the danger we are in suddenly I wish I had never asked them to accept, many of them never had the patience to wait and to understand first, so silently they took themselves to the edge of the great cliff that stood erected from the loss of water, they gazed down into is rocky depths and imagined the so vibrantly alive sea which seemed to be the source of life itself which has now become the source of death. Then like puppets suspended on the edge of time they spread their arms out and take the great leap to their death. Many times I try to cry but no tears fall have I become a creature of useless emotions am I no longer able to feel have I perhaps lost all sense of reality has this continuous heat taken from me the one thing that is so precious, myself . Sometimes I think of taking that great leap to the depths of an empty ocean. To feel myself flying through the air almost suspended in time until my body hits the sharp point of the rocks below, but then I hear the far off echo of my mothers voice ringing true and clear "never give up Layla, to give up is an unforgivable sin, life is so precious so many people fight to stay alive what gives you the right to give it up, fight Layla, fight for what is yours and yours alone." The only thing is I'm fighting a losing battle.
30 July 3011
I'm entering the last days of my life. I can feel it; it is there an awareness always in the back of my mind. I am not afraid, I feel as this has been a long time coming and have prepared myself for this, months ago. Though I feel a strange sense of loss for the life I could have had the dreams I could have achieved, and at a time like this I remember a poem I wrote.
Were from different worlds you and me
And could never live in harmony
Wed fight about who I am who I will be and who I could be
So don't you see?
We are the same yet different
And together we could do something significant
But one would oppose the other
No matter the likeness we see in each other
You are the half of my half
When I cry you laugh
I am both similar
Together we could be great
Making our own fate
But we weren't meant to be
You and me
For one will strive
The other will not survive.
At the time I wrote this everyone thought I was talking about a boy, but I wasn't I was talking about myself and the mix of emotions and thoughts and feelings I continually felt. I felt as though I was split in two the one half always dissatisfied with the lot I had been giving always dreaming and wishing for something different, a different life, a different me, while the other was content and happy knowing that my dreams were impossible, and only now I wonder if perhaps my dreams weren't as unreachable as the stars of the night sky if perhaps they where always just within my grasp if only I had the courage to reach out and take them. Now it is to late my life is slowly seeping away from me as the sea seeped away from the shore. I sit in the house that now has no windows yet the sun seems to slip through the smallest hole the minutest crack and find me so it can torture me some more. I can almost feel myself become more spirit than human almost as if I'm looking down upon myself even now my body begins to decay yet my soul still clings to it no wanting to leave this life for the next. The past weeks spent in silent contemplation made me realise something, all along I had been blaming the wrong person for the demise of the human race I blamed God time and time again and became so angry with him that I refused to see the truth that was in front of my nose, Human Kind. They were to blame in all their cocky assurance that they knew every thing they had failed to see their own destruction. Don't get me wrong they were clever just not clever enough, they never cared to look beyond their own lifetime, never once thought of the people who had the left overs of their great idea, not once realising the anguish they had caused. Today I sit before you dealing with the left overs of man kind. Murderers! I want to scream but I cant I have long lost the use of my voice my throat is riddled with sores and blisters making even breathing painful. I sit here at the end of the human race and realise everything that was, is lost to me, Forever.
3 August 3011
Here I am on the edge one small step and it will all be over yet my body and soul still resist knowing that I have one more thing to do. Slowly I raise my aching body and painfully I crawl outside and stare around at the vast desert that was once my island. As I continue to crawl I remember the villagers and as I pass each of their houses I scrape their names in the hard cracked earth saying farewell to the people and things I once loved so much and each time my soul breaks free of my body a little, as if preparing itself for the journey it now knows it must take. Finally I reach my destination, my mother's grave. Gently I lay myself down to face the sky and remember the one person I loved above all else, my mother. Slowly as though suspended in time one crystal clear tear falls from a listless eye rolls down a cheek wrinkled before its time only to fall on a hard cracked land that has not seen water for many years. Then as though a dam has been set lose I begin to cry in a torrent of tears and flailing arms and legs I let out all the anguish of a lifetime. Then as the tantrum quiets my tear blurred eyes see a tiny perfectly shaped daisy there is a tangy smell, one I barely remember then I hear the roar of the ocean and know I'm home. Slowly I turn to face the eyes that kept me alive the eyes of wisdom and love, the eyes that brought me to death. The eyes of my mother.
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Short Story / Young Adult
Poem / Poetry
Poem / Poetry
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