“Earth is Drowning in plastic. It’s dying at an alarming rate because humans can not live responsibly. We have to kill every living creature we see. We have to throw rubbish where it doesn’t belong and manufacture stuff that kills our environments. We have to relentlessly cut down all the trees and destroy our precious forests.
Why people have babies today is beyond me. Those babies are adding to the death of Earth. They will be lucky if they have 20 years to live because the greed of humans is killing planet Earth. Every living creature including us will be dead soon and yet greedy humans don’t seem to care.
What follows is a story with one possible solution.”
“You paint a thousand promises of utopia to get me out here. And now look at us!” Cordy threw out her arms indicating the mess they were in. She slapped them against her bare thighs in frustration. “We’re stuck in the farthest place from paradise possible.”
“I know, Cordy. I’m sorry. I made a promise of white sandy beaches on a paradise island for just the two of us. I didn’t mean for things to go this wrong!” Maceo was standing on the bow deck of his Sundancer motorboat. The problem was the beautiful blue ocean water was level with his knees. Somehow, he’d miss-navigated his way to the island, struck a reef and sunk his boat.
Cordy was stood on the roof of the vessel, her bare feet just out of the rippling water. She had on a white vest and tight denim shorts, which allowed the sun to glint upon her bronzy skin. She pulled her golden-brown hair into a ponytail and glared at him. “Well, what do we do now? In case you hadn’t noticed stuck in the middle of the ocean!”
Maceo looked unfazed as he pulled his T-shirt off and tied it over his gaudy green Bermuda shorts. He swam around to the wheelhouse and ducked underwater to get inside. He broke the surface moments later with a sheathed machete in hand. “The island is only two-hundred yards away. We have to swim there and try the signal for help.”
“You’re kidding, right? There’s sharks, stingrays and who knows what other dangerous things in this water.” Cordy wrapped her arms around herself unable to contain her fear.
“Fine, stay here then. Either way, I have to reach the island. My boat’s done for and we can’t get rescued from here.” Maceo took a breath and dived into the waves.
Cordy watched him power through the water with strong smooth strokes of his arms and legs. That’s why she’d fallen for him in the nightclub, he was a perfect handsome strongman. He’d been ravishing in bed too, she remembered those nights with a smile. Shame he was a lousy sailor. With no choice, Cordy let out a sigh and leapt to the water. She was a good swimmer and had soon caught up with him.
As the two neared the island, the waves grew larger and the clarity of the water became soupy.
“Ugh! This is a nightmare!” Maceo spluttered as he fought through the surf desperate to reach the beach.
“I know! Aaah —” Cordy felt unknown objects bumping into her. Then something latched onto her leg and pulled her under the waves.
Maceo was faring no better, the couple had swum into the most disgusting of debris fields. All manner of plastic flotsam and jettison including fishing nets, pontoons, oars, inflatables and plastic bottles by the thousand, floated around them poisoning the ocean. “Cordy! Where are you?” Maceo yelled out as he used the machete to cut himself free of a frayed rope.
Cordy couldn’t respond, underwater, she was fighting with a fishing net entangled about both her legs. Already her lungs were burning, her oxygen all but used up.
A large blue canister reared up in the waves and slammed into Maceo’s backside as he dove underwater. Smarting from the blow, he fought to keep his mouth closed as he seized Cordy under the arms and hauled her to the surface. Both gasped for air as he employed the backstroke to drag them through the floating mountains of garbage and finally onto the beach.
Many minutes passed to them lying there regaining their breath and energy. Maceo was the first to sit up. He was disgusted by what he saw and smelled. Kicking away a couple bottles, he took up his machete and crawled to Cordy’s side. She was still entangled in the fishing net, her legs bleeding from his abrasive threads. “You okay?” he asked with the stench of decay all but choking him.
Cordy shook her head, tears of utter sadness glistening in her chestnut-brown eyes. “Just look at this poor place.” They’d come ashore on a stretch of yellow sandy beach in the shadows of tall, elegant coconut palm trees. The sand was almost lost to the tidal wave of plastic pollution and trash. Cordy felt she could see a hundred thousand bottles among a million other things strewn around her. She’d seen less trash at the city rubbish dump. Worse there were dead crabs, fish and even seagull carcasses strewn everywhere; all killed by the trash. “The sharks aren’t the dangerous thing around here – we humans are. All this plastic pollution is killing everything!”
“I know, this is making me sick.” Maceo tore his eyes from the carcass of a juvenile short-finned pilot whale which had died with a fishing net and a beer crate tied to its flippers. He began soaring the net away from Cordy’s legs. “We have to get off this island and do something about this. There, that’s your legs free,” he said helping her stand.
“Thanks, lovely. What we do?” She followed him through the rubbish to a clearer section of beach.
“No idea yet. But Earth’s dead if this goes on much longer.” Maceo made use of some of the trash and swiftly had a fire going. He harvested a couple of coconuts for drink and food. He also used some coconut oil to cleanse Cordy’s wounds ensuring she’d be okay and safe from infection.
As luck would have it a fishing boat appeared on the horizon within hours. Maceo was able to signal it with the fire. This skipper was a jovial man called Franco. He lent them a camera to record all the pollution in the water and on the beach. He happily took them to the city the next morning. There the couple took a day to recover from their ordeal. Maceo also ordered a salvage operation for his boat.
The following morning, he and Cordy met with Franco and went to the government offices. They were soon in a white-walled office waiting to speak with someone about their ordeal.
“The three of you asked to see me on an urgent matter, is that right?” said a man in the black suit and brown spectacles entering the office. Cordy recognised him and hid a smile. He was mayor Edmund Kahlos, she hadn’t expected someone so high in government to talk with them.
“That’s correct. I’m fisherman Franco Hernandez. I rescued Cordy and Maceo of the coast of one of the uninhabited islands yesterday. I …”
“Very admirable. I suppose you want a medal?” Edmund cut in.
“No, that’s not why we came.” Cordy moved some government papers from the desk into a pile and dumped them on the spare chair. She laid all the photographs of the pollution on the cleared surface to paint a terrible picture for the mayor. “That island is proof of earth dying. It and the surrounding ocean are being suffocated in human-made waste. That’s a dead pilot whale and there are dead sea creatures everywhere on that ruined beach – all killed by the trash. Just look at these pictures! That’s supposed to be a paradise island; instead, it’s a giant rubbish dump!”
The Mayor picked up one or two photographs and shook his head. “What am I to do about it? It’s not my problem. Why don’t you take some sacks out there and clean it up?”
Maceo banged a hand on the table. “It is your bloody problem! It’s everyone’s fricking problem! If every person on the planet doesn’t do something about this now, the oceans will die and then we humans die too. You’ll die, Mr Mayor, because there will be no food left to eat. Right now, every time you consume a fish, you are eating microplastics. Plastics from all those disgusting bottles that the waves are breaking down and washing into the gills of the fish. We’re all being poisoned by this and it’s got to stop before the oceans die.”
Edmund took off and wiped his glasses but said nothing as he continued to look at the pictures.
“Come on you’re the Mayor. Actions have to start from people like you so the population can follow and save Earth!” Cordy urged.
“What actions? What can I do?” The Mayor seemed to grow old as he looked from face to face as if searching for an answer.
The fisherman, Franco, laid a piece of paper on the desk. “What you and the world need to do is use the resources available to begin fixing the damage. I’m finding it harder and harder to catch enough fish to fill my quota each day. There is however a solution. I propose that for three out of every five years fisherman stop catching fish. Instead —“
“That’s preposterous, we can’t do that. It’ll—”
“Mr Mayor, with all due respect shut up and listen,” Maceo requested with a nod to Franco.
“Thank you, Maceo. Look, Mr Mayor. What we do is; on those three non-fishing years, the government pays the fisherman to fill their holds with all the rubbish polluting the oceans and beaches. That way the environment will become cleaner and the fish have a chance to repopulate as well. To maintain food stocks during those years, we will of course have to set up more fisheries, as well. Those fisheries can also employ the fisherman who can’t work on those three years where fishing is not allowed. The idea is all laid out in that plan I gave you.” Franco tapped the page on the desk.
“Please, Mr Mayor. Think about this. Bring this idea to the world and maybe, just maybe, Earth has a chance. At least its oceans will.” Cordy begged. “Just promise you’ll try to help.”
Mayor Kahlos took up the plans and scanned them in silence for a few moments and nodded. “This is the most amazing idea I’ve heard about saving the environment in years. Franco as a willing fisherman, I ask you to join me in some upcoming government meetings to present this idea. We’ll see if we can’t get this in front of the presidents and prime ministers of the world and make it happen.”
“My pleasure.” Franco shook his hand.
Cordy hugged Maceo in delight. A year from now, the two would be married. As part of their wedding day, they held a beach cleansing ceremony. They ask, ‘What can you do to help save the environment and the creatures who live there, where you are?’
I wish to thank you for sticking with me through my trials and tribulations as an author. I’m now writing using dictation software which takes a lot longer to accomplish but I hope you’re enjoying the results.
Please, pick up any rubbish you come across
have a great day!