“My walk this morning was a horror show that left me in tears. I witness a whole stand of trees being cut down. With that a buzzard’s nest containing three eggs was destroyed. Further on I discovered an architect with his theodolite planning to build houses on a field. How much more nature must we destroy before we realise it’s killing us too?”
I wrote this story to highlight the homicide of Earth and in answer to the following prompts:
Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #110 — The picture above
Ragtag Daily Word — Kettle
Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Wordle — Conversation, Persistent, Plush, Kissable, Nothing, Empire, Luxury, Phantasm, Iris, Opalescent, Coax, Count
“We need to be the generation of doers,” began Dr Kendra Friedman taking centre stage in a tailored tweed skirt-suit. “Our generation is living on the brink of extinction. The worst is; we have cameras showing us the destruction everywhere and we ignore it. We see the deforestation, the mining operations savaging the ground. The cruel, unnecessary hunting. Selfish pregnancies, overpopulating the world and forcing us to consume more than Earth can sustain. The plastic-filled oceans. CO2 emissions poisoning the planet. The human race is destroying Earth in more ways than I can count and at a terrifying pace.” Each disastrous thing Kendra mentioned appeared on the projection screen. “Yet we do nothing but bring it up in conversation. What good is it to live in a luxury house, to surround yourself with plush furs, opalescent kitchen counters, enough gold to start a brand-new empire if in a few years human persistence kills every living thing including you?”
“Enough making us feel bad. We have a right to live how we want!” countered a rotund gentleman in the large audience.
A conference organiser put the spotlight on the interrupter allowing Kendra to see him. “Sure, you can. Do you realise; by buying that new phone in your hand you give your blessing to technological companies to destroy rainforests to get the coltan needed to build it.”
“Really?” the man folded his arms flashing a gold watch.
“Really. The congo rainforest is being annihilated mile by square-mile every year to get the coltan for that phone. The Amazon rainforest is being torn up by gold hunters who poison the rivers with mercury to obtain a mineral we don’t need. Selfish governments have billions of pounds worth of gold in their vaults but no killing the rainforest is better to them than using that. And damn the Discover Channel for popularising gold mining too! They’ve doubled the amount of damage simply by glamorising it on tv.”
“It is. I see a tartare sauce stain on your lapel. I bet you like your cod and chips, don’t you?”
“Course I do, what of it?” said the man.
“To catch that cod commercial fishermen, haul in hundreds of thousands of flounder, sea turtle, dolphin, monkfish and many other species in their nets. They kill every last one of those poor creatures and throw the corpses back in the ocean because they can’t make money on them. The rivers and seas will soon be dead.” Kendra brought a video of all the dead sea creatures being thrown away on her projector. “You still want to live your life and enjoy your cod and chips though, don’t you?”
“We all just want to live our lives that all?” put in a young lady.
“What’s your name?” asked Kendra as the spotlight found her.
“Nice to meet you, Iris. We all want to live and enjoy our lives. The fact is if we can’t coax the human race into changing everything we do. We won’t have lives to live. The people who continue to selfishly have multiple children are bringing them into the world where they may only have twenty to thirty years to live. To ignore this and do nothing is to live a life of a phantasm an illusionary existence where all is fine while Earth crumbles around you.”
“Is it really that bad?” Iris looked fearful now.
“Sadly so. When we eat fish, we’re almost certainly eating microplastics too.” Kendra changed her slide showing factories pumping black smoke into a grey sky. “Our CO2 emissions are turning the rains acid, those are killing the trees which in turn is lowering the oxygen levels in the atmosphere. That blue fog you see most mornings isn’t natural. It’s created by atmospheric pollution from cars, factories, and much more. That pollution is why so many more people suffer from asthma these days. Every year up to 2000 species of animal go extinct each year. Every extinction brings us closer to our own. Every tree, every hedgerow, every plant, every animal is precious if we are to have a chance. If just the bees go extinct, farmers will not be able to grow the food we rely on to live.”
“This is terrible. What can we do about it?” said another gentleman looking grave.
“Thank you, I chose you all to be here today because you all influencers on social media.” Kendra brought up an image of a brain on a sign. “We must build a collective influence toward saving the earth. We must create a movement so powerful that our governments will be forced to start repairing the damage they are allowing to happen. We need them to halt deforestation, to ban the building of any structure on land belonging to nature. We need them to instate laws limiting the number of births to control the population which in turn will lower our consumption of fast dwindling resources. Every one of you belongs to a different country, nation, and ethnic background and you must help bring them all to the fight. This crisis does not belong to one country, one religion or one race, if we fail to act upon this now — we all die soon!”
“That’s the big picture and something will act upon now. What about regular people what can they do?” asked another lady standing up.
“A great question. There are many things each person can do. They can start by buying new gadgets only when they really need them; instead of every six months for an upgrade. They can choose to buy sustainable foods and foods that come in packaging which is not plastic. At home, they can boil only what they need in the kettle. They can reuse everything as much as possible. They can pick up litter wherever they go and help keep their communities be clean. Most importantly they can join us and fight for Earth. WHO’S WITH ME!” Kendra finished loud and strong.
“For Earth!” Yelled Iris.
“Earth, Earth, Earth!” Chanted the collective audience.
Kendra beamed and applauded them. “Thank you, one and all. Please make sure you collect your digital booklet. I made it this way to save paper – a small hug for Earth.” Kendra brought up the booklet on the projector. The front cover showed factory chimneys pumping chemicals into a grey sky. The foreground dominated by a post containing six cameras and a no entry sign. Below the sign of a human brain. “This booklet contains a huge list of things everybody can do to help save Earth. It contains articles for you to place on your social media. You’ll find everything you need including web addresses for more information. On behalf of Earth, Thank you, one and all for listening, go now and hug the World!”
The audience rose together and applauded.
Kendra took a bow and left the stage. She walked into the arms of her boyfriend and wiped away tears as he held her.
“You okay, sweetheart?” he asked. “You’re very kissable standing on stage fighting for survival, you know that?”
“Really?” Kendra smirked. “At least I have that going for me then. I just hope that these conferences will finally open everyone’s eyes and get them to change. We don’t have long before Earth becomes a dead, dry and desolate place like Mars.”
Have a great day!