Raindrops glint sunlight –
Canopy gives way to life,
Flora and fauna
I don’t think much of a future. I stopped wondering about the past.
For a moment, the still lake looks deceptively beautiful. I focus in on my reflection; it’s very rare I see myself. A two-headed fish breaks the surface suddenly distorting my observation. I sigh and wonder if I could eat that. My stomach grumbles. I see my frown and hollow eyes in the rippling water.
I hear the bird-like call of the hunting party leader signaling us to reassemble. I wish I had more to show for my day’s efforts.
We gather our kills into the wagon and return to camp. We are still low on food. There are so few things we can safely eat.
I wash myself in the collected rainwater reserve. The natural water sources are sick and may cause death, though I am not sure that what falls from the sky is any better. I boil some to drink and think of my departed family.
Before he went on to the great sky kingdom, my father told me stories passed on to him of fantastic structures, safe water, and food, and transportation machines to reach vast distances in short times. It is all fantasy to me.
Reality is here in front of me. The bleak sky reflects my mood, defeated.
I don’t think much of a future. I stopped wondering about the past. I mostly feel betrayed by my ancestors for destroying the world they left to me. I see the lost potential in what surrounds me but find it hard to imagine making much of it in the short span of life this wasteland now affords us. My present is the future, so few before me cared to consider. They abandoned me long before I was born.
I think this planet will heal itself in time but only after the human parasite has long been gone.
– Written for the May contest at ZeroFlash. Concept prompt was ‘Abandoned Futures,’ along with photo prompt. WC 300
I arrived at the zoo, incognito, and followed signs to the aviary. The staff escorted me into the enclosure for the Arbor Day event. A conservation group organized it to raise awareness about humanity’s impact on Earth.
The itchy wig was necessary. My favorite diva-shades helped disguise large almond-shaped eyes, and the “Keep the planet clean, it’s not Uranus!” t-shirt was sure to avert suspicion.
A lecture about responsibility to the planet and its animal inhabitants preceded a meditative time to commune with nature, during which I snacked on Parakeets and stuffed a Macaw in my knapsack.
Being a celebrity on my planet afforded me exotic experiences, including cosmic delicacies.
Smog and crowds and laws were claustrophobic.
The caravan pulled over to take a lunch break and to stretch our legs. The commune was still a day’s drive. I would send mom a postcard before we arrived. She worried too much. I was 18 now and perfectly capable of making my own decisions. There was much more to life than rules and societal restrictions. I was determined to be free; to be myself, to love, to enjoy nature and to survive without the city’s oppressive ways. Smog and crowds and laws were claustrophobic. She would do well with a bit of fresh air and free love herself.
– Written for Splickety Publishing Group Bolt Flash Fiction: Strike 37 Photo Prompt. WC 100
Image was provided through Splickety from Creative Commons.
Leaves fall and sweet death is beautiful but temporary.
Today is a hot day but not nearly as hot as yesterday. I’m waiting for a cool breeze to signal it’s time to change. Change is easy but not. You have to pay close attention when the wind blows or it’s easy to miss. Leaves fall and sweet death is beautiful but temporary. When they cover the ground like a soft blanket, it is inviting but not so soft. The sun reflects off the windowpane and the glare disrupts my view but it is only temporary. The cloud cover makes it clear and I see a man with an umbrella but there is no rain. He walks, dragging his feet through the various colors but not noticing, nor does he notice my gaze. I wonder what he thinks of the weather today. A rustling in the tree above draws my attention. A bird calls. The sun and the man and the bird do what they do and do not bother to stop because I see. Today is a hot day but not as hot as tomorrow unless it changes.
– WC 179