After four hours of half-running, mainly stumbling, over the rough ground we allowed ourselves to rest. Karen placed her rucksack on one of the many granite rocks strewn over the hillside and started to rifle through it. Her fingers feverish, her gaze intense. The marks of recent tears etched on her soot and earth-stained cheeks. Occasionally she would look over to the West where the late evening sun had set the heavens aglow. It wasn’t the crimson streaked golden glow of the sun that worried us. It was the impetus given to the spectacle by the raging fires from which we were escaping. I wanted to put my arms around her, tell her everything was all right but we both knew it would be a lie. Everyone’s homes were in ruins, razed to the ground. Whole families erased or trapped helpless in the area of devastation. It was only by sheer luck we had managed to escape. We had seen no other persons in our flight; surmising on the possibility that we may ave been the only ones left. All we knew was that we had to keep on moving, get as far away as possible and then try to find if there were any more survivors of the catastrophic onslaught. But I only knew that if we didn’t rest now, take stock of the situation and plan our strategy there could be no tomorrow to hope for.
of animal, fish or plant
lost to extinction,
will by way of Nature move
mankind down the same sure path
for the shrill
blast on the whistle,
a warning to the unwary,
or a promise of release to the broken-hearted.
a word with so much meaning
Cheering only to owners,
shareholders and Directors
And God looked down from on high at the gathering below. She smiled in order to put them at their ease, for arrayed in a circle below was a representative from all the nations of the Earth. Chosen at random and summoned while in an enchanted state, none had a recollection of how they had come to be here or why they had been so chosen. God enfolded them in her arms and in soft tones began to speak. Speaking in tongues so that all the gathering were able to understand the message she imparted. To emphasise her imparted warning a loud rumbling began to emanate from the very bowels of the Earth and the earth opened giving all assembled a glimpse of the infernal future for the planet. A certainty if these messengers were unable to convince their fellow countrymen throughout the world of the necessity for change. God released the people from their spell to return and begin their work. It was now dependant upon the inhabitants of the planet if they wished to avoid the second great flood. A flood of fire of their own making.
Taking it easy,
we’re just along for the ride,
beware the free lunch.
Lo’ the storm cometh,
intoned the one with fierce eyes.
No one turned away.
”I have only one way out.”
The borderlands grew wider and wilder every year. Old Seth had had plenty of years in which to note the changes. Now he felt tired. Of working, of the burning desert sun, of his aching limbs, failing eyesight and his life in general.
Every year there were more repairs needed in the shack and since his two, now adult boys never thought to visit no-one was able to give him a hand. Neighbors never called, in fact it had only just dawned on him that he had no neighbors. The encroaching desert sands and ever increasing summer temperatures had cleared the land far more thoroughly than a team of property developers ever could.
He was beginning to regret the lack of trees. Nowhere to organise a good hanging, even if it was your own. He sat down on one of the scorched boulders and idly ran the sand through his fingers, perhaps he could will himself to death in the way the old occupiers of the land did.
Resolved to try he closed his eyes.
Whether by accident or design the midday sun saved him the effort. Four days later the body was discovered when a real estate team happened to be passing on their way to his farm.
Woefully we watch
worldwide waters warm within,
wandering whales weep