Your Last Year On Earth

I haven’t done a daily prompt in a while, so I decided I’d try and do one in my free time this week

Even before the rebellion started I knew that the days I had left on this earth were numbered, the days we all had left were numbered. It’s what they’d been saying for years. Not that anyone had ever really listened. Those that listened had no power, and those with power? Well they chose to ignore it. They buried their heads in the sand and denied it was happening. They didn’t want their comfortable lives disrupting.

Worse were those who saw the problem, or at least claimed they did, who declared an emergency and promised to act. Then stood back and did nothing. Or focused on issues that weren’t really issues, or were the wrong issues, issues that in the grand scheme of things meant nothing. But in the short term improved their rating with the public, made it look like they were doing something. People thought they were helping, but they weren’t. Not really.

It started innocuously at first. Just a little bit of unseasonably warm weather. People were even happy about it at first, they enjoyed the sunshine. They didn’t see why wearing shorts in February was such a downside. They enjoyed it less when the droughts came and the food shortages started. It still didn’t affect them much at first, food prices went up, but really it was people in other, poorer, distant countries that suffered first. And not enough people cared about them.

It was more noticeable when the floods came and the sea levels rose, and suddenly whole cities disappeared under water. But still people refused to make changes, refused to give up the comfortable that they’d become used to. And the people in charge? The ones who could enact change? Well they had money, enough that they could afford to relocate, could afford to stockpile food, and could afford to build themselves homes that could withstand almost anything.

The year of the great food shortage was the year the rebellions started, the government fell, and people started to really listen to the scientists. But by then it was too late for any changes that could be made to make any real difference and the world started to resemble the dystopian YA novels I’d read as a teen. The government had collapsed, the planet was cooking, and entire ecosystems had been wiped out and we knew that it wouldn’t be long before starvation, disease, or natural disasters wiped most, if not all of us, out.

At that point I knew I would be lucky if I survived anymore than a year. Every day simply became about survival. About making it to the next day. About having food, and water, and trying not to get caught up in the crossfire of skirmishes that were still breaking out. Especially in villages that had water. Water was the biggest commodity, and the one in shortest supply. I’d managed to settle in a village with a natural well, though I knew I was one of the lucky ones.

At least until the well dried up a few weeks ago. Now there was only a little bit of water left in the tanks, but that was going down fast. Anybody who had gone out to look for water had either returned empty handed, or not at all. Realistically we had days left, all of us left here knew it. At best maybe weeks. Unless it rained, but that wasn’t likely. It hadn’t rained for months anywhere near here, and even if it did rain there was a high chance that the water would be too toxic to drink.

So this is how it would end for me. Dying of dehydration at the age of 33, just 10 short years after they declared a climate emergency and then refused to act.


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