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  • Dr. Henana Berjes

Earth 2020

Year 2060 Location Earth.. A soft hand crawled out from below the now frozen earth and sought to hold on to something strong. Unable to find anything, it grasped an icicle and pulled itself up, the last remnant of human existence that somehow made it through the disaster. It clambered out of the freezing water which had numbed it for days and then, in the safety of the solid ice that it rested on now, the human opened his eyes. The sky was an orca shade of grey. All he could see around him were floating islands of ice and he was trapped on one. He could see bodies of species that resembled him, heaped up on the islands. Some would be alive, he wondered There was nothing green for miles; the last thing he remembers is a pandemic and an announcement on television that all routes to safety had been sealed. Why had he presumed that it would be safe inside the house? “The polar ice caps are melting,” she had said, as he sat on the couch sipping hot coffee. “Youh' over reactin,” he had replied. “The ice won't melt for decades and we'd be dead and gone by then.” “I don't think so,” she had added But he had just smiled, There had been a pandemic, something like the Spanish flu, exactly a hundred years after it but the world had been unprepared. Even after a century! His country had 10,000 nuclear warheads. He had boasted about it to his friend who lived in another country not very far from where he lived. The sky was a dull ashen grey, the colour of a corpse, perhaps. There was no sunlight just a dim bleak presence of daylight. He scrambled over the ice jutting out of the cold water and suddenly realized that his body had shrivelled and dried up; he wasn't hungry anymore. Maybe he was dead and gone. ‘No breath.’ He observed, touching the nostrils. ‘No heartbeat either.’ But what about the fine memory traces that so connected with everything he had ever known. What about the human fabric he had been in once? Had it been shed ages ago, who knows? Decades ago maybe and all that remained was a dehydrated human lookalike. He didn't feel cold, although the temperature was below freezing point. ‘Do dead men have memories?’ He looked around and saw another form raising himself over the huge ice cracks and then he saw, numerous others, all shrivelled and dried up skeletons than human forms. And they walked towards him, slowly, their steps monotonous but sturdy. He must not fear them for what's there to fear after death. Or maybe they were his perdition, in which case it was going to be a long and hard ordeal. For once, he hated eternity or the thought of it. The skin on his hands suddenly became flushed as if blood had surged through, and he realized the futility of escape. Death hadn't come upon him yet, he realized, but now it would in a very ugly form. They were slowly inching close to him, but there was no hurry for they knew he wouldn't escape. He was one of the few humans still alive, somehow, after decades of the last nuclear war. Who knew, who would have guessed that the war would have been the result of hunger? The world had been so sure of the growing economy until the pandemic had halted everything and then, people had known hunger. A sudden thump in the chest, made him realize the presence of life within. He was still human, still alive but oh, what a terrible time to be alive. He fell down on the hard ice that now pierced his listless back with gnawing cold, and then with a shudder, he opened his eyes. “What makes you sweat..?” She stood in front of him with a cup of hot coffee in her hand. “I just had a bad dream, about a pandemic and-” “A pandemic in the 21st century, you’ve got to be kidding me! It’s the polar ice caps you should be worried about,” she said turning on the television. “They are melting!”

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