Storm

Submitted by Kendall Mason to Contest #6 in response to: Write a story about someone who started a road trip ten years ago and hasn't stopped since.... view prompt

   We’ve been running from it for ten years now. Trying desperately to keep in front of it, to avoid the fate that befell the rest of the world. Now our time is at an end, we have nowhere to run, so we stay. We set up camp and we sit and wait for our end to come. Some of the men are on their knees, praying to whatever god they worship, whatever god they think still exists on this desolate ruin of a planet. Others just sit and stare at the horizon, knowing that death will be upon them before long. A death that has come to everyone but us few.

     Almost ten years ago, war broke out on our planet. They called it World War Three while it was happening, now we just call it the War. All the nations of all the world were going at it, making alliances, switching sides, and generally trying to destroy one another. Finally, one of the nations (I don’t remember which, not that it matters now) pulled out the big guns and dropped a nuclear bomb on the city of London, or what used to be London. That enraged their enemies, and the war turned into a horrifying series of nuclear disasters. Bombs were built that were larger than any seen before. With each attack came greater suffering. The people cried for the end of the war and the return of peace, but their leaders, swollen with blood lust and fury, did not stop. They would press the attack until the enemy was destroyed. The destruction grew and the death toll mounted until finally, when most of the world was beaten into the dust from whence, they came, a peace treaty was signed and agreed upon by the surviving nations. The rebuilding began with all the world joined under one flag, helping one another pick up the pieces of their scattered lives. But the leaders of this new “Utopia” realized that the war had done more than just destroy the surface of the earth, it had poisoned the very earth upon which they stood. The nuclear radiation left from the great bombs had seeped into the soil and spread a lasting, deadly poison. The earth was left dead and infertile. Nothing could grow in the vast swathes of barren land left by the war. Panic broke out. Without the earth to feed them, people began to starve. Children wailed for food that did not come and infants died in their mothers’ arms. Even during the war, the hunger was not as great as this, the suffering so widely felt. If something was not done soon, humankind could be completely wiped out. It was agreed that a group of the finest scientists should come together and work unceasingly to find a cure for the sickness that we had inflicted upon our earth. The world was searched for scientists who had survived the war. Many were found in hidden prisons and brought out to help in the effort. These scientists numbered few, but they were the best that the world had to offer in its catastrophic state. They came together willingly and vowed that they would cure the land of its sickness or they (and everyone else) would die in the attempt. The scientists locked themselves away in an underground bunker and spent all their time fervently trying to make their unforgiving world show her bounty once again. They tried a countless number of experiments and came close to giving up numerous times until at last they hit upon a solution. They thought that perhaps instead of attempting to draw all of the radiation out of the soil they could concentrate all of the radiation in one place and leave the rest of the earth clean again. Quickly, the scientists developed a method of moving the radiation from one place to another and proudly they presented it to the people. The people were thrilled, maybe now their times of trouble and starvation were finally over. Perhaps at last they would not have to suffer anymore, not have to watch their children die while could do nothing. The scientists immediately began their cleansing of the earth. They had chosen to move all of the radiation into what used to be known as the Sahara Desert. The land there was already barren, the scientists reasoned, so it was the perfect place to keep the radiation. At first their plan seemed to work, the radiation from the rest of the earth was moved into the Sahara, and the earth slowly started to come back to life. Plants began to grow, and the earth began to look green again. People everywhere revered the scientists and treated them like kings and queens. Banquets were held in their honor, and new awards were made up just to be awarded to them. Life seemed good again.

       Slowly, though, a gradual change was noticed. The plant life in the areas nearest the Sahara, or the Monument as it was now commonly called, was taking significantly longer to come back than the rest of the world. The scientists assured everyone that it was nothing to worry about and that it was to be expected as the land was near to so much radiation. The world, calmed by this assurance, went back to their lives. The scientists too payed no attention. Therein lay their folly, for deep in the Sahara a storm was brewing. A storm the likes of which had never been seen before. All of the radiation, massed together as it was, had fermented and formed a great, roiling cloud seething with radiation and shot through with enormous bolts of destructive lightning. A storm that was just waiting to break.

        The day the storm did break was catastrophic. The dark mass of clouds exploded out of the Sahara and began to rain radioactive lightning with more destructive power than the greatest bomb down on the surrounding area. Gusts of wind faster than any seen before swept across the land and decimated the precious crops. People fled in terror only to be caught and ripped to shreds by the vengeful storm. The rest of the world was horrified. They turned to the scientists, the very ones who had created this monster, and begged them for help. The scientists knew that they had no way of stopping the titan they had created. The storm was now of epic proportions and it was growing by the day, swollen by all it had devoured. The scientists, with no other choice left to them, fled. They packed all they could into research vehicles and ran from the impending storm. For years, they struggled to keep in front of the storm as it swept the world over and over again. Other people too had the same idea and fled the storm, but in the end, the storm devoured them all.

        We are now the last ones left on this planet that we destroyed. All the others were killed by the storm that we made. The monster has caught up to its creator and it will take its revenge. Maybe then the storm will subside, once it has wiped all life of this barren rock, or perhaps it will continue until it has destroyed all of the earth down to its core. Whatever happens, we won’t be here to care anymore, for now I see the storm on the horizon. It’s howling winds seem to be laughing in triumph, it has caught up to its maker at last. The storm bears down on us flashing with lightning and ripping the ground apart as it comes. Some of the other scientists turn their faces away, they do not want to see their death approach, but others stand and welcome the storm with open arms. It will bring a relief from all the pain they have endured, an end to the grieving. I stand and walk toward the storm. I will accept my fate, to be killed by the monster that I created.                                  

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2 likes 2 comments

00:01 Sep 19, 2019

This is awesome! I love how it ends.

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14:27 Sep 19, 2019

Thanks! So glad you like it!

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