I stand in the middle of a field, or, a used-to-be field.
I remember. Well, actually, I don’t remember, but I heard it in the history lessons. Fifty-two years ago, this field had the greenest and most beautiful grass in the country, and throughout the whole field, it blossomed with flowers, from roses to pansies to lilacs. The sky was as blue as the clearest lake, never having a single gray cloud.
And even just nine summers ago, even though some of the grass was a little yellow, most of the flowers were gone, it was still beautiful.
It was almost heaven, everyone said.
But now, I think. Look at what has happened!
What used to be the greenest and most beautiful grass has been killed and buried, and the dark ash atop it is like snow.
The pretty flowers are too, all gone, killed, picked, or pressed for saving. I look down into my clenched hand, to see the most precious thing on earth.
A single flower, a rose.
Many people might think, what’s so precious about flowers? I have them right in my backyard!
But no, sadly, no one has flowers in their backyard anymore. Acid rain killed them all.
Yes, you heard me right. Acid rain killed them all. The date is April 29, 2113.
Technology has advanced so much, and so many more factories have been built from all the way to China to here, America. Smoke from factories mixed with the rain, which caused acid rain.
Oh, you’ve probably heard this story before. The stories about how, in the future, there would be no plants, no animals left from pollution.
Well, here I am, living in your “imagination”. Your stories, your sci- fi, your fantasy. It’s all come true. Why didn’t you listen to Theodore Roosevelt, when he said, “Keep it for your children, and your children’s children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American, if he can travel at all, must see.” Did you seriously just not understand it? Did you not believe it?
Or did you just want to make life miserable for me, and everyone else that lives?
Because now, it’s too late to change what happened. Everyone may hear stories of beautiful grasslands, of extraordinary animals, of wonderfully tall trees, but never, ever might they see all these wonders. They may have everything they want through wonderful technology, but nature is more beautiful, more wonderful, and much cozier.
Some people may never see nature, but why? Why can’t they walk across the street to the nearest park, why can't they travel to Redwood National Park to see the trees, why can't they hike a trail to see the beautiful nature, the amazing animals? Why?
Because you destroyed it all.
You just wouldn't listen when people told you better ways to deal with garbage other than pollution, like fertilizing or recycling.
You didn’t listen when they pleaded, begged, and cried for you to listen to them.
"Please! Just do this for your nation! Your country! Your beloved, amazing America! Please! For your children! Your children's children! Your sister's! Your brother's! Please!"
You just wouldn’t listen.
They didn’t know how to convince you to care about people.
They took her family, they plucked her petals. Yet she still lives on, with breath in her lungs. A single flower, a rose. But the most precious, the most extraordinary, the most inspiring one of them all.
As I walk back home, the stench of burning plants fills my lungs and nostrils.
The continual beeping and chirping of robots drowns out my crying, and the thick, smoky air dries up my tears.
I remember that one day in history class. They talked about pollution. They told us to fight back, and that it’s not too late.
I sigh. It seems too late. All nature was either burned, buried, or trampled.
Now what? I ask myself. Now what should I do? What would Father say?
Father was another person against pollution, but he did stuff. He led every single protest, every single debate.
But now, he’s gone.
He was hit by a 789 RTLC robot, one that wasn’t programmed right. He died.
I know I have to do something. But what? I will never be able to muster the courage Father had to lead protests and debates. I’m not skilled enough to do it myself. I, by myself, am worthless.
I will not be able to do anything. But then, I hear my father's voice in my head, so strong, so powerful, from one of his public meetings.
“You might think that by yourself, you're nothing. But I tell you today, and I will tell you every day, you are something. Who knows? Maybe you are that one person who will tip the scales when you fight back. Will you fight back? Or will you just sit here, watching your community suffer, and die. What will you do?”
I will fight back, I think. I can’t just watch technology steal away nature, so I will fight. Until the day I die, I will fight back.
I look down at the flower in my hand, and know that I’m not alone.
They left her with nothing. Nothing, for so many people. But to her, they hadn’t taken her stem, nor her seed. Until they plucked that, she would live on, and she would fight.
“Save it for your children, and your children’s children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American, if he can travel at all, must see.”
-Theodore Roosevelt on the Grand Canyon
This story is inspired by a programming project, Climate grief, Children of the Future, with the link right here: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/331159528/ , and a poem I wrote, below.
Ashes, fire, acid rain,
All this pollution causes me pain.
But how can I explain?
Oil, nets, climate change,
Animals, being slain.
We try hard, yet in vain.
We plead, we gain,
You cross your arms, yet we remain.
How long, must we strain?
This is insane!
Why must you constrain?
How long, should we contain?
When we meet again, we will still remain.
We will gain.
You may regain, you restrain.
But in the end, we will obtain.
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I like it, it sounds inspiring.
A very tragic tale
I wrote it for people to understand what might happen if we don't stop pollution
This is truly beautiful. Pollution is something which we all need to take immediate action. I think that this short story of yours is an inspiration, a little contribution to make the world a better place to live. Thank you for writing this Moriah.
This is beautiful, and so necessary today. The effects of human pollution can only be treated now, through conscious efforts. Through conscious redemptive and conservatory efforts.
I love the rose part! They are my favourite flower and I think are perfect to contrast the dreary scene you described. Very well done! I read your bio and we are like the EXACT same person. My favourite quote tho is Theodore Roosevelt's The Man in the Arena: "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs,...