1. The Elements' Payback
Twelve years. Only twelve years yet it feels like a lifetime. Twelve years since I hugged my father goodbye. Twelve years since I fought over the television with my brother. Tracing my finger along the window sent shivers down my spine. The only one that didn't have the shutter down and stood out. Tension building inside this cabin. Not because of the rising altitude but at any moment a hurricane or cyclone could send us to our graves. People used to look to the skies. Now the skies were no safer than the water or the ground.
"Could you please pull that down," the woman next to me asks. Slowly I close the shutter fearing that I will never see anything again. Worried lines are embedded into her face and premature wrinkles. I don't need to ask, I know already she lost a family member or a lover. We have all lost a part of us. This war was endless with only four winners. A sigh leaves me. My breath is the only safe air there is now.
Twelve years ago the Apocalypse started. People flocking to churches as if it was the latest nightclub or shopping centre. Preachers claiming pure souls would be save and enter the pearly gates of Heaven. We learned twelve days later as a hurricane and a cyclone ravaged the Eastern Seaboard for the third time that no-one would be saved. Countless lives lost to the waters they once swam in and enjoy activities in. Earthquakes destroying everything we created or loved. If you survived the earthquake a mudslide will catch you. Waves refusing to stop their relentless battering of our continents' coastlines.
Peace became violence in a desperate battle to survive. Just when we think it is over another disaster takes over. Cemeteries were not needed as people found their resting places at the bottom of the oceans or beneath the soil. Those who had crops or livestock became gods. Just to have food was a small victory. A sweet victory turning sour after wildfires began their rampages. Anyone left with livestock or crops became protective with threats of violence to any unwelcome visitors.
Then they came and the world saw them on the last few televisions in existence. The blues and greens of Water. The vivid orange, yellow and red of Fire. The greens, browns and hints of floral colours of Earth and silver and white of Wind. They gave us our fate and nothing could change it.
"We chose this planet to create life. To forge relationships and protection. You have turned that into destruction, greed and violence. Species slaughtered. We sent you all disasters for you help and forge the relationships. But when it is done you return to your previous relationships. The end of our tether was reached after July 2018. You see this world as worthless and we see your lives as worthless." People begged the Elements to save the lives of their children but no-one's live was worth it. We were suffering for our many mistakes. The warmth of Fire became a burning sensation. The calm seas of Water became rough and unruly. Earth was breaking down, trees infected or growing poisons. The skies of turbulent.
North America was a wasteland, survivors were few and spread out. Europe didn't exist after Fire melted the polar ice caps and Russia. Many countries of Asia were underwater. The smell of death and dirty water invaded our noses. A quick glimpse of the ground broke my moment of peace. A village which once stood proud now a humble wreck. Void of life. Glass shattered and windows opened as if to say why. Why the destruction? Why were we not given a chance to fix our problems? Flies would not even come near. Timbers lined up as a bonfire. A hand stretched out in surrender. Shredded skin on its fingers and skin not torn off were decorated with splinters. The eyes of the body like a doll's colourful but no life behind them.
Standing on steady tarmac and a light breeze for a moment was a treat. I rubbed my eyes before beginning my long and tireless journey to South America. Perhaps the Elements are resting today. But I know tomorrow the payback begins again.