Everyone is Dead

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Everyone is Dead by Chris Green

Everyone is Dead,’ the headline poster outside the newsagents reads. You can’t miss it. It is in big bold capitals.

What can it mean? How can everyone be dead? I am alive for a start. The person who put the notice up could not have been dead. They must have put it there as a joke. Fake news. In poor taste for sure. But against my better judgement, I’m intrigued. What if there is some substance to it? Even if it is an exaggeration.

I stop the car and get out to take a look. The newsagent’s door is wide open but there are no customers in the shop and no-one behind the counter. I call out but I get no reply. Concerned now, I explore the place, downstairs and upstairs. There is definitely no-one around. Not even looters taking advantage of the empty shop. Could the person who put the notice up be the killer? Some deranged egotist perhaps.

There are no copies of any newspaper around to explain the headline. Is it stating that everyone locally is dead? Or is it suggesting some disaster has occurred that has wiped out the entire human population? Or there has been an outbreak of a deadly disease for which there is no cure? Or perhaps the scaremongers were right about 5G. ……. This is ridiculous! Insane. Why am I going down this road? What am I thinking? I admit I don’t follow the news closely but I am not aware of any catastrophic event that might have been on the horizon. Although, it has been very hot the last few days. Much hotter than usual. Forty degrees yesterday. And it’s shaping up to be another scorcher today. Some folks cannot take the heat. People up and down the country have been moaning about it. Even so, no matter how hot it became, there would be survivors. I recall Andy Mann at work mentioned something a while back about an asteroid being on its way. A dirty great big one, he said. And it could hit us. But it can’t be that. I would have heard something or felt the impact as something like that crashed into the Earth. There would be far more evidence of devastation.

My heart is going nine to the dozen. I am shaking, sweating. …… I must get a grip. This is what Alex, my support-worker is forever telling me. But I don’t know what to think. I am racked with uncertainty.

I might be imagining it but it seemed the roads were deserted when I drove into town earlier. I can’t recall seeing another moving vehicle. Yet it seems even quieter now. There is a deathly silence. My phone isn’t working so I can’t call home and I can’t even call Alex for re-assurance. This is scary. It no longer seems like a misunderstanding or a joke. I need to go home and check that Daryl and Hannah aren’t dead. They were alive when I left earlier. But that was a few hours ago. Although, they weren’t exactly chatty. When I said see you later, there was no reply from either of them. There again, teenagers aren’t always communicative.

Some people are lying in the road outside the Co-op store. They are not moving. It is possible, even likely, they are dead. I am desperate to get home now so I don’t feel I can stop to check. Instead, I drive around them. There are dozens more strewn across the pavement at random intervals. Quite likely they are dead too. There are no signs of life. What cataclysmic event has taken place? Could this be the apocalypse? I am finding it difficult to breathe. I feel dizzy, out of control. I am beyond terrified. Is this it?

I hear some commotion up ahead. Several people dressed in green jumpsuits with the Extinction Rebellion logo jump out from a bus shelter. They hoist a banner that reads There is No Planet B. They have movie cameras and sound equipment. I also notice a small camera attached to the back seat of my car.

Cut!’ the tall one with the megaphone calls out. ‘I think that’s a wrap, guys.’

The people on the road and the pavement begin to get up.

Megaphone man comes over to the car. I wind the window down. To my surprise, he offers me a sheet of paper and a pen.

You did very well, buddy,’ he says. ‘Much better than the others. Now if you’ll just sign this, we will go ahead and use the footage in our film.’

© Chris Green 2019: All rights reserved

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THE WAR ON TERRA

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The War On Terra by Chris Green

There are now just thirty four of us trying to save the planet. I’ve counted. Thirty four, plus a few more perhaps living off the grid. The other seven point four billion residents of Terra are hell bent on its destruction, some pushing to get the job done more quickly. What was God playing at letting his unpredictable monkeys run the show? She should have given it to the snakes or the zebras. The ferrets or the pigeons. Or possibly even the trees. The only way to save the world in these dark days could be to get rid of the human race.

Time was when for a short while, things were impossibly beautiful. There were two hundred and seven million of us trying to save the world. A paradise seemed possible if only people would listen to the message of love, peace and understanding that we preached. The Incredible String Band played in our hearts. Everywhere colourful birds were in song. Lovely spring had arrived.

But it was a brief interlude. God’s chosen monkeys were just beginning to get organised in THE WAR ON TERRA. Terra’s climate, they claimed, was not good enough, so in earnest they set about changing it, coming up with staggeringly stupid new products to use up Terra’s resources in record time. Compassion and common sense were universally outlawed to allow feral capitalism to flex its bloated muscles. They came up with alarming new ways to pollute the life giving waters in every corner of the globe. They came up with bizarre new reasons to reduce the rain forests to grow numbers in their profit columns. It was seen as important that the War On Terra be settled swiftly.

Two hundred and seven million gentle campaigners were seduced by the arrogant mendacity of those determined to destroy the delicate domain of existence. The powerful media groups the plunderers owned persuaded would be dissenters that their interests lay in siding with them in their irredeemable mission. Like the Native Americans before them who had traded Manhattan for beads and trinkets, would be eco warriors were bought. A few electronic toys were all it needed to win them over.

The War on Terra may be already be in its endgame, but while there are still a few fish left in the oceans and a pair of polar bears at the pole, join us if you can so we can say we went down fighting. There. That’s thirty five of us now. Thirty six. Thirty seven. ………

© Chris Green 2015: All rights reserved