Hello! It's time for the June WEP Challenge-THE GREAT WAVE. This month we once again draw inspiration from another remarkable work of art.
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The world is ending today.
It sounds so strange when I say it that way. Doomsday prophets have been saying such things for thousands of years. I guess they were bound to be right eventually.
Earth will survive the cataclysm, of course, but it will look markedly different after the impact. Human civilization will largely be wiped clean. Many species of plants and animals will be obliterated. Forests will be leveled. The ground will be scorched from the blast of heat. The ocean water will leap into the sky as the giant asteroid slams into the seafloor.
My entire life as I’ve known it will be erased by the great wave that will crash into our seaside home.
Seaside views have long been in high demand. Concerns about rising sea levels didn’t do much to impact this fact, oddly enough. A lot of people have this idea that they are somehow immune to consequences. It’s a common human failing amongst the people I know.
Who would have imagined that, in the end, global warming won’t be what takes our home away?
It’s not so absurd, I suppose. It happened to the dinosaurs. Why is it so outlandish to think it could happen to us?
It comes down to technology, I suppose. We assumed that we would use our technological might to avert this kind of disaster. Yet, here I sit beside the viewing window in an orbiting space station, one of three that circle our little blue world. I can’t help but think we do have the means to change that asteroid’s trajectory, though the experts have said otherwise.
Dad said it was probably a cost/benefit analysis. Those in the upper echelons of government might’ve seen a way of getting rid of the “undesirables.” The poor and uneducated. The disabled. The elderly. I won’t say that out loud in front of anyone else, of course, and neither will he. Misfortune always befalls those who say such things to the wrong people.
In either case, the most corrupt people will survive this. They have the means. Many of them did what my family opted to do and booked a place on one of the space stations. Others chose to get a place in one of several underground bunkers. Many were given a place due to their expertise in an important field, but most of the spots went to those who could pay. They’re expecting our economy to come out of this largely intact, albeit considerably smaller.
I’m not sure if I want them to be right or wrong.
I don’t want to think about that right now. It’s too dark. Too close to home. I don’t want to think of how my parents, successful CEOs, paid for our accommodations. My stomach is knotted with guilt when I think of all the people I know who aren’t as fortunate as me, but at the same time, I’m also relieved. I still have a future to look forward to. Whether or not I deserve it is another matter altogether.
Earth looks peaceful from up here. The deep blue oceans. The lush green of the land. The swirling white clouds. We’re over Italy right now. We’ll complete two more orbits before impact. Two more opportunities to see my former home from the sky.
Two more chances to say good-bye.
The people left on the surface are saying good-bye in their own way. Some have gathered in their homes to have a final meal with their families. Others have decided to party until the end.
One of the largest end-of-the-world bashes is happening right now on the beach in front of my old house. The tsunami will sweep them all away when it comes. I wonder what it’s like for them when they know it’s coming. Tsunamis typically kill with little warning, and when there is some warning, people try to make it to higher ground.
There is no higher ground now.
Except there is. This space station. I made it to higher ground. I wonder what that massive wave will look like from here.
That great wave will tear down all we built as it goes. It’ll sweep buildings from their foundations and wash away the topsoil. The blast of heat will roast all in its path. Earth will be remade into something new, something we can scarcely recognize. And when the dust settles and it’s safe to do so, we’ll descend and begin the process of rebuilding our civilization.
I’d like to think we’ll do it better the second time around, but considering how we got here, I’m not too optimistic.
Word Count: 769