Wednesday, June 16, 2021

WEP June Challenge-The Great Wave

 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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High Ground

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




  1. I think you've hit it exactly right. The power of money. Such a sad and completely realistic view. Beautifully written!

  2. Amazing story! I love it. Realistic and hopeful and cynical and desperate - all at the same time.

  3. I've seen a couple of movies about huge asteroids hitting the earth. A discouraging scenario. Your story with the MC orbiting above the earth and preparing to watch the destruction is a new and different point of view. It's well-written and captivating. Your MC is very real and draws the reader in with her thoughts and feelings. Thanks for a good read.

  4. OMG Laura, love this. Watching a tsunami hit from a space station. We've made a nice mess of earth then. Reminds me of Elysium with the rich being the ones able to escape. A shocker is coming, and will Earth ever be rebuilt? Great questions.

  5. Written from a great point of view. Would be hard to justify and to watch. Too real!

  6. Hi,
    Your depiction of the world as it is now is astounding and at the same time sad. We don't seem to learn.
    Thank you for an excellent piece that coincides with what is happening in our real world.
    Shalom aleichem

  7. Certainly a fresh POV. Imagine coasting through space knowing the inevitable. What I like about the story is that she is quite nonchalant about the whole thing. A realist. Nothing she could do but go with the flow. Sadly, we are all in the same "boat."

  8. Well written, woven with survivor's guilt, socio-economic injustices, politics, and ecological sins. Thanks.

  9. Hi Laura - an interesting take on what might happen - and how do we 'plan' to die in a short while - I hope I'm not given that long! I wonder what will happen - how many more 'human species' there will be ... how much global warming can the world take - we were growing grapes in the north of England in Roman times ... William the Conqueror landed on our little land, when the sea level was much higher ...
    But the others have reminded me about your story teller - she is certainly someone who thinks and uses her brain ...
    Cheers Hilary

  10. What a great, cynically accurate view of how it would go down. Though I suspect that the rich will find that without the poor, they have no one to make money off of, and with all the changes wrought by the impact, things won’t be so easy to rebuild. Most will die, and maybe there’s some hope that those who make it through will be able to do better. But, like your narrator, I doubt it.

  11. Depressing but well written. good job

  12. Great story. It paints a bleak picture for earth, but I really enjoyed it. So true that sometimes the corrupt are the ones who get the privilege of staying safe.

  13. Wonderful perspective Laura. And so, so true.

  14. This is way to close to reality for comfort. 'The most corrupt will always survive.'

    Absolutely brilliant take on the prompt. Superb story!

  15. I have no difficulty believing this outcome! You captured the internal struggle of knowing privilege exists and not wanting others to suffer.

  16. I think sadly this is a real probability. Let us hope not. Well written.

  17. Lovely Futuristic tale full of pain and woe. Hopefully, if everyone tries a little harder, it won't get that far. The future is still to be acted upon.
    Wishing you a restful and enjoyable summer.

  18. Thanks for a very different and imaginative take on this WEP theme. Not an asteroid, but a wave of destruction.

  19. High school knowledge of thermodynamics proves that the global warming is fiction. Besides, dinosaurs did not extinct of over heated earth. They had several PROBABLE causes of extinction. Too many factual errors disrupted my attention to other literary crafts.

  20. Very thoughtful, and a great exposition of how they got to where they are.

  21. It would be quite scary to watch such destruction. Great take on the prompt.

  22. I fear that given half the chance humans will always eff it up.

    Terribly sorry to be tardy to the party. I had a bit of a mental crisis but am back to abnormal now.

    Your post is included in this week's Roost Recommendations. I share the Roost Recommendations posts on Twitter with readers looking for their next read.

  23. Fascinating take on the prompt, with a very believable premise. This is quite probably what would happen even if it seems a little cynical but is actually very realistic. Loved reading this.

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