by Tyler Crim
The sun bathed the land in its warm, radiant glow. The trees greeted the whirlwind of children below who scampered towards the cake sat on the park bench. The birds sounded off like a firing squad with their high pitched yells. Sand from the sandbox rained down like monsoon onto the unfortunate ants below. Mothers sat nearby gossiping about and recollecting on the day past them. One of the parents, being my mother, looked to me where I sat on the outskirts of the playground, eyes glued to the phone.
I was doing what I usually do when nothing exciting happens: look through the science section of Youtube. Apparently I’ve been lied to by my city and the counsel is trying to hide the bitter reality that we face. The earth is not, in fact, a five mile wide city but instead a desolate wasteland. The documentary had stated that the first explorers out of the simulated haven that I called home had suffocated due to the lack of oxygen. I was then told that the earth itself had a way of producing oxygen but after man had nearly gone extinct, they had destroyed it and almost all life with it. Strange, squid-like creatures roamed the grey planet where the essentially blinding sun made it nearly impossible to see and like rotting carcasses, strange grey structures piqued like narrow mountains. The sky was a charcoal color with the moon hardly being able to peak out of the murky fog like a cheetah waiting in the grass for prey to strike.
The days grey increasingly tumultuous as more and more of the stench of the city council had been caught slaughtering babies at birth and passing off their deaths to the unexpecting mothers as a disease and the practice had grew to take exponentially more as yet another dirty secret of our governors had been unearthed. Our food supply was diminishing and not even the science group could not find a way to stop the crops from dying. Even with crop rotation, our soil grew more infertile with each season and the soil outside was far from fertile. Our oxygen generators were breaking down more often and our colony semmed to not be able to sustain itself for long. The colony had grown unto a state of unrest. The collapsing colony that I held dear decided to freeze me and few children where we will be flown to the nearest hospitable planet.
I remember that day as clear as ever, the day I left a rock that many thought impossible to leave and live away from. Before being escorted into the large cylindrical vessel, I looked to my abnormally skinny parents. The cried as the saw me and my friends say their final goodbyes and my vision grew foggy as salty tears rappelled off my face. I climbed into the cryogenic chamber where the cold ate at me like wolves. My vision grew dark as I drifted into a deep sleep having escaped the crisis.
Jeffersonville High School, 2016