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Short stories

2043

I remember the year, it was 2019 when I had first read an article that said ‘2050 is the new 2012’. In the following years, several other articles were published. Awareness programs were held in order to enlighten people that the end was near and that there was no turning back. A few years later, probably in 2028, the Earth had entered into an irreversible climatic condition. What was done was done. No measures could be taken to improve the condition. All that we could do was try and not destroy it further.

Every nation was trying their best to find ways to send people to Mars. Life had already been discovered there. There was water, breathable air on some parts of it and land for agriculture. Humans had reached too far indeed. In 2034, an initial project was launched where 7000 people were sent to Mars to establish a civilization. People from every leading nation were sent so that they could create their own culture there. From whatever land that was live-able there, they created boundaries. Miniature nations were formed on Mars. In 2038, 7 million people were ready to be sent to Mars. They all had participated in the program called ‘First Commoners to Mars’. However, they were no commoners. All of them were filthy rich people. People like me had no choice but to stay back on the Earth.

Things on Earth were getting worse. We did destroy it further, to an extent where there were almost five thousand deaths per day just because of the atmosphere. Political conditions were not good either. There was war, severe war. We already had seen World War III in the early 2030s. A war that had last for just a year but did damage equivalent to a war that could’ve lasted for a decade. In fact, we were probably heading towards the fourth World War. The global population, even after all these deaths was more than 10 billion.

Not that provisions weren’t made for ‘actual commoners’ like me to stay back on our planet. Every nation created huge arks like the ones that had been shown in the movie 2012. In fact, some of the arks were even the size double or triple than that. Then in 2041, more people were moved to Mars. Earth was on the verge of its death due to global warming. 2050 was near. But then, the apocalypse came earlier than we had expected, and the year was 2043. Turned out that all the governments had known about the exact date of the apocalypse. Almost all the glaciers had started to melt at an ever-increasing pace. According to the reports then, the sea level was rising by 1 meter per hour.

By that time, the civilization on Mars had expanded. Protesters fought for everyone’s right to go to Mars. Yes, it had become a right by then. But like every other right, it had tampered too. Most of the privileged people were sent to Mars on immediate measures. Earth’s water level had risen drastically. I was amongst the few lucky ones who were sent to the arks.

Right now, I am writing this while the Earth’s doomsday has finally come. The ark on which I am has the capacity to hold 25,000 people at once. There are around 150 arks floating on the water right now. Some with the capacity of 100,000 and some with the capacity of 500,000. Not a large number of people have survived here on this planet. But the ones who did survive have been considered as the lucky ones. Now, there are two planets on which humans reside. Mars, which has been termed as ‘The Next Earth’. And Earth, which has been termed as ‘The Old Earth’.

With the Earth losing weight from both of its poles, there has been a major change in its rotation speed. The green-blue planet is now an all blue planet. Supplies had been stored on the arks. Some are free while the others are paid. Money is still important after all that has happened. Humanity has almost been forgotten. We are living, but it feels like we are not alive.

At first, I thought that all the nations would come together after the apocalypse. They would work to figure out how those who are left behind on the Earth can be shifted to Mars. But the truth is that it wasn’t their first priority. After the glacier meltdown had settled, the leftover leaders on Earth had a conference. With no land left to rule, the first thing that they have decided is ‘how to make boundaries on water instead’.

Turns out, the apocalypse had arrived centuries before it actually arrived.

Written by: Purvang Joshi

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