A lesson about decomposition in Jim Bauer’s science class at Morenci Middle School led to the following essay by Bailey Blaker.
Mr. Bauer provided a list of concepts for the students to cover. He was impressed with Bailey’s descriptive story.
A Dying Earth
by Bailey Blaker
A rolling ominous plume of smoke rises against the crimson lit sky. A feeling of dread pulses through my veins as I continue ambling down the deserted street. Harsh voices break the cold silence, another fight has broken out. I wheeze and cough from the dust my footsteps have stirred up.
Closing my eyes I try to remember what this street used to look like before the “incident,” but for the hundredth time my memory fails to come up with a decent picture. All I know is that before, this street didn’t look like it does now. The houses here are decrepit and abandoned, paint peeling on the siding. Piles of ashes stand on either side of the street, making me feel like I’m in an urn.
Bodies of the deceased litter the streets, scattered everywhere. Even the ones years old look like they died yesterday. The few scavengers that are left peck feverishly at the carcasses. Some are missing a nose here, a part of an ear there, but mostly they just lay there, whole, with the most awful expressions of their faces. Most are gasping for the oxygen they couldn’t get to in life. The sight of those bodies makes my stomach turn, but I can’t throw up because there’s nothing in my stomach anyway.
That brings me to my purpose for today. I’m starving so I’m wandering these lonely streets in search of the food I know I won’t find. Everthing’s gone—the trees, the water, the people, food, clean air—everything...gone.
It has been only 10 years since the reason for all this suffering. The first broadcast came around November. All over people ignored the news, “All the decomposers are gone.” That one sentence swept around the world overnight. None of us were sure of how or why, but everyone thought they knew who single handedly killed the planet.
At first when the news came out we thought it would be fine. Nothing had happened, months passed and some people forgot about it. That’s when the inevitable happened.
About a year after the decomposers left earth, everything turned bad. Crops were dying because there weren’t decomposers to replace nutrients into the soil. Without crops, the world’s population died in the masses. Because there was nothing to break down dead bodies and plants into simpler substances, bodies piled up all over the world. Eventually the few that were left had to burn the dead.
After a few years, oxygen went down with the number of trees. Even more people died of infection and disease than from starvation, and even more died from lack of oxygen. Now the few that have survived everything else like I have, are living the only way they can. We all are hungry, cold, tired and weak. Some of us have gone insane from the lack of human contact.
We who are left have gone back to a primitive state. Living in tribes, we hunt and pillage town after town. None of us know when this will end, but until then we will do as we have been...surviving.
Another fire burns in the distance, a tribe pillaging, I expect. I turn my back on the horizon and walk back up the street, remembering the days when the earth was covered in green.