Oak and his water world

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"Mommy, mommy there's another wave!!!He yelled as he ran, hoping to escape it, hoping to get caught...eager to hit the sand before the wave hit him. Chubby legs and arms uncoordinated in excitement and haste The wave got him of course. A laughing, delirious and happy little boy. His mother smiled with the sun behind her, and led him to a warm spot on the sandy beach.

Oak stood at the edge of what must have been the Strand on the beach with expensive homes that had overlooked the ocean. That was thirty years ago. Thirty years in which the waves had hit much more than rambunctious little kids playing in the surf. They had hit and taken over the beach, and now crashed over the framework of uber riche homes...framework that showcased an expanse of sky and empty shell, sand and seaweed laden spaces inside.

The only channel that brought him to his childhood haunt was empty at this time of morning. It swept down from a web of suspended metallic beams in the sky to drop him on a hillock. He had his hovercraft resting lightly as he stood, feeling all kinds of magic from his feet sinking in the sand, grey and gravelly though it was.

Oak drove here to search for his anchor. His anchor was his memory and his belief that the world that existed now could not be real. The memories of surf and sand, driving down lanes with trees in attentive welcome and even going for a walk where his feet would hit solid ground gave him nourishment in a world so strange..

He considered moving. But it was a tough choice; did he want to routinely run into a tornado shelter or batten the hatches against rain. Rain that did not fall to wash away sins. It fell vengefully, a vicious reminder of all humankind had willfully done. Rain that stayed angry and overwrought from never taking a break.

The scenery was the same the world over. No one ever saw the sky without seeing the webbing of transport channels. They marred the sun, and unless one crested a steep curve, when the sky swelled freely in front of their eyes, they saw shapes of blue or gray or black thru girder beams.

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Most lived their lives almost never seeing a blade of grass, except from hobby artists and gardeners who made cute little tableaux with plastic green shreds, or even rarer, greenhouse grass that grew in some parts of the world that had magical beaches that were a hundred feet long. Oak longed to visit but was put off by the stories he had heard. About how one had to book years in advance and how the rich and famous almost always had first dibs on a sandy spot. The yearning for green grass was strong. The smell alone was enough to have him video conference with his therapist.

Most people in his generation remembered the exact moment that...for lack of a better phrase, "it all went to shit."

It seemed like the oceans could not contain themselves even as the skies raged suddenly. Everyone's carefully ordered lives, plans and beliefs were upturned like paper boats would be in a hurricane. Staying alive was the biggest responsibility. Too huge in a world that was suddenly floating. As the days went on, reports arrived from everywhere. It was the same scenario. Icebergs from the poles were melting faster than a float on a summer's day. Planet earth that had held on for millennia suddenly decided to protest. Such a protest it was! Enough that entire cities the world over saw changes of view...either in the yawning depths of an angry earth, or the ground was pushed high making land that would form mountains.  The people who lived on these lands tried to hold on desperately to walls, cars, trains, lampposts...anything that they perceived as "attached and firm." But nothing was firm. Subways. trams, trains, car lots and everything fell or rose, leaving people dangling and screaming.

Oak shook off his own memories. His family survived because they had been airborne and had watched the most curious gathering of storm clouds below while they flew home. The pilot received messages that he broadcast, and they prepared a sea landing approximating the distance from what should have been the runway at the airport.

He wouldn't give up. He was due at a "species reserve" in sector 10. There were no countries anymore, as it was difficult to draw boundaries where there was just water. No countries, no oil, no minerals yet. They were still manufacturing equipment, in the ways they could, and devising new ways to access the wealth buried even deeper. They had only their memories and hand drawn maps. They had had to work toward re-digitizing everything like it used to be.

As he stepped into his hovercraft, the sadness ebbed and excitement took its place. Yes! He was going to request the seeds of certain kinds of plants, and he would cultivate them, protect them as his mother had protected him as a child. He had been talking to others, and they talked about the various kinds of non-soil oriented gardens that people maintained high up in sky scrapers even when all was well with the world. He hoped that he could start there, and have floating boxes for trees, trees anchored in ashes that they stockpiled from crematoriums in each building. Buildings that had stood somehow, and were maintained by deep sea divers who continually bolstered the foundation.

Oak imagined tree lined streets again and machines that were powered with the insistent and ever present water. He imagined the water levels reducing year after year, as trees used them, and people used the water like they had used and burned through all other resources. The hope remained that this would impact everyone less.

He wouldn't have children but he would make it better for the little lives that would surely appear again, and for the surviving children.

He was human. He was born with a contract to try. And try he would.

Photo Credit

1 www.stockfreeimages.com; © Beltsazar | <a href="http://www.dreamstime.com/">Dreamstime Stock Photos</a> & <a href="http://www.stockfreeimages.com/">Stock Free Images</a>


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