Sunday Scribblings: Future Earth

Per Meg and Lani at Sunday Scribblings:

"The future of the planet. Is there hope, do you think? Or not so much? Maybe you're impatiently awaiting the Rapture; maybe you think we've already doomed the Earth and the human race to a wasting death; maybe you think everything will be just fine. What is the future of the planet?"

The Future has been Desiccated

He watched the couple’s slow progression through the sand and scrub; no use scoping the yardage – the pair was well within the kill distance of his M107 .50-caliber sniper rifle.
The question prattling around in his head was if this pair was worth two rounds of an ever-shrinking supply of Browning BMG rounds.
He sucked on his saliva rock, a pebble the size of a dime, first worn round by the forces of water and time, now worn down by the forces of human spittle.
He still had most of his a.m. ration, the remnants of a tepid quart held in the plastic vessel of what he remembered as a popular sports drink of the time. Orange-capped, he fingered the bottle, heard the splash and turned back to the pair coming through the barren wasteland that once was downtown Omaha’s Heartland of America Park.
He scoped them just in case - and decided definitely that they were not worthy of the ammunition.
They wouldn’t make it anywhere near the oasis he was sentried to protect. The last known opening of the Ogallala Aquifer.
The last known water between himself and the hyper-salinated Pacific. Not in this heat, no sir, which was nothing for a February day. He checked the thermometer pinned to his grubby T-shirt where his name, rank and water allocation number was stenciled. An even 120 degrees in the shade of the sentry post.
They’d be dead by nightfall.
He watched as they fell to their knees and wept.
Surrounded by the hubris of shopping carts, broken concrete, bleached skeletons of streamside cottonwoods and charred metal heaped in what used to be the longest river in America.
The wind had taken care of the last clues that water had flowed between its banks.
That there ever had been a Missouri River.
He took a slight sip of water to wet his mouth, covered the scope and put the couple out of his mind.


Uncle E said...

REALLY enjoyed this one. A bit of sci-fi horror, new to the Thom G cannon of short fiction. I think you should do more.

Granny Smith said...

This is not only extremely good writing, it is a wake-up call to those who don't believe the scientists and THEIR wake-up calls about global warming! I like (and find very relevant) your description of the detritus of our society.

dailypanic said...

Cool! I do not look forward to this kind of future- but I have noted that all of us are very protective of what little we have - right down to our identity. I fear Space Aliens that want to be me- just a tiny bit of my DNA and next thing you know, I could be that last trace of organic material fighting for survival in a vast universe.