a monument to our destructive past

 photo ruinedhouse_zpsbb3695b3.jpg

Journal Entry: January 14, 3014

A group of us were sent to Earth today to take readings and make observations as part of the Bi-Century Progress Check.  The opportunity to do so was one of the reasons I joined The Collective in the first place, since they were the only ones authorized to set foot on the planet anymore.  When my name came up I was thrilled to finally get down there.

The ride in was uneventful.  Stunning, of course, and the ship was eerily quiet as we all got our first glimpse of the sun cascading through the atmosphere and the red-orange glow of the superheated air spreading away from us we sliced our way through.  But there were none of the bumps and bounces reported on previous missions.  It seems that The Collective have finally smoothed over the landing process.

Once on the ground, we deployed and I surveyed the deserted landscape, observed the clear delineations, the markings where the land had been divided and raped, and marveled that they remained after so much time had passed.  The Collective had hoped that Earth would have begun to heal itself already but that did not appear to be the case.

I resisted the urge to remove my protective visor and drink in the colors as they were meant to be seen, but I felt it unwise to risk getting contaminated with anything that might still be in the air.  Besides, the black and white suited the setting, suited the mood.

Something on the horizon caught my eye and I made the slow trek across the dusty ground to find a dilapidated domicile.  It seemed odd that it had remained after so much else had faded away to nothingness.  It seemed out of place.  And, yet, it did seem right at home, crumbling walls and collapsed ceiling, at the same time.  A relic of the old people tied to the ground they had destroyed.  A monument.  A reminder of the damage they caused.

I gathered my samples from near the building and then made it back to the ship just as they were preparing to launch.  My manager wasn’t pleased that I had called it so close.  But, I wasn’t alone in straggling in at the last moment.  Most of the crew were determined to make the most of their time on the mythical land.  Who could blame them for that?

While the images will haunt me for the rest of my life, while I know I will feel sorrow that I will never step foot on Earth again, I am glad I went.  No regrets.


You could probably read some sort of scathing commentary on our current state of affairs, our current use of resources, etc… but that really wasn’t my intent.  I just saw the picture and, as is usually the case, went where the words took me.  That being said, I do welcome any discourse along those lines you feel up to chatting about, just let me know in the comments.

And, if you want to play along, this post was in response to moi’s Picture Writing Challenge for the week.  What do you see?  Write it, link it, post it.

58 thoughts on “a monument to our destructive past

  1. This reminds me of the sailors being the last to see what was left of America off the Puget Sound in “On the Beach” and Ray Bradbury’s description of life on Earth in “There Will Come Soft Rains”.

    In other words, very well done.

  2. Nicely written. I appreciate the quietness to the land. Earth has been so hurt that she is still curled up and silent. Perhaps in 4014 the Collective will start seeing some regeneration.

    • Sad. I’d say, “Stop reading them!” But, the information has to get out. We have to read, so we can pass along the right information and do our part to stop things like that.

      Do you want me to write something silly? Pick up your spirits?

  3. I didn’t know you did the fiction thing… Really nicely done. Reminded me of Oblivion, the movie. I don’t love Tom Cruise, but I dug that movie from beginning to end.

    Unfortunately, we do seem to be heading in that direction… but I have faith that people will figure this out in time and fix it up.

    • I haven’t had a chance to see Oblivion yet. It looked intriguing… do you recommend it?

      It seems more and more that “the fiction thing” is all I’m doing here. The personal posts seem to becoming further and further apart. Which is sad… I wish the words would come to me so I could write something meaningful/insightful/humorous from my every day existence. I’m in awe of the bloggers who are able to do so on a regular basis.

      • I am too, I don’t know how they pull such experience out of their lives. They all seem more interesting than I am, have more going on, and seem to be able to get out their personal stories with aplomb. I try here and there, but it’s just not my thing I guess.

        I’ll have to stick around and have a look at your fiction pieces, that’s my passion.

        I do recommend Oblivion. I went in a bit negative, and I don’t like watching Tom Cruise because I keep thinking hey, this is Tom Cruise I’m watching. But the score was great, the concept (if maybe a bit Wall-E’ish) was decent, acting pretty good, and I really wasn’t sure where it was all heading until the end. There’s one moment right at the end that really hooked me. So yeah, would recommend.

      • Cool. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll add it to my list. I was avoiding it because of Tom Cruise, but with the inclusion of Morgan Freeman was wondering if I should give it a try anyway.

        I hope you find some other bits of flash fiction around the kingdom you enjoy. 😀

      • I definitely will. There just don’t seem to be that many people writing prose out there, so I’ll be around. When I follow, I really follow (beware!).

      • Sadly, no. He would make a far superior moat monster than the one currently in place, but his crack squirrels make sure he never strays too far from San Diego.

  4. How coincidental. I was reading “What if the apocalypse wasn’t so popular?” at Okay, what if? (one of JED’s blogs). I’ll have to show this to him…

And, begin:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s