8 August 2017
This is part of a green writing competition Thomson Reuters held with Calder High School in Yorkshire, UK. Here is Keren Hulme’s story on what may happen to the world if climate change continues to an extreme degree.
Keren Hulme – Second Prize, Year 8
The last tree. The last leaf. The last breath.
It was us. All of us. Humans. WE polluted the air. WE extracted the lungs of the earth and used them for our own selfish gain. WE poisoned the planet with our putrid, thick, choking smog. WE poisoned mother earth with our self-centredness. WE started the suicide.
I witnessed the beginning of the avalanche. I was there when the word “green” became more of a myth than a colour. I watched mankind kindle the fire that would eventually destroy us. I watch as with bated breath the human race fixed their eyes upon the tree.
The last tree.
This one tree was the last of all trees on the earth. The final survivor of the race we burned, poisoned, cut down, and exploited. It was heart rending, the way we humans used these trees and did not even plant one seed, one child, in return, so that this majestic race would survive. But there we were, and everyone could see. Every single human watched as their hope slowly withered and died. This hope was their only hope of peace, of clean air. Their only hope of breath, of life, and prosperity. This was the leaf.
The last leaf.
They knew it was because of them. The guilt of what they had done was enough to kill thousands. The tension thickened the air until it was comparable with the smoke, the pollution we made. We could barely breathe, we knew the end was coming. We had run out of oxygen.
Our eyes dulled as the last leaf fell. It drifted slowly down, as if to taunt us, then settled on the ground.
The whole planet inhaled then exhaled. A tremor ran through the people of the earth as Mother Nature finally died. The final tree had fallen. Our hearts sank. This was it. This was the moment. Hands had been held, tears had fallen and children had buried their faces in their mothers’ hair for the last time as lungs were filled then emptied. This was the breath.
The… last… breath…
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