continued from previous
Julia’s anger would soon be replaced by tears. As she retreated further and further inland, she began to mourn. A torrent of regret poured out of her, draining her last emotional reserves. This was Julia’s final act: one last release, as she grieved remorsefully for all those who had died before her, because of her, or those who are yet to die in the future: the trees, the animals, the mountains amputated by the mudslides. Julia became so overtaken by her own grief that she forgot to stop crying. Drawing the curtains in the sky, she cried as much as she could in the hope that her tears would cleanse the crime scene. Everything became flooded in a soft, quiet, unrelenting rain that lasted for days.
She eventually became the water. She became trillions of droplets falling on her victims, caressing each one separately as she joined them in their final grave. She had fulfilled her purpose for now, pending any further instructions from the EoT.
John looked out of his window. His right eye produced a tear just as he gazed out into the flooded horizon. It travelled at a slow, constant speed from the inner corner of his eye and about two centimeters down his cheek. It stalled there for a few seconds, pausing as if deciding whether to jump or not. And then it jumped, sailing on its virgin flight down sixteen stories of John’s tower block. Pure as a liquid diamond, innocent as a newborn child, it struggled to maintain its round shape. It never made it to the ground. It merged with Julia somewhere on its way down, mating for life with a raindrop before joining the floodwater.
Julia’s new offspring were alive and well. The phytoplankton rain had reached as far as the mountains, fertilizing the acidified soils of the dying forest with organic material from the ocean. New variants had been carried by the hurricane thousands of miles across the ocean.
It was time for John to figure out his escape.
(from the upcoming novel A New Earth)
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George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books