continued from previous
Still trapped on the 16th floor, John quickly ran to the other side of the studio to pick up his phone. It was the unexpected sound of a message notification cutting through the disconnected silence that, even in John’s introverted world, was beginning to feel chillingly claustrophobic. He turned the phone over to see three notifications from Aspen. Before he could call back, the phone’s battery went dead.
At least Aspen was probably alive. John had no other choice but to wait until power was restored and the flood waters had hopefully retreated. It was time to use those matches and one of the candles to attempt to make the most primitive yet most delicious cup of coffee he had ever had. There was no reason to panic – unless of course, the building suddenly caught fire.
He looked again out into the thin strip of ocean in the distance. The color had shifted a bit more towards a sickly beige/grey, probably a result of suspended particles in the floodwater. New phytoplankton and other microorganism mutants had probably arrived from far away, colonizing the bay. There was not one hint of blue anywhere in the water. The storm surge and effluent were providing the phytoplankton with excess nutrients and warm waters, two of the variant’s favorite things. This hurricane had been the definitive affirmation of its victory, of its ability to thrive in any environment. The reign of the phytoplankton was now official. The organism had all that it could ever wish for: sun, nutrients, an endless ocean, and all the time in the world. Meanwhile a sad, disconnected human on the 16th floor of a semi-destroyed building was using a candle to warm up a kettle so that he can filter some hazelnut espresso through folded toilet paper. Which of the two was the one most likely to survive?
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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